CSSA Blogfolio Project

Why I chose to blog:

This blog was created as a way for me to demonstrate the CSSA competencies that I would need to meet in order to gain my masters degree at Oregon State University (OSU). I choose to blog for a few reasons. The first being that I wanted to involve a number of people, many who I already knew (my portfolio committee, my assistantship and internship supervisors, professors and classmates) and some who I didn’t know in a running dialogue about student affairs related issues. I wanted to have more than a few people looking over my reflections and providing me with more questions to ponder and more subjects to explore. What can I say; I’m greedy? I also knew that a blog would require constant attention during my second year as a student and that this attention would keep me from procrastinating, which is something I’m fond of doing. Another reason for using the blog format was in increase my technological capacity. I have never been very tech savvy and I tend to get behind in what is new in this sector very quickly. Heck it took me until this year to buy an I-Pod! With this being said, I see my blog as a chance to get to know a technological tool that seem to be having larger implications for student affairs professionals all the time.

Most importantly, I wanted to provide a place for people who are all over the map when it comes to student affairs to come and discuss various topics related to my chosen field. I hope that people who are new to the profession and well as seasoned veterans can add to and take something away from the conversations I start on this blog. It is my greatest hope that this blog can serve as a place for reflection and intellectual stimulation for those who visit. As I learned in student development theory, we are all producers of knowledge and that shall be a guiding principle when it comes to my blogging. Whether you choose to leave a professional message or a personal shout-out, please know that your comments will be welcome and I’ll do my best to respond to many, if not all of them.

What a long strange trip it’s been:

I have come to the student affairs profession from a blessed, broken road. I completed my undergraduate degree in molecular, cellular, and developmental biology at the University of Colorado (CU) at Boulder (Go Buffs!). My years at CU were peppered with experiences working with admissions as a campus ambassador and then as an orientation leader. These experiences would be the initial building blocks to my career in student affairs. After graduating I spent two years volunteering with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps in the Southeastern United States, three months working with the Vermont Campus Compact at the University of Vermont in Burlington, three months doing trail work throughout Northern Arizona with the American Conservation Experience, approximately one year helping a family friend raise greyhound dogs and most of my “down time” was spent on road trips throughout the U.S. All and all my time between graduating from CU and coming to OSU was filled with intense, team centered projects, physical labor and service work.

It was actually my passion for service that drew me back into graduate school and specifically into the field of student affairs. I have never felt as confident in my talents, as connected to communities, or as content in myself as I have when I’m engaged in work that services the greater good. Having spent a good amount of time working with various non-profits and government organizations, I had a good understanding of what was out there in the realm of traditional service careers and something about them didn’t appeal to me. So I decided to expand my definition of service and ultimately I decided that for me, service was about helping other people obtain life-sustaining and life-enhancing services. I think it would be hard to argue that in this day and age a college degree, whether associates, bachelors, or advanced, is becoming a necessity. However, I think the greater task is to create a college degree that not only sustains a student’s life, but enhances it. This is what I strive for in my interactions with students, not simply to help them navigate and survive their college years, but to help them engage in learning and living opportunities that will enhance their lives both professionally and personally.

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    The challenges, successes and ideas of a budding (student affairs) professional

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