Orientation Leaders
Contact Information
New Student and Family Programs
248 DiGiorgio Campus Center
Winthrop University
Rock Hill, SC 29733, USA
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Orientation Leaders

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OLs are upperclassmen students at Winthrop who work with new freshmen students and their families at Orientation. These students work hard throughout the spring semester and summer to train and prepare for helping new students in their transition. At Orientation, new students are assigned to an OL who will serve as their Winthrop point person and lead sessions to give students exclusive knowledge on what it means to be a Winthrop Eagle.

(in alphabetical order by first name)

A-F     G-K     L-N     O-Z

To contact any of the OLs via email, log into Winthrop's People Search tool.


Alana Walker

Alana Walker

Major: Integrated Marketing Communication (College of Arts & Sciences)
Hometown: Wilmington, OH
Wisdom for New Eagles: The hardest obstacle thrown at me my freshman year was changing my major. I was so scared to make such a big change, but it turned out great. I wish I had known that at Winthrop it is ok to change paths as you figure things out and to have so many people helping and leading you on your way.

Favorite Spot on Campus: My favorite spot on campus is the DiGiorgio Campus Center, which everyone calls "Digs." There are always people studying, eating, hanging out, playing video games, etc. Being in Digs always gives me a boost of energy and just gives me good vibes by being around everyone. The best time to be in Digs is during Common Time, which is the free time we have between 11-12:30 on Tuesdays and Thursdays where there are no classes. I love using that time for last-minute studying, catching up with friends, and my favorite, tabling in Digs. This is when many student groups and community organizations set up a table to tell you more about themselves. Most are interactive and some even have items or goodies for sale.
Fun Fact: I have a pet bird who thinks my messy bun is her nest!


Anna RhyneAnna Rhyne

Major: Elementary Education (College of Education)
Hometown: Clover, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Reach out to the people you wish you knew better! It only takes a few moments and one connection in conversation to make a new friend. As new Eagles, you're all in the same boat of not knowing people. Take that leap and talk to them - they just might end up being your best friend!

Favorite Winthrop Tradition: The Blue Line is an event during Welcome Week when current students, faculty, and staff welcome the new students who are all dressed in their Blue Line shirts! Our campus community is so close and over the years you really make bonds with your professors. When you participate in the Blue Line as an upperclassman, you see all the faces you've come to know, love, and look up to. It's really a full circle moment. I love this tradition because it shows you what growth and impact you experience through college. During your Blue Line, remember the feeling you have and live in the moment because you only get one freshman year, and it only gets better from there.
Fun Fact: I have never eaten an Uncrustable!


Baten KingBaten King

Major: Music Education (College of Education and College of Visual & Performing Arts)
Hometown: Chester, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Live in the moment! It never hurts to get out of your room and take a quick break to go hang out with your peers/friends. Go out and do some fun activities that WU has to offer.

Favorite Winthrop Tradition: Common Time is my favorite thing about Winthrop. This is every Tuesday and Thursday between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. when there are no classes. It's a great time for the student body to explore organizations, opportunities, and vendors in under an hour! I see it as an efficient way to get students involved and informed on campus. You can also use Common Time to grab some lunch, meet with faculty and staff, or study.
Fun Fact: I am super scared of dogs... but I love them!


Brooke StoutBrooke Stout

Major: Human Development & Family Studies (College of Education) with a double minor in Psychology and Community-Based Learning
Hometown: North Canton, OH
Wisdom for New Eagles: Don’t be afraid to make friends with the upperclassmen in your classes! Becoming closer with my older classmates helped me through my first year so much because they can be friends and even unofficial mentors. They can show you the ins and outs of campus and be a resource for when you don’t know who else to go to! I promise, upperclassmen are not as scary as you might think and are totally willing to help you out.

Biggest Surprise Coming to WU: How small my class sizes were! You hear about it, but it’s different when you walk into class, and there’s only 10 other people in there — a lot of my classes were smaller than my high school classes. I have grown to love this aspect of Winthrop because I get one-on-one attention with my professors and get to have really enriching discussions with my classmates.
Fun Fact: I am a vegetarian!


Carrington WigfallCarrington Wigfall

Major: Theatre (College of Visual & Performing Arts) with a minor in Arts Management
Hometown: Charleston, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Take everything in, but don't get overwhelmed by it! College can be a big change, but Winthrop's caring community is even bigger. Don't be afraid to try something new and make a fresh start - that's what college is for!

