NECPA Graduate Spotlight March – Jordan Swift

Smiling woman in graduation attire.

Name: Jordan Swift

School:  Providence College

Program: Higher Education

Type: Master’s

Current employer:  Complex Director at Providence College

What do you love about working there?

No matter where I work, I always look for two things: Is the mission infused in the department? Could I learn from my coworkers and could my coworkers learn from me? In the three months that I have worked at Providence College, the Friars sure have surpassed that expectation! The Vice President of Student Affairs at Providence College announced that professional staff members will be provided the opportunity to participate in the Flourishing Friday’s program. Flourishing Fridays are for staff members to truly understand human flourishing by connecting with others and recharging outside of the work environment. As a new employee, I have been so fortunate to have met and connected on a deeper level through laughter playing dodgeball or wiffleball. This Flourishing Friday program symbolizes the cultural importance of building community and getting to know another staff member’s diverse story while engaging in fun and healthy activities.

How do you like to spend your free time?

Having mindful moments. Taking in every new conversation over coffee while listening to the sweet sounds of Dave Matthews Band.

What is your favorite grad school course/experience and why?

I loved my Foundations of Higher Education course because it was the first time that I was able to connect theory to practice. The course was designed around a forty-page paper encompassing the creation of a college of our choosing. We were able to design our own mission statement, explore areas of the field that we were unfamiliar with, and discover our “why”. I was able to ask myself: What am I passionate about in the field? Who can I learn from next?

Who/what inspired you to get involved in higher education?

Student affairs is a truly holistic field. There are days when you want to cry or days when you just want to hug everyone that you see. You learn crisis management. You learn how to interact in a truly special way. You learn about equity disparity. As a values and mission-driven person, I found mentors in the field who were constantly challenging me to think about these aspects of life that you cannot learn in any other field. I thought: Why not learn about life while working?

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?

Life is never linear. Talk. Ask questions. A lot of them. Be genuine. Always.

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?

Meeting the mindfulness guru, Jon Kabat-Zin!

What advice would you offer to those who are starting to search for grad programs?

I have three “finds”: 1. Find a school that reflects your values and mission. 2. Find people who will smile with you. 3. Find a school that connects your personal story with academics.

Is there anything else you would like to share?

You never know who will be interviewing you for your dream job. In my experience, get to know your classmates, your professors, your staff members, your colleagues, and your students.

Do you have someone you’d like to be featured as NECPA’s graduate student of the month? Nominate them here!
https://forms.gle/HzuFswPqRtFbfvcS8

NECPA Graduate Spotlight April – Tierra Saunders

Woman smiling in graduation attire.

Name: Tierra Saunders

School: Post University

Program:   Master of Science in Higher Education Administration

Type: Master’s

Current employer:  Admissions Counselor at Post University

What do you love about working there?

The culture of Post University is amazing! When I first started working at Post I was immediately welcomed. Everyone on the team that I work with are absolutely amazing. We all help each other out no matter what office you are working in. This is also my first job after college and I got so lucky. It made me fall in love with higher education even more. Also, I love that everyday I am helping a student not only pursue a degree but also pursue their dream. Changing lives one day at a time!

How do you like to spend your free time?

Currently I have been doing a lot of cooking in my free time, I have a million recipes saved on Pintrest. Usually while I am cooking I listen to Podcasts, currently I am obsessed with My Favorite Murder with Karen Kilgariff and Georgia Hardstark. When I am not cooking, I like to shopping, workout, and read.

What is your favorite grad school course/experience and why?

My favorite grad school course is Legal Practices and Ethics in Student Affairs. Professionals in student affairs face many ethical dilemmas every day and it’s super important that we are familiar with the legal foundations and laws that govern higher education.

Who/what inspired you to get involved in higher education?

In my undergraduate experiences I was a student worker in the Admissions Office and Career Development Center. Also, I interned with the Institutional Research and Planning office. Having the experience of seeing the inside workings of higher education and having the opportunity to work closely with student affairs professionals inspired me to want to get involved with higher education.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?

Success is not a straight line. I can be way too hard on myself at times because I want to make sure that I am successful in everything that I do. I realized that sometimes we are going to have obstacles that may lead you to fail and that is okay. You just have to pick yourself up and keep going as well as learn from those mistakes. That’s what really makes a person successful, accepting that it will not be a straight line and being able to get over those curves.

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?

I definitely would like to work with a Career Development Center again, I enjoyed working there as a student and I also see the importance on helping students with finding work after they graduate and providing them the tools to be successful. I would also like to be a Dean or a Director of a program some day.

What advice would you offer to those who are starting to search for grad programs?

Take your time, graduate programs will always be there and you want to make sure you choose the perfect one for you. Reach out to graduate admissions and chat with them over the phone instead of just having information sent through the mail or e-mail. Make a list of questions that you may have so you do not forget to ask them. Also if you have friends currently in the same program that are you interested reach out to them as well and ask them about their experience.

Do you have someone you’d like to be featured as NECPA’s graduate student of the month? Nominate them here!
https://forms.gle/HzuFswPqRtFbfvcS8

NECPA Graduate Spotlight March – Briana Petrucelli

Smiling woman in professional atire.

Name: Briana Petrucelli

School: Springfield College

Program:  Student Affairs Administration

Type: Master’s

Current employer:  Student Affairs Graduate Assistant at Springfield College

What do you love about working there?

I love the community environment, close knit cohort, and network of support offered to students in our program. Springfield College is a wonderful community to be a part of and has enabled me to be apart of so many opportunities to grow as an aspiring professional.

How do you like to spend your free time?

In my free time I love to hang out with my dogs (Brady & Kona), hike, try out new spots to eat, and go shopping.

What is your favorite grad school course/experience and why?

My favorite course thus far has been my Higher Education & Law course. I not only do I love the engaging material and topics but the case studies that supplement the course. I feel that this hands on approach coupled with the guest speakers that join our class sessions make it that much more fascinating to learn about.

Who/what inspired you to get involved in higher education?

During my undergraduate experience I was selected to be a Peer Advisor. It was through this program mentoring first-year students that I felt fulfilled, resourceful and inspired in my work helping students. When it came time to decide my future plans I looked to my interests and this opportunity verified that the field of Higher Education was what I was supposed to be pursuing!

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?

There will always be challenges & roadblocks in our work but it is how your respond to them that matter most.

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?

I would love to spend a term at an institution abroad to see how they do business and make me a more well rounded professional.

What advice would you offer to those who are starting to search for grad programs?

Don’t take any opportunity off the table- the right match is out there and you will find it!

ACPA 2020 Professional Spotlight – Matthew Gregory

Presentation Topic: So, You want to be a Senior SA Pro?

By Matthew Gregory

There are three reasons behind choosing this topic:

  1. As the Vice Chair for Membership for the Commission for Administrative Leadership – the goal is to continually encourage those who are beginning in the field or growing in the field to be comfortable about what the future will be for Student Affairs Leadership.
  1. The session hopes to meet with those who are working towards being senior staff members and finding out where they are in their journey and what sorts of goals they have and questions they have as they move up into these roles.
  1. The session will review a recent Senior Roundtable where questions and feedback was solicited from multiple senior SA pro’s and hopefully provide some suggestions on what to be prepared for and learn from those who have been in their senior roles for either a short or lengthy period of time.