Program (Degree and Major): Educational Leadership, Concentration in Higher Education Leadership
Graduation Date: May 2019
Please tell us about your current position
I currently serve as the Undergraduate Academic Advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia. Some of my responsibilities are advising students, coordinating support and outreach/engagement activities for the College of Science, and acting as the recruitment liaison for the Department of Biological Sciences.
Why did you choose this field of study? Why did you choose the program at Montclair State University?
I chose this field of study because I wanted to be at the forefront of supporting and guiding our students with their career choices and providing resources that will help them attain their ultimate ambition. I chose the program because Montclair State University had the prescribed course that aligned with my career goals, and the Montclair State program exceeded the others I compared it to.
What was your favorite class or experience in the program, and why was that so important to you?
Program planning & Development in Educational Setting was one of my favorite classes and the course material helped me articulate the struggles of students in my current place of work who need various academic support services provided to them by the University. Our professor was able to bring the course content to our level of understanding, especially the use of SWOT analysis which helped us in our group presentation and submitted term papers. The program was important to me because it gave me the opportunity to work in a group and it helped me draw/plan a program that can help our students. Currently, I’m using that to assist my department to organize sessions with my advisees using the various tools available to me. Leadership & Supervision-Student Affairs was also a great course!
Now that you are working in your field, how did your program prepare you for this position?
This program prepared and equipped me with managerial, leadership and organizational skills in Higher Education and how to plan for events that support student success, like Open House and Major Fairs. I’m confident in my abilities and able to articulate the different options for the Department of Biological Sciences majors/programs and academic resources my current institution and department has to offer to prospective freshmen and transfer students.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your program, the College of Education & Human Services, or Montclair State University that we haven’t asked about?
Absolutely. The program offered me the opportunity to meet people from diverse backgrounds and that was a remarkable experience because I learned new things from other graduate students. Canvas was a good tool that I had never used, but I learned so fast because of the blend of both faculty and graduate students. Both professors and staff alike empathize and give support with students who need help. A good reference point for me as a graduate student at Montclair State University is the Center for Writing Excellence (CWE) where I shaped my writing skills for academic papers and how it has improved my grammar and writing skills, and I credit Montclair State University for investing in such a huge resource. I learned so many useful soft skills, accessing the center and the consultants were awesome and always available.