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Narrative Description Lakeisha Jackson Seattle University

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION My path into the Student Development Administration (SDA) program started when I

was a sophomore in college. My academic support coordinator at the time, who is also one of my mentors, strongly encouraged me to consider the student affairs program at Western Washington University. Upon graduation, I decided to seek full-time professional work experience before pursing graduate school. I worked in the non-profit sector doing college to career pipeline and alumni services work for five and a half years prior to coming to Seattle University (SU). In this first full-time position post-undergraduate studies, I gained a strong professional foundation and network. Since I have been in the SDA program, the most important content that I have learned has been theory and practice around self-authorship (Baxter Magolda, 1992) and community cultural wealth (Yosso, 2005). The intersection of these theories has informed my writing, leadership, and practice. Courses that have given me knowledge in these areas included Social Justice in Professional Practice (EDUC 520), Student Development Theory, Research & Practice (SDAD 578), and Leadership in Education I (EDAD 570). Each course provided content in different ways that have enriched my personal and professional growth. In regards to new self-knowledge, during my time in the SDA program, I have focused on being a person for others. I have extended myself to engage in relationship building and found different ways to be in community supporting the goals of others. These experiences have changed my intentionality, time management, and mentoring-style with others; I have become more creative and focused because of my experience in the SDA community. My abovementioned mentor connected me to my graduate internship opportunity. He also served as my site supervisor. I would not have necessarily sought out an internship in international education. However, the opportunity was very unique and provided me with a

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION strategic opportunity to aggregate student affairs, academics, business, and international

relations. I fully engaged in student affairs from a global perspective. The most significant lesson in my internship was to gain a non-U.S. centric perspective on higher education and student affairs. Undoubtedly my most significant adjustment during the SDA program was my decision to leave my full-time professional position to become a graduate assistant at SU. Making the adjustment to my professional identity and financial resources has been a tough process. However, being a graduate assistant on campus has informed how I have created community during the program. My specific graduate assistantship has given me experiences recruiting and training student leaders, working with student conduct and crisis management, and developing relationships with property managers in the community. Additionally, having a graduate assistantship has enabled me to with a supervisor who is committed to care of the whole professional in his guidance, mentorship, and promotion of my work. Furthermore, because I have been able to spend a significant amount of time on campus building professional connections, I have been asked to be a part of various committees and boards. This includes the search committee for SUs Vice President for University Advancement (Winter and Spring 2014) and being a student representative on the SDA Advisory Board (2013-2014). My experience in the SDA program further affirms that I am where I should be in this season of my life. My existing networks prior to the SDA program have been strengthened. I have created new professional and personal networks. This academic knowledge and network growth will accelerate my career, which is something that I could not have done on my own. I acknowledge and respect the professional elevation that this masters degree will afford me.

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION My critique of the SDA program is of the faculty to student ratio. I believe that the

program, College of Education (COE), and SU would significantly benefit with an additional one to two full-time faculty members. I know this may not be in-line with the programs or COEs budget or strategic plan. However, students in this program would experience more growth if able to engage with a wider range of multiculturally competent faculty members. This would lead to a breadth of learning experiences and preparedness for the profession, benefiting both the students cultural enrichment and those they will influence in their future student affairs role. Receiving my masters degree at SU and being a part of Jesuit education has been very significant. I am now more aware of my privileges and thus more conscious of my role to work for equity. I am more intentional in my approach to integrating academic, leadership and spiritual meaning-making. My previous professional and academic experiences provided me with a solid foundation; SDA and SU have taught me new skills in being strategic in my engagement with the world, students, education, and social justice. I will always be grateful that I earned my masters degree at SU.

NARRATIVE DESCRIPTION References Baxter Magolda, M.B. (1992). Knowing and reasoning in college: Gender-related patterns in students intellectual development. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass. Yosso, T. (2005). Whose culture has capital? A critical race theory discussion of community cultural wealth. Race Ethnicity and Education, 8(1), 69-91.