It’s Friday, Friday…

Please don’t hit me for getting that awful song stuck in your head.

Since it’s Friday, I’ll post something work-related! I have a feeling that student affairs folks may see the values and traits listed as a “no-brainer,” given the nature of our work, but nonetheless, here you go:

Extraordinary Bosses

Ignite Leadership. Influence Change. NASPA 2012.

Hello from Phoenix, Arizona!

I’ve been in this city since early Friday morning (which necessitated a 2AM shuttle pick-up that morning). It’s been a fantastic experience, partially because of the weather, partially because I’m not sick this year, and mostly because being surrounded by so many other student affairs professionals and interested students is incredibly re-energizing.

I spent the weekend attending and helping out at the annual International Symposium, which is a pre-conference event bringing together practitioners from around the world to discuss current issues in global education. I had the chance to speak with several other graduate students in the field, as well as professionals from around the US, England, Pakistan, Germany, and Australia (to name a few). One of the keynote speakers talked about the journey he is currently on, which is–quite simply put–establishing a brand-new university in Pakistan. (More to come in future posts about that.) Being around a pathway like this is so eye-opening to a graduate student and new professional. It again gives me something to which I can say, “I never even knew that was a possibility.”

Digressing a bit, I have to also say that sharing these unknown possibilities with students is going to be a primary thread in how I approach my work. Whether it is transitioning into college or into a new institution (transfer students), or urging students to contribute to literature on Asian-American and Pacific Islanders in higher education, or even exploring new career paths, I want to be able to present new opportunities to my students.

I have seen how theory influences practice through various presentations at this conference, how change can be difficult and slow yet so critical to student success. I have begun to identify areas where I believe I can make contributions: international education, transfer student services, commuter student services, AAPI issues, and how all of these issues translate to the two-year, community college world. I am swimming in ideas–yet I am also aware, by the presence of NUFPs (NASPA Undergraduate Fellows) and other graduate students and professionals, that there are colleagues who yearn to collaborate and contribute.

I have much more to share with you all in the next month or so before my Master’s defense. I hope to have even more to share afterwards.

Life as a Graduate Teaching Assistant

As most people know, I am in full-swing regarding the student affairs job search. I am on the hunt for a job which will allow me to come in, not necessarily as an expert, and give me the chance to grow with the position. I am anxious to find out where my professional journey takes me next.

I would not be framing my job search in this way if it were not for my graduate teaching assistantship. Over the course of the past year and a half, I have discussed my role with the University Honors College (UHC) occasionally through my blog. Here, I intend to clarify how I got here, what it is that I do, and how it applies to student affairs in higher education.

When I was on the interview circuit for student affairs graduate programs, I went through admissions and assistantship interviews with Oregon State University, Western Washington University, Colorado State University, and Seattle University. For each program, I interviewed in-person for different GTA positions, jobs in areas like Career Services, Diversity Development, Health and Wellness, and commuter and transfer programs. The only phone interview I had was with the OSU UHC, and it was after I was already waiting to hear about my acceptance to various programs. I had two phone interviews with the UHC, and I conducted both of them out of a tiny room at my then-employer’s office. The offer to come work for the UHC was extended to me mere days after I arrived in Madrid, Spain for a volunteer program. I wanted to celebrate after receiving that email, but I was certain no one would quite understand why I was so excited over a temporary, part-time job at a university halfway across the world.

Even now, there is some question about my exact role. To put it succinctly, I am a holistic academic counselor. I was hired specifically to be the liaison between the UHC residence hall and the staff, who are located in a different building. My job does not constrain itself to an 8-5 schedule. I live in a residence hall, and I do not live there to enforce conduct and policies; in other words, no, I am not an RA. While I hold office hours in a traditional office several times a week, the rest of the time, my office can take the form of a hallway conversation, an all-floor dinner, or an all-hall event (among other things). I am a relationship and community builder. I am a role model. As the only graduate student living in the building, people know who I am, and I know that my actions can influence not just how I am perceived, but also in how others may choose to model their future actions. I am a generalist and a resource, someone who can answer questions about nearly everything imaginable. Granted, sometimes that means referring a student to someone with more expertise on a given question, but even in this sense, I am effective in my role as liaison.

