The Catholic University of America


The Orientation program facilitates the successful transition of new undergraduate students into Catholic University’s intellectual, social, and faith based communities; promotes student learning and development, encourages independence, and individual responsibility; and facilitates continued student success to graduation.

This is accomplished through programming that emphasizes the University’s academic and community expectations and social and developmental resources and opportunities.

Through personal connections with peer leaders, faculty, and administration, new students and their families will develop an introductory understanding and appreciation of the intellectual, social, and service opportunities available, and gain knowledge of campus and community resources


Affect the University's retention efforts through a model orientation program that helps students feel welcomed, connect with their new environment, explore their faith, understand expectations, and know where to seek support.

Establish a cohesive and comprehensive Cardinal Challenge program that more deeply explores what it means to be a student at CUA. Activities and programs will be directed toward student involvement, making connections with individuals and resources, academic success, and broadening student general knowledge of the University.

Sustain a rewarding student staff leadership experience that promotes interpersonal growth and development, and leads to an enhanced peer mentor relationship for new students.


Meet the Executive Staff 

Steve Kreider - Director of Campus Activities

Steve returns to the Office of Campus Activities as the Director after previously serving from 2006-2015 in various roles in OCA. Since leaving OCA, he has been working at Anne Arundel Community College in the Office of Student Engagement working primarily with the student organizations providing leadership training, logistical and event planning support, and financial management. He is excited to return to OCA and CUA to serve as the Director of a great department and looks forward to getting back into the feel of everything CUA. Attending Penn State for his undergraduate degree and The University of Memphis for his graduate degree Steve has a variety of experiences including residence life, student conduct, leadership development, and of course campus activities. Outside of work Steve is very actively involved regionally and nationally with Ultimate Frisbee playing, coaching, and serving as a head referee for DC's professional team. Steve and his wife have 2 adorable puppies who want everyone to follow them on instagram at @taleswithwalter and @doodlewithlillian.


 Meet the Student Coordinators

Kaitlin Shanahan

PJ Connolly

Kaitlin is a sophomore Civil Engineering major from Floral Park, New York. In addition to her involvement in the Orientation program, Kaitlin is also a Cardinal Ambassador and a tutor for the Center for Academic Success. Kaitlin is very excited to be able to contribute further to Orientation as one of the 2018 Student Coordinators. Orientation is the first impression that a first year student gets of his or her new home, and being a part of the Orientation staff means getting to make sure that this initial interaction is stellar. Kait’s advice for new students is, “Really take advantage of everything offered during the four days of Orientation—you only get to experience it once as a new student. There are so many resources available to make sure that your transition into your new home is smooth. Finally, remember that all it takes to make a new friend is saying hello!”

PJ is a Psychology major from Lafayette Hill, Pennsylvania. Along with Orientation, he loves to sing alongide his friends in Redline A Cappella, and coordinate events and campaigns with the Dean of Students Office's PEERS Team (Peer Educators Empowering Respectful Students). As Student Coordinator, he strives to instill in all incoming students a sense of belonging, purpose, and enthusiasm for growth. He has this piece of advice to offer for his fellow Cards: “The world is going to throw a lot at you, and sometimes it will throw everything all at once. It will not slow down and wait for you to catch up, it will not give you any free passes, and it will never adapt to your needs--unless you command it to do so. The world is also never going to be as resilient as you are. By pausing, reading a situation, putting away any fear of asking for help, and employing critical thinking, you can solve any one problem. And once that one problem is solved, you can move onto the next one, and the next one, and before long, the world won't be able to keep up with you.”


Download the CUA App in early July to learn more about the 2018 Orientation Advisor Staff!