By Kylei Cornelison, Wildcats Media Staff

This semester Louisiana College introduced a new freshmen orientation staff called the Wildcat Navigators.

The new staff was created to build lasting relationships that go beyond the traditional Welcome Week and truly integrate LC’s newest students with the rest of the community on campus.

“Wildcat Navigators serve a pivotal role in the College’s priority for new students to become actively engaged with opportunities for academic, personal, and spiritual growth,” said President Dr. Rick Brewer. “‘Navigating’ the transition to college can be a challenging experience but the encouragement and guidance of our Wildcat Navigators assists our new students as they become part of the Louisiana College ‘family’.”

Along with guiding the freshmen through their first year of college and introducing them to the culture and opportunities on campus, navigators are also meant to interact with their students weekly to build lasting relationships.

“They can do that by grabbing coffee at Starbucks, taking them to an event planned by a campus organization, or showing them how to reserve a study room at the library,” said Hannah Nyman, director of Residence Life at LC.

Navigator Sierra Boudreaux said she really enjoyed her time working with the new college students.

“I would tell future navigators to plan your meetings with your freshmen,” she said. “Once school gets started, schedules get hectic. Even though it’s a planned meeting, still make it genuine and enjoyable.”

Freshman Shelby Cumpton said she really appreciated the effort that her navigator Sierra Boudreaux and the others put into making them feel welcome and at home as new Wildcats.

Joel Thompson, a junior and current navigator said, “I can think back to my own experiences first attending college, and I know that adjustment to this environment can be difficult. That’s why I really enjoyed building connections with these students and giving them advice on how best to navigate this difficult transition.”

The 2020-2021 Wildcat Navigators are:

• Gabrielle Bernard of Alexandria, Louisiana

• Zyunn Cormier of Duncanville, Texas

• Sierra Boudreaux of Cut Off, Louisiana

• Anna Matherne of Geismar, Louisiana

• Emily Harriman of Plano, Texas

• Macy Dammen of Pflugerville, Texas

• Laurel DeJean of Opelousas, Louisiana

• Lexie Darce of Broussard, Louisiana

• Katie Parker of Monroe, Louisiana

• Ariel Webster of Rayne, Louisiana

• Hannah Wagner of Southgate, Kentucky

• Damien Doyle of Frierson, Louisiana

• Jaelyn Maricle of Pitkin, Louisiana

• Kori Edison of Vinton, Louisiana

• Joel Thompson of Lafayette, Louisiana

• Leah Colson of Iota, Louisiana

• McKenzie King of Palestine, Texas

• Kayla Bailey of New Iberia, Louisiana