As an advisor, I help students specifically with questions about coursework and requirements. The nature of the UHC is such that I work with students in many different disciplines. I have grown into this role from my previous experience as an administrative assistant (formal title: Company Services Assistant, as it did encompass more than a traditional admin assistant position–for ease of reference, however, I use the phrase administrative assistant) because at Zumiez, I was tasked with answering incoming questions and then properly directing inquiries to another employee, if necessary.

As an academic counselor, a term with which I became familiar through the CSSA program, I provide support for students’ concerns that may or may not directly relate to classes. For example, students have asked me about balancing their schedules many times. My recommendations often include advice on pursuing interests they have outside their academic majors. Other times, I take on a sounding board role where students talk through and process issues. Sometimes it’s how to deal with prioritizing activities and classes, or sometimes it’s how to find a better sense of health and wellness.

Notably, there have been several instances in which I told students to check out OSU’s Mind Spa at Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). As a person who moved from eastern Washington to the rainy side of the Cascades, I have often battled with seasonal depression, and some students have expressed the same kinds of issues; that is why I recommend the Mind Spa, or checking out a SAD light from Health Services, since CAPS had the foresight to build a space with a SAD light and other stress-reducing tools. I openly discuss these resources because I know from personal experience how draining it can be to want to do well in school when stress or depression is keeping a person from doing so. By sharing these important resources, I help students learn to help themselves while letting them know that it is okay and they should not be ashamed.

As a program planner, I develop and plan events. These events range from very small programs to large programs for our students and their families. In order to develop or refine new and existing programs, I approach my work in a collaborative manner. I advise a student organization, the Honors Activities and Advisory Committee, which is a group dedicated to planning activities and events for the UHC community. Their initiative and enthusiasm has grown tremendously over my time at OSU. When I started planning events, it was almost like I was on my own, with some input and advice on what the event had looked like in the past coming from my students. Now, students are enthusiastic about taking the lead to plan community events, and I provide logistical support, as well as answers to questions that come up. Additionally, I provide support in terms of ideas and presence at activities to McNary Hall Council and the McNary staff. Sometimes, I find myself in awe that this role is so much fun. I get the chance to see how different programs engage students in new thought processes, in new social settings, in ways that make them feel empowered. One of the best feelings is helping students with a program and then having someone else, at the end, ask about how he or she can become involved. Program planning was an intimidating aspect of the job, at first, since I had only minimal experience; while it is by no means a stress-free component, it has become something I cherish. After seeing how my students and I can plan successful and engaging events, I am anxious to see what I can provide to my next community.

I made it my goal from the beginning to be someone who was not intimidating. I did not want to be the grad student that was simply a walking encyclopedia. Instead, I wanted students to learn several things from interacting with me: (a) that staff and faculty are real people; (b) that these real people care about students’ success; (c) that it is okay to be undecided or change your mind–exploration is encouraged in college; and (d) it is worth it to consider meaning and purpose. I remember an RA telling me last year that so many others saw my personal balance and composure and decided they would strive for a life like that.

Overall–and as I was told would be the case–my GTA position has allowed me to touch on all of the CSSA competencies. I can see how a program grows and evolves. I have learned incredible amounts of the dynamics of a small college within a large university setting. Every day, I see how my role and my colleagues’ roles can influence student development.

I just want to close with one of my favorite aspects of my assistantship. I love the moments when I’m walking on campus and a student recognizes me. That smile of recognition (which is always greeted by one from myself) is almost beyond words.

This is why I do what I do.

Week 4: Just the Beginning

The week started yesterday, and it’s hard to believe that the halfway point of my second-to-last term is a calendar flip away. Several good things have happened in the past few days, so I suppose it’s time to share.

