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Next Step: Orientation

April 6, 2005

Last fall, Andrew Mamalis started his senior year at Modesto ChristianHigh School with the intent of preparing to attend UC Davis as a freshman.Mamalis was recently admitted to UC Davis, but following encouragementfrom his teachers and counselors, he has decided instead to take advantageof the once-in-a-lifetime experience offered at UC Merced.

“We are fortunate to have the opportunity to be part of the inaugural class and be part of the first major research university built in the 21st century,” said Mamalis, who plans to major in Biological Sciences and then pursue medical school.

The possibilities and experiences that await Mamalis are numerous, but his next step toward all of them is now New Student Orientation. Starting in July, all incoming freshman and transfer students can attend one-day orientation sessions developed to acquaint them with university services, faculty members and key staff. Mamalis lives in Manteca and plans to attend the first session in Bakersfield even though it is the furthest from his home. “I am a first generation college student and I need to get as much information as possible,” said Mamalis. At orientation, students will have the opportunity to take placement exams, receive academic advising and register for classes, as well as meet other students.

Mamalis said he couldn't pass up the exceptional opportunities available at UC Merced even though he was awarded a scholarship from another UC campus and had the opportunity to be part of the honors program there. The low student-to-teacher ratio, smaller class size and brand new dormitories were a definite plus when he was making his important decision. “Not to mention, I have lived in the Central Valley since I was two years old and know that the campus and Merced area will be a safe place to go to school,” he said.

Mamalis is looking forward to living on campus and working with other students to develop extra curricular activities including sports team, clubs and possibly a radio station.

“I want to meet new people and get involved in school activities,” Mamalis said. “I am interested in student leadership, honors program, playing the bass guitar, going to concerts and just hanging out with my friends.”