Q: Can you briefly describe what you do in your job?
A: In my position, I work with campus partners to ensure that students better understand aspects of social justice, equity, and overall inclusion. Specific attention is given to the needs of marginalized and underrepresented students, including but not limited to areas such as race, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, and disability. I provide strategic vision for the center, design training material, coordinate cultural programs, advise student organizations, work on leadership programs that support underrepresented students, advocate for the needs of underrepresented students, and a plethora of other initiatives that create a welcoming and inclusive campus for all students.
Q: How did the lessons learned while in the Master's Program in Communication Studies at UNT help you in your current position?
A: What I learned in Communication Studies is something I use every day. When I am working with people of different backgrounds, I am cognizant that people communicate in different ways. I use this knowledge to better understand others and how to work with those who hold identities different than my own. One way I do this is when onboarding new staff. I am intentional in asking questions that allow me to better understand how they communicate (i.e how they like to be thanked for their hard work). This is done to provide an atmosphere where all staff can feel appreciated and thrive in the department. I am also huge on effective group communication and I often work with student leaders and staff in the department on ways to communicate effectively when working on teams. We use these skills to handle disagreements and to offer helpful feedback within the department.
Q: What advice would you have for someone considering graduate school?
A: For those considering graduate school, I would say think about the experience you want to have when you leave the program. Then review all your options and ask specific questions about whether that program will fulfill your needs.
Q: Why was the Communication Studies department at UNT the right fit for you?
A: There were a number of opportunities that were available to grow within that program. For example, opportunities for research, teaching and administrative experience. When I was deciding between masters programs, I asked specific questions about opportunities for growth and development. Knowing that I would have multiple opportunities to grow and gain valuable experiences was one of main reasons I chose the program at UNT.
Q: What was most fun about the Comm. Studies department at UNT?
A: The most fun times in the program were the impromptu meetings after class, and random conversations in the TA space. It was great to fellowship with others who "got it" and were able to support you along the way. I established great relationships with people whom I still have relationships with today.