For starters, I am happy to report that I have a good lead on a project for a community college. I spent the last two months looking for advising opportunities with community colleges (really, anything with the community colleges), and I was unfortunately unable to solidify anything with Portland Community College. (However, I do have to give a shout-out to my contact, Brenda, up at PCC-Rock Creek because she was great and helping me try and coordinate something. It just didn’t work for this term.) After my potential PCC venture didn’t work out, I emailed one of my professors from last term. He works at Linn-Benton Community College, a nearby institution that with which OSU has a degree partnership. He told me he would mull it over, and about a week later, I had a voicemail stating that a colleague of his needed assistance with advising.

Specifically, his colleague needed help advising high school students taking classes at LBCC. In other words (or in Washington state lingo), I would be helping out with Running Start students–students that are participating in a program similar to the one in which I participated during my senior year of high school. I am planning to meet with LBCC on Friday to talk about details. If it works out, this will be a great opportunity to apply my knowledge of community college environments, as well as learning styles and communication.

Additionally, there might be a research opportunity coming up somewhere else, but until I have more details about that, I won’t discuss it further.

In terms of professional development, the Oregon Women in Higher Education conference happened this past Friday. I attended last year, and that was my first student affairs conference. During one of this year’s sessions, I noted how much more comfortable I was in the environment, and how that meant I was able to engage and participate more in the sessions.

The first session, led by another former professor–Dr. Jessica White–and her colleague, relied on story-telling to share lessons from motherhood and the workplace. For one, it demonstrated that professional, intelligent, working mothers are real people; they have their share of impatience and frustration. Raising children is not a fantasy life. However, even with frustrations, both of these women are able to take the lessons they learn from interacting with their children and families and apply them to the workplace. Doing so means they are able to make more impact, work more effectively, and weave the contrasting fabrics of life together.

Other sessions I chose to attend centered around themes of making career moves, probably because I am in the midst of job searching. I got quite a bit of good advice, including how to expand the search to include other venues, like nonprofit organizations. It made me feel more at ease, knowing that my interest in helping people through transitions does not have to be constrained only to higher education for my work to have impact. This is an aspect I want others in my cohort to be aware of, too, as with the reality of the job market, we may encounter hurdles in finding employment. So far, in researching Portland-area nonprofits, I have found that there is a common mission of improving communities. There are so many different ways to enrich the lives of others, and now I feel that I can share this with my students, too.

After returning from the conference, I balanced everything out by attending a friend’s Friday night taco night. It was a good shift, as I spent the rest of the night socializing with other students, most of whom are graduate students in different fields. After spending most of the day immersed in higher education, it was a nice way to wind down. The tacos were also pretty tasty, I must say.

I spent the rest of the weekend catching up on reading and homework, as well as applying for jobs in both the Portland and Los Angeles areas. It’s too early to tell how things will pan out, but I am staying hopeful.

Until next time…

 

 

A Butterfly Flaps Its Wings…

We all understand the butterfly effect; the littlest thing halfway around the world can change wind patterns in New York. What if that butterfly was something in your past? I spend a lot of time contemplating the paths I’ve taken. Every now and then, I remember a moment that seemed insignificant at the time, but now I wonder if it was indeed a sign from the universe. I wonder how much has affected me due to my inclination to listen or to let the “sign” slide.

Here’s one thing I recently recalled….

The scene: AP US History class, junior year of high school. One of our school’s guidance counselors has stopped by to talk about talking more AP classes during our senior year. I’m already in the process of looking into Running Start, a collaborative program allowing high school students to enroll in community college classes for both high school and college credit–for free. At some point, the counselor states that “it looks better to have AP credits” on your transcript as opposed to community college credits. I freak out. I challenge that, asking him wildly if that means I’m realistically going to be denied admission to a university because I chose to take a program that essentially guaranteed me a jump-start on the college environment and credits. I remember him saying something about how Ivy League schools would want to see AP credits versus Running Start. He moved on after providing me that answer, leaving me flustered and agitated.

