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Welcome to Georgetown

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    First-year students participating in the Road Trip program enjoy breakfast at the Monument Cafe (Photo by Lucas Adams).
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    Students who took the trip that explored Georgetown visit the garden behind the Monument Cafe (Photo by Lucas Adams).
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    Visiting the Monument Market (Photo by Lucas Adams).
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    Nancy Ruiz gives first-year students a tour of the Simulation Center at the Texas A&M Health Science Center in Round Rock.
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    First-year students participate in a team-building exercise at the Georgetown Challenge Course.
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    Figuring out how to get untied from each other was one of the challenges students had to work through.
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    Nick Kellogg and Anna Zolten work on the rope challenge together (Photo by John Kotarski).
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    Katherine Freeman navigates the challenge in which students had to walk on a log that was suspended in the air (Photo by John Kotarski).
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    Instructor Elliot Pervinich helps Carly Cooper get ready for the climbing wall.
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    Garth Ornelas descends the climbing wall (Photo by JOhn Kotarski).

Road Trip program gives first-year students a chance to get acquainted with fellow students and their new community

Alex Gartman didn’t spend her first day at Southwestern getting unpacked and exploring the campus. Rather, she spent it visiting the 911 call center in Georgetown, touring the Scott and White Hospital in Round Rock, and visiting the new Texas A&M Health Science Center in Round Rock.

Gartman was one of about 40 first-year students who took advantage of a special program designed to help them get acquainted with their new community and with each other.

It’s called the SU Road Trip program and this was the fifth year Southwestern has offered it to incoming students. Students who sign up for the program get to move into their residence halls a day early. The night before the trips, all the participants meet at the Howry Center for dinner with Southwestern staff and student Road Trip leaders.

Derek Timourian, director of intramural and recreational activities, said he started the Road Trip program to help students assimilate into campus and meet other students who share their same interests.

“It’s a good way to get a jump start on their time at Southwestern,” Timourian said. The first year of the program, only one trip was offered, but that has since grown to three or four different trips.

This year, students had three options for trips. Gartman participated in a trip designed for pre-med students that was led by Maria Kruger, the internship coordinator in Career Services, and Dinorah Martinez-Anderson, director of health services. Bill Sessions, a senior who is applying to medical school, was the student leader on the trip.

“It was really helpful to meet another student who had been through the pre-medical path, Gartman said, noting that Sessions had convinced her she needed to take some courses she wasn’t planning on taking. Gartman said it also was helpful to meet someone from Career Services right off the bat. “I’ve already talked to Maria about internship opportunities,” she said.

Timourian led a trip that went to the Challenge Course near Lake Georgetown, where 17 students spent the morning getting to know each other by participating in activities such as a tall climbing wall.

“I thought it would be exciting to try something new,” said Danny Green, who was one of students who signed up for Timourian’s group.  

Among their guides at the Challenge Course was Traci Stengle, a 1997 Southwestern graduate who majored in kinesiology and psychology. The group had lunch at Chipotle and spent the afternoon bowling at Mel’s Lone Star Lanes in Georgetown.

Christine Bowman, associate director of admission, led a group that went to the Monument Café for breakfast. After breakfast, they got a tour of the new Monument Market and the gardens behind the restaurant. From there, they headed to Austin’s Park and Pizza in Pflugerville for lunch and some fun. On the way back to Georgetown they saw the outlet mall in Round Rock and then finished the day with frozen custard at Shake’s and a drive through San Gabriel Park.