Orientation Welcome Leaders

Are you ready to get involved in the Rachel Carson community? Show your enthusiasm and passion for your college through being an Orientation Welcome Leader!


For any additional questions please reach out to carsonsl@ucsc.edu





What is an Orientation Welcome Leader?

Orientation Welcome Leaders (or OWLs) are a group of volunteers who assist with Move-In, Welcome Week,  activities and programs during the first six weeks of fall quarter. They play an important role in setting the tone for a brand new exciting year. OWLs will work with next year's Resident Assistants and Program Assistants to help new students become familiar with Rachel Carson College, UCSC, and all that Santa Cruz has to offer.

Why do I want to be an OWL?

You mean besides the cool job title? Aside from being a crucial part of Rachel Carsom programs, being an OWL is a fantastic opportunity to help next year's new students out. It's a great way to give back to the Rachel Carson community. It is also a great way to develop leadership skills. It is a fun and rewarding experience.

What do I have to do as an Rachel Carson Orientation Welcome Leader?

If you are selected as an OWL, you'll need to meet two times this Spring Quarter to start training and to start working on next year's Welcome Week programs. You'll also be required to help out with one springtime event and to stay on campus the wekeend after finals to assist with the Rachel Carson Commencement Ceremony.

In Fall, OWLs arrive back one week before Move-In for a week of OWL training and planning. Training is mandatory, all-day, and assignments sometimes continue into the evening. During this time, you will be assigned to a committee to plan and coordinate a major event, including: campus tours, Midnight Breakfast & Karaoke, New Student Welcome, House Bounce, Ice Cream Social, and more.

Move-In and Welcome Week are the bulk of OWL responsibilities. Our days begin early and end late. Prepare to fully dedicate this time to getting to know new students and supporting their transition to Rachel Carson College. You and your committee will be putting on the event you planned and supporting the events of other teams.

After Welcome Week, OWLs will continue to outreach to new students and plan and support social programs for the first six weeks of school. All OWLs will assist with major Rachel Carson traditions like Spirit Week.

Are there perks to being an OWL?

The Orientation Welcome Leader position is an exceptionally important position but it is a volunteer position. That doesn't mean we don't have any compensation. As an OWL, you will get:

  • A Paid Position
  • 7-day meal plan starting the the first day of fall training up until the day classes begin
  • Early fall move-in (on-campus students only)
  • A free Rachel Carson Staff T-Shirt

We understand that this isn't nearly worth the amount of time and effort OWLs need to put in to make Welcome Week work. The reason most OWLs participate is because of the intangible perks: leadership development, teamwork, and getting to work with next year's incoming students. Our OWLs have time and time again gone on to become RAs, PAs, CUIP interns, officers in student orgs, and much more.

Ok, I'm sold. How do I become an OWL?

Info for 2024-25 OWL positions will be updated in Spring 2024. In the meantime, check Handshake for more information. 



Meet the Fall 2023 Quarter Orienation Welcome Leaders! 

Lead OWL: Simmi Kaur



Hi my name is Simmi (she/her) I am a third year at UCSC, double majoring in Biology and Global and Community and Health. I am from Modesto, California. I enjoy; swimming, baking, and hanging with family and friends. Feel free to reach out.



Daniella Gavarrete:



Hi, I'm Daniella (she/her)! I am a second-year global and community health major with a public health concentration. One of my favorite things to do is go shopping with my mom. It's always really fun. I also enjoy visiting new parks around my city (sf)! My pronouns are she/hers. My email is dgavarre@ucsc.edu. 

Journey Bliss:



Hello! My name is Journey Bliss, I am a third year ENVS and Global and Community Health double major. I'm from San Diego. Some of my favorite things are music, reading, and the beach. If you need anything feel free to reach out by email: jtbliss@ucsc.edu.



Vanessa Medel:



Hello! My name is Vanessa Medel. I'm a second-year Human Biology major and a Rachel Carson Affiliate. My pronouns are She/Her/Hers. Feel free to email me if you need anything or want to discuss how cool the human body is! vmedel@ucsc.edu 


Cynthia Olivera Saavedra:



Hello! I'm Cynthia (she/her), a second-year sociology major with a minor in education. My favorite things to do are cooke, bake, watch movies/shows, and listen to music. Please feel free to contact me at colivera@ucsc.edu



Mary Hillenbrand:



Hi! My name is Mary and I'm a third year psychology major. Some of my hobbies include art journaling/collaging, exploring campus, and getting to know new people! I absolutely love meeting other students on campus, so feel free to contact me with any questions or discussions you have! :)



Amy Fuller:



Hey! My name is Amy (she/her) and I'm a second year Environmental Science major. I'm from the Bay Area and in my free time I enjoy reading and making jewelry. Feel free to contact me with any questions!



Ares Atlas:



Hey everyone! I'm Ares (they/he) and I'm a 4th year Art and AGPM double major. I'm from the Sacramento area. In my free time I enjoy reading, writing, gaming, and drawing.



Lily Nord:


Hello! My name is Lily (she/her), I am a third-year Education, Democracy, Justice, and Agroecology double major. I enjoy cooking, reading, hiking, and swimming in my free time.