Two things that bothered me about the situation: (a) I was only looking at public universities out of necessity; and (b) he was trying to tell us to spend an entire year learning a subject, and after that, we would have to pay almost $100 to take a test to prove we knew enough to maybe grant us college credit (and it was dependent on your university!).

What none of us could have known was this: (c) someday I would eventually grow up to be the young lady that wanted to stand up for community colleges, public education, and opportunities that make sense for the “common” student.

I wouldn’t necessarily say that situation was a catalyst. If anything, it was a nudge in the direction the universe was hoping for.

Now, I am an individual that could–if she truly wanted–probably make it into elite institutions. I hate saying things like that, but I can’t really hide the fact that I’ve always been involved, insightful, academically successful, and so forth and so on. It just happens that I’m some sort of middle class genius, raised by a father who spent his educational career in the public ranks.

My dad taught me that it doesn’t take elite institutions to cultivate the smartest or most successful students.

(Then what does it take?)

Genuine interest in the world. Interest in a broad selection of activities and passions. Time to contemplate, and time to act. Giving back to your community. Good friends. Valuing yourself. Valuing your family.

Who cares if I don’t have a degree from Harvard or Stanford on my wall? I’m proud to see the words “Western Washington University” on my diploma, proud to call myself a Viking.

What does it matter that my Master’s is from a land-grant (and sea-, space-, and sun-grant) institution? I’m proud to be an Oregon State University Beaver, the place where I learned to cut my teeth (no pun intended–okay, pun intended) as a student affairs professional.

And it’s worth it to dig up the extra transcript from my senior year of high school–the one that says “Wenatchee Valley College” to show that I took the initiative to attend college as a 17-year-old, to learn from classmates with experiences more diverse than I could conjure up, to immerse myself in a place where learning happens yet students and the community seem to take no pride.

Of course, given the economy, I will not be able to limit myself to only public institutions. I know that if I find myself at a private institution how I will be able to shift my energy, and that I will be able to support students that could–as I probably would have–feel as if they didn’t belong.

Maybe if my school counselor hadn’t stopped by, I still would have enrolled in Running Start. I probably would have been content, but I wonder if that agitation instilled a sentiment that was roughly around the lines of, “This educational opportunity matters, and I’ll be damned if people continue to discount it.” What if I had gone through Running Start, simply content with my decision to get free credits? Would I have been as inclined to take in the diversity of my classes? Would I have let the experience affect me the same way?

Who knows?

The most I can say right now is that this story is still writing itself. And every day, until the end of time, I know I will encounter beautiful butterflies–even if they’re in disguise.

Beauty and the Beast*

*in this post, The Beast is social media. I am quite obviously The Beauty.

One of my internship supervisors and colleagues–who also happens to be a CSSA graduate–told me that in every CSSA cohort, there emerges one or two “techies.” Apparently, in my cohort, I’m one of those (our other stand-out techie is someone who is logical and rational, not quite as off-the-walls bouncy and aloof as me–so naturally, I question this label I’ve gotten). I just happen to be a young woman that’s a social butterfly, and if that means connecting from the comfort of my room whilst on my laptop, so be it. There are so many people out there, and they have so much to say!

I suppose that’s why I’m a nerd for social media. It’s especially helpful that social media has played a large part in my sanity during a turbulent transition out of college, into the working world, and back into the academic zone.

