Posted in "Time For Change" Series, New Perspectives

How Norms Relate To Higher Education And Life

636077774841688132457398204_autonomyAs you read this article, consider how you personally go with norms in society, or break away from what society’s norms in a situation are.

In the diverse settings available in society, many people conform to a specific norm, or what can be self described as a set of values or personality traits that are seen as “average” amongst a group of people. When looking at the meaning of norm, the definition towards the word ranges differently among people. However, one can see that if someone is following a societal norm, they are identifying themselves in a cycle of socialization, or rather “’how to be’ each of our social identities throughout our lives” (Harro, The Cycle of Socialization) rather than identifying how they personally want to be. After reflecting on these areas, it became clear that personally, there are certain areas where looking at the norms of society have increased self-awareness towards personal identity. Overall, the self-reflection is two-fold: I have personally gone against societal norms  in regards to my personal class identities in society, but my identity has been apart of societal norms of being heterosexual for my sexual orientation.

To begin with, as a child with divorced parents, I have seen what middle class and lower class social identities look like. To most people, the common norm for social class in society is that everyone is either identified in a middle class status or higher. However, if one is in a lower class status, people in society associated this with little education or poor life choices. While my father was identified as middle class, my mother was on food stamps and working at a dairy farm to make ends meat. Although I had the ability to live in middle class society, being raised in a home where one parent was lower class has made me see life differently while making me realize how I identify in both groups. While one parent was buying a bigger house and a newer car, my mother was going through eviction, repossession of vehicles, and applying for food stamps, which affected the time I spent with her physically and emotionally.

For higher education, having personal experience in both social classes will affect my perception because at the end of the day, I will do whatever I can to help students from lower income backgrounds. Students who have access to more funds also means they have the ability to seek more resources, and personal items as well. By being in both classes, I can make sure in a higher education environment that there is more of a consideration administratively towards students who have a harder time affording basic necessities, which is important in such a diverse environment.

On the other hand, sexual orientation is a societal norm that I do associate with, which involves being heterosexual and cisgender, or rather being attracted to the opposite sex and associating myself with the gender I was assigned with at birth. In society, some people identify the norm for sexual orientation by stating that if one chooses to identify as LGBTQ+, then they are wrong or impure. However, I COMPLETELY disagree with LGBTQ+ as a choice or being wrong because we are born to be the way we are and that is NEVER a choice. Identifying myself as heterosexual and cisgender, I do conform with the norms in society of sexual orientation and gender. 

On a daily basis, I conform with this norm by referring to myself as a man, which is the gender I was assigned with at birth, and by having an attraction towards women when looking at my personal relationship life. Although this has been natural for me since I was younger, it was highly noted in more detail when I became a resident assistant two years ago. During staff training, Residence Life discussed what it means to identify as transgender, which made me more aware of terminology in the field as well as opening the thought processes of comparing heterosexual ideology to homosexual ideology. Especially after receiving this training, it made me want to learn more about this area in student affairs and social justice to make sure that my residents who identify in this area are getting the justice and guidance they deserve.

In higher education, this perception definitely makes me think about underrepresented identities on a larger scale. One of my main goals as a student affairs professional is to work at a University that is not gender-neutral friendly. The reasoning for this is because I want to help make a campus become gender-inclusive by creating gender-inclusive housing, restrooms, and an LGBTQ+ center that has enough staffing and programming to help bring students in this area success. Not only is this something I am passionate about, but something I want to improve even on my current campus as well.

Overall, the main lesson learned from looking into the norms of society is that one may or may not identify within a certain category of norms, but that does not mean they cannot fight against these societal norms. By educating one’s self on important topics within diversity and social justice, it may not matter how one identifies, but how one fights for others to have the same equality as those who are part of the group who is considered the norm of society.

I hope that not only in the field of higher education, but as we move forward as a society, we can take time to understand ourselves more so we can hear the perspective of others even more so.



Harro, B. (2008). The Cycle of Socialization. In Adams, M., Blumenfeld, W. J., Castañeda, R., Hackman, H. W., Peters, M. L., & Zúñiga, X. (Eds.). (2013). Readings for diversity and social justice (3rd ed.) (pp 45-52). New York: Routledge.

Posted in New Perspectives, Professional Experiences

How I Can Explain My Future Career

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“So what is your plan after college?”

“What do you plan on doing when you graduate?”

“What do you want to be?”

“Why would you want to work in the dorms again?”

“Why do you need to go to graduate school when you already when to school for 4-5 years?”

