NECPA Board Spotlight – Jessica Smith

Jessica Smith
Massachusetts State Coordinator

Current Title and Institution:
Complex Coordinator at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI)

What do you do as the Complex Coordinator?
As a Complex Coordinator I supervise a staff of 18 RAs, and oversee 700 residents in a combination of 2 first year buildings, and 3 upperclassmen apartments.


What do you love about working at your current institution?
I love the student population at WPI, the STEM population is a unique student dynamic and our students at WPI are very academically driven, and are very involved on campus. This creates a wonderful campus community.

How did you get involved in the New England College Personnel Association (NECPA)?
I got involved back in April of 2017 when a former supervisor (and our current NECPA President) told me about the organization and shared that there were opportunities to get involved. I’ve attended conferences in the past, and like that NECPA is a smaller organization with opportunities for involvement.

When you aren’t working or focusing on your NECPA role, how do you spend your free time?
I love pop culture. So most nights and weekends you can find me binge-watching shows on Netflix or Hulu. I also love going out to eat with my friends and family.

Who inspired you to get involved in Higher Education?
When I worked in the Residence Life office at my undergrad institution Framingham State University, I had the opportunity to work with some wonderful higher education professionals. Glenn Cochran, Jay Hurtubise, Kim Dexter, and Johnny Hurley all helped me find my passion for working with students and showed me that a career in Higher Education is possible.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?
The most valuable lesson I have learned is that we need to support our students in all aspects of themselves, not just the aspect we directly supervise. We need to support them as student leaders, as students, and as people.

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?
I want to take my next step, and shift gears from Residence Life to Career Development.

Why should professionals in New England get involved in NECPA?
I think New England professionals should get involved in NECPA because it is a smaller organization and executive board with more meaningful involvement opportunities.

Graduate Student Spotlight – Paige Moran

Name: Paige Moran
Institution: Springfield College
Program: Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education Program

Where are you working right now?
I recently accepted a full time job in the Office of Student Engagement at Smith College, as their Organization Advising and Finance Coordinator! In accepting this position, I am now completing my grad degree at a part-time level and will graduate in May 2019!

What do you love about working there?
What I love about Smith College is how incredibly different it is from my previous experiences in higher ed. I learn something new every single day and have the opportunity to work with student who challenge and motivate me to be the best professional that I can.

When you aren’t working, how do you spend your free time?
In my free time I love to spend time with my family or connecting with friends. I also love taking little weekend trips to explore different parts of New England!

What is your favorite grad school class and why?
My favorite grad class that I have taken at Springfield College would have to be Psychology of the College Age Adult, taught by Delight Champagne. I loved learning about Student Development Theory early on in my program and then actually being able to apply those theories to the work that i’m doing now. This class was also made up of students from a number of different graduate programs, so we were able to have really in depth conversations and get a better understanding of different views and perceptions.

Who inspired you to get involved in Higher Education?
My mentor, and now friend, Annie Warchol, Director of Student Activities at Springfield College, recognized my love for higher education during my first year of Undergrad. While she advised many of the student groups I was involved in, I am most grateful for the time she spent outside of those commitments to help me grow and discover my own passions. I am grateful for her kindness and dedication to creating the optimal student experience, year after year.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?
The most valuable lesson I have learned so far is to be kind and authentic. I believe it is so important to be the most true and honest person that I can be when interacting with my peers, students, and fellow staff members so that a relationship can be built on mutual respect and the expectation to simply be good people to one another.

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?
I would LOVE to run a College/Universities Social Media account! Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook are my strong suits, and I really try and stay in the know as new outlets develop. I have a serious love and passion for social and have had the opportunity to run the accounts for a number of offices and plan several social media campaigns!

What advice would you offer to undergraduate seniors who are starting to search for grad programs?
Select the program that is right for you. Understand that some programs are more counseling based and some of more research oriented.  Knowing your strengths and having a good idea of where you want to go in the field, will help in this process! Look at the curriculum of institutions that interest you! See if the class offerings make you excited or nervous; acknowledge these initial feelings and really listen to yourself throughout this process. Grad School is also the perfect opportunity to explore a new part of the country for a few years or stay exactly where you always have been. Ask yourself all of these questions and most importantly, choose a place that you believe could positively influence your life and career goals.

Graduate Student Spotlight: Whitney Hazard

Where are you working right now?
Right now I am a Graduate Hall Director at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and I am a first year graduate student in URI’s College Student Personnel Program

What do you love about working there?
The students at URI are so passionate and motivated to succeed, it has been amazing working with the staff of Resident Assistants that I supervise. URI is also near the ocean which makes me very happy!

When you aren’t working, how do you spend your free time?
I love to spend time with my family and friends, as well as watching football or Game of Thrones.

What is your favorite grad school class and why?
College Student Development because I am learning the theories that will be the foundation of my work as a practitioner.

Who inspired you to get involved in Higher Education?
My mentor Jessie Karner who is an Assistant Director of Academic Advising at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI). She was my supervisor while I worked as a Senior Community Advisor when I was an undergraduate student at WPI. Jessie is amazing and incredibly passionate about student development. I aspire to be as great as a supervisor for my students as she was for me.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?
The most valuable lesson I have learned so far is to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Both in class and in my work as a Graduate Hall Director, there are times where I am confronted with a situation that I may not know the immediate answer to. It is in these times that I know I am learning and growing the most as a new professional.

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?
I want to attend a conference somewhere I have never been in the United States!

What advice would you offer to undergraduate seniors who are staring to search for grad programs?
The advice I would offer to undergraduate seniors who are searching for graduate programs is if possible, connect with students who are currently in the programs. You can find information regarding the curriculum, assistantships, etc. online, but to discover what it is truly like to be a student in the program, talk to them! Most will be more than happy to send you an email or talk over the phone, because it is so exciting to hear from students who want to pursue student affairs.

New England at ACPA17: Accepted Program by Lisa Landreman

Preferred Name: Lisa Landreman

Employer: Roger Williams University

Position: Assistant Vice President and Dean for Student Life

Title of your Program: Addressing Sexual Violence on Campus: Theoretical and Conceptual Framing

This session frames sexual violence in a postsecondary context by theoretically grounding it as a social justice issue, making the case for situating it within student affairs work, and providing a historical view of research, policy, legislation, and social movements related to its occurrence on campus. The presenters are authors of chapters from a forthcoming (summer 2007) book on addressing sexual violence in higher education.

What you look forward to most for ACPA 17:
Columbus is a wonderful location for convention with great restaurants and an accessible convention center and transportation. I always look forward to reconnecting with colleagues and the new ideas and energy I gain from attending the convention. As the Director of Professional Development on the Governing Board for ACPA I am most excited to engage in conversations with ACPA members about the proposal for a revised mission, bold new vision for racial justice and structure of the governing board. It is an exciting time to be an ACPA member!