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Strengths (LO 2, 4, 6, 8; Artifacts A, B, C, E, D, G, F)

Introduction
My experience in the Student Development Administration Program has allowed me to
capitalize on and further develop my skill set in many ways. The transition into this program was
one of the most difficult experiences of my life. It affected my mental, emotional, and physical
health, and resulted in many opportunities of doubt and reconsideration of my professional goals.
However, in my second-year, this transition is something that I have made peace with. In
reflecting on my experience at Seattle University, I can now also see the ways in which I have
grown as student, professional, and a person in the simplest of terms. The component in which I
have found the most joy and developed the most confidence in has been through building
relationships and communities that promote mattering and belonging. I have found clarity in this
strength through the lens of Schlossbergs Mattering and Marginality, particularly in the farming
of mattering through transition. The three subcategories of this strength include developing
individual relationships built on understanding, inclusive leadership, and building teams through
intentional facilitation.
Developing Individual Relationships Built on Understanding (LO 2; Artifacts B, C, E, G)
This strength focuses on Learning Outcome 2: Understanding Students and Student Issues.
The three dimensions of this learning outcome are capitalizing on student voice, authenticity, and
story sharing.
The importance of meaningful relationships has been powerful for me all of my life. My
work at summer camp has been the biggest influence on this, particularly in my ability to
capitalize on the voice of those I lead. Article C:2 demonstrates the path and commitment I have
for leading others with authenticity and through relying on their voice for collective leadership.
Using this mindset has allowed me to create meaningful relationships with those I work with. The

student testimonials in the Supervisor Relationship section of Artifact G offer specific examples of
the ways I have established relationships with students that demonstrated a sense of mattering,
care, authenticity, and vulnerability.
Artifact C:2 also demonstrates the attachment I have formed with Schlossbergs Mattering
vs Marginality, which I had adopted into my mission and purpose for the work I do in this field.
Artifact B demonstrates this commitment in the form of my mission statement, which is built
around the idea of forming meaningful relationships rooted in mattering. I plan on bringing this
with me into the professional field as it is where I get the most energy and life out of this work.
During my program, I have added to this commitment by building a skill set in one on one
conversations with students. Artifact E shows evidence of how I have grown in building skill sets
from the classes I have taken. The conflict seminar from MGMT5710Adventurebased
LeadershipSeminarandthecourseworkfromCOUN5100FundamentalCounselingSkillshave
givenmespecializedpracticeinbuildingintrapersonalskillsincommunicatingeffectively,
activelylistening,andmaintainingapositiverelationshipthroughconflict.ArtifactEalsoshows
evidenceofworkingwithstudentseveryweekinoneononemeetings,conductmeetings,andin
crisissituationsaspartofmygraduateassistantshipwithHousingandResidenceLife.Throughall
oftheseexperiencesIhavegainedinclassroomandoutofclassroomexperienceinestablishing
productiveandpositiveoneononerelationshipswithstudents.
Inclusive Leadership (LO 4 & LO 6; Artifacts C, E, D, G, F)
This strength is an intersection between Learning Outcome 4 Understandingandfostering
diversity,justiceandasustainableworldformedbyaglobalperspectiveandJesuitCatholic
traditionandLearningOutcome6Developinganddemonstratingskillsinleadershipand
collaboration.Three dimensions of Learning Outcome 4 are holding up a mirror in front of myself,

self-education, and advocacy. Three dimensions of Learning Outcome 6 are learning as


leadership, vulnerability as leadership, and action as leadership.
An area that I have been working diligently on is in how I show up as an advocate for
students, particularly students who have identities that are different than mine. In the areas I hold
privilege, I must understand the potential impacts of this in my relationship as a supervisor and
peer. Prior to my experience at Seattle University I was largely focused on the areas in which I
possessed a one-down identity. I did not see it as my place or responsibility to speak in any other
venue of social identities. But through this program, I believe it is a student development
professionals responsibility to show up as an ally and advocate even in the spaces that are not
salient or privileged for them. It is there responsibility to form relationships with students in a way
that can establish trust. With this trust can come honest communication of needs, and with this
should come advocacy via the use of capital on the professionals part. I have worked hard to
develop my professional identity as one that breathes inclusive and justice-oriented practices.
Artifact C:1 and C:2 offer evidence to the growth I have made in holding up a mirror in front of
my own privileges and story in order to be the best professional that I can be. It maps the mindsets
that I brought with me from a young age and through the beginning of this program, particularly
highlighting the development of saliency regarding race. Regulating and paying attention to these
pieces of myself ensures that my intention of building relationships of mattering extend to folks of
all identities.
Artifact E points to specific venues in which I have received training and education
surrounding these issues. In classes such as EDUC5150MulticulturalPerspectives,EDUC5200
SocialJusticeinProfessionalPractice,andSDAD5400StudentDevelopmentTheory,Research
andPractice,Igaineddirectexposuretotheideaofholdingupamirrorinfrontofmyown
identitiesandprivilegesinordertochallengemyactionsasthosecontributingtojustice.ArtifactE

