I’m a millennial, first-generation, two-time college graduate, and a student affairs professional. 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 played in my college experience 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 am an educator.
I am currently in my first full-time role in student affairs as a Hall Coordinator in Residential Life at Indiana State University (Terre Haute, IN; also my undergraduate alma mater). In this role, I oversee a first-year residential community of 200 students. I supervise a staff of over seven resident assistants, a graduate assistant, desk manager, and partner with facilities and other support staff to promote and foster learning on campus. I am proud to work in a department that utilizes a residential curriculum model (focusing on self-efficacy, inclusion, and professional success). I am honored to begin my #SAPro career where my college experience first began.
In between my undergrad and first full-time position years, I went away to Florida. I completed my graduate education in May 2018 and earned a Masters of Education in Curriculum & Instruction, with a concentration in College Student Affairs program at the University of South Florida (Tampa, FL). While there, I worked in the Residential Education department as the Graduate Assistant for Leadership Education. My role revolved 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.
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. I also recognize there is a lack of research targeting residential student leadership programs – RHA, NRHH, hall council, NACURH, etc. – and I hope to help change that by adding my own research to this area in the near future.
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. That is the type of student I was as an undergraduate and that is one of the types of students that most inspires and excites me about my work. They are part of my why, because I was once like them.
This site is my “home base” and is often a static view of me, despite being a website. My social media profiles are updated much more frequently and I’m always considering other online projects and ventures (#sidehustles). I’ll also do my best to keep this site updated on my current life happenings as well. 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.