“Wait… what are you doing?”

These are just a plethora of questions I get asked whenever I talked about my career of working in the field of Higher Education. A lot of people do not understand this relatively newer field as many people do not go to college to work at a college for the rest of their life. I will even admit: I did not even think I would consider working at a University once I graduate. However, as life changes and experiences happen in life, so does what you are passionate for. From being involved in my college career, talking to a diverse amount of people with different life experiences, and seeing the challenges a student may face to go to college or succeed at college, I have decided my future career passion belongs in the field of Higher Education.

However, this career change is and has not been easy. My sophomore year (2014), I realized this career change as someone going into Secondary Social Studies Education. I had a lot of choices to make with myself, but so little time. Ultimately, I decided to finish out my college career with my teaching degree so I not only have a better understanding about education, but a better understanding of how to help others. In addition, if I decided to switch, I would have ended up staying for the same amount of time I have been here now (around five years). But the hardest part of this change was explaining this to my family and friends, who all asked numerous questions not understanding such a change. Some people understood when I explained about my future career field. However, three years later from 2015, I still have people that do not and possibly will not understand what I want to do with my life. So, I decided instead of trying to talk in circles and think of the easiest way to explain it, I decided to write this in hopes that not only my family and friends will understand, but maybe anyone who is having the same problem as I am could have this as a helpful guide and resource to explaining this future passion.

First thing is first, what is Higher Education? When looking up Higher Education, one can refer to this as “education beyond high school, specifically working at a University or College.” This means someone going into the field of Higher Education is planning on working for a University or College in one of many capacities. So what does this entail from here? Someone looking at this may wonder what it means to work at a University.

Higher Education can be described into two major categories: The academic side, and the service side. When one thinks about the academic side, this refers to class and course work, professors conducting their research, and anything that involves learning. So when a student goes to class and hears a lecture from a professor or completes a field experience of some sort, this is more associated with the academic side of higher education.

When referring to the service aspect of higher education, this involves the helping services for students. This involves the academic advisors who are helping students plan their lives, the hall directors in residence halls providing a safe community for students, the professionals who work to create involvement opportunities for students, the professionals who create the orientation programs for incoming students, and so much more. These services help the field of higher education function in many different capacities. While these aspects may involve academic components, they ultimately are not the services that deal with the direct in-class learning one may be thinking of. The service aspect of higher education is what you may call the “out-of-class learning.” This learning includes a development upon self-skills, learning about topics important in the world today, and even learning about an area one may realized they have passion for but never knew until now.

The next big question people ask me involves the following: “So what kind of jobs can you apply for?”

This question has well over hundreds of answers for jobs. Every University in the country is set up differently from one another. A huge example of this involves private and public institutions. Both of these function differently, and ultimately may have different focuses as a school. One school may have a ton of involvement opportunities while another school may focus 90% on academics. This makes the job search that much harder because every school has different needs. However, that does not mean there are not a lot of higher education jobs out there.

According to HigherEdJobs, an online resource that helps professionals view job across the country and even the world, the “number of jobs of higher education increased by 0.6%, or 22,100 jobs, during the first quarter of 2017” (HigherEdJobs Report). This means that there are about 2,196,819 jobs in higher education (22,100 is 1.006% of that number). In that same report, HigherEdJobs talks about the opportunities they alone provide for employers and employees in the field:

“HigherEdJobs is the leading source for jobs and career information in academia. The company’s website,, receives more than 1.5 million unique visitors a month. During 2016, roughly 5,400 colleges and universities posted 215,000 faculty, administrative, and executive job postings to HigherEdJobs” (HigherEdJobs Report).

What these numbers show is that there are a ton of opportunities to obtain employment in the field of higher education. What that job is depends on what you apply for, and what you want. For me, I want to apply to work in an Admissions Office, Orientation Office, or Housing Office because I want to help students learn in social aspects, and gain interest in University Life through involvements. However, one can apply for many different kinds of jobs.

Here are some offices in the service area of Higher Education that one can work for:

  • Counseling Center
  • Sexual Aggression Services
  • Student Conduct
  • Career Services
  • Residence Life
  • Leadership Institute
  • Volunteer Center
  • Student Activities and Involvement
  • Undergraduate Admissions
  • Graduate Admissions
  • Marketing and Recruiting
  • University Recreation
  • Academic Advising
  • Orientation
  • Student Success
  • Diversity Education

….. and many more.

