CSUSM Orientation Team member encourages campus participation


Photo by Rachel Maddux

Stacey Strubhar found her place by working with the O-team here on campus.

Three years ago, Stacey Strubhar transferred to Cal State San Marcos. It was this very campus where she experienced excitement but also some nervousness as she chose to continue her academics here at CSUSM. 


“I was a transfer student from Mt. San Jacinto College and… as a transfer student, I knew that I wanted to get more involved.” 


This desire to be more involved on campus came with a small set of challenges. If a student was not compelled to join athletics or Greek life, then where else can they go to be more involved on campus? This was a situation that Strubhar temporarily found herself in but she soon found her niche with CSUSM’s orientation team (O-team).


“I saw [signs] around campus and the marketing of the orientation-team offered networking to meet new friends and leadership opportunities… but soon enough that was my home away from home.” 


This home that Strubhar made with her fellow o- team members provided a personal journey filled with cultural enrichment. 


“It made me more aware of who I am as a person working with others… We’re a very diverse team and have different cultural backgrounds. It really opened my eyes to differences and how we can all still, at the end of the day, come together for the same purpose in welcoming students.”


Within two years of joining o-team, Strubhar found herself in a leadership role. She became a co-director where she helps plan events to help students feel more adjusted to campus. 


The goal of the Orientation team, “… is to welcome students and their families to CSUSM and to let them know of the resources available here on campus… to make them feel welcomed and that they belong,” said Strubhar. Her time in this leadership position further helped by providing her professional experience.


“Professionally I learned time-management, organizational skills, skills that I can carry on in my career… This led me to work as a peer leader for the Dean of students.” 


Strubhar’s time spent as co-director as a part of the orientation team and as a peer leader, all helped to instill confidence and experience outside of the classroom. Her time with the orientation team was an expression of both personal and professional growth. Growth that helped her figure out how to apply her knowledge as a student majoring in psychology and minoring in communication.  “… I learned more about student affairs… and as a psychology major, it opened my eyes to possible careers in counseling and grad school.”


Strubhar credits this journey of growth to her time as a member of the Orientation team. It is due to this positive experience that she encourages other students to extend themselves to be a part of campus culture as well. 


“I really [encourage] students to get involved early … Just getting involved in something, even if they decide later it’s something that’s not for them. It will open up their eyes to what is the right choice for them,” said Strubhar


 According to Strubhar, the Orientation team exists to help the students. This includes freshmen, and transfer students who want to know more about campus resources and organizations that are available for students to be a part of. 


For students who are interested in learning more about the campus orientation team, check out: https://www.csusm.edu/dos/onsp/oteam.html