How I Chose My Major: I went into Orientation with a major that I did not love, but after exploring my options more and meeting with faculty and staff at Orientation, I changed it to Theatre! I decided that college was the time to practice and learn more about what I loved, and that's exactly what I'm doing now. Talking to the staff, students, and alumni helped me feel confident in my decision, and because of it, I've made so many friends and have many opportunities!
Fun Fact: Despite my voice, I'm not actually British!


Chloe RizerChloe Rizer

Major: Psychology (College of Arts & Sciences) with a minor in Criminal Justice
Hometown: Bluffton, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Do not be afraid to go out of your room and explore the campus! I spent a lot of time my first semester at Winthrop watching events from afar and truly feeling isolated, but once got out and started doing things, I had an incredible time enjoying our beautiful campus and community and meeting friends!

Favorite Thing about WU: My favorite thing about Winthrop is the size of the campus and amount of students. I enjoy the smaller, intimate classes, and I feel less like a small fish in a big pond - something I know many deal with upon going to college. Everywhere I go on campus, I see a familiar face.
Fun Fact: I am terrified of lizards (all reptiles really)!


Danny Kilgore-WilsonDanny Kilgore-Wilson

Major: Social Studies Education (College of Education and College of Arts & Sciences)
Hometown: Greenville, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: The summer leading up to my first semester, I faced the challenge of saying goodbye to many friendships I had back home and to my family. Even during my first semester at Winthrop, I missed my family & friends back home very much. I overcame this by getting involved at Winthrop in clubs and orgs. Although I still missed my family and friends, being involved kept me going and gave me the opportunity to build great relationships on campus.

Favorite Thing about WU: I absolutely love everything about Winthrop! One of my favorites is how welcoming and inclusive the university is. Once admitted into Winthrop, you're part of our Family. In high school, it seemed like there were so many divisions between students, and it was rare that the groups intertwined. However at Winthrop, these divisions are nonexistent - everyone is friends with everyone!
Fun Fact: I am obsessed with TikToks!


Destini JonesDestini Jones

Major: Sociology (College of Arts & Sciences) with a minor in African American Studies
Hometown: Elizabethtown, NC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Try your best not to compare yourself to those around you. Everyone is on their own journey that has gotten them to where they are. To compare yourself with others completely dismisses how hard you’ve worked to get to where you are. Winthrop is a place for people wherever they are on their journeys. Focus on yourself, your goals, and how you can move forward!

The Best Advice Given to Me During My First Year: If you are doing something that doesn't feel right or authentic, don’t let it get you down. Learn from it, change what you’re doing, and keep it moving!
Fun Fact: I can play four instruments: piano, guitar, clarinet and violin! I am also (mostly) self-taught in the first two!


Gracie Bennett

Gracie Bennett

Major: double major in Philosophy & Religious Studies (College of Arts & Sciences) and Dance (College of Visual & Performing Arts)
Hometown: Gastonia, NC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Be yourself! Being your true authentic self will open so many doors from making new friends to getting involved on campus. Everyone is unique and individual personality is what makes Winthrop so unique because we appreciate our differences.

How I Chose My Major: I have always had a passion for dancing, and I knew I wanted to teach and choreograph in studios. However, I recently added a second major in Philosophy & Religious Studies as well. The reason for this is because of my growing passion for ministry, and I have a desire to become a youth minister one day as well. I have lots of big goals and dreams!
Fun Fact: I have 3 siblings under the age of 7!


Hannah BetheaHannah Bethea

Major: Elementary Education (College of Education) with a minor in Early Childhood Education
Hometown: Lake View, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: It's ok to feel lonely at first, but if you get out there and enjoy the Winthrop environment, you'll meet new friends! Winthrop is a very loving and outgoing community, so don't stress... relax and be yourself!

Biggest Surprise Coming to WU: The thing that most shocked me was how much the faculty, staff, and other students really look out for each other. It can be a big transition, but Winthrop has a numerous amount of resources that will help you succeed. It felt great that Winthrop had my back.
Fun Fact: I love to sing, and I love to stay at home and watch Netflix (homebody lol)!


Jasmine MoydJasmine Moyd

Major: Mathematics (College of Arts & Sciences) with a minor in Educational Studies (College of Education)
Hometown: Chester, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: The best thing to get acclimated to campus is to get out of your residence hall room - even if it's just to meet your neighbors. Visit Digs (the DiGiorgio Campus Center), stroll down Scholar's Walk, work on assignments in Dacus Library, or hang out with friends around Rock Hill. Staying inside your room cuts your chances of making lifelong friendships. The more you build connections, the better you will feel about your college experience.