One can even pursue moving up in the field of Higher Education to work as an Associate Vice President of an office, a Director of an office, or even work on a Board of Trustees at a University. The more you move up, the less interaction with students. In addition, when one moves up, there are more responsibilities. These responsibilities even include talking to government officials, working to make sure your University is accredited, or even working to improve a whole department in a University.

Overall, one can see that there are many opportunities. These are not even all of the field and types of jobs in Higher Education. The list can be infinite depending on what a University needs. From here, one needs to think about what they want to work for in regards to Higher Education careers.

For me, I plan to further my education by going to graduate school to understand the field better, and to create more opportunities to help future college students. From here, I do not have a set goal of where I want to end up or what I want to do. As long as I am happy with what I am doing, supporting my future family, and helping students succeed in college, then I will be happy. Here’s to the future and to helping people one college student at a time!

To find more sources to help understand the field better, or to even show your peers more materials about the field of higher education, view the sources below:

About Student Affairs- NASPA

Jobs in Higher Education

University of Warwick: Defining Higher Education

University of Arkansas University Structure

Posted in Community, New Perspectives

Remembering History: Visiting the Holocaust Memorial Center


As a secondary social studies education major, history has always been a topic of fascination to me. History gives us all a chance to learn from what went right in society, what went wrong, and how we can continue to learn from one another. Today, if there is one thing I learned, it’s how we each have a chance to turn a world of hate into love.

With Central Michigan University’s Residence Life program, Resident Assistants, Multicultural Advisors, and residents got the chance to visit the Holocaust Memorial Center in Farmington Hills, Michigan. This excursion is meant to help us all learn something new about the world, about social justice issues in society and the past, and the experience helps us relate what happened to how it affects the world today.

The day started off by being broken up into touring groups as Central Michigan University had a really big group there overall. Our tour guide sat us down in front of the memorial pictured above her and explained the meaning behind it. All of the countries affected by the Holocaust are named up on the memorial. However, these are the countries that had people die in the Holocaust whether they were Jewish, had a disability, LGBTQ+, and more. The numbers of people that died were reflected under the country names.

In addition to this, there were a list of the concentration camps next to the countries overall. A lot of the names, I have heard of before from visiting other museums. But what caught my eye in the middle of this area was an eternal flame: a flame that never goes out to keep the memory of the affected alive. The tour guide explained that many people believe for a soul to die, it dies twice. The first time is when a person actually dies. The second time is when the last person to have memories with the person dies. This is why the flame is kept lit because it is important for history’s sake and because of this event that we do not forget the people who went through such tragedies. So, we make sure we keep their souls alive and in our memory.

From here, the tour guide walked us through the historical exhibit where we learned about the history of Judaism. We learned how this religion was one of the first ones to have a monotheistic God, which means one god. What this did was create anti-semitism for years as people saw the Jewish religion as a disgrace, or as the “different” religion. Eventually, this inspired the events of the Holocaust.

After this, we learned about the history of Adolf Hitler along with the uprising of the Nazi Party in Germany. We learned of the Nazi agenda, which consisted of three things: To create a superior race of Germans with blonde hair and blue eyes, to exterminate all of the Jewish people, and to expand as much as possible to be the dominant society. However, what we saw is that Hitler along with other officials changed policies one step at a time, making subtle changes in the ways that people thought, and changes in the way that people viewed the Jewish people. Hitler even said once that by using the press as an enemy, it could be easy to lie to big groups of people and make change. We learned how even though Hitler had an agenda, it took a group of people to make it happen. This is where things started to get emotional.

At this point, we learned about how the Jewish people were treated in these camps. From being worked to death, to marching to death, and even being sent to death camps to die right away, over six million people were exterminated from the Holocaust. What put this into more perspective is when we walked into this room with a very narrow path, and six video screens. The tour guide told us that if the images were too disturbing, we could come down to the end of the hallway with her. You see, General Eisenhower went into Europe to these concentration camps. He decided if you were not there, you could not understand it. That is why he and his crew decided to record what they saw with videos: and these videos came up on the screens.

The dead bodies of Jewish people who died in the Holocaust kept playing on one screen to another. Bodies piled on top of one another, bodies so skinny that their bones were easy to see, bodies that had eyes out of the socket holes. The only thing I could do along with everyone else is look in shock and disbelief. Eventually, after moments of silence and shock, we continued on. This was one of the most scarring things I have ever seen and I still have the images in my head.

