The Office of New Student and Family Programs (NSFP) works to serve three main populations: new students, parents/family members and student leaders.
New students: NSFP strives to build a comprehensive orientation program that serves as the initial introduction to the university's unique academic, cultural, and social community. This orientation program, known as Wildcat Welcome, is a weeklong program for new students to transition to the Northwestern community while participating in advising and registration for the first quarter of classes.
Parents/family members: It is the mission of NSFP to welcome parents/family members to the Northwestern community and to integrate them in to the NU experience during and after the student's academic tenure. Through Parent and Family Orientation during Wildcat Welcome, Family Weekend each fall, online publications and various communication pieces distributed through the parent listserv (email distribution list), parents/family members are asked to be part of the educational experience by supporting the student's academic and personal growth.
Student leaders: The amount of support and attention directed to new students is also provided to current student leaders serving on the Wildcat Welcome Board of Directors and as a Peer Adviser. Growth through leadership opportunities, such as those offered by NSFP, are crucial to the success of a student upon graduation of Northwestern. The 210 student leaders working directly with NSFP (200 Peer Advisers and 10 Board members) will be challenged in the area of leadership in ways they have not previously experienced. They serve an integral role in the welcoming 2,200 (approximate) new students each fall and during the course of the first year.
- Phone: 847-467-6100
- For students: firstname.lastname@example.org
- For parents/family members: email@example.com
- The NSFP office is located on the second floor of the 600 Haven St. facility
- Mailing address:
New Student and Family Programs
600 Haven St. J230
Evanston, IL 60208
- View directions to the New Student and Family Programs office
Patricia Hilkert is currently the Director of New Student and Family Programs (NSFP) at NorthwesternUniversity. In this position, she is responsible for planning,organizing and overseeing all facets of Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern’s fall orientation program for new students, and other various new student and family initiatives, including Family Weekend.
Originally from North Riverside, IL, “Patti” received a B.S. degree in Speech Communication and Public Relations from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and a Masters of Education, specializing in Student Personnel Administration, from Kent State University in Kent, OH. Previously, Patti was the Director of Orientation and New Student Programs at Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN and served on the Board of Directors for the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA).
Patti loves the fun and highly engaging Northwestern students, as well as the picturesque campus set on beautiful Lake Michigan. Patti currently resides in La grange, IL with her husband Scott and two small children, Lexi and Aaron. Go 'Cats!
Strengths (StrengthsQuest): Arranger, Communication, Maximizer, Woo, Adaptability
Joshua N. McKenzie is currently the Associate Director for NSFP/Director of First Year Experience, a new position at Northwestern University. In this position, he is responsible for creating, planning, and organizing programs and initiatives to support the transition of new students throughout their first year at Northwestern. He also is responsible for communication efforts of New Student and Family Programs (print, digital, social media) and assisting with the planning of Wildcat Welcome. Josh began this new position in March 2013 after previously serving as the Assistant Director of New Student and Family Programs. He currently serves as the co-chair of the Highly Selective Institutions Network with the National Orientation Directors Association (NODA) and works on the planning team for the 2013 national conference. He received the award from the National Orientation Directors Association as the 2012 Outstanding New Professional.
Originally from Athens, AL, Joshua earned his B.S. in Electronic Media Communications and then Masters of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs. His favorite aspects of NU include the passion of the student body and proximity to Chicago.
Strengths (StrengthsQuest): Strategic, Positivity, Futuristic, Developer, Achiever
The Assistant Director of New Student and Family Programs position is currently vacant as the office conducts a search process for the position to be filled by July 1, 2013.
These ten students serve work throughout the entire year to assist in the planning of all aspects of Wildcat Welcome and Family Weekend as well as working with Peer Adviser staff.
These 200+ students are selected each winter quarter and work directly with new students throughout Wildcat Welcome and the first year.
Get involved with Wildcat Welcome
Learn how to become involved with Wildcat Welcome as a Peer Adviser by visiting our Prospective Peer Advisers page. Those who wish to serve on the Board of Directors must serve as a Peer Adviser for a minimum of one year.