by Ryan Clark
CHS Communications Director
Out of all the speeches the new students heard during their last week before classes, maybe it was Alumni Relations Director Caroline Arthur’s message that brought out the most feelings.
“As soon as you start your journey,” she told them, “you’re a member of Big Blue Nation. Take advantage of every opportunity.”
Looking around the room at all the new students decked out in their blue and white, it was easy to agree: They truly have started their journey. And they’ve also found a new home.
More than 200 freshmen packed the Gatton Student Center Grand Ballroom Friday afternoon, as the College of Health Sciences welcomed them all to the University of Kentucky.
It was, appropriately named, CHS Welcome Day.
Advisers from the Office of Student Affairs, Peer Mentors, Alumni Relations, as well as the Dean of the College spoke to the group on topics ranging from registering for classes to time management.
The overarching theme? That in CHS, someone is always there for you.
“This is a challenging time,” acknowledged CHS Dean Scott Lephart. “But there is help. There is support. And if you need any, reach out for it.”
“We’re here to support you throughout your college journey,” said Randa Remer, PhD, LPC, Director of Admissions. “Especially in your first year.”
She went on to introduce her PATHfinders Peer Mentor Program, who answered student questions like: What do you bring to class on the first day of school? And: How do you manage your coursework while being in a sorority?
For Alexa Smolensky, from Pittsburgh, Penn, it all just reiterated why she made this decision in the first place.
“Coming far, it was a little scary,” she said. “But UK is a great place with great people. I chose CHS because I’ve always been interested in health care, and I wanted to be a part of a great group of people.”
Michaela Dunson, a Lexington native, agreed.
“I’ve always loved Lexington, but living on campus has helped me see it a new light,” she said. “UK has everything I’m looking for and everyone is so kind. And CHS appeals to me because Medical Lab Science gives me the chance to combine my passions for health care and chemistry.”
After the presentations, the students were separated into breakout rooms, where they participated in icebreaker sessions and learned more about their new school.
It was just like everyone had said: In CHS, someone will always be there for you, whether it’s the advisors, the professors or the mentors.
“They will care about you. They will know who you are,” Lephart told them. “And I also look forward to getting to know each of you.”