From here, we learned about the end of the war. The Nuremberg trials occurred with only a dozen people being sentenced to death. There were a total of twenty two people tried at this time as well, but not too much more from there. But one of the most surprising things I found out is that after the war, Holocaust survivors were helped out to be rehabilitated back into society. At this point, there was a huge increase in babies born. The reason why is because at this point, love had gotten so many people through the tragedies they faced. This was something I did not hear much about, but it made me happy to know that love was a catalyst to helping so many people to survive by giving them something to live for as they endured horrible conditions.

Finally, we looked over to our left to see a video screen along with a clock. The number on this clock was over 100 million or so. Every nineteen seconds, this huge number went up by one as every nineteen seconds, someone dies from genocide around the world. This huge number was a number of all the genocides committed since the end of the Holocaust. The fact that this number is such a high rate overall shocked me along with everyone else. Even after such a tragic event, hatred still occurs in the world today.

At the end of all of this, we got to hear about the Holocaust from a different perspective: The perspective of a survivor. She stood at the front of an auditorium as we all walked in. Her name was Rae and she kept on asking us what our majors were, intrigued to hear more about each one and to see the diversity in the room. After we all sat down, she began to share her story. When the war began in 1939, the Germans evacuated her family from Poland and moved them over to the U.S.S.R, which made them refugees. At one point, the Russians essentially imprisoned her family and others to an area in northern Russia where the family everyday had to complete different labor tasks. Eventually, they returned to Poland when the war ended, but they realized all of their family from Poland was practically dead and did not have much to offer. The family made the decision to try and flee over to the United States in 1946. However, tensions were still high, making it hard for the family to escape. They had to sneak over boarders illegally to attempt this. However, during one of the trips, her parents were killed, leaving her and her siblings (four others) to be orphans as they escaped to America. Finally, they made it to Detroit in 1948. She then told us about her family today and how many of them graduated college including herself, she showed us her siblings later on in life, and she talked about her late husband who was also a Holocaust survivor. She told us so much about her life, we all could not help but stand and clap for her at the end thanking her for her time and the opportunity to hear from here.

One big thing that she told us at the end is that America provided her the opportunity to work hard in life and essentially gave her a chance to be successful. She also mentioned that in some ways, America has gotten better about things, but has gotten worse about things. The biggest pieces of advice she gave us were the following: 1. Do not be afraid to work hard. And 2. Choose to spread love over hate in this world.

This leads me to reflect on the bigger piece of things: what could I walk away and say I learned overall? What stuck with me most? From this, I would have to say the meaning of empathy, as well as the difference between privilege and oppression in society.

In regards to empathy, it was amazing to hear about the history of the Holocaust from more of an emotional view with some facts incorporated. None of us knew what it was like to go through such horrific experiences in life. However, the stories shared, the imagery, and the intentionality with everything in this museum made us feel empathy for all of the people who were affected by tragedy in life.

If there is one idea I want you all to take away from this, it is the following right here: the difference between privilege and oppression. Privilege is a special right or advantage available to a group of people in society. An example of this could be a privilege of being part of a majority religion, being part of a wealthier class, etc. Now compare this with oppression. Oppression is the prolonged cruel or unjust treatment towards other people based off of traits or privileges. Essentially, there is a bridge between privilege and oppression. When people notice their privilege in society, they can oppress others and hurt other people because not all people have the same advantages, or privileges, in life. This brings up a huge moral to all of this: We all need to take a look at who we are, what we believe, how we operate, and need to choose to spread love over hate.

Events like this one in life are tragic to even think about. I still cannot even fathom some of things I saw or heard about. However, instead of being a bystander in life and not do anything when others are being oppressed, go up to the oppressed individual and show them empathy. Let them know you are there for them to help them, love them, and be with them even when the world is not. This is something I hope you all can take away from reading this today: Choose to love other hate.

This is how we can stop these events from happening again…


-Michael Greco

Posted in New Perspectives

Student Affairs Spotlight: An Interview With Brooke Oliver-Hempenstall, Director of SAPA


Information about Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates from their homepage. For more information, visit SAPA.CMICH.EDU


As Domestic Violence Awareness Month passes (October 2016), I take the time to reflect on an influential interview about a transformational department that has not only been an innovation on students in the Central Michigan University community, but has also made a difference around the world. Sexual Aggression Peer Advocates, or SAPA for short, is a confidential source that helps survivors through any form of sexual aggression including but not limited to stalking, sexual harassment, domestic violence, intimate partner violence, and sexual assault. SAPA is available to students through a confidential support line (989-774-CALL), online chat, and direct in-person services which are available 24/7 to help survivors. One of the most amazing aspects of this organization not only includes the extensive, over 40+ hours of training each member of SAPA receives, but also how the University grants this organization confidentiality to do their work effectively and for the betterment of survivors.

