To my committee,
Thank you for joining me as I take the final steps in my Student Development Administration (SDA) journey. Although it has not been an easy one, I am grateful for each of the experiences I’ve had along the way. I have come to realize that this was not the adventure I had in mind, but it was the adventure I needed.
Thinking back to two years ago, Seattle University was not the school I thought I would be graduating from. I was determined to continue leaning into the adventure I started in undergrad when I moved half-way across the country. I was not ready for the exploring to be over, so I thought.
I stepped on campus in Fall 2018 bright-eyed and full of excitement. However, I would soon be confronted with some of my hardest struggles yet. For the first time, I questioned both my professional and academic identities because of interactions I had with peers and professionals. Through much reflection and mentorship, I have been able to re-center myself and become confident in who I am. My time in SDA has taught me so much about myself but most importantly, I learned I am capable, I know who I am, and every journey is worth going on.
I have also grown immensely in my professional identity. Through coursework, I discovered a deep fascination with curriculum development and law and policy. Specifically, in my Course Design class (AEDT 5100), I found myself gaining so much joy from engaging in our project where we created a full eight-hour course. In Higher Education Law (SDAD 5800), I found myself seeking out more opportunities to explore topics covered in class.
Both these interests continued to be expressed in both my internships. While interning with the International Student Center, I was able to experience the intersection between law and practice. So much of the work in this functional area is in direct relation with government policies and regulations. Furthermore, in working with University of Washington Athletics, I saw a similar trend but rather their practice is informed by NCAA rules and regulations. From engaging in these experiences, I discovered I love working in spaces where I have to navigate multiple stakeholders and governing bodies.
As I look forward, I will take what I learned in the SDA program about my personal, academic, and professional self into my work as a practitioner. I now have a firm understanding of the environment I need to be in in order to grow and thrive. My interests, passions, and values have been laid out and will serve as my firm foundation. My Jesuit education has given me to language to express my goal of educating global citizens and taking a holistic approach to caring for students. I have been able to engage in deep personal reflection and find value in this practice, which was not previously part of my toolkit. No matter my next steps, I am rooted and ready go forth and set the world on fire.