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.

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