Meet the Team

NSOAI Professional Staff


Born and raised in Southern California, David moved to Philadelphia for a job at the University of Pennsylvania, where he has worked happily for 32 years with communities ranging from incoming undergraduates to alumni. As NSOAI Director, he loves to welcome students to a new chapter in their lives. David is also a member of the Penn Theatre Arts faculty, where he teaches courses on modern American theater and musical theater. He is also a theatre critic and culture writer for publications including Philadelphia City Paper, Philadelphia Magazine, The New York Times, Parterre Box, and more. He has lectured for the Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, Los Angeles Opera, and appeared on Radio Times and other programs. With Cameron Kelsall, a frequent writing partner, he maintains the cultural blog, Reclining Standards. A native Los Angelino, David was part of the staff that opened the first ever Tower Classical Records store on the famous Sunset Strip. The vast LP (and later, CD) collection he built while working there still takes up half of his living room, and much of his time. His husband Simon and their animal family share this obsession.


Troy is originally from New Orleans, LA and moved to South Jersey for his teen and college years. After living in Philadelphia for a decade, he moved back to South Jersey where he lives with wife Brittney, daughter Beau, and son Turner. He has been at Penn since 2003 and has been instrumental in the growth of the New Student Orientation program including the creation of the PHINS orientation leader program and development of the Thrive at Penn (TAP) online orientation modules. Over the years, he has become known for his operational planning, logistical organization, and ability to know most classroom capacities across campus. Currently, Troy oversees the operational planning of New Student Orientation (NSO), Second-Year Orientation (SYO), Take Your Professor/Mentor to Lunch/Dinner, Penn Perspectives, and several other programs. When Troy isn’t planning the next Philadelphia Museum of Art event, you can find him watching football or competing in the New Jersey State Barbeque Championship where his team BBQ DAT has finished in the top 10 for brisket, chicken, and ribs as well as their youngest member (age 8) winning the children’s competition.


Andrea is originally from Wilmington, Delaware and has been living in Philadelphia for about 6 years. She received a B.A. in Interpersonal Communication & Psychology at the University of Delaware and went on to work for Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority as a traveling leadership consultant, visiting many universities across the nation. She then received her Ed.M. at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. She then worked at La Salle University for several years, which is what brought her to Philadelphia. Now working at Penn since 2019, Andrea has taken lead on coordinating the Preceptorials program and works closely with our undergraduate student staff members, including the PHINS Orientation Leaders. With her husband Sean, 2 young daughters Riley & Kiera, and retired racing greyhound Phoebe, Andrea currently resides in northwest Philadelphia in Mount Airy. In her free time, she can be found hiking the trails of the Wissahickon Creek, baking chocolate chip cookies, tasting her husband’s brewed beer, or putting together elaborate activities to entertain her toddler.


Shewit Mikael is originally from Denver, Colorado and the eldest of five children. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Psychology from the University of Denver. While there she was a staff member of the University of Denver library where she managed all lost books and fines. After undergrad she worked in the renewable energy industry and left to pursue a master’s in Communication and Rhetoric from Syracuse University. At Syracuse University she studied immigration rhetoric. Specifically, how immigration legislation functions as a covert form of apology on behalf of the nation state. Her thesis analyzed the 1980 Refugee Act. She now joins the NSOAI team at Penn where she is the Assistant Director of Communication and Assessments. In her free time Shewit loves to bake, read, and write. Her new project is a new pie every week! 

2022 NSOAI Interns

Ava Cima Headshot

Ava Cima

Hometown: Philadelphia, PA

School: College of Arts and Sciences

Year: 2025

Ray Gao Headshot

Ray Gao

Hometown: Indianapolis, IN

School: Wharton

Year: 2025

Amanda Hsieh Headshot

Amanda Hsieh

Hometown: Irvine, CA

School: College of Arts and Sciences

Year: 2023

Angela Lao Headshot

Angela Lao

Hometown: Macau, China

School: College of Arts and Sciences

Year: 2023

Anya Michalewski Headshot

Anya Michalewski

Hometown: Bloomingdale, NJ

School: College of Arts and Sciences

Year: 2024

Rina Nagatani Headshot

Rina Nagatani

Hometown: Nagoya, Japan

School: College of Arts and Sciences

Year: 2023

Erica Park Headshot

Erica Park

Hometown: Fairfax, VA

School: College of Arts and Sciences

Year: 2025

Samantha Turner

Hometown: Johnson City, Tennessee

School: College of Arts and Sciences

Year: 2023