The 1742 Experience Introduces Freshmen to Campus, Service
While Gautam Kanakamedala ’17 and his sister, Loukya ’17, admit they don’t consider themselves handy with a paintbrush, the siblings put the finishing touches on a superb free-hand drawing of Albert Einstein on a hallway wall of Liberty High School in Bethlehem Aug. 19 – one week before they started their freshman classes a few blocks away at Moravian College.’
“We’re not artists; we’re just patient,” says Gautam Kanakamedala, explaining the most difficult task was mixing paint colors to get the correct skin tone. His sister disagrees. “The hardest part of drawing was the top of his head – I couldn’t reach,” she laughs.
The Kanakamedalas were among 18 other incoming, first-year Moravian College students – including their sister, Swathi Kanakamedala ’17 – to participate in the institution’s The 1742 Experience, a weeklong pre-orientation program that ran Aug. 18 to 22. Over the course of the program, the students supported service projects within walking distance of campus, assisting the Bethlehem YMCA, New Bethany Ministries, Historic Bethlehem Partnership and William Penn Elementary, among others. The volunteering opportunities consisted of everything from preparing lunches to participating in fitness activities for older adults. In addition to promoting community service, the program helps freshmen students adjust to college life.
ABOVE: Gautam Kanakamedala ’17 and his sister, Loukya ’17, took part in the third installment of The 1742 Experience, a weeklong pre-orientation program that ran Aug. 18 to 22. The siblings drew an Albert Einstein likeness by hand.
ABOVE: Allie Quinn ’17 (right) of Palmerton and Sarah Christie ’17 of Lancaster inscribe textbooks with identification information at Liberty High School in preparation of the new school year.
“This experience will help us start a new chapter of our lives,” says Courtney Kruscavage ’17 of Fairless Hills, who also painted at Liberty High School. “Plus, it’s a great opportunity to give back to the community.”
The Kanakamedalas have been volunteering since middle school, so getting involved in The 1742 Experience only made sense. “The reason I wanted to get involved was to get to know other students. Plus, I enjoy helping in the community and being there for others,” Gautam Kanakamedala says. “It has always been a passion.”
In its third year, The 1742 Experience is about preparing and developing incoming students, says Katie Dantsin, director of leadership development at Moravian’s Center for Leadership and Service, who oversees the program. “We want to introduce the students to service and leadership opportunities both on and off campus, and give them the tools to be successful at Moravian,” she says. “Secondly, we want to provide an opportunity for students to get a head start adjusting to college life.”
“When the program starts, I explain to the first-year students that by the end of the week, they will appear to be experts about Moravian and the Bethlehem community when the rest of their class arrives. I hope that gives these students confidence as they start their college career.”
Nick Roberts ’15, one of five returning Moravian undergraduates who served as team leaders for The 1742 Experience, recalls the many benefits he received participating in the program as a freshman.
“The program really set the pace for the rest of the year – really, the rest of my college career,” he says. “It got me acclimated to the campus, and I made three or four friends from the experience that I’m friends with to this day. Plus, it gave me a sense of community, making Moravian really feel like home. I wanted to give that feeling to our incoming freshmen, so that’s why I volunteered to help this year.
“Plus, I really enjoy the community aspect. It’s a great feeling to look around at the end of the day and see the positives changes that we’ve made.”
Throughout the week, students blogged about The 1742 Experience. To read about their experiences, visit http://1742experience-2013.blogspot.com/.
< Back to main page