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Life Skills Program Eases Transition for Incoming Student-Athletes




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June 25, 2014

PITTSBURGH-The first step for Pitt incoming freshmen student-athletes began with an orientation program on Sunday, June 22, at the Petersen Events Center.

The Cathy and John Pelusi Family Life Skills Program staff and athletic department administrators provided an introduction to the University of Pittsburgh's prestigious academic programs, enriching student services and rich traditions. The program educated the 70 student-athletes here for summer school as they began their career as a Pitt Panther with a comprehensive introduction to college life.

Pitt freshman football player, Elijah Zeise commented, "The orientation was very informative.  I really enjoyed seeing the athletes I already knew and having the opportunity to meet and interact with all of the freshmen student-athletes in my class."

Soccer player Shaina Ashouri added, "The program answered all my questions and really helped all of us adapt to a new environment."

Athletic Director Steve Pederson began the evening by welcoming the group of eager freshmen. ASSSA spoke on the services offered to all student-athletes on the academic front from required study hours to academic integrity. Kelly Woodyard, Life Skills Coordinator, and Lisa Auld, Career & Life Skills Coordinator, both followed suit introducing the freshmen to the University's Outside the Classroom Curriculum (OCC) and Four Year Career plan championed by the Life Skills Program.  Senior Associate Athletic Director of Student Life, Penny Semaia, spoke to the group on a more personal level regarding safety and smart decision making.  The event concluded with Resident Director, Xavier Blackwell extending an invitation to learn about community service opportunities, tutoring, and ways to be connected to other university resources.

"Our new student-athlete orientation is geared towards helping our student-athletes transition smoothly into Pitt,  ASSSA, and Life Skills. Athletic Director Steve Pederson wanted to welcome our new student-athletes, as well as  provide them with information and resources. It was great to see our newest Pitt family members," said Penny Semaia