Having survived year one and now with the summer rolling, I wanted to address a few details.
First, the school you choose can make or break your experience. I have seen this happen first hand. Please let me begin by stating that I do love my school. This does not mean, however, that it does not leave myself or my cohort frustrated and lost at times. My cohort began the year at about a dozen full time members and another dozen part time students in the Master’s Program. While we had our disagreements at times, I thoroughly enjoyed being with, learning beside, and learning from my classmates. However, one year later, each of those groups is about half of what they were and it has very little to do with the rigor of the program. It has more to do with the lack of flexibility the program offers, the lack of guidance, or at times, the assistantships we had. All that being said, I want to reiterate from my earlier post on Grad School, the school you choose can be very important!
Ok, let’s move on to something more uplifting! Year one is done and I am about ankle deep in my thesis (with the planning for the rest). I am thrilled to have the chance to work with racial and privilege awareness in historically white fraternities and sororities at a primarily white institution (PWI). In short, I want to see if the culture perpetuates racial attitudes because there is a great deal of research out there to suggest that being involved in a fraternity is incredibly beneficial to students. Research also suggests that democratic students (that is a student that has been exposed to a greater deal of experiences and has a wider range of understanding) are the preferred hire for jobs. These students fit into the community better, are more adaptable, and often times are more willing to do the work associated with the position. That is the long way around for me to say that I am going to analyze IFC and Panhellenic organizations using tenants of Critical Race Theory and White Privilege. If you are interested in hearing more, please let me know. If not, let’s leave it at that and move on.
So how about work? Well to be honest, I am having a unique experience. First, I am in an internship with the School of Nursing Student Affairs Office. This is a different chance because this is a new office on campus. It is about two years old and always changing. This means that I am getting to do a lot of work with them. A lot of the work I have been doing has been centered around leadership and team development. Today in fact I get to present a proposal for a School of Nursing Ambassadors program to the Dean. On top of that, I get to do some professionalism training for the student staff, group communication training for the professional staff, and some officer training for the student organizations new officers. In short, I get to do quite a few things.
Besides that I have the opportunity to work with the Interfraternity Council, National Pan-Hellenic Council, and Multicultural Greek Council through the summer. More or less I am having the chance to serve as the primary advisor due to some staffing changes. This gets very tricky with IFC Recruitment coming up. While it has its pros and cons, add that into orientation and it makes for a thrilling summer.
Any classes? Well certainly. I am taking an online course over the summer about qualitative research (which yes, that does qualify as legitimate research) and so far it has been a blast. Of course I am only one week in. Still, it is an exciting time.
So when all is said and done, the summer has been good to me so far. Later this week I get to go to a Cross Cultural Fraternal Advisors Institute in Atlanta. The biggest down side to the summer is all the friends that have left the program and then all the friends not in town due to internships. It makes life much quieter. Then of course orientation starts up and there isn’t really time to think about things being quiet. YAY Student Affairs.