As I look into the student affairs profession, I look to make sure I see all sides of student development that makes the campus experience safe, meaningful, and influential on students. For one of my courses, I began to look more into SAPA to not only find out more, but to hear more about the amazing impact this organization has had on the community. I was given the opportunity to interview Brooke Oliver-Hempenstall, the Director of SAPA at Central Michigan University. Originally before publishing this article, I wanted to take parts of the interview and write it like an editorial with parts of the interview. However, the interview between Brooke and myself was so passionate and natural, I feel it is best to leave it in the question and answer format below to show all pure aspects of the conversation.

Please feel free to read about SAPA below through Brooke’s eyes followed by my learning outcomes from this conversation.


Michael: Thank you very much for meeting with me Brooke. Please tell me about yourself and your experiences that brought you here.

Brooke: “Well, I never intended to come here. I originally was planning on going to Arizona State University. However, I changed my mind at the last minute. School started on a Monday, I called CMU on a Tuesday, and decide to go to CMU that day. It was close to my hometown, which definitely was a benefit. I moved into Robinson on a Saturday, and suddenly Central became it for me.

During my first year, I got involved with SAPA (second class overall, 1998). Honestly, I didn’t know what I wanted to do and was here for five years. I tried accounting, but I fucking hated it. Eventually, I decided to go with a major with psych in family studies, and a minor in substance abuse.

During my time, SAPA changed my life. No matter how difficult or overwhelming I might be attached to this work, I loved it! Finally, I graduated in May of 2001. I was scared, and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I knew I was good at SAPA, but did not want to do the ResLife route in Higher Education.

Right before 9/11, I applied for jobs and worked at a domestic abuse shelter. I went to Law School (Cooley Law School) and went to school on the weekends and summers for two years. My last year during my internship for Law School, I realized I fucking hated it. I quit because I only wanted to do prosecution, not the other stuff that came with it.

I dropped out on Friday, January 6th of 2006, felt good, and called the counseling center program at CMU for the Counseling Master’s program. I came back to CMU in August 2006 after taking a short break and graduated in December 2008 while still being an advocate in Gaylord.

SAPA used to be funded through a grant, and I slid into the SAPA Dedicated Counselor position for SAPA until April 2011 when the grant was not going to be renewed for the position. The program has always been funded through the school, but the SAPA Dedicated Counselor was not at the time. I left CMU and began to work at Child Protective Services for nine weeks because I was not a fan of the work there.

After that gig, I became a Director of a Women’s Safe Home and Shelter in Grayling called River House until September 2013. Eventually, I came back to CMU and eventually stepped into Director role for SAPA (Interim currently). I want to make SAPA a permanent Director position, but I have to say I am truly amazed with how the experience has gone up to this point.”

Michael: From your point of view, what is one of the biggest problems facing college students today?

Brooke: “Well, that is a great question. For the broad scope: You still have students with issues of depression, anxiety, and adjustment. But I think more folks nationally are becoming more aware with mental health, are happening to be diagnosed already, and trauma especially with SAPA with the work I do. They are at a place where they deal, process, and go through trauma currently. They all can coexist.

For the safety and the well being, you always have to be mindful of self-care and self-harm. I like to tell the SAPA’s , ‘Confidentiality is like a mini-Las Vegas in the way that what happens here stays here, meaning if someone is telling you something, it remains confidential. However, it cannot if it comes to harm to others or if little ones are being abused or neglected.’ It is becoming more recognized in regards to sexual assault trauma and DV (Domestic Violence) with how pervasive this is.”

Michael: It sounds like there has been a lot of aspects that go into the history and development of SAPA overall. How has the University supported you and others alike in your position to succeed?

Brooke:I cannot say enough about how the University for nineteen years has been qualifying SAPA as a confidential resource. For us to do our job in regards to working with SAPA and the services they provide, for the University since 1997 to give that privilege to these students, is remarkable. A while back, Title IX issues were not under the scrutiny they are now since the 2011 Dear Colleague letter came out and issues pertaining to sexual aggression have become heavily focused upon nationally within the university environment. It was a different world, and for the school to value the importance of what advocacy is and means to folks and to offer that, and even if we had to piece or way through it, providing the confidentiality has been the best gift especially since this topic has become a hot issue for folks.

