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Cora Bennett is the director of Student Orientation Programs and manages the student ambassador program and orientation events. Since joining the division she has grown the office to meet the ever-growing interest in the UO from prospective students and visitors. The programs she manages employ 80 students as ambassadors who present the UO experience to new Ducks as well as to more than 30,000 visitors each year.
“I love the UO because it’s unlike any other place I’ve ever lived. People are warm and friendly, the campus environment is everything a university should be, and the pride and spirit the community has for the university is unmatched.”
Assistant Director for Visit Programs
Micah Howe serves as the assistant director for visit programs at the University of Oregon. In this role, she works to create a vibrant welcoming environment for prospective students, their families, and other visitors. She coordinates campus tours, supports virtual recruitment events, and oversees the Ambassador Program. Micah completed her bachelor’s degree at Gonzaga University, where she studied human resource management, sociology, and women’s studies. In addition, she received a master’s degree in college student affairs from Penn State University.
“There are so many reasons to love being a Duck! I appreciate the UO’s progressive campus culture, contagious school spirit, and reputation for academic excellence.”
McKenzie Winders serves as the operation manager for Orientation Programs, in which they provide administrative support services to our staff, UO campus partners, and our incoming Ducks and their families. They have been at the UO since 2012, first as a student, then as a professional staff member. In that time, they’ve served on campus committees, regional conferences for student leaders, the Olympic Trials, the IAAF World Championship and most importantly, they have never missed a summer of being part of IntroDUCKtion.
“I love that UO is such an integral part of Eugene and the community it lives in; as a student I appreciated the open environment and unique character of the school and student body and now as a staff member, being able to create and foster the students’ spirit and pride.”
Leslie Forbes serves as the administrative coordinator for Orientation Programs. In addition to serving the general office needs, Leslie oversees personnel information including stipends, time sheets, payroll and travel for Orientation Programs professional and the student staff.
Interim Coordinator for Welcome and Transition Experience
Michael Luna serves as the interim coordinator for welcome and transition experience at the University of Oregon. In his role, he serves as part of the leadership that designs and executes the experiences a part of the university’s on-campus programs such as Duck Preview, Duck Days and IntroDUCKtion, as well as the university’s off-site transition programs in various cities across the country. He works closely with campus partners as well as third-party companies to collaborate on concepts for events and programs, and determine the elements that best fit the theme and story of those events and programs.
Michael completed his bachelor’s degree at the University of Oregon, where he studied public relations.
“One of the first things I’ve learned being a part of this campus is that the Oregon “O” stands for opportunity. Any student, staff or faculty member can truly immerse themselves in a wide array of possibilities that not only allow themselves to grow, but also connect them with an inclusive and passionate community of like-minded people.”
Coordinator for Pre-College Visit Programs
Valeria Hernandez (she/her/ella) currently serves as the coordinator for pre-college visit programs at the University of Oregon.
Valeria was born in Venezuela and grew up in Florida, graduating from the University of Florida in 2018 with dual degrees in psychology and family, youth, and community sciences. It was there she found her passion for education equity and removing barriers to accessing higher education for traditionally underrepresented students. She received her MS in education from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2021.
She is incredibly excited to work with the Oregon community and the multicultural recruiters (MCRs) to help bridge the gaps in access to college.
Drew Miyoda | Lake Forest, California
Advertising, Class of 2021
Kendelyn Thomas | Newberg, Oregon
Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Class of 2021
Gemma Williams | Albany, Oregon
General Social Science Teaching, Class of 2022
Amber De Avila | Riverside, California
Environmental Science, Class of 2022
Hannah Gray | Monticello, Iowa
Photojournalism, Class of 2021
Heather Chambers | Saint Helens, Oregon
Psychology, Class of 2022