NECPA Graduate Spotlight May 2021 – Laura Cafaro

Laura Cafaro in professional attire
Name:  Laura Cafaro

School: Springfield College
Program:  Student Affairs Administration
Type: Master’s

Current employer: Graduate Associate, Office of Student Activities. Springfield College Graduate Intern, Office of Non-Discrimination Initiatives/ Title IX. Springfield College Graduate Intern- Business Connections.

What do you love about working there?
What I enjoy the most so far within my positions at Springfield College is the meaningful engagement I am able to have with students from all different corners of the campus.

How do you like to spend your free time?
In my free time I really enjoy painting, reading, and going for nature walks!

What is your favorite grad school course/experience and why?
My favorite experience in graduate school so far has been co-advising Student Government Organization and Campus Activities Board. Advising ranks as my favorite because I find this area of work within the field to be so rewarding for both the students and myself.

Who/what inspired you to get involved in higher education?
As an undergrad I worked with some awesome individuals working in student affairs so when I was looking for a career change I had great mentors to During my last two years of undergraduate education l I was an academic progress monitor. Within this position I was able to help students develop a plan tailored to their life that could lead them to success. Having the opportunity to help students within higher education sparked my interest and then a couple mentors told me that this opportunity was known as student affairs!

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?
So far the most valuable lesson I have learned in my career is to not be afraid to ask for help! As students we go into graduate school opportunities with a limited scope and SA professionals are excited to help and provide their expertise to help you further develop.
What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?
I really love engaging with others and creating a space to share ideas so, presenting at a conference is on my bucket list!

What advice would you offer to those who are starting to search for grad programs?
To those looking at SA graduate programs, I would share the advice to take a look at the graduate associate/fellowship opportunities that institutions offer. These positions offer the best professional development while you are also in school!

Is there anything else you would like to share?
I would like to give a round of applause to all the folks at Springfield College for the welcoming environment they have provided my cohort and me! I would not have the successes I am experiencing if it wasn’t for their encouragement.

Do you have someone you’d like to be featured as NECPA’s graduate student of the month? Nominate them here!

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