The relationships in the University between ResLife especially with confidentiality, and to be able to work together, has been amazing because these are not easy issues to work around. There has always been that amazing consistency.”

Michael: Looking into the world of higher education, one can see how safe spaces is changing the environment of diverse students. Some universities have released statements openly telling the world that they will not be providing safe spaces for students anymore for any real life situation or social issues. What are your thoughts on this?

Brooke: “It’s not about coddling students; it’s about knowing that triggers can put someone back into the time when the first events occurred. When you are triggered, your body has the same action that has happened during that event.

Essentially, whenever we talk about violence in these regards, we need to remember, we all have a common goal just to start with. That is why we provide safe spaces for people. We did this for SAPA because there was a need, and this was the right thing to do. The starting of this was so genuine and came from a place of needing. Our services have developed, adjusted, and tweaked because our student advocates are hearing what students’ need, and start adjusting.”

Michael: In your field, there definitely is a lot of give and take that goes into your work as you work with students, survivors, and work to change life on a daily basis. What would you define as proper self-care in your line of work?

Brooke: “With life and this line of work, it used to be running. It all depends personally with the different stages that I have been with my personal life. I have to take healthy self-care moments. They look a little different. But my first year, I did not practice self-care. I dove into the work world full time and over seventy hours a week, and I was not healthy. I was burning out. In the field I work in, folks do burn out. And their ability to have passion and empathy can fade away. This is not the type of work where that works to not be passionate and supportive. It is about letting folks know they have options, rights, and control to do anything besides what they are told.

Healthy self-care is paramount to do this work long term. Since I have been volunteering with SAPA since I was twenty, whether it is with running or driving, take your vacations. I never get sick, but you need to take your own fucking health days. This cannot be your life, and I am glad that people can be passionate. But if you are not in a good place, you cannot be in a good space to help others. That is why I do not mind the commute from Gaylord to Central everyday because that is even my time for self-care. And I don’t feel bummed to go to work. This work I find very uplifting because I get to work with folks and even though it might be the worst time of their lives, I have seen the light when they get to that place of their healthy balance and it is very incredible.

There is always a need for help. There are forty plus shelters in this state that need help, volunteers, pillows (because people will take them when they leave shelters), and people to volunteer to help with crisis lines. Even as simple as CMU and SAPA partnering with Women’s Aid and the Tribe to collaboratively work together, it shows that we all have a common goal.”

Michael: In regards to the University, What are your favorite things about CMU as a whole?

Brooke: “What I love about SAPA and CMU is that the training could not happened if we did not have our alum coming back. Last year, we had over one hundred alum come back for those training weekends. We need extra folks, but people who are well versed in these areas. Our alumni have been truly amazing. That is something that CMU cannot fix for me; the alumni are something that we need. Even if we had a ton of money for this, I need alumni. We still have folks coming back from the first year in 1997 and they come back with all different skill sets. They all come back from different fields, or even for certain time periods.

And my favorite moment is last year, it was Steven’s first year not being a Director. The rookies go through a clapping tunnel created by the alumni, and they did the same thing for Steven. This common goal with SAPA is still carried on through our alumni and for people at CMU.

Currently, we are trying to create a SAPA alumni survey. We want to see the results of SAPA on people’s lives years after they leave CMU.  We also want to see how SAPAs network with alumni.

With Central, it’s never been about “don’t report” like it can be with other college campuses. What’s reportable for Cleary is very specific. But in all the years I have been here, I have never felt that we needed to be hushed because the school does not want that stuff coming out. If anything, since the 1990’s, it has been about creating an atmosphere that makes people feel comfortable with reporting and speaking, but it is their choice and there’s resources for whatever choice they want to make. Or pick none: That’s a choice, too. It’s always been about doing what’s right at CMU, especially with the SAPA program.”

When talking about higher education, the one thing that keeps people remaining in and excited about the field is passion. Brooke absolutely displays this through her commitment and willingness to help members of the community. From this interview, I learned the following outcomes that can be remembered for future development:

  • The importance of self care and commitment to the work no matter what field you are a part of
  • The impact confidentiality and University support can have on a person’s work
  • The importance to make sure students know their resources on campus
  • The essential impact SAPA has created on the community, and even the world and CMU abroad
  • The power of connecting with others to learn, create, and empower student development

SAPA continues to make the community aware through programming, meeting with organizations, and with the guidance of Brooke along with other SAPA staff members. Thank you for the work you all do to make CMU a better place!