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2022 Orientation Pod Captains and Mentors

Meet your Pod Captains and Mentors for the 2022 Character U Season!

Character U is the First-Year Experience Program at DeSales University. The goal of Character U is to facilitate the adjustment, development, and success of first-year students through an experience of character traits relevant to our namesake, St. Francis de Sales: gentleness, humility, patience, generosity, and love of learning. Each member of the Class of 2026 has been assigned to a pod.  Each pod has a Captain and 5 Peer Mentors. Each Peer Mentor has been assigned 10-20 students to guide and assist throughout their first year at DeSales University.

Learn more about 2022 Orientation

DeSales Orientation Parade of Pods

Orientation Team

Mary Bushner

Mary Bushner—Orientation Team Student Coordinator

Major: Nursing, Minor in Theology

Hometown: Blue Bell, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "This is a fresh new start and my advice would be to make the most of it. This is a chance to become the person you want to be. Get involved early and remember that these next four years will help you create your future."

Alex Harvey

Alex Harvey—Orientation Team Student Co-Coordinator

Major: Medical Studies

Hometown: King of Prussia, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Be open to all that DeSales has to offer, especially Orientation! DeSales has so many opportunities to break out of your shell through clubs, events, and at Orientation. It may seem scary at first but the more you put into orientation and DeSales, the more you will get into your time here!"

Mike Robinson

Mike Robinson—Orientation Team Student Co-Coordinator

Major: Health Science/Physical Therapy, Minors in Psychology & Business

Hometown: Staten Island, NY

Advice for Class of 2026: "BE YOURSELF! The motto of DeSales is, "Be Who You Are and Be That Well," isn't it? The light-hearted and open-minded culture of DeSales will enable you to be your most authentic self. Without a doubt in my mind, there is a place for everyone here at DeSales!"


Pod 1

Mo Asad

Captain Mohammed “Mo” Asad

Major: Biology, Minors in Neuroscience & Psychology

Hometown: Allentown, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "I encourage you to fully embrace the experience. It’s what you put in that you’ll get out. Transitioning from high school into college is a challenging time, but it is important for you to know that there is always someone out there who is more than willing to help you navigate these challenges. Don’t hesitate to reach out!"

Luke Cossman

Luke Cossman

Major: Computer Science – Game Design, Minor in Mathematics

Hometown: Sellersville, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Join clubs! The first year of college can be hard socially, especially if not a lot of friends from high school came here to DeSales. The best way to get your social fill in and meet more friends is to join clubs!"

Nidhi Kumar

Nidhi Kumar

Major: Biology, Minor in Neuroscience

Hometown: Buzzards Bay, MA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Get yourself out there and try to make friends in your classes!"

Lia Maggu

Lia Maggu

Major: Medical Studies

Hometown: Jackson, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "Take it one day at a time because it can get really overwhelming."

Staci Scheetz

Anastacia “Staci” Scheetz

Major: Criminal Justice & Chemistry

Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Be true to yourself and never stray away from that."

Shay Slozer

Shalynn “Shay” Slozer

Major: Business Administration

Hometown: Kernersville, NC

Advice for Class of 2026: "Take all the opportunities that you can."


Pod 2

Meg Pineau

Captain Meghan “Meg” Pineau

Major: Biology, Minors in Behavioral Neuroscience & Psychology

Hometown: Shelton, CT

Advice for Class of 2026: "Put yourself out there! Don’t be afraid to try new things! You don’t lose anything by just trying."

Tom Berg III

Tom Berg III (TB3)

Major: Biology, Minors in STEP Education & Environmental Science

Hometown: Cliffside Park, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "The most important thing is to strike a balance between school, social life, and athletics if the person is a student-athlete. It is important to dedicate time to having fun and playing a sport so you do not burn yourself out from school all the time. It goes by very fast, so it is important to enjoy every day with no regrets."

Nicolette Gallo

Nicolette Gallo

Major: Criminal Justice, Minor in Psychology

Hometown: Hellertown, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Remember you are not alone in anything big or small. Something I wish I had known my first year is you and so many other first-year students are experiencing the same adjustments to friend groups, college workload, prioritizing, etc. You might not feel acclimated to college life right away and it is perfectly normal to adjust at your own pace. Many others feel the exact same way. DeSales has so many great resources and people in place to help you achieve your goals and ultimately help you become successful. "

Mary Lawrence

Mary Lawrence

Major: Clinical Psychology, Minor in Business Administration

Hometown: Quakertown, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Don’t get too comfortable in your routine! Be willing to expand your horizons and seek out new experiences."