How I Chose My Major: Everyone always asks, "Why math?" I have loved math since I started school; it has always been a subject that comes easily to me. However, it wasn't until my senior year in high school that I decide I wanted to be a math teacher. I had never seriously considered teaching until my high school math teacher inspired and motivated me to take this track. I say, you should major in what makes you as happy as math and education make me!
Fun Fact: I can say the alphabet... backwards!


Jenerette StrattonJenerette Stratton

Major: Dance Education (College of Education and College of Visual & Performing Arts)
Hometown: Florence, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Winthrop is not just a place to get a degree; it’s a place to grow and gain a family. Do not be afraid to go to events when there is the opportunity, and do not be afraid to walk up to someone and say hello. These connections are the ones that will last throughout your college career and will build the community to make Winthrop feel like home.

The Best Advice Given to Me During My First Year: It is okay to fail. The biggest part of failure is to make sure you pick yourself back up and come back stronger the next time. Learn from your mistakes and move on!
Fun Fact: I was told that I may not be able to dance again due to an injury, and now I’m a dance major. I get to do something I love for the rest of my life and teach others about my passion!


Kaia BarefootKaia Barefoot

Major: Theatre Education (College of Visual & Performing Arts)
Hometown: Mount Pleasant, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: It's okay to come into college feeling unsure and confused because everyone does, even I did. Just remember that there will always be people there for you in those unsure times, and you should never hesitate to talk to them about it! One of the things that really helped me step out of my bubble during my first semester, which I suggest doing, is to go to club meetings and events in order to find people who you have things in common with. Friendships will follow!

The Best Advice Given to Me During My First Year: As FYE will tell you, you should make every day count! This encouraged me to think about what I was doing each day and how to make the most out of my time at Winthrop. This led to me joining clubs and applying to be an Orientation Leader because I knew I wanted to do something with my time here at Winthrop rather than do nothing with it.
Fun Fact: I love to do special effects makeup on myself as a hobby!


Khadeejha JonesKhadeejha Jones

Major: Fine Arts with a concentration in Photography (College of Visual & Performing Arts)
Hometown: Lexington, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: I struggled with time management during my first semester. To manage my time, I used my planner more often to write down assignments that I absolutely needed to get done. In the summer before college, I was worried about not making any friends, but I had to remember that pretty much everyone was in my position so it would be okay. Once I got out of my own head, I made great friends!

A Campus Resource I've Used: Writing papers is not one of my strong suits so I would use the Writing Center (WC) to get feedback on my papers. The WC tutors would help me with grammar, citations, or pretty much whatever I needed help with. The tutor I worked with helped me strengthen my focus point for the paper I was working on.
Fun Fact: I love Ariana Grande!


Lauren Hershelman

Lauren Hershelman

Major: Physical Education (College of Education)
Hometown: Myrtle Beach, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Just be yourself and you will attract your friend group naturally. Don't try to be someone you aren't! It was hard for me to put myself out there and step outside my comfort zone, but I did. You can too! I surrounded myself with positive people! It was hard for me to be away from home (3 1/2 hours away), but my advice is to stay on campus as much as possible! Get involved and do not always go home. It will be worth it! College is what you make it!

Favorite Spot on Campus: I love Dacus Library because it is huge! There are a lot of study rooms where it is easy to focus and get work done. The hours are flexible and people are always willing to come with. Also, there is a printer which is convenient, and all Winthrop students are given a print quota to use.
Fun Fact: I cheered competitively for over 6 years!


Mandy BreakfieldMandy Breakfield

Major: Psychology (College of Arts & Sciences) with a minor in Biology
Hometown: Kings Mountain, NC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Try not to overthink everything. Go with the flow for a little while and meet lots of new people. Take the time to find your place here at Winthrop, while being open to new experiences.

Favorite Rock Hill Eatery: My favorite place to eat in Rock Hill is Burgers and Barley because their burgers are amazing, but they also have awesome salads! Plus, they're located right next to campus.
Fun Fact: The Office is my favorite show!


Nykeria FosterNykeria Foster

Major: Early Childhood Education (College of Education)
Hometown: Ninety-Six, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Don't be afraid to interact with people on campus. In my first semester, I was very nervous because this was a big transition from high school, but interacting with people and actually getting out and doing things helped a lot. Doing this made me feel like I was part of the Winthrop family, I began to get comfortable on campus, and it made my second semester 10x better.