Let’s look at a run-down of how social media and communication shaped and influenceds my student affairs grad career thus far:

  • In 2007, a friend tells me about “this new website that’s kind of like… just Facebook statuses.” I get a Twitter account, post one update, and remain confused.
  • Late in 2008, I begin a blog called “Word Whirl Too,” which will eventually be exported to a WordPress.com blog called “Trains & Sunsets.” Its intention is to log my professional growth and serve as an electronic career portfolio.
  • 2008/2009, I slip into a valley of depression. I start questioning my choices about my industry and purpose in life. I begin using Twitter to connect with old friends and businesses, trying to distract myself from the poor choice in housing I made.
  • Spring 2009, a local life coaching company follows me on Twitter. I take a look and an am inspired to rev up my efforts in finding my purpose in life. I have previously decided to investigate the world of “student affairs in higher education.” Luckily, I realize that there are several outstanding resources in SA, both in the blogosphere and on Twitter.
  • At some point, I connect with an individual named Eric Stoller. He seems to be well-versed in the world of student affairs, as well as familiar with the Pacific Northwest. I start following his blog and Twitter account, connecting with more SA folks from there.
  • I decide to commit to the student affairs graduate program search. I concentrate my search in the western United States. My former roommate jokes that I should look at Oregon State University for grad programs. A quick internet search shows that OSU is home to a Master’s program called “College Student Services Administration.” I panic because it’s the only program on my prospective schools list that requires professional experience. Eric tells me he’s CSSA alum.
  • I start subscribing to SA blogs via RSS feeds (in Google Reader). Blogs of note include those focusing on international education/study abroad, women in higher education, and graduate students in student affairs. The list continues to grow into my initial ventures into my graduate program, and I eventually find myself focusing on topics like non-traditional and transfer students.
  • I start using Twitter to connect with other prospective student affairs graduates. We exchange questions and stories about the application and interview processes. Most of us will end up at very different institutions, but we will continue to connect using the #sagrad hashtag. The #sagrad community is a great resource for support and collaboration, I soon find out.
  • 2010 rolls around. I officially enroll as a Master’s candidate at Oregon State University. It doesn’t take long before I decide to convert my “career portfolio” personal blog into my capstone project for CSSA.
  • Network, network, network. I connect with the #sachat community, a community made up of professionals and hopefuls (a.k.a., #sagrad, etc.), which carries out a weekly discussion via Twitter about issues in student affairs. Not only are there many perspectives shared, I am also exchanging ideas and thoughts with new professionals as well as seasoned professionals across the country and throughout the world. The communication major in me is thrilled as my own notions are consistently broadened and challenged.
  • In 2011, I become a part of the HigherEdLive.com family as a production assistant and intern for Student Affairs Live. This show utilizes live webcasts, as well as conferencing software and Twitter, to deliver a show about issues in student affairs. Eric Stoller functions as the host, and I take a behind-the-scenes function, sending Tweets out throughout the show containing related links, comments, and questions. We use the #SAlive hashtag to facilitate a running conversation with Twitter followers concurrently with the show. The internship allows me the privilege of learning from others in the field while also exploring first-hand the power of social media’s information delivery systems.
  • Additionally in 2011, I attend a “Tweet-up” (a.k.a., a meet-up for Twitter users) at the NASPA annual conference. I connect with several #sagrad members and professionals in real life–including making a memorable connection with Mamta Accapadi, who happens to be the Dean of Student Life here at OSU.
  • I take on a role as the Technology Chair for NASPA’s International Education Knowledge Community. This allows me the chance to explore working with website design and updates. I translate this over to my Fall 2011 internship, learning how to edit pages using a different type of editor.
  • Currently, I’m working via Google Docs with a colleague based out of the University of the Pacific to put together a conference proposal for the NASPA Western Regional 2012 conference. We initially “met” over the phone during CSSA interviews, then became Twitter pals. We have briefly met for only a few minutes on my last day at NASPA Western Regional 2011. The power of the Twitterverse compels you.

These are all reasons why I believe that social media is a powerful tool for student affairs professionals. While I am not at all discounting the value of traditional face-to-face networking, I find that using Twitter and other outlets has allowed me to vastly expand my network, my knowledge of relevant issues, my familiarity with the diversity of institutions which exist, and my ability to communicate via different media.

Additionally note: It’s not just all business! A lot of SA folks are into sharing music and decompressing using turntable.fm where people can play and share music.

