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 Lutkewitte 

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.

Laila Ghabrial, 2024 Orientation Student Chairperson

Laila Ghabrial
2024 Orientation Student Chairperson

Laila Ghabrial is a Political Science major with minors in Arabic language and Peace and Justice in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. She is originally from Towson, Md., and has served on Orientation Staff for the past two years, first as an Orientation Counselor in 2022 and as a Steering Committee member in 2023. 

Laila works with the Villanova community and the Division of Student Life to design and execute the New Student Orientation Program. She oversees the 14-person Orientation Steering Committee, the staff selection process and programming to welcome the Class of 2028 and transfer students. 

When she's not working on Orientation, Laila enjoys playing intramural volleyball, basketball and dodgeball, and grabbing coffee (an iced vanilla latte with oatmilk, of course) with friends on campus.

Sam Blume, 2024 Orientation Administrative Coordinator

Samantha Blume
2024 Orientation Administrative Coordinator

Sam Blume is a Quantitative Finance major with minors in Business Law and Deaf and Disability Studies in the Villanova School of Business. She is from Manalapan, N.J, and has served on Orientation Staff for the past two years, first as an Orientation Counselor in 2022 and then as a Steering Committee member in 2023.

Sam’s work includes executing the operations and large-scale logistics for the New Student Orientation Program. She oversees the team of Administrative Assistants (AAs) and designs their training to prepare them to facilitate important conversations for new students and serve as the logistical backbone of the program.

Outside of Orientation, Sam loves building Lego sets and watching her favorite baseball team, the New York Yankees.

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 preparation for the four-day Orientation Program, the Office selects the Student Chairperson, Administrative Coordinator and Steering Committee, facilitates staff training and develops the master schedule.

Orientation Counselors

New students are divided into 84 groups and led through the four-day program by an Orientation Counselor (OC). These student leaders are carefully selected and participate in an extensive training program designed to prepare them to welcome new students and introduce them to life at Villanova.

Administrative Assistants

Approximately 20 students are selected to be Administrative Assistants (AAs) and work behind the scenes for the Orientation Program. AAs support all the logistics of the Orientation schedule and offer a supporting role in facilitating important conversations during Orientation group progarmming.

Transfer Counselors

Transfer students are placed in their own Orientation group to connect with fellow transfer students of all grade levels. This group is led by Transfer Counselors (TCs) who share a similar experience of transferring to Villanova. Transfer students follow a similar schedule as first year students but through a slightly different lens, given they already have college experience. TCs introduce transfer students to the unique aspects of Villanova life.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is comprised of former Orientation Counselors, Administrative Assistants and Transfer Counselors. Together, this highly collaborative group designs the Orientation Program for the incoming class. Steering Committee members have specialized program areas and training workshops that they lead. They also serve as leaders for OCs and TCs during Staff Training to prepare them for their role in the four-day program.



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