Meet Your Student’s 2019 Head Orientation Counselors!

An important, exciting and sometimes nerve-wracking step for any first-year student is socializing and making new friends. It’s also one of the best parts about Orientation week! Your student will have the opportunity to meet so many new people who have been anxiously awaiting meeting them, too!

Orientation at CMU is a week-long experience that emphasizes meaningful introductions and connections … and having fun. The awesomeness of Orientation wouldn’t be possible without the dedicated professional and student staff, who not only run Orientation but are also mentors and friends to first-year students.

Head Orientation Counselors (HOCs) provide leadership, logistics and planning for specific programs during Orientation week. They also provide supervision and mentorship to teams of Orientation Leaders and Orientation Counselors within their housing community. HOCs have significant student leadership experience on campus, and most have served the Orientation program for several years in preparation for the role.

As Orientation week approaches, we wanted to give you the opportunity to learn more about our 2019 HOCs! Here, they introduce themselves, share their interests and give some insight on what the CMU experience has to offer. They also can’t wait to meet you and your student!

Conlon Novak

Head Orientation Counselor for Donner House

Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Information Systems



Hey there! My name is Conlon Novak, and I’m the HOC for Donner House—Big Blue itself! I’ve worked with Donner for Orientation over the past two years, so it’s a genuine honor to give back to the housing community that’s given so much to me. As for myself, I’m an Information Systems and Human-Computer Interaction Major, with a minor in Film and Media Studies, which means that I code, design and watch a lot of movies! I’m from Murrysville, PA (just outside of Pittsburgh), and in my free time, I enjoy skiing, photography, reading and exploring the city.

Email Conlon!

Lexi Elliott

Head Orientation Counselor for Hamerschlag House and Scobell House

College of Engineering, Chemical Engineering

lexi600x600Hi! I’m Lexi and I’m one of the HOCs for The Hill, specifically supporting Hamerschlag and Scobell. I’m a rising senior studying Chemical Engineering and I’m from Atlanta, Georgia, so I’ve always got Chick-fil-A and Coca-Cola on my mind. In my free time I love to run, watch football and Jeopardy, and explore all the restaurants Pittsburgh has to offer with my friends. My favorite experience at Carnegie Mellon (other than Orientation, of course) has been studying abroad in Munich, Germany, where I got to learn German, adapt to a different culture, and make friends from around the world.

Email Lexi!

Pankaj Bhojwani

Head Orientation Counselor for Morewood Gardens and E-Tower

Mellon College of Science, Physics Major

pankaj600x600Hello! I’m Pankaj and I’m the HOC for Morewood Gardens and E-Tower! I am an international student from Singapore and am pursuing a double major in Physics and Computer Science. I enjoy theatre and working on the tech side of things (costumes, hair and makeup, lighting etc.) and love to eat—freshman 15 has definitely been a thing for me. Fun fact: I really like Pikachu and my favourite clothing item is my Pikachu onesie.

Email Pankaj!

Izzy Sio

Head Orientation Counselor for Mudge House

Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Statistics and Professional Writing


Hi y’all! I’m Izzy Sio and I’m the HOC for MUDGE HOUSE! I’m a rising senior studying Statistics and Professional Writing. I’m from Greenwich, CT, which is an hour from New York City. I love Pittsburgh because it’s an amazing blend between the suburbs I’m used to back home and the downtown city that I love to explore! When I’m not in the classroom, I love watching movies and going to concerts around Pittsburgh. When I’m at home, I love reading a new book, writing and discovering new music.

Email Izzy!

Emma Farrell

Head Orientation Counselor for the Residence on Fifth

College of Engineering, Civil & Environment Engineering
Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences, History

emma600x600Hiya—I’m Emma Farrell and I’m the HOC for Oakland (Rez on Fifth)! I was born and raised outside Philly and love the look on people’s faces when I say water ice instead of Italian ice. Currently, I’m a junior studying Civil Engineering and History (basically I love old buildings and want to preserve and rehabilitate them). When I’m not in class, I love having my radio show and going skiing, as well as going to cool shows and events around Pittsburgh!

Email Emma!

Chris Fulton

Head Orientation Counselor for Stever House

College of Engineering, ECE

chris600x600Yo! I’m Chris and I’m the HOC for Stever House—the greenest thing I’ve ever seen. I’m a rising senior studying Electrical and Computer Engineering. I was born and raised in West Philadelphia. When I’m not in the classroom, I’m probably sleeping or devising a plan to take over the world that will inevitably fail. I am really into music—I actually have a series of playlists that starts from 70’s rap music and goes up to 2016 highlighting what I felt to be some of the most influential albums. I’m also really into video games; about five years ago, I held the world record for speedrunning ‘The Haunted Mansion’ on GameCube!

Email Chris!

Rosie Zhang

Head Orientation Counselor for Welch House, Henderson House, Boss House and McGill House

College of Engineering, Mechanical/Biomedical Engineering

rosie600x600What’s up y’all? I’m Rosie and I’m one of the HOCs for The Hill community, specifically Welch, Henderson, Boss and McGill (WaHBaM)! I am a rising senior studying a double major in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering with a minor in Music. I’m originally from Hershey, PA, so you know I’ve got a pretty big sweet tooth. Fun fact, I’ve actually been a tour guide with the CMU Office of Admissions for the past couple of years. If I’ve ever led a tour you were on, please feel free to come say hi! Outside of that, I love to play music and involve myself in service throughout the city of Pittsburgh.

Email Rosie!

See You Soon!

The friendships and bonds students make at Carnegie Mellon will help them build a foundation for success, personally and academically. Be excited for your student as they embark on this new journey and encourage them to stay open and confident as they meet their peers.

What are you most looking forward to as your student begins their college journey? Let us know in the comments below!

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