Orientation Leaders

Orientation Leaders (OLs) assist incoming first-years, transfer students, and their families in their transition to Bennington College. OLs play a vital role in the advising & orientation program. They work closely with new students and their families on a wide variety of topics including academics, student involvement, resources at the school, and more.

Meet your Orientation Leaders

Luciana (Luci) Arbus-Scandiffio

luciarbusscandiffioHometown: Maplewood, New Jersey

One thing you wish you knew before your first year at Bennington: It's all going to work out! I was so worried about starting classes, meeting people, and living away from home -- I wish I could tell myself to breathe more. I did lots of planning and worrying before school started, but I really didn't need to stress so much. Everyone else is in the exact same position of trying to get comfortable in a new place. It'll really be okay!

Which fictional character do you believe is most like yourself: Kelly from The Office


Evan Caldwell

evancaldwellHometown: Miami, Florida

Favorite Bennington class taken thus far: Stage Management with Michael Giannitti, Fall 2016. Clear, focused, welcoming - I learned so much in that class and it gave me a fantastic introduction to drama at Bennington.

Fun fact about yourself: In high school I wrote a play about fertilized eggs in a womb. I got a national award for it at Carnegie Hall. It was described by one of the judges as "a uterine 'Waiting for Godot.'" Life is strange.



Mareme Dieng

maremediengHometown: Dakar, Senegal

Favorite Bennington class taken thus far: Biology of the Sexes with Betsy Sherman because of the depth of discussion in the class and the intensity of the case studies we looked at. I found it fascinating the way the teacher exploited the subject and brought new perspectives every class.

What cheers you up: Dancing



Lilianna (Lili) Española

liliespanolaHometown: Boston, Massachusetts

One thing you wish you knew before your first year at Bennington: Being stressed out or having a lot to do isn't bad or reflective of how productive one is-- and it's okay to have fluctuations in productivity.

What cheers you up: Reading comic books and graphic novels. Crossett Library has a great, very extensive collection!



Elizabeth Fox

elizabethfoxHometown: Petaluma, California

One thing you wish you knew before your first year at Bennington: I wish I knew how accessible most of the teachers are - if you have a question, they have an answer and they're waiting to tell you!

Which fictional character do you believe is the most like yourself: Animal from the Muppets




Julia Granillo Tostado (ISOL)

juliagranillotostadoHometown: Mexico City, Mexico

Favorite spot on campus: The lawn right behind the pond.

Favorite candy or snack: M&Ms and fruit (together)

What cheers you up: Dancing mindlessly around my room with my friends.




Deja Haley

dejahaleyHometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

One thing you wish you knew before your first year at Bennington: One thing I wish I knew was in order to be comfortable you have to test the waters and become uncomfortable. Bennington is place for you to explore the unknown.

Favorite candy or snack: Snickers




Emily Halliburton

emilyhalliburtonHometown: Austin, Texas

Favorite spot on campus: My favorite spot is on the way to or from North Bennington, where the trees create a slight canopy and the light can filter through.

Whose biggest fan are you: Hands down, my little sister. She could do absolutely anything and I would support her to the moon and back.




Tristan Harness

tristanharnessHometown: Roseville, California

One thing you wish you knew before your first year at Bennington: Don't project an expectation of the Bennington system onto it, especially in the Plan process; that really impedes your ability to surrender to the process and take every advantage that it offers.

Which fictional character do you believe is the most like yourself? I raised myself to be Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Emily Hinojosa

emilyhinojosaHometown: Brownsville, Texas

Favorite Bennington class taken thus far: Silkscreen! I had never considered myself an artist before and thought VA just wasn't for me, but Silkscreen allowed me to discover a new part of myself. Now I draw a lot more in my free time and I'm no longer intimidated to take VA classes.

What cheers you up: My housemates (STOKES BLOOD)! They're my best friends and their energy is so contagious that it never fails to pull me out of a slump.



Sona Markosyan

sonamarkosyanHometown: Dilijan, Armenia

Favorite spot on campus: The fountain/courtyard in the center of CAPA.

Whose biggest fan are you: Charles Aznavour. He is a famous French-Armenian singer, songwriter and diplomat. I love all of his songs and was lucky to meet him in person.




Ethan Muller

ethanmullerHometown: Brooklyn, New York

Favorite Bennington class taken thus far: My favorite class so far has been Upside/Down: Business in the 21st Century. In this class, we explored what factors have made a business succeed or fail at different times in history, and what it takes to succeed today. As someone who hopes to start my own business, this was the perfect opportunity to learn really practical skills and methods for the real world.

What cheers you up: Taking a break from the chaotic world of classes to wind down with some Netflix!


Kim Nguyen

kimnguyenHometown: Hanoi, Vietnam

Favorite spot on campus: Outside of Jennings at night. This spot has everything I love: the silence, the nature, the starry night sky, the darkness, the mystery, and the amazing view of the Bennington campus. Sitting outside of Jennings always brings me serenity and calmness.

Whose biggest fan are you: I am the biggest fan of Emma Watson.



Grace Robins-Somerville









Jocelyn Salcedo (ISOL)

jocelynsalcedoHometown: San Diego, California

Favorite Bennington class taken thus far: My favorite Bennington class so far is GANAS. I've taken the tutorial for 3 years now and every time I find a new aspect to explore. I love meeting similar people in the area and making long-lasting connections beyond the Bennington bubble. It feels great to give back to your community in such a personal manner.

What cheers you up: A good song always cheers me up! I don't have a problem dancing my way through K-mart if they are playing my jam.



Sangeeth Selvaraju (ISOL)

sangeethselvarajuHometown: Delhi, India

Favorite spot on campus: During the summer it's Lake Paran. I love going there. The walk to the lake is beautiful and I love going for a swim. In the winter I like to sit on the top floor of the library. The couches and the study room are really nice.

What cheers you up: Playing sports or good conversation




Ines Simbi

inessimbiHometown: Kigali, Rwanda

Favorite Bennington class taken thus far: One of my favorite classes at Bennington so far is my drumming class. I learned how to play songs from West Africa, Brazil, and Jamaica using drums. I never thought that I would ever perform in front of people, but my drumming class has challenged me to be outside of my comfort and perform in front of people.  

Favorite candy or snack: I love Pringles and anything that has chocolate in it.



Ishani Trzaska

ishanitrzaskaHometown: Godfrey, Illinois

Favorite spot on campus: Though there are many beautiful and peaceful places across our campus, at the end of the day I really enjoy coming home to my room. I have made this space my home and filled it with nurturing plants, a plethora of snacks, my beautiful Harry Styles poster, and a plush bed to comfort me after each long day of labs, classes, and studying.

Fun fact about yourself: I'm an avid road-tripper, and usually drive somewhere between 4,000 and 6,000 miles round trip each summer, all throughout the United States and Canada!


Cy Wolfe


Hometown: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

One thing you wish you knew before your first year at Bennington: I wish I knew how much I would have to rely on myself to things done. I think I expected that I would have a lot of help (and I do) but when it comes to working and deadlines, it's all me.

What cheers you up: Tricked out chicken sandwiches at the dining hall.



Margaret Fortuna Yassky

margaretyaskyHometown: Brooklyn, New York

Whose biggest fan are you: Laura Benanti (I know many of you probably don't know who she is, but I might as well say now that I'm a theater nerd).

Which fictional character do you believe is the most like yourself: Liz Lemon (30 Rock)