Courtney North

Courtney North

Major: Sport & Exercise Physiology, Minors in Biomechanics & Psychology

Hometown: Quakertown, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Be kind, work hard and stay positive no matter what because everything happens for a reason. Take advantage of all of the opportunities that are offered to you and more doors will open along the way!"

Alex Rodriguez

Alex Rodriguez

Major: Healthcare Administration, Minor in Data Analytics

Hometown: Bear, DE

Advice for Class of 2026: "It's OK to be nervous, try to be open when you come to campus and just remember to have fun and enjoy your college journey!"


Pod 3

Theresa Tangradi

Captain Theresa Tangradi

Major: Nursing, Minor in Psychology

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Be patient with yourself! College is a big transition. You have an entire support system with your mentor, RA, professors, and so many others to help you succeed. It takes time to adjust, but everyone will find their place on campus."

Nate Estock

Nathaniel “Nate” Estock

Major: Medical Studies

Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Try something new every week!"

Dani Hance

Danielle “Dani” Hance

Major: Business Administration

Hometown: Inwood, NY

Advice for Class of 2026: "Get involved!"

Dan Martinez

Daniel “Dan” Martinez

Major: Media Studies

Hometown: Perkasie, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Find whatever people make you feel at home. As soon as I found the friends I have now, I felt like DeSales became a second home for me and that was super important for me. After that, finding the right major and classes seemed much easier, as those friends were also there to guide and support me."

Alexys Vernier

Alexys Vernier

Major: Early Childhood Education

Hometown: Tabernacle, NY

Advice for Class of 2026: "Step out of your comfort zone! Take all of the new opportunities college has to give you and run with them! Be who you are and be that well!"

Gianna Zongora

Gianna Zongora

Major: Business Administration

Hometown: Bethlehem, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Allow yourself to embrace the unknowns of college. Be your authentic self, step out of your comfort zone and utilize a growth mindset about what is to come in your next few years at DeSales. It is important to remember that you are not alone in the process and have so many people cheering you on. Everything will fall into place when the timing is right. Always keep in mind that adversity is a catalyst for success."


Pod 4

Kathleen Maloney

Captain Kathleen Maloney

Major: Communication, Minor in Marketing

Hometown: Kings Park, NY

Advice for Class of 2026: "Take everything in and enjoy it. Just be yourself and trust your mentors."

Alex Abouafech

Alex Abouafech

Major: Biology

Hometown: Allentown, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Put yourself out there, learn from the bumps, and understand that not everyone is living on the same page that you are. Work at your own pace and do not be discouraged by others!"

Sarah Beard

Sarah Beard

Major: Education

Hometown: Reading, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Come to DeSales and just be yourself. Don't be afraid coming into DeSales, because you will find your path. "

Megan Brubaker

Megan Brubaker

Major: Medical Studies

Hometown: Thompsontown, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Make the most of every day. You will have many weeks that you feel are pointless or really stressful, but even those have a purpose. Prioritize the people in your life, that will get you through anything."

Allison Costa

Allison Costa

Major: Medical Studies

Hometown: New Tripoli, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Ask questions and become involved in as much as you can. It is more fun to be involved on campus and every experience you have will open more doors for opportunities!"

Danny Fonte

Daniel “Danny” Fonte

Major: Accounting

Hometown: Bloomsbury, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "Do not be nervous because everything will work out in the end."


Pod 5

Brandon Rank

Captain Brandon Rank

Major: Accounting, Minor in Data Analytics

Hometown: Center Valley, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "When you're ready, step out of your comfort zone and explore all of the opportunities here at DeSales. Take advantage of what this campus has to offer, and don't be afraid to try something new. Always remember, it's okay to have a bad day, but ultimately, it's just a small moment within the larger context of your life."

Anna Darling

Anna Darling

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Wappingers Falls, NY

Advice for Class of 2026: "Get involved on campus early! It is a great way to meet new friends and help make the transition to college easier. Take every chance you can to make the most of your time at DeSales because it will be over before you know it!"

Danielle DePre

Danielle DePre

Major: Nursing

Hometown: Cherry Hill, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "Be yourself, enjoy the moment, work hard, and have fun!"

Matt Reda

Matthew “Matt” Reda

Major: Biology

Hometown: Hazlet, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "You are not alone. There are many other students beside you that are worried or anxious about coming to college away from home. At DeSales, you will meet many students and faculty who are there to help you succeed and encourage you to find yourself."

Jacqui Schmitt

Jacqueline “Jacqui” Schmitt

Major: Early Elementary Education

Hometown: Stanhope, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "Don’t worry about everything now, you have time and so much support."

