Melanie McManamon

Transitioning to college–or a new college–can feel like a giant leap. That’s why I love working alongside such a passionate team of faculty, staff, and mentors who all share the same mission: ensuring every student feels supported and belongs at L&C. 

Melanie McManamon


First-Year Experience Coordinator

Department or Office

First-Year Experience

What three words would you use to describe Lewis & Clark?

Passionate, Inquisitive, Serene

What is the First Year Experience?

The First-Year Experience (FYE) at Lewis & Clark serves as the launchpad for academic and personal success. We bridge the gap between new students and vital campus resources, fostering meaningful connections with faculty, and igniting valuable skills that empower students to thrive throughout their academic journeys.

How does the First Year Experience help students?

FYE is your one-stop-shop for the transition to college life. Through New Student Orientation and our New Student Peer Mentor program, we help new students get familiar with all the incredible resources here at L&C and build a strong sense of belonging.

What is your favorite aspect of your position at L&C?

My favorite part of being the First-Year Experience Coordinator at L&C is absolutely being a connector! I thrive on seeing new students make those vital connections with resources, faculty, and most importantly, each other. It’s incredibly rewarding to be a part of their successful transition to college life. Let’s face it, transitioning to college–or a new college–can feel like a giant leap. That’s why I love working alongside such a passionate team – faculty, staff, and mentors – who all share the same mission: ensuring every student feels supported and belongs at L&C. Together, we’re building a launchpad for their success, not just academically, but personally as well. It’s truly inspiring to see it all come together!

What do you enjoy most about Lewis & Clark students?

What truly sets Lewis & Clark students apart is their infectious passion. They’re not just engaged in their studies – they’re driven by a desire to learn, explore, and make a difference. This vibrant energy translates into a supportive and inclusive community, where classmates become cheerleaders and collaboration thrives. But Lewis & Clark students aren’t just followers – they’re creative thinkers, unafraid to challenge norms and bring innovative ideas to the table. It’s this unique blend of passion, inclusivity, and creative thinking that makes Lewis & Clark students truly one of a kind.

What brought you to L&C?

Lewis & Clark feels like a perfect fit for me. The faculty, staff, and students here are incredible – their passion for learning and innovative thinking is contagious! Being surrounded by such a vibrant and curious community truly excites me. But what really sealed the deal was the First-Year Experience program. Have I mentioned how passionate I am about helping new students transition smoothly into college life? The FYE program here provides an amazing platform to do just that. The chance to collaborate with such a supportive and dedicated team of colleagues is another huge plus. And let’s not forget the stunning campus! Studying in such a beautiful and inspiring environment adds another layer of magic to the Lewis & Clark experience. For me, Lewis & Clark offered the complete package – passionate students, a supportive community with a robust FYE program, and a breathtaking campus. I can’t wait to be a part of it all!

What’s your favorite thing about living in Portland?

As a total foodie and nature enthusiast, Portland just clicked for me. It’s a full-blown foodie paradise, with everything from farm-to-table wonders to some seriously global flavors. Nature’s always been Portland’s other charm. Hike for an hour, and you’re surrounded by waterfalls cascading through magical forests. It’s like stepping into a living postcard. This city lets you switch gears on a dime. One minute you’re savoring a melt-in-your-mouth taco, the next you’re breathing in the crisp mountain air. Portland just feeds my soul, in every way imaginable.

Share something you think students would be surprised to learn about you.

You might be surprised to learn that I’m not just passionate about helping students navigate college life, but I’m also a bit of a language enthusiast myself. I actually have a Master’s degree in Spanish, and yes, I’m bilingual! This passion for languages even extends to my four-legged best friend. My dog, Camila, knows all her fun tricks and commands in Spanish. It’s always a crowd-pleaser when she shows off her “pata” (paw) or “siéntate” (sit) skills in another language.