Over a relaxed picnic lunch, Hasenfus chatted with students about why they chose Norwich and their concerns for the upcoming semester. Wei-Neng Yang, a first-year student from the Chinese Military Academy in Taiwan, admitted he is worried that he won’t understand people who speak English too quickly. Giorgio Bonadiman, a freshman from Italy, is excited about the military lifestyle in the Corps and all it offers. Anna Hovorkova, an exchange student from the Czech Republic, is looking forward to learning about the U.S. Her major is tourism management, and she expects her education and experiences to help her future career.
A couple of days later, during the organized chaos of student arrival day, Parker and Hasenfus led their three charges─ Bonadiman, Yang and Saranrat Sanban from the Royal Thai Military Academy─through the process of checking in. As Rook Week starts, Parker and Hasenfus, like all parents, must let go.
Two days into Rook training, the group gathered again in the Wise Campus Center, Norwich’s dining hall and student center. Hasenfus discussed paperwork deadlines and reiterated she’s there to serve as their advocate. Gail Mears, Norwich’s substance abuse educator, and Christy Doyle, the Title IX [equal opportunity] coordinator, talked to the group about alcohol policy and discrimination issues. continue