I’m a millennial, first-generation college graduate. Throughout the four years of my undergrad, I made the most of my college experience in and out of the classroom as a communication major. I ended with a 3.83 cumulative grade point average and graduated in four years. I owe my
great grades to the involvement I have had on campus and within the residence halls. The role that my mentors, advisors, and supervisors have played in my college experience has inspired me to become a student affairs professional myself.
My inspiration for pursuing a career in student affairs and higher education can be traced back through many paths. Various departments and organizations I have worked with have contributed to my love for working with students. Reflecting back on what I did during my undergraduate years, it is hard to believe that I fit so much into such little time. Each of my leadership roles helped me to understand and appreciate the student affairs practitioner’s role in a student’s academic success, student leadership, and personal development.
Everything that occurs on a university’s campus is a chance for learning to take place. From student organization programming and residence hall communities to a conduct process where a student could be separated from the institution, a student affairs professional is involved and plays an active role in that educational opportunity. No matter where I work in student affairs, I will be an educator. That is what excites me about this journey.
Currently, my journey is at the graduate school stage. I am a first year graduate student in the College Student Affairs program at the University of South Florida (Tampa, FL). I am working as a graduate assistant in the Housing & Residential Education department at USF as the Graduate Assistant for Leadership Education. My role revolves around advising RHA and NRHH at USF. Having dedicated much of my own undergrad to these organizations, I have seen first hand how they specifically, and student organizations overall, can positively impact student success. Beyond that, I believe being a part of these organizations provided me with a holistic education on topics such as diversity, social justice, group dynamics, and, of course, effective leadership.
Currently my immediate career goals are to continue working with student leadership in university housing, even post-grad. While a lot of focus is placed on first year experiences, student leadership is an area where we can provide quality experiences for students beyond their first year. With the mound of research supporting student involvement to increase student success, we should be doing everything we can do make sure students are engaged throughout their college years and not just in their first.
When I think about all the different types of students I will have the opportunity to work with during my career, I am perhaps most excited about working with students like myself. What I mean is I look forward to reaching out to those shy, terrified first year (first generation) students that have no idea what they got themselves into when they signed their housing contract and moved into their residence hall. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it was not for student affairs professionals and other student leaders reaching out to me, convincing me to get involved, and plugging me into the campus community.
From my experience, we have a lot of students like that on campuses across the country and they slip through the cracks. They get good grades, they don’t get in trouble, they don’t come to events, and so they go unnoticed. It should be our mission to serve all students, and that is one of my main goals as a rising professional in the field.
This blog will show my journey through student affairs as well as posts about my other interests (including some politics and current events discussion). I encourage you to comment on and share anything that speaks to you in some way. If you want to discuss something further, feel free to reach out to me on Facebook, twitter, or even in person.
For more information on my professional background, please read my LinkedIn profile.