We’re dedicated to providing Northwestern freshmen with an orientation program unlike any other. CATalyst alum come away with renewed self-confidence and life-long friends.
CATalyst is a pre-Wildcat Welcome and beyond program geared toward helping new students transition into college. The goal of CATalyst is to give the participants the tools that they can use during Wildcat Welcome and throughout their freshman year to help them be the most comfortable and confident they can be on campus. These tools come from an increased level of self-awareness, communication and leadership skills. CATalyst participants will arrive at Wildcat Welcome equipped with friends, upperclassmen mentors, and an overall knowledge of Northwestern life that most students will only attain at the end of their first quarter. Essentially, CATalyst embodies the fun and excitement of the first year at college into one awesome five-day trip.
What are the estimated departure and arrival dates and times?
We will be checking students in at the Norris University Center between 9AM and 12PM on Thursday, September 8th, and departing from Evanston shortly after. Buses will be returning to Northwestern Monday, September 12th by about 12PM in the Arts Circle Drive outside of Norris. Parents should meet us in the Arts Circle Drive. Participants will arrive in time for check-in to dorms.
How should students coordinate with parents about move-in?
We have partnered with Residential Life at Northwestern to assign move-in times that will work with our program dates and times. Once you have been accepted into the program, we will be in touch to give you more information on move-in. Be assured, you will move in with the rest of the freshman class that is convenient!
What should students do with extra luggage while we are gone on the trip?
If students are planning on bringing their luggage to move-in to their dorms to CATalyst with them we will have some storage space available. If you have alternate means of storage available to you, we would advise you to use those as our space is limited.
How will I keep up with important information about my child while they are away on the trip?
Both co-chairs as well as the program’s faculty advisor will be available by phone throughout the trip. The area where we will be will have cell phone service, however participants are asked not to carry their cell phones on them during our scheduled activities. In addition, we will keep you posted via blog with any important information (i.e. safe arrival, delays, etc.).
Who will be facilitating?
Ten upperclassmen counselors and two co-chairs who have all received at least one quarter of specialized leadership training for the program, as well as a university-employed faculty advisor with advanced degrees. For other orientation questions see Northwestern Orientation
What type of supervision is there on CATalyst?
While 12 upperclassmen counselors lead the program activities, a Student Affairs Professional from the Center for Student Involvement (CSI) will be present for the entirety of the program. Additionally, staff members from the Adventure Center supervise the ropes course activities.
Where will we be eating?
Included in the program cost are all meals and snacks save lunch on the day of arrival. Meals are served in a camp-like mess hall, buffet style. Snacks will also be available throughout the program.
How do I get to campus?
Chicago has two area airports, Midway and O’Hare. O’Hare is fairly closer and requires a cheaper cab fare. The Chicago ‘El’ also runs from both of these airports to Evanston. However, one should note that the ‘El’ ride is authentically Chicago and can take up to two hours to get from the airport to campus. The PACE bus system also offers a bus that leaves from O’Hare and arrives at the Davis Street ‘El’ stop in downtown Evanston. This bus is called the Kiss-N-Fly and is route #250.
If arriving via train to Chicago, taxis or public transportation can get you to campus in Evanston. Please use the link below to explore the various methods of getting to campus.
Further information on getting to campus (driving, flying, training, etc.) can be found at Visiting Northwestern
Hey guys! I'm Kameron C. Dodge (I feel like a middle initial makes everything sound more legit) and I'm from a small town in central Iowa. I am a junior double majoring in Learning and Organizational Change and Legal Studies with a minor in Political Science. On campus I serve on the Dance Marathon Executive board, am an active member of my fraternity, and play club tennis. Aside from that, I actually do enjoy moonlit walks on the beach and skiing when I can get away from Chicago. Cannot wait to see you all on campus!
Hello future NU students! My name is Steph Siepman and I hail from the very Denver, Colorado- home of the Fray, Chipotle, and awesome snowboarding, some of my favorite things besides CATalyst. At NU, I am a double major in Economics and Political Science and am involved in my sorority, some awesome finance clubs, and Chicago Field Studies where I was able to hold an internship in Chicago this quarter. Looking forward to meeting you all in September!
Hi my name is Aria Bagheri! I come from Lake Forest, IL, a town not too far from Northwestern! I'm pursuing a biology major and an economics minor in Weinburg while simultaneously completing my pre-med requirements. I absolutely love two things in this world: tennis and CATalyst! I cannot wait to meet you guys in the summer!
Hey, I'm Catherine! I'm from Madison, WI and am double majoring in Spanish & Anthropology. I'm in a sorority on campus, a member of the Dancer Relations committee for Dance Marathon, and on the Northwestern Women's Rugby team.
Hi guys! I’m Claire! I’m a junior in Weinberg majoring in psychology and cognitive science, and I’m from Apple Valley, Minnesota. On campus, I’m active in my sorority, Dance Marathon, Relay for Life, research, and, of course, Catalyst. If I’m not being busy, you can find me laughing, watching Criminal Minds, baking, or eating.
Name's Emily Victoria Luckow (fancy, huh?) and I'm from South Salem, NY. I'm a junior Communication Studies major with a Film and Media Studies minor along with an Integrated Marketing Communications certificate. I'm in a sorority on campus, a general Evanston food connoisseur, enjoy frolicking on the lakefill, volunteering at Red Cross Blood Drives and reading TFM.
Hi! My name is James, and I am from Darien, Illinois. When I am not working on engineering projects, I am playing for the Northwestern club hockey team, working for Design for America, or doing any activity I can outdoors.
My name is John Zeledon and I am a sophomore from Dallas who is currently majoring in Communication studies with a minor in Film and Media Studies. On campus I am involved with NU's radio station, theatre, and Latino affairs, as well as some other things. A cool fact about me is that I was born in Costa Rica!
Heyhey! My name is Liz Trumbull and I'm going to be a sophomore majoring in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Global Health Studies. I'm from Elmhurst, Illinois (about forty-five minutes away from campus) and at school I am involved in Greek Life, Dance Marathon, and I work at the Gap in Evanston. I can't wait to meet you all in the fall!
Hey guys! I'm Mark and I am from the best city in the world- Atlanta, GA. I am going to be a sophomore this year and I am currently on the Pre-Med track. Around campus I am part of a fraternity and play intramural sports. The most important fact about me is my addiction to peanut mm&s.
My name is Maryam Adamu and I'm thrilled to be a counselor for CATalyst 2011. I'm from the most magical place on earth: Pine Bluff, Arkansas. Illinois is actually the sixth state I've lived in. At NU, I'm a Political Science/African Studies double major. Outside of the classroom, I'm involved with The Global Engagement Summit (GES), Activities & Organizations (A&O), African Students Association, and The Slam Society on campus.
I'm Nadia Last and I'm from Grand Rapids, MI. I love all things NU and am planning to major in Comm with a minor in Psychology and the IMC Certificate in Medill. On campus I tutor for Supplies for Dreams, am an active member in my sorority, do various publicity stints for campus groups, and hold a job as Supervisor at the campus gyms. I love chocolate lab puppies, popsicles, and nutella.
- Back to Top