Follow This Leader

You’d think that writing about “leadership” while in a program like mine would be easy enough. For me, it’s really difficult to go on beyond, “Well, I take the lead in planning some projects and activities, and in others, I am more content to be a contributing team member.” I work well with others in the lead or in a power-neutral setting.

However, take a gander at what my program’s “Leadership” competency actual breaks down into:

    1. Fiscal resources, budget development and management in supporting student affairs programs or services;
    2. Human resource/personnel management, including hiring, supervising, and evaluating employee performance;
    3. Organizational structure, dynamics, and systems;
    4. Legal issues critical in guiding and influencing practice;
    5. Campus climate issues, including administrative strategies to bring congruence between campus climate goals and realities.

…what.

Okay, here’s the good news. For one thing, it’s called a “competency” and not an “absolute mastery.” I feel like sometimes we get hung up on what competency really is. To me, being competent is understanding a concept in theory, having the opportunity to apply it in a real situation (or be able to demonstrate how it would be applied), and also readily admitting that I am always willing to improve upon the foundations I have.

Secondly, sub-points 1. and 4. have courses built around them. I haven’t taken those courses yet, but they are forthcoming. Additionally, I get to participate in conversation around those sub-points through things like Student Affairs Live and staff meetings. This is important to remember because otherwise, I’d probably be pulling my hair out going, “OH NO! I’VE COMPLETELY MISSED PART OF THIS COMPETENCY!”

The rest of the sub-points are readily addressed in a course in which I’m currently enrolled, AHE 558 – Organization and Administration. This is a great course for talking about topics from the lens of being an administrator. We had a good discussion surrounding management last night, and it was a good way to build on my knowledge of management both from undergraduate work and real world experience.

One of the biggest points that I heard was that the daily trials of managers and directors in student affairs are often times very similar to the trials I face as a graduate student. People can have disagreements at any level, or be met with seemingly incompatible communication styles, or be faced with working with a very small (and ever-diminishing) dollar figure… and so forth and so on. Knowing that the details will change makes me feel a bit better about moving up in the future.

I also heard second-hand accounts that there are managers out there that would rather not supervise others. In fact, one of our professors stated that he was terrible at managing others. While I’m sure that in time, I can be an effective supervisor, I’m still a little apprehensive about what my first professional experience in supervising will be like. After all, as I told my small group, my supervisory experience is primarily with members of my cheer squad and now, helping four undergraduate TAs lead a class with me. I haven’t had to watch an employee’s productivity, though, or give much feedback on what they could improve. I’m anxious to get to that–partially because I feel like becoming a manager or a supervisor will be crucial to my feeling like a “real” adult and professional instead of a “quasi-adult” as I call myself right now.

However, I know a big part of feeling confident and doing a good job will be showing that I am competent in being a leader. It’s not going to be entirely easy work, but if I stay true to my mantra of life-long learning and admitting when I need help, I’ll be just fine.

And being able to lead by example when it comes to believing in oneself is incredibly important in this field I’ve chosen.

So Wotless

According to UrbanDictionary.com, “wotless” is “a word meaning to not care profoundly about anything, and just having a hell of a time not caring what anyone says or thinks of you.”

While it may appear that I’m only on vacation, my experience in Trinidad thus far has been a learning moment. On the way back from Maracas Beach the other day, down the windy road in a friend’s car, I thought about what I’ve seen and observed in the weeks I’ve been here.

On one hand, there is style of work. Going from department to department, speaking with people at UWI – St. Augustine, one can see how seriously people take their jobs. For one, student affairs professionals are much more formal compared to US colleagues. My friend and I had to rush around one of the malls to search for more office-worthy clothing; even so, I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get by with my linen cropped pants.

Either way, I’ve still be able to make some good observations. For one, just like any university, UWI has its strengths and areas of opportunity. Budget woes translate too familiarly to departments and units here. However, people are making due with what they have. Staff members are busy, often changing gears from appointment to appointment.

