Meet the Student Leaders


Elizabeth ByrdElizabth

Major/Minor: Marketing with a minor in Digital Studies

Hometown: Chesapeake, VAElizabeth

Favorite part of NEST: Making amazing friends and the day spent on the river

Why did you want to become a student leader: I had an amazing time when I did NEST, so I want to give that same experience to incoming freshman

Advice for incoming students: Join clubs and don’t be afraid to try new things

Fun fact: I love lemons

 Ashlyn Ashlyn Champ

Major/Minor: undeclared

Hometown: Clifton, VA

Favorite part of NEST: My favorite part about NESTAshlyn
was getting to meet a bunch of people before everyone else moved in! I am still really close friends with a bunch of people that I met through NEST. My favorite activity was tubing, by far!

Why did you want to become a student leader: I wanted to become a student leader because the impact that my student leader had on me is the same kind of impact I wish to have on my students!

Advice for incoming students: Have fun, and don’t be afraid to be yourself, college is so much different than high school. Make friends with as many people as you can!

Fun fact: One fun fact about myself is that I absolutely love dogs, I currently have 6 dogs between my parents, 2 of which I consider to be my babies

Nikolas DennisNikolas Dennis

Major: English and BiologyNikolas

Hometown: Arlington, VA

Favorite part of nest: Meeting new people and making friends

Why I wanted to be a student leader: To show incoming students that you can make yourself into a better, more connected person on campus, even if you first appear as nervous or shy. It’s been a goal of mine to be a role model to someone like myself, and now, maybe I can.

Advice for incoming students: Get out of your dorm room. Explore the campus, study in the ITCC or the library, read outside, wander. Those four walls can be oppressive, so break out of them.

Fun fact: I love the horror genre, from the movies to the games to the short stories. It’s my favorite subgenre of creative works.

TianaTiana Jackson

Business MajorTiana

From Virginia Beach, Virginia

My favorite part of NEST was going tubing down the Rappahannock River and having a big barbecue with everyone after.

I wanted to become a student leader because I want to make sure that these students have as much fun as I did when I came to UMW, and that they’re not alone and they have a friend.

My advice for incoming students is don’t be shy or scared.  Put yourself out there from the very start, get to know your professors and fellow classmates as soon as possible because later in the school year they’re going to be a big help to you.

Fun fact I love love love oreos

NatNatalie Johns

Major/Minor: Currently undeclared but I plan to declare a Psychology MajorNat

Favorite Part of NEST: My favorite part was definitely the friends that I made during that time, I’m still friends and even best friends with them. The connections I made I believe were vital to making the transition to college so much easier.

Why did you want to become a Student Leader: I was in Girl Scouts for over 12 years and I feel I’m a natural leader. Those aspects along with how much I enjoyed my NEST experience, I had to take this opportunity!

Advice for incoming students: Don’t be afraid to open up and be who you really are. This isn’t high school anymore (thank goodness )

Fun Fact: I’m a member of the Judicial Review Board here at UMW (don’t worry you’ll learn what that is soon!)

Sarah JordanSarah Jordan

Major/Minor: Chemistry majorSarah

Hometown: Williamsburg, Va

Favorite Part of NEST: My favorite part of NEST was tubing on the river and exploring Richmond!

Why did you want to become a student leader: I wanted to become a student leader because I enjoyed NEST so much and want to give other that experience!

Advice for incoming students: don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and try new things!

Fun fact: I am a third degree black belt!

Sam OstromSam Ostrom

Major/Minor:  [Undeclared currently] Tentatively leaning towards an English Creative Writing
Major with a minor in Security and Conflict StudiesSam

Hometown: Prince William County, Virginia

Favorite part of NEST: Meeting lots of cool people and taking part in some crazy adventures.

Why did you want to become a student leader: To ensure that the transition of freshman students is a safe and enjoyable experience that will lead to a successful collegiate career and the creation of a solid network of peers and friends.

Advice for incoming students: Like in any typical relationship advice, just be yourself. Just kidding, in all seriousness, college isn’t too scary. Get involved. Have fun. Meet lots of interesting people. Don’t hide away in your room all day long [I know how tempting Netflix can be]. You’ve just got to jump right in. Come on in, the water’s fine.

Fun facts: I can drive stick-shift, I have my scuba certification and I’ve flown a plane.

Michayla RiceMik

Major/Minor: Communications and Digital Studies with Arts Administration minorMick

Hometown: Hampton, VA

What was your favorite part of NEST: Exploring the campus & doing the team building activities

Why did you want to be a Student Leader: I really want be a familiar face and friend to new Eagles during this transition. It was hard for me at first but NEST & its leaders personally helped me so much.

Advice for incoming students: Leave your past behind & start fresh here at MaryWash. Just be you!

Fun fact: I LOVE to dance and perform on a stage.

GreerGreer Schwatka

Major/Minor: Business Marketing and International Relations Double MajorGreer

Hometown: Vienna, Va

Favorite part of NEST: Going to the river and meeting such great people

Why did you want to become a student leader: To help incoming students feel connected to the school.

Advice for incoming students: Join clubs and really get involved in activities around campus.

Fun fact: I’ve been dancing for 16 years!


thumbnail_FB_IMG_1465055908858Christopher Russotti

Major/ Minor: Business Administration, management concentrationChris

Hometown: Midlothian

Favorite part of NEST: My favorite part of NEST was tubing down the river with all the friends I made.

Why did you want to become a student leader: I wanted to be a NEST leader because I want to help the incoming freshman enjoy the same  opportunities to make memories and meet friends as I did.

Advice for incoming students: My advice is to meet as many people as you can and don’t hold anything back. Now is the time to try new things.

Fun fact: I’m on the Crew Team here.

KWKirsten Whitley

Major: English

Hometown: Virginia Beach, VAKirsten

Favorite Part of NEST: Doing the incredible ropes course and the zip line!

Why I became a Student Leader: To be able to be a part of NEST again, and hopefully contribute to others enjoying the NEST week as much as I did.

Advice: Don’t be afraid to try new things, and step outside your comfort zone once in a while. You never know what could come of it.

Fun Fact: I’ve been a rock climber since I was a little kid, and occasionally do work at a ropes course.

MeganMeagan Wilkinson

Major/Minor: I am a Mathematics major, in the elementary education program.

Hometown: Richmond, VAMeagan

Favorite part of NEST: My favorite part of NEST was getting to meet so many new people that I wouldn’t have otherwise been friends with.

Why did you want to become a student leader: I wanted to become a student leader so that I could meet incoming students, and help them become acclimated to our amazing school!

Advice for incoming students: Be willing to try new things and put yourself out there! Mary Washington has so many interesting traits waiting for you to discover them.

Fun fact: I have owned chickens as pets since I was in 8th grade!