#CSAM: Because of Them

As we all know this has been #CSAM (Careers in Student Affairs Month), and the recruiting for SAGrad Programs has been ramped up tenfold.

I joined some friends in participating in the #ACPAWhatsYourWhy about why I work and remain in Student Affairs which was great to reflect and share my why.

But it got me thinking…how did I start in Student Affairs? My why back then wasn’t the same.

Honestly reflecting on it, while the circumstances and situations may have triggered my actions, it was the people who truly got me started and helped me continue along my journey. So to close out #CSAM2016 I wanted to give a few shout outs to those who have been key in getting me into Student Affairs and supporting me throughout.

hurseJessie L. Hurse, currently serving as the Assistant Dean of Students, Oakland University

Jessie was my first Student Affairs connection. He was my first advisor I had when I really began to develop into a leader as an undergraduate student. He also had the fortunate (or unfortunate) privilege of being my first Student Affairs Supervisor as a professional. We had our moments where I thought one of us would pick the other up and thrown them across the room out of frustration (insert hilarious laugh here for those of you who have seen the two of us side-by-side), but I’ll be honest, we probably made the best team UM-Flint has ever seen. He was the supervisor who dealt with my transition out of undergrad, who dealt with my coming out, and who showed me the true meaning of student centeredness.

sekelskyDr. Mary Jo Sekelsky, currently serving as the Executive Director for Alumni Relations, University of Michigan-Flint

Mary Jo was the first administrator I ever worked closely with who really introduced the concept of Student Affairs to me. While not from a traditional Student Affairs background, her true passion was undeniably the students. She was the one who really showed me that its not which degree you have but what you do with your degree(s) and the love, time and patience you put into your work. Of course there were times of frustration and even points of anger that always comes with being in the Student Affairs field stuck between administration and students, but her calm and focused demeanor was a true example of how I believe administrators should be like and what I hope to one day be.

broughtonDr. Elizabeth Broughton, currently serving as Professor for Educational Leadership at Eastern Michigan University

“Dr. B” was not my first grad school professor nor was she my assigned faculty advisor. But she was the faculty member who took me under her wing and really supported my efforts in exploring my place in Student Affairs. Our one-on-one coffee chats helped put me on a path for success and exploration and her support of technology in Student Affairs really gave me something to sink my teeth into, and still today do so. I also loved that she was herself. Unique, passionate, quirky, fun, dedicated, and always willing to learn, teach and share. If I ever venture into a faculty position, I hope that I am as open to learning, teaching and mentoring as Dr. B has exampled.

These are just a few of the amazing and influential individuals who have impacted my journey in Student Affairs and who because of them, I get to have a why I am in Student Affairs.

Now I can’t close this post without a shout out to my fellow EMU HESA cohort for being the best community to find support from and of course the students, past and present that I’ve had the privilege to work with!

So, Happy #CSAM Everyone!

(Oh and for those of you interested in Student Affairs, always feel free to reach out to chat about it! 🙂 )

Until next time,

Peace, Love and Pandas!


Published by Brian

I am currently the Assistant Director of Student Life for Registered Student Organizations and Late-Night Programming at Michigan State University. After earning my B.A. from the University of Michigan-Flint, I entered the Student Affairs profession. After a few years in the field, I returned to school and earned my M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. In my spare time I blog about my thoughts and musings on current issues in higher education, student affairs, digital worlds, identity development and general life inspirations and observations. I also volunteer a lot for my fraternity and multiple regional and national professional associations.

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