A Campus Resource I Have Used: The Academic Success Center or ASC has been a resource that I have used a lot. The ASC offers peer tutoring and other academic help so that students succeed in classes. I used the ASC to get a tutor and I loved it. The people in the ASC want to see students succeed! My biggest surprise about going to college was figuring out how to study for classes and what works for me. After getting help and ideas from ASC about different ways to study I finally found what worked for me.
Fun Fact: I am the ultimate Khalid fangirl!


Nyssa HemingwayNyssa Hemingway

Major: double major in Spanish and Political Science (College of Arts & Sciences)
Hometown: Atlanta, GA
Wisdom for New Eagles: I struggled with making friends coming into my freshman year, but something that really turned things around was forcing myself to leave my room. Making connections is really important to making friends. Make a study group or join a club or organization to help ease that transition.

A Campus Resource I Have Used: My favorite campus resource is the Language Learning Center (LLC). The LLC was a big factor in my decision to declare a double major in Spanish. The LLC is great a resource to help students at any level improve their language skills. 
Fun Fact: In the first and only state-level pageant I competed in, I came in 5th place out of over 100 people!


Shaniya Simmons

Shaniya Simmons

Major: Theatre Performance (College of Visual & Performing Arts) with a minor in Political Science (College of Arts & Sciences)
Hometown: Sumter, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it! Winthrop offers a lot of resources, including your OL, that are here to help you grow and succeed throughout your college experience. At Winthrop, when you reach out, there’s always a helping hand on the other side.

Favorite Thing about WU: I love the diversity and acceptance that is present here. No matter where I go on campus, I'm sure to meet people from different cities, states, and cultural backgrounds. As a Winthrop student, I take pride in that because it shows how open we are to learning new things about each other as a campus community. At WU, we're better together.
Fun Fact: I have a baby sister that is 16 years younger than me!


Sydney TisdaleSydney Tisdale

Major: Early Childhood Education (College of Education)
Hometown: Blythewood, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Transition to college can be tough. There are times when everything you're going through at once seems almost impossible to overcome. My advice is to never be afraid of a lost step if the next two are forward. Believe in yourself and you will shine!

Biggest Surprise Coming to College: I'm sure I got this from watching TV, but I had a feeling that college was 4 years of school that were almost impossible to get through. I had a mindset that, only a "genius" could go to college and graduate. Once starting college I realized that it was more about time management and perseverance. I'm already a fairly organized person when it comes to my time and school work, so I was able to overcome what challenges I was faced with in the beginning of my college experience. Plus, Winthrop has many resources to help you if time management isn't your strong suit.
Fun Fact: I am a two time Winthrop Legacy. Both of my parents attended and graduated from Winthrop!


Tammara LasaneTammara Lasane

Major: Psychology (College of Arts & Sciences) with a double minor in Human Development & Family Studies (College of Education) and Hotel & Hospitality Management (College of Business Administration)
Hometown: Salters, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: College is really what you make of it. Coming from a high school where it seemed like the teachers didn't care as much was hard, but at Winthrop, there are so many people on campus who care and want to see you succeed.

Favorite Spot on Campus: I like the study spot on the second floor of the West Center that overlooks the swimming pool. During Common Time, I like to eat lunch and study there for some quiet time. Sitting up there is so peaceful and helps me clear my head.
Fun Fact: I love riding roller coasters, but I hate heights!


Taylor StewardTaylor Steward

Major: Business Administration in Accounting (College of Business Administration)
Hometown: Orangeburg, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Coming to college can be really overwhelming. At Winthrop, there is no need to stress because there are so many people who will help you get the resources you need. Try to stay positive and open to new experiences as you soar like an Eagle!

Favorite Rock Hill Eatery: My favorite place to eat in Rock Hill is The Roasting Company or RoCo. It's a local chicken restaurant that has plenty of options. When my family comes to visit, it's our go-to spot.
Fun Fact: I've been collecting rocks and crystals since I was four!


Will GistWill Gist

Major: International Business (College of Business Administration) with a minor in Spanish (College of Arts & Sciences)
Hometown: Lancaster, SC
Wisdom for New Eagles: Remember school is your top priority! Get involved on campus whether that means joining an organization and get out to meet new people. Lastly, make the most out of your time here at Winthrop.

Favorite Thing about WU: The diversity within the campus community is my favorite. It gives me peace and comfort to know that there are many people like me and also different than me, and we can all express ourselves in the way we want to.
Fun Fact: I love fashion - so many different outfits and styles you try out and create. It’s an expression of who I am!


2020 Orientation Leaders 

To contact any of the OLs, log into Winthrop's People Search tool.


Interested in applying to be an OL?

The application process starts in September.

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Last Updated: 10/15/20