Careers in Student Affairs event attract prospective employees

Hilary Crisan

Students who aspire to be in the field of student affairs gathered in the Kent State Student Center on Tuesday to ask questions of student-affairs employees at the Careers in Student Affairs conference.

The conference included a question-and-answer panel from student-affairs faculty and staff as well as the opportunity to shake hands with various employees in the student-affairs field.

The idea for the event came from Charles Holmes-Hope, assistant director for residence education, and Matt Musgrave, residence-hall director of Centennial Court A and B.

“The goal is to help undergraduate students to see what the field is all about,” Holmes-Hope said.

The conference aims at spreading the word on the variety of career opportunities provided by the student-affairs field and tried to help undergraduates understand what the field of student affairs can hold.

“It’s about how we can prepare the next generation of student-affairs professionals,” Holmes-Hope said. “So that means we show (the undergraduates) what we do, how broad the profession is, that you can work on a college campus and have fun and excitement.”

Student affairs can be a spectrum of many activities involving students, said Kerry Angle, special assistant in the office of enrollment management and student affairs.

“Student affairs is any and every aspect of a student’s life on a campus or in a college setting,” Angle said. “Whether it’s financial, residency or a commuter student.”

Student affairs also encourage students to explore career paths and helps students understand the changes and transitions of campus life. Amber Wood, senior assistant director of the admissions office, explained the responsibilities of a student-affairs employee.

“Student affairs helps undergraduate and graduate students in making career decisions, following your path and exploring new and creative ideas,” Wood said.

Junior public health major Breana Buckner said she thought the event helped point her in the right direction in the field of student affairs.

“I’ve been looking for someone to mentor me through the process and talk to me about it,” Buckner said. “So (the event) helped a lot.”

Faculty and staff in the student-affairs office, such as Holmes-Hope, said they hope events such as the Careers In Student Affairs Conference will encourage students to look further into student-affairs-related fields.

“I think when you’re in high school, you’re told to be a doctor or be a lawyer because that’s what we know,” Holmes-Hope said. “But no one ever says they want to be a dean of students. So what we’re trying to do is really showcase what the field is all about, from the national associations to the regional conferences, to mentors.”

The conference will continue Wednesday and will include lectures and keynote speeches from Shay Little, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students, and George O’Connell.

Contact Hilary Crisan at [email protected].