Head Orientation Counselors-Orientation & First-Year Programs - Carnegie Mellon University

Meet your 2015 Head Orientation Counselors!


Ben Siegel

Mudge House

To the class of 2019+,

I am incredibly excited to have you all join the Carnegie Mellon community. My name is Ben Siegel and I study Electrical and Computer Engineering, am from York, Maine, and am the Head Orientation Counselor for Mudge House! I’m sure many of you are very anxious, unsure, and excited as to what the next 4+ years have in store for you at this amazing university, but I can assure you that they will be some of the most enjoyable and rewarding times you have experienced. 

Coming from a small town, I had no idea what coming to a city, a bigger school, and a school filled with such diversity would mean for me. Through the orientation program, I was able to feel very comfortable in my new home and realized that Carnegie Mellon was absolutely the school for me. Through this year’s orientation week, I hope that I am able to do the same for all of you! You will be challenged both socially and academically, meet many people from different cultures and backgrounds, and create memories that will last for the rest of your life. So, get excited!

If you are a little anxious about coming to college, that’s perfectly normal. Hopefully I can help ease some of those worries and make you all feel like you’ve found a new home. Make sure to enjoy your summer and I can’t wait to meet all of you in August!

Mudge Love,


Meg Boyle

Morewood E-Tower

Dear Class of 2019+,

Hello all! My name is Meg Boyle and i’m the head orientation counselor for Morewood-E Tower. I’m a rising senior studying Vocal Performance, hoping to do crossover work in Musical Theatre, Opera, and jazz.

While at CMU i’ve gotten to meet an incredibly diverse range of individuals who have shaped my experience here. I’m involved in various things on campus and I find Carnegie Mellon to be a really special community. CMU is a place where peoples dreams are realized and they are pushed to be the best possible versions of themselves.

I am very passionate about orientation, having participated in it every year possible. Orientation is an experience for first-years to find a real home in Pittsburgh and see all that Carnegie Mellon has to offer. This is a time to step outside your comfort zone and I truly believe it sets the tone for the year. I came into CMU with the goal of meeting people I didn’t think I normally would and doing things that scared me a little bit. I think this has made all the difference, and by taking this step I feel completely supported by this community.

I hope that you can have a similar experience and find your home here. My goal is for students to feel accepted for who they are, and unafraid to achieve their goals. I am also passionate about exploring Pittsburgh, a really special place that holds something for everyone. Take advantage of your surroundings, talk to people when you’re scared, volunteer, be the leader you know you have the potential to be.

I am so excited to meet each and every one of you; Congratulations and Welcome to the Carnegie Mellon Community.


Meg Boyle


Theodore Warhoe

Stever House

Howdy class of 2019+,

You are about to embark on an incredible journey, filled with fun, hard work, freedom, and 6000 other undergraduates with unique passions willing to go just as far to pursue them as you are. My name is Theodore Warhoe, a Junior Electrical and Computer Engineering major from Austin, Texas. I am the Head Orientation Counselor for one of finest first year communities at Carnegie Mellon, Stever House.

I hope to meet as many of you as possible in August. Before I get too excited for orientation and forget, I hope you’ll take some advice from someone who wishes he had heard it before he took plunge into his first week at Carnegie Mellon. Get excited. Laugh. Don’t be afraid to act goofy. Any time you see someone you don’t know, walk up and introduce yourself. You might well meet your best friend. Orientation is the only time during your college career you’ll be able to let loose without worrying about exams or assignments or that three hour lab you have coming up. So eat it up, enjoy every second, and keep in mind that what makes our school so special are everyone’s passions. Get out there and share yours, become amazed by others’, and maybe even find someone who has the same or develop a new one.

When you step on campus, you will be confronted with a range of exciting new challenges. Embrace them because you will be able to look back on orientation with a sense of achievement to set the tone for your entire CMU journey. Most importantly, step onto this campus not at a walk, but at full speed. Don’t hesitate to run for fear of stumbling. As Henry Ford said, “Failure is only the opportunity to begin again more intelligently.” So come on down with an open mind and begin what could be the greatest adventure of your life.

With all the best wishes for your time here,

Theodore Warhoe


Zuojun Gong

Donner House

Welcome Class of 2019+,

My name is Zuojun Gong, and I’m the HOC for the big blue house, Donner. I’m studying Mathematical Science a whole 9,000 miles away from home in Shenzhen, China. I could not be more thrilled and honored to welcome you to our Carnegie Mellon family.

If you’re like any of the other 1500 people in your class, you’re feeling a lot of things right now. Excited, nervous, and curious. You have no idea what’s waiting out there for you -- and that’s a good thing! College wouldn’t be half the exciting time it is if the next four (or five) years were anything close to predictable. Maybe you’ll change your major, make friends with the next Steve Jobs, or find your untapped passion for inner-tube water polo (that’s a real intramural sport here)!

