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About Us



Contact the Orientation Office

Phone: (585) 275-4414

Office Hours

Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.


Crystal Cusimano-Figueroa

Senior Director of Orientation, and Summer and Winter Initiatives

Crystal has been working in higher education administration since 2004. She is a Rochester native and an alumnus of both the School of Arts and Sciences ('05) and the Simon Business School ('09) at the University of Rochester. She holds a BA in Economics, a Master’s in Marketing and a Master’s in Instructional Design and Technology. She has served in many roles throughout the University including Corporate Relations Coordinator, Director of Faculty Affairs, and Director of Summer and Continuing Studies. Crystal is also the Director of the Summer Start Program, an early arrival program for incoming first-year students. When she’s not helping students make the most of their college experience, you can find her taking photographs, reading from her never-ending pile of books (#hufflepuffpride), or whipping up a gourmet meal.

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Justin Bruce

Assistant Director of Orientation and First Year Programs

Justin graduated from Lafayette College with a BS in neuroscience in 2009, followed by a master's program at the College of William and Mary. After working in student affairs at William and Mary and Lasell College, he joined our beloved University of Rochester as the assistant director of orientation and first-year programs. When Justin isn’t rhapsodizing about his daughters, he spontaneously bursts into song or weaves the word “Meliora” into everyday conversation. Justin looks forward to welcoming incoming students to campus this year and can’t wait to help them start their new journeys at Rochester. Meliora!

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Shandra Kieffer

Program Manager for Orientation

Shandra Kieffer joined the CCAS front staff in December 2014. Shandra will also be assisting with the Take Five program, orientation, and international students. Shandra worked at EFP Rotenberg as an administrative assistant in general admin, billing, accounts receivables and human resources. Shandra has over 15 years of administrative experience in several different fields including public accounting, construction and retail. She is extremely excited to be working for the University of Rochester and is looking forward to all of the new and exciting endeavors ahead.

Amy Gallo

Program Coordinator for Orientation, Summer and Winter Initiatives

    Amy Gallo joined the Orientation team in July 2019 after working as a marketing coordinator in the University's Office of Alumni Relations and Constituent Engagement for four years. Prior to that role, she worked in the Office of Alumni Relations at her alma mater, Nazareth College, where she earned a bachelor's degree in sociology in 2013. She is excited to welcome you and your family to the Rochester community!

    Meredith Doubleday

    International Student Counselor

    Meredith Doubleday joined CCAS in 2018. She earned her B. A. from the University of Rochester with ¿ double major in Russian and Classics and her M.A. in Russian language from Middlebury College. After undergrad, Meredith taught English in Russia through the Fulbright program and conducted Russian rare book research in Europe on UR’s Phi Beta Kappa O’hern scholarship. Meredith worked as International Counselor in the Financial Aid Office and now serves as International Student Counselor in CCAS and manages the International Student Mentor program.

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    Tiffany Nicholas

    Class of 2019, T5 '20

    Senior Orientation Leader

      Tiffany grew up in the Rochester area (you can tell by her love for Wegmans) and is a Take 5 student majoring in biomedical engineering with a minor in music. When she's not baking cupcakes, making bad puns, or watching Parks and Rec for the thousandth time, she can probably be found volunteering with her brothers in Alpha Phi Omega, working as a TA for the BME department, or trying not to trip while giving tours on campus. After working with orientation the past two years, Tiffany is excited to be back again to welcome the newest addition of Yellow Jackets to the Rochester family with Meliora Spirit!


      Victoria Bongard

      Class of 2020

      Orientation Leaders

        Victoria, a rising senior, grew up in Virginia, and her family now lives in Indiana. She is a double major in film and media studies and digital media studies with a minor in computer science. She has been making videos since she was six, but when she doesn't have a camera in her hand you can catch her leading campus tours, playing field hockey, working as a peer academic mentor, cheering on Barcelona FC, and eating lots of Ben & Jerry's ice cream. Victoria is returning from a semester in Barcelona and is excited to welcome the newest Yellowjackets to the University of Rochester!

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        Rafael Ramirez Giron

        Class of 2021

        Orientation Leader

          Rafael is a rising junior for Santa Ana, California, and is pursuing a major in cell and developmental biology. He is originally from Mexico but his family immigrated to the United States when he was a baby. When he is not busy with classes and work, he volunteers at the hospital, is involved with the Student Programming Board (event planning), and, starting this fall, with Class Council. Rafael cannot wait to welcome the new Yellowjackets to the University of Rochester community.

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          Seke Mkhabela

          Class of 2021

          Orientation Leader

            Seke, a rising junior international relations and economics major, hails from the lovely kingdom of eSwatini. In addition to delving into the complexities of politics and money, she likes spending time exploring the city of Rochester, playing (and losing) card games, and being vice president of Model United Nations club and curator for TEXxUniversityofRochester. She also serves as a tour guide in the Meridian Society. Seke looks forward to giving the Class of 2023 and transfer students a memorable orientation experience!

            Gabija Saginaite

            Class of 2022

            Orientation Leader

              Gabija is an international student who grew up in Lithuania and graduated from high school in Boston. She is majoring in finance with a minor in biology and is considering a minor in ASL. When she is not working at "Grab and Go" or studying at the library (shoutout to iZone!), Gabija like to hang out with friends and explore the city of Rochester, and, while doing so, find the best places to get food. She is very excited for the new students to join the Rochester community!

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              Helena Schreder

              Class of 2022

              Orientation Leader

                Helena grew up in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She is a rising sophomore planning to major in mechanical engineering with a minor in studio arts. When she isn't drawing in her sketchbook or doing math problems, she can be seen spending time with her friends from Gannett 3 or her sisters from Gamma Phi Beta. Helena is excited to help make Rochester a home away from home for transfer students and the Class of 2023!

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                Brendan Stone

                Class of 2020

                Orientation Leader

                  Brendan is a rising senior from Corning, New York, Majoring in international relations with a minor in digital media studies. When he's not catching up on schoolwork, he can be seen working for the Athletics Department's Stream Team broadcasting the Yellowjackets' latest games and tournaments, going for a hike with the Outing Club, or working with the 2020 Class Council planning upcoming events. Brendan is excited to show both the class of 2023 and transfer students how passionate students at Rochester are and help them discover the opportunities to pursue passions of their own!