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January 6, 2014 Student Development Administration Program Portfolio Committee Seattle University, College of Education 901 12th Avenue

Seattle, WA 98122 Dear Members of the Portfolio Committee, I have the honor and privilege of producing a letter of promise on behalf of MJ Jones, continuing student in the Student Development Administration (SDA) program at Seattle University. From the moment I met MJ at the NASPA Annual Conference in 2011, I have witnessed an undeniable fire and passion for change. Since then, MJ has accomplished numerous hallmarks of the Student Affairs profession. Through it all, MJ has maintained a level of engagement, advocacy, and care that is ever-present and intentional. Because I know of MJ’s promise, I can expand upon the integrity and commitment they bring to the field – as a professional, colleague, peer, and dear friend. Beyond a fault, MJ has a genuine care for the students and colleagues she works with on a daily basis. As an Assistant Resident Director, MJ has proven to have excellent talent for supervision and advisory relations with Resident Assistants, Resident Hall Council members, and students within the living learning community. Even in unfortunate moments, I have watched MJ handle issues of suicide ideation, student death, and issues of bias and discrimination with poise and sincerity. Though most would cave at the thought of handling the various challenges that come with housing and residential life, MJ approaches each situation, as a professional should – with the utmost care and concern for students. Considering the ethos of “in loco parentis”, foundational support for students requires a level of advocacy that few Student Affairs professionals possess. Being raised as an advocate and proponent of social justice, MJ holds a level of competency that is powerful beyond measure. They always make it a point to learn through others about their own privileges and expand their knowledge of systemic oppression and inequities. They continue to bridge all that we learn in the classroom with issues that extend outside campus boundaries, including involvement and volunteering with Queer Youth Space, a local non-profit organization with a youth-led orientation and mission that liberates and educates people on a variety of social justice issues. Together, we created a comprehensive workshop on oppressive language and behavior for Housing and Residence Life staff – an opportunity where MJ was able to display their skills in leadership, collaboration, and inclusive learning. I have no doubt that MJ will continue to engage and advocate for equity in this work, only because MJ fights for what they know to be justice. One cannot perform as a Student Affairs professional without full engagement. Education is an esoteric discipline that offers endless opportunities for lifelong learning. Whether it is the classroom, the profession, or the SDA community, MJ has been present throughout and willing to challenge and be challenged where necessary. With MJ’s involvement as an alum of the

NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP), internship with the NASPA Placement Exchange (TPE), and current leadership as an I-Group Facilitator, MJ gives their all to every moment where there is work to be done. I am thankful for the critical nature and effort MJ puts into their craft. The ability to be critically engaged in the development of students is a talent that is hard to grasp, and one that MJ has mastered perfectly with quiet intent. When I reflect on the promise of MJ as a Student Affairs professional, the word that comes to mind is love. When one has found their passion in life, they pursue it with all their heart. What the field of Student Affairs needs is more professionals who make an effort to fall in love with the work they do. This field needs individuals like MJ that are loved and give love to the work they do. As a scholar who is continually inspired and motivated by colleagues like MJ, I hold the potential of their promise in the highest regard. If you have any questions of MJ’s potential and promise, feel free to contact me at anytime. Thank you. Sincerely,

Cobretti D. Williams M.A. Candidate | Student Development Administration | Class of 2014