Student Story

Meet Your Orientation Leader: Bartianna Brown '24

What's your major, and where are you from?

I am double majoring in neuroscience and behavior and public health. I was raised in Pittsfield, Maine, and I currently live there.

What made you choose Simmons?

I know multiple people that are Simmons alums and loved their experience. I also knew I wanted to be in a city with many opportunities since I was not set on a major or possible career. Since joining the Simmons community, I have been overjoyed by the support that comes from professors, staff, and students.

As a rising sophomore, you've had the unique experience of a virtual first year. Can you tell us about this experience?

I would say that overall my experience at Simmons has been amazing. I’ve learned to be more of an advocate for myself and how important it is to communicate with professors, staff, and students. This virtual year has also given me space to transition without the pressure of the normal in-person school year. I joined organizations and connected with people that I might not have without the virtual space. One challenge was time management and figuring out my new schedule (PLAN advisors can be very helpful!).

What made you make the move to become an Orientation Leader?

Being helpful to other people has always been something that makes me happy. I also realized that I did not really receive the support of an Orientation Leader with the virtual year. I wanted to do that for someone else and, hopefully, make their transition and first year successful.

What are you most excited about at Orientation?

Community-building! I’m super excited to meet everyone and hopefully make first-years feel like Simmons is the right place for them.

I’m super excited to meet everyone and hopefully make first-years feel like Simmons is the right place for them.

What is something you've learned from the last year that you'll take with you?

I’ve learned a lot about perspective this past year. That does not mean that I downplay my feelings, but I think about how I would react to a situation if I were not involved. This has been very helpful in the virtual spaces due to the constant emailing, zoom calls, and being more self-reliant. This is also helpful for any situation because we should all figure out how to best react to challenging situations.

Is there anyone at Simmons you've met virtually that you're excited to meet in person?

Professor Elise Brenner! She is an amazing professor and truly cares about her students' learning. I learned a lot about myself through her class, and it helped to witness her passion for the subjects.

Do you have any tips for first-years?

I know it sounds a little cheesy, but you have to be an advocate for yourself. Professors and staff see so many students throughout the day and they do not always catch everything, but they are always open to helping you be the best student you can be.

Tell us one fun fact about yourself!

I work for the Ginty Lab at Harvard Medical.

What is your favorite Simmons memory from the last year?

Being an e-board member for the Black Student Organization is probably one of the best things that I have ever done. Being (virtually) surrounded by other Black people and feeling a sense of belonging was such an amazing feeling that I did not know I needed to succeed in my first year. They helped me figure out my major and navigate my first year to the best of my ability with the uniqueness of a virtual space. I am forever grateful for them and the organization.

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