Meet Claire Sychta ’18

Passing the Torch to Next Generation

Orientation Leader aims to build on mentoring skills

Claire Sychta ’18 had such a good experience at her first-year student orientation that she signed up to be an Orientation Student Leader (OSL).

“After that, there was no going back,” she said. “It was my favorite thing in the world.”

A secondary education and history major from Batavia, Ill., Sychta worked as an OSL her sophomore and junior years, and this year she was one of three coordinators. The student leaders are assigned a group of about 20 students and then guide them through a week of activities including Opening Convocation, a service project and small group meetings.

The OSL is someone the new students can confide in. We show them the ropes.

Claire on the OSL Experience

One of Sychta’s proudest moments was seeing one of her first-year students sign up to become an OSL.

“It was like passing the torch,” she said.

Sychta plans to carry her mentoring skills into the classroom as a high school history teacher. One of her own high school teachers “who pushed me to my best,” inspired her to pursue a career in education. “I wanted to impact students as he impacted me,” she said.

As a history teacher, Sychta looks forward to leading discussions that help students explore and fine-tune their beliefs.

“I want them to form their own opinions and learn to back their arguments with facts,” she said.

With her limited amount of free time, there’s nothing she enjoys more than kicking back with her fellow Orientation Student Leaders—watching a movie or grabbing a burrito bowl at Chipotle.

“I wouldn’t be the same without my OSL family,” she said. “There are so many great relationships.”

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