Institution: Clackamas Community College
Title: Academic & Career Coach
1. What drew you to L&C?
I ran across Lewis & Clark’s Student Affairs program as I was completing a year serving in AmeriCorps. I knew I wanted to go to graduate school in Oregon, and I was interested in a master’s degree that specialized in higher education. When I found Lewis & Clark’s Student Affairs program, I was drawn in by the emphasis on social justice. As an undergraduate, I studied Women & Gender Studies, with an emphasis in Sociology, and I was excited by a graduate program where my interest in social justice and equity could be further developed. Additionally, as a graduate of a small liberal arts college, I was drawn into the prospect of attending a smaller graduate school, with the personalized attention I had come to except from my undergraduate experience.
2. Most memorable moment from your classroom so far?
There were so many memorable moments in my experience at L&C. All of the courses I took helped develop me further as a professional and as an activist for equity in education. One of the moments that sticks with me was when our cohort began reading “Pedagogy of the Oppressed” by Paolo Freire. Not only were we actively engaged with the book during our three hour class time, but several of us stuck around in the parking lot to further discuss the book after class had ended. The fact that we were so engrossed in the book and its’ relevance to us in higher education speaks to the importance of the social justice focus of the program.
3. How do you plan on using what you are learning in the SAA Program?
I learned so many different things through the program that it’s hard just to list one that I use in my daily work with students. One of the greatest things that I learned is to question the status quo. Throughout our program, conversations around social justice in education were a staple in every class. As I’m out working in the field, I often ask myself if the work we are doing is just, equitable, and if it’s really serving students.
4. What is the most important thing you learned at Lewis & Clark that you are already putting into practice outside of the classroom?
One of the focuses of the program is student development theory, which has been hugely helpful for me in my professional work outside the classroom. As an academic advisor, knowing about and applying different student development theories to my work with students has been paramount to their success. As I work with students, I try to think about their development, and how I can help them grow.
5. Has anything changed since you began?
While I definitely had a passion for education before I began the program, I wasn’t sure how I could intertwine my interest in gender studies and social justice into my work in higher education. As I went through the program, I learned that my interests were in fact integral in helping me to become a successful educator and advisor.