The Orientation experience is a unique one that you’ll remember for the rest of your time here. It is what you make of it, so I encourage you to go in with an open mind, a kind heart, a warm smile.  Everyone is nervous, so don’t worry about acting cool. That person on your floor who looks like he has it all figured out is probably just as nervous as you are, so reach out and make a new friend.

My one piece of advice to you is to step outside your comfort zone and take risks. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Don’t feel constrained by the activities you did or the person you were in high school. But also don’t feel pressured to act like someone completely different -- you can still maintain your integrity while exploring who you want to be. Be yourself, and be willing to accept whatever crazy, unpredictable things are thrown at you. The curve balls in college are what make it a growing and learning experience.

I wish you the best of luck and an amazing Orientation experience!

Zuojun Gong


Sawsan Boutemine

Residences on the Hill

Hey there, Class of 2019+!

Congratulations on your acceptance to this amazing university! My name is Sawsan, and I'm a junior Neuroscience major from northern New Jersey. I'm one of the Head Orientation Counselors for the Hill alongside the amazing Jenny Young! We're incredibly excited to welcome you all to the crazy, large family that is the Carnegie Mellon community. 

I remember being a first year like it was yesterday: I was extremely scared and nervous, but also beyond excited to see what lay ahead. I remember thinking to myself: What is an OC? Where even is the Hill? What do all of these acronyms even mean?? After some time, in addition to learning the answers to all of those questions, I learned a great deal about myself, and what I love about this University. I found a passion in Orientation, service, and making meaningful connections with other students and faculty here.

Orientation is a giant crash course to CMU. There's honestly nothing else quite like it! This is the one week where you will be able to step outside of your comfort zone and start building the bridge from high school to college. Your past and the future you're about to build. It's truly a remarkable thing. 

My advice to you: be yourself, take risks, and if it gets too crazy... just let go. This place will challenge you and cause you to grow in more ways than you can imagine. Orientation is the stepping stone to an amazing, fun-filled 4+ years at Carnegie Mellon. 

Welcome home!
All the Hill love,



Caitlin Lohman

Residence on Fifth

Hi there class of 2019+!

My name is Caitlin Lohman, and I’m the HOC for the Rez on Fifth. I’m studying Linguistics and Language Technologies, and I love to learn new languages. I hail from Los Angeles, and I am so happy to welcome you to our Carnegie Mellon family.

If you're anything like me, new experiences can be intimidating. The one thing I am most thankful for is my Orientation experience. It introduced me to the CMU community and what it means to be a part of something bigger than myself. More importantly, it pushed me out of my comfort zone, and by that I mean it pushed me to try new things and meet new people, and that's really what makes life exciting. 

So if I have any advice for this incoming class, its to step outside of your comfort zone, and Orientation is the perfect environment to do that because everyone is going through the same thing. Orientation is the first step in making the most of your college experience, so get excited! No matter what, I can assure you that the Carnegie Mellon community is a family, and the HOC's cannot be more excited for you to join it. 

Welcome, and good luck in your first year of Carnegie Mellon!
Caitlin Lohman


Jenny Young

Residences on the Hill

Welcome Class of 2019+!

My name is Jenny and I will be a rising 5th year student majoring in architecture and civil engineering here at CMU. I am one of the Head Orientation Counselors on the Hill with Sawsan and I couldn’t be more excited! 

After leaving my small town home in Pennsylvania almost 4 years ago for the first time, I was so nervous about starting a new chapter at CMU. But through my time here I realized that I found my second home and so much more. One thing that CMU proves to me time and time again is passion. Not only are professors and faculty passionate about their students here, but the school truly provides the opportunity for each student to fall in love with something. Whether that be a class, a sport, a club or a group of friends, and even if it’s a renewed passion or something completely new, CMU has this way of bringing something great to everyone. I know for me, I never would have imagined myself writing to you all now as an “HOC”. But taking a chance on applying to be an orientation counselor my first year brought me the most amazing orientation family ever where I made new friends all across campus and became reacquainted with CMU all over again. 

While starting a new chapter in your life can be daunting, I challenge all of you to put your nervousness and questions aside and embrace everything that orientation week has to offer. I challenge you to move out of your comfort zone, put yourself out there, and get to know this great community at CMU, even if it feel scary or uncomfortable. Start building your bridges early and connecting yourself to your floor, your major, and everyone beyond those! Carnegie Mellon University is an amazing place, and is awaiting you to find your passion here too. 

With Hill Orientation Love,