alsopointstohowIhavedrawntheoryandselfworktopracticalapplicationthroughmy
assistantshipwithHousingandResidenceLife.Throughprofessionalstafftrainingsessionsand
facilitatingsimilartrainingsforundergraduatestudents,Ihavegaineddirecteducationinhaving
conversationsthatchallengeexclusion,injustice,andsystemsofprivilege.
Artifact D and G offer evidence of how I have brought these trainings and conversations
into reality within my work so that I am living the goal of serving as an advocate for social justice.
My Professional Letter of Promise demonstrates the impact that my student-centered voice brings
to the department of Housing and Residence Life, as a commitment to diversity and social justice
is named specifically by my director as a promising strength of mine. Artifact G offers student
opinion on my ability to integrate opportunities for learning about oppression, inclusion, and other
topics, both through activities and discussion.
Artifact C:4 demonstrates how I have not only widened my view of promoting social
justice, but I have also narrowed my view into specific passion areas. My social justice blog
focusing on gender inclusive housing demonstrates a tie between my own salient identities and my
professional practice. This artifact demonstrates an avenue I want to continue exploring in the
future in my professional regarding inclusion of students of marginalized identities. Artifact F also
elaborates on some ways that I wish to continue pursuing self-education in this realm, as I named
gaining skills and experience in advocacy as part of my Professional Development Plan.
Building Teams Through Intentional Facilitation (LO 6 & LO 8; Artifacts A, E, C, G)
This strength is an intersection between Learning Outcome 6 Developingand
demonstratingskillsinleadershipandcollaborationandLearningOutcome8Communicating
effectivelyinspeechandinwriting.Three dimensions of LO 6 are facilitation, collective
leadership, and intentionality. Three dimensions of LO 8 are clarity, trusting myself, and buy-in.

Coming into the Student Development Administration Program, I brought with me an


enthusiasm and creativity for program development. My undergraduate degree in Recreation
Program Administration combined with my previous experience in programming as a Resident
Assistant and Orientation supervisor, in addition to my youth development experience through
camp. Artifact A and E demonstrate these previous examples and attest to how designing programs
that are engaging, fun, and outcomes-based was already a strength of mine. My growth in
facilitation and public speaking has made leaps and bounds since my undergraduate experience.
The biggest contributor to this has been the necessity of speaking to and rallying large groups at
summer camp. Upon coming to Seattle, I welcomed the extrovert mindset in a way I never had
before. This has allowed me to push myself in my facilitation skills. Artifact A offers examples of
facilitating dialogue, activities, and trainings for groups as small as two to as large as one hundred
through my assistantship in Housing and Residence Life.
I have learned to adapt my tone, mannerisms, and other forms of communication in each of
these venues depending on group, context, and subject. This ability combines with my mission of
intentionally creating spaces of mattering for folks within these experiences. Artifact G offers
insight into how receptive students have been to my facilitation style. The Leadership and Fun
sections are comprised of students naming my skill in engaging others and building a sense of
camaraderie in an experience. The Facilitation with Intentional Design section offers concrete
examples of what students have learned through these experiences that can often be overlooked as
trivial. From effective communication, to delving into oppression and privilege, and to creating
moments of vulnerable story sharing, these student testimonials are proof that I choose activities
and facilitate them with purpose and direction. I use this strength as a way to build relationships
with and among students so that they feel as though they are part of a strong, inclusive and
cohesive team. Showing up as my authentic self in order to encourage others to lean in with

vulnerability, a willingness to have fun, and create group chemistry have all lent well in this as
well.
One way that I have grown the most within this strength is collaborating with others. In my
own leadership development, I have found ease in trusting myself and letting events and dynamics
unfold as I go along. Artifact G largely offers evidence of how I have acted on my own in leading
group dynamics. I get energy from improvisation and trusting myself in this way usually results in
some of my best work. However, in this position and in my course work I have gained more
experience in trusting others through working together. From group presentations in SDAD 5400:
Student Development, Theory, and Practice, EDUC 5200 Social Justice in Professional Practice,
and MGMT 5710 Adventure-based Leadership Seminar, in particular, learning how to roll with a
group of other leaders was initially shocking, but I now believe it is one of my strengths. Artifact
C:2 attests to the importance I place on using the collective knowledge in a room to bring about a
more collaborative form of leadership.
Artifact C:2 also speaks to the importance I place on creating buy-in to any experience that
I am facilitating in order to contribute to its success. Communicating clearly and in an inclusive
way allows me to create rapport with a group, as evidenced by Artifact G. Artifact C:3
demonstrates how this was expanded upon in a new way in my internship at Cascadia College,
where I created a leadership program from scratch and sought out collaborative relationships
across a variety of functional areas on campus. It was crucial to be able to create a sense of buy-in
for the faculty members and other folks involved. Using this form of collective leadership creates
room for more effective, inclusive, and holistic experiences for students.
Ultimately, my strength of creating relationship and communities built on mattering stem
from my ability to connect one on one with students, promote inclusion through my leadership,
and using intentional facilitation focused on collectivism and a shared team experience.