That said, there exists some divisions and silos. While this fracturing can sometimes contribute to inefficiency, staff members recognize this and are working to slowly push for reorganization and alignment.

Like any good student affairs professionals, the people at UWI approach their jobs with enthusiasm and a genuine want to help students get the most out of the university experience. We’re in the midst of the 14th annual CTLPA conference, and after the first day, I’ve already gotten a better sense of how culture really affects students in higher education. One presentation presented preliminary findings between UWI – St. Augustine and the University of Louisville’s incoming class of students. Results from the questionnaires showed differences in students’ perceptions of themselves, as well as some differences in motivation for going to university. Overall, though, the bottom line is still how do student affairs professionals provide the best services and the best experiences for all students.

My internship partner and I are the first student affairs grad students to attend CTLPA conference, at least this is what we’ve been told. While we may have found this opportunity through a series of personal connections, it came about because we took the initiative to seek out international opportunities.

I’m happy because what we’re doing speaks to the notion that as professionals, we need to develop ourselves in order to help others grow. It’s about taking the time to step out of the “norm” and look around at what is happening in the world. It’s taking the time to challenge oneself by traveling to a country one may realize he or she really knows nothing about.

For me, it’s about loving what I do (and what I hope to do) yet simultaneously being the opposite of wotless. I care profoundly about what I do, and to an extent, I care about how others perceive me. I want them to perceive me as competent and responsible, caring and lively, motivated and willing to learn.

And in a sense, it’s about working really hard but having so much fun, y’all are none the wiser.

(In other related news… I’ll be back Stateside by this time next week. Odd.)

Military & Aerospace Museum

AHE 510: IDEA Internship – Curriculum Integration

Beginning in Winter 2011, I had the opportunity to work with the International Degree and Education Abroad (IDEA) department. A division of International Programs, IDEA promotes globally-minded learning. Part of that is what is known as “curriculum integration.” Made popular by the forward-looking University of Minnesota, curriculum integration allows students to make very informed decisions on which programs will allow them to both: (a) travel and get new global perspective; and (b) continue towards completing a degree with properly equivalent classes.

My job, as the IDEA intern working on curriculum integration, had several components:

  • Learning to use Adobe InDesign
  • Updating existing curriculum integration documents (University Honors College, Spanish)
  • Researching approved study abroad programs for potential fit with departments and programs at OSU (History, Ethnic Studies, Philosophy)
  • Gaining further understanding of the services International Programs and IDEA provide
  • Communicating with faculty and department advisors for direction and guidance

After working on these various projects over the past two terms, I am much more confident in several areas. First, I have a better grasp on how programs are distributed within IDEA; I feel like I would know who to turn to if I had specific questions regarding a particular program. Secondly, I learned how to work a new computer program with little assistance beyond an initial walk-through. I definitely work best with a “hands-on” learning approach, and while there were a few hiccups while trying to format a document from time to time, I was able to work through the issues to create a good document. Lastly, in terms of institutional communication, I have learned that it is sometimes challenging to get timely responses from faculty members and staff due to outstanding circumstances, such as peak advising or other project priorities. It can be a bit frustrating to discover that your priority project is not high-priority for someone else; however, even in those cases, most people were keen on the idea of developing curriculum integration. Although it will probably be under someone else’s watch, I am happy to know that I have at least gotten a few departments thinking about how to re-tool their study abroad offerings and credits.

Competencies addressed:  (1)  Knowledge of Higher Education and Student Affairs; (3) Leadership; (8) Individual, Group, and Organizational Communication; (9) The Developing Professional

Internships and Such!

Short and to the point…

as soon as I get back from UWI, I’ll be making a transition to the Wenatchee Valley and interning at the community college there. I’ll be doing orientation-related work, and I’m stoked to dig into that piece of college life, especially with the CC dynamic.

Additionally, if you are looking for something to do from 1PM-2PM ET, I recommend you tune into Student Affairs Live! Follow @HigherEdLive to get in on the backchannel.

…That’s all for Wednesday. ❤