A group photo of the 2022 Orientation Counselors

Our staff has been working behind the scenes to bring you and your families a one-of-a-kind experience welcoming you into our community. Get to know more about the team that will greet you upon your arrival! 


Alicia Dunphy-Culp, Senior Director of First Year Experience/Special Assistant to the Vice President

Alicia Dunphy-Culp
Senior Director of First Year Experience/Special Assistant to the VP

Phone: (610) 519-7210
E-Mail: Alicia Dunphy-Culp

Alicia joined Villanova University in 2008 and has worked in many areas within the Division of Student Life. Her responsibilities include assisting with Communitas, Villanova’s first-year learning community, and supporting the New Student Orientation program. She enjoys serving new students and their families and working throughout the year to help students find their place on campus. Originally from the Jersey Shore, Alicia lives just north of campus with her family and their yellow labrador, Dunkin’.

Sara Lutkewitte, Assistant Director of First Year Experience

Sara Lutkewitte
Assistant Director of First Year Experience

Phone: (610) 519-7208
E-Mail: Sara Thoms

Sara graduated from Villanova and returned in January 2022 to work with New Student Orientation and within the Office of First Year Initiatives. In her role, Sara collaborates closely with the steering committee, student chairperson, and administrative coordinator to plan a welcoming and immersive Orientation experience. Sara's background in Residence Life and Campus Ministry provides a comprehensive understanding of the student experience and she welcomes opportunities to work with students and their families so they can thrive at Villanova.

Katherine Melbert, 2023 Orientation Student Chairperson

Katherine Melbert
2023 Orientation Student Chairperson

Katherine Melbert, the 2023 Orientation Student Chairperson, is a marketing major, with business law and sustainability minors in the Villanova School of Business. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, Katherine was a member of the Orientation Steering Committee in 2022 and was an Orientation Counselor in 2021.

The Student Chairperson has extensive experience with Villanova, New Student Orientation and works alongside the Division of Student Life to develop the content of Orientation. The Student Chairperson also trains and supervises members of the Steering Committee. 

New Student Orientation Staff

The Director and Assistant Director work year-round to support the Orientation program and help new students have a successful transition to Villanova. In prep for Orientation weekend, the Orientation staff selects the Student Chairperson, Administrative Coordinator, Steering Committee, facilitates staff training, and develops the master schedule.

Orientation Counselors

New students are divided into 85 groups and led through the four-day program by an Orientation Counselor, commonly referred to as an OC. These student leaders are carefully selected and participate in an extensive training program designed to prepare them for their responsibilities.

Administrative Assistants

Twenty-Five students are selected to be Administrative Assistants (AAs) and work behind the scenes for the Orientation program. AAs go through the same training as OCs but do not lead their own group during the four-day program.

Transfer Counselors

Students who have transferred to Villanova have the option of applying to be a Transfer Counselor. They follow a similar schedule as first year students but through a slightly different lens, given they already have college experience. Transfer Counselors make sure our new transfers feel as welcomed to Nova Nation as they did just a semester or two ago!




New Student Orientation

Villanova University
Dougherty Hall
800 E. Lancaster Ave.
Villanova, Pa. 19085


Office Hours: Monday-Friday: 9 a.m.-5 p.m.

Orientation Resources
Our mobile apps and publications will help lead you and your family through the Orientation experience and beyond.


Nova Guides App: Orientation 2024
Available This Summer

Nova Guides
Transitions: A First Year Family's Guide to Villanova
2023 Orientation and Move-In Map