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Kimberly Sipanela Named Rookie of the Year

Kimberly-Sipanela-web-LMB_6087.jpgKimberly “Kim” Sipanela, a sophomore medical biology major from Harare, Zimbabwe has been selected the Orientation Leader Rookie of the Year at Lander University.

Sipanela was nominated for the recognition by her peers who describe her as “highly intelligent and soft-spoken, and never fails to bring energy.” They also commented on her positive attitude and noted she is “very engaging with her students.”

The medical biology major said she was introduced to the Orientation program by friends during her first semester at Lander. She was looking for a way to get more involved in school activities.

“I was skeptical at first because it meant I would have to interact with a lot of people,” Sipanela related, “but I just told myself college is about new experiences, so I went for it.”

She said being a part of Orientation, “allowed me to come out of my comfort zone and experience college from a different perspective.” She adds it has taught her life skills she can use during and after college.

Dr. Damario Watts, director of Student Life and Orientation said, “Kim has embraced the role wholeheartedly and picked up on things quickly and is always going above and beyond to assist others.”

The transition from high school to college can be overwhelming, which is why all incoming Lander students are required to attend an orientation session.

In addition to Orientation, Sipanela has represented the University as a peer leader and a Presidential Ambassador. She also works as a tutor for the Student Success Center and is an assistant in the Office of Student Life.

Sipanela researched several other colleges before selecting Lander as her choice. “Lander fit my preferences for studies, and I am glad I chose Lander as I have made so many wonderful memories here.”

As for the award, Sipanela said, “I never thought I would be chosen as Rookie of the Year because I work with so many amazing people who have made it such a great experience.” She said she is glad she “walked through this journey with each of them.”

Sipanela says her dream has always been to be a medical doctor and she continues to work to achieve that goal.

For more information about Lander’s Orientation program, follow this link -