Lucy Specht

Lucy Specht

Major: Medical Studies

Hometown: South Abington Township, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Take it all in and don’t sweat the small stuff! If you’re debating going to an event, go to it, you won’t regret it!"


Pod 6

Abby Vernon

Captain Abigail “Abby” Vernon

Major: Musical Theatre, Minor in Business

Hometown: Allentown, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "Don’t be afraid to be pushed out of your comfort zone! The more you push yourself, the more at home you will feel. Everyone is in the same boat as you."

Zach Azar

Zachary (Zach) Azar

Major: Finance & Marketing

Hometown: Pottstown, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Take time to embrace the DeSales community. It is extremely beneficial!"

Paige Ingoglia

Paige Ingoglia

Major: Dance & Marketing

Hometown: Staten Island, NY

Advice for Class of 2026: "Don't procrastinate because even though the first year of college is particularly slow, work wise it can add up."

Madison Kelly

Madison Kelly

Major: Sport & Exercise Physiology

Hometown: Aberdeen, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "Get involved in community events, you never know who you will meet at these events and they may become lifelong friends."

Michael Spear

Michael Spear

Major: English, Minors in Creative Writing & Journalism

Hometown: Newburgh, NY

Advice for Class of 2026: "The effort you put in is what you get out of it. Get involved on campus, and get involved early. You'll find more friends that way, and you'll have more fun if you have something to do outside of class and work."

Diya Stephen

Diya Stephen

Major: Medical Studies

Hometown: Fremont, CA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Live in the moment and don't worry too much about the distant future because before you know it, your first year will fly by."


Pod 7

Bri Holodinski

Captain Brianna “Bri” Holodinski

Major: Forensic Psychology, Minors in Criminal Justice & Behavioral Neuroscience

Hometown: Hillsborough, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "Go easy on yourself while adjusting to college, and don't be afraid to ask for help!"

Lucas Acosta-Morales

Lucas Acosta-Morales

Major: Computer Science & Mathematics

Hometown: Chalfont, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Focus on learning to balance work and fun. School is important and should be a priority, but make sure to take breaks to relax and recharge so you can perform at your best!"

Grace Bowmaster

Grace Bowmaster

Major: Musical Theatre

Hometown: Harrisburg, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone. Take any opportunities that are available to you. You might find something new that you'll enjoy!"

Caroline Erb

Caroline Erb

Major: Forensic Psychology

Hometown: Akron, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Whether you are a commuter or resident student, you only get what you give out of campus, so get involved when and wherever you can. I promise the friends (and memories) you make will be worth it!"

Erik Kleinfelder

Erik Kleinfelder

Major: Criminal Justice

Hometown: Bensalem, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Be yourself, this is the perfect place to meet new people and make a ton of new friends."

Amelia Stocker

Amelia Stocker

Major: Criminal Justice & Biology

Hometown: Easton, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "If you have any interest in anything DeSales offers, just go for it. There are endless possibilities. All it takes is to take that first step and everything else will fall into place. Nothing happens if nothing happens. Read that again lol! It is okay to step out of your comfort zone because you'll never know all the amazing things that can come from it."


Pod 8

Xavier Gordon

Captain Xavier Gordon

Major: Business Administration

Hometown: Northampton, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Your mental health matters. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!"

Sophie Cebenko

Sophia “Sophie” Cebenko

Major: Nursing, Minor in Spanish

Hometown: New Tripoli, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Explore and be curious! College is your time to grow and try new things, so don't let anything hold you back. Be confident and patient with yourself and enjoy the process of becoming a new person!"

Lydia Chrzanowski

Lydia Chrzanowski

Major: Early Childhood Education

Hometown: Matawan, NJ

Advice for Class of 2026: "Put yourselves out there and experience new things."

Ben Johann

Benjamin “Ben” Johann

Major: Supply Chain Management – Data Analytics & Accounting, Minor in Computer Science

Hometown: Harleysville, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Be involved! Every day is a new and different opportunity, so don't waste it!"

Brenna Johnson

Brenna Johnson

Major: Dance, Minor in Marketing

Hometown: West Wyoming, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Take everything day by day. You are only the percent that you are for that day, so don't overwork yourself."

Paige Thompson

Paige Thompson

Major: Medical Studies

Hometown: Doylestown, PA

Advice for Class of 2026: "Don't stress over every little thing! While at college, there are constantly a million things going on at once, but it is important to take a step back to take care of yourself and have fun! There are TONS of fun (and quick) events on campus to meet people, have a fun break, and then continue studying!"