We asked. They answered.
How did Western contribute to your success story in Student Affairs?
"My time at Western Illinois University served as the foundation for my career. I learned from the best what it means to be a professional in this field. WIU is special in that it has a long-standing graduate program in College Student Personnel. The graduate program creates an environment where there is constant learning. Professionals become teachers and learners as a regular part of our work. I think Western Illinois University has had a long-standing status in the field of student affairs.
WIU has produced great leaders who think broadly about their work, are founded on the values and ethics of student development and work really hard on behalf of students. I think it sets the standards for the field of student affairs."
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Texas Christian University (TCU)
"WIU and UHDS set the professional foundation for a lifetime of professional and personal networks. Being the RD in Tanner Hall was my first professional role after graduate school and my WIU experience provided me with numerous opportunities for state, regional and national involvement. It set the groundwork for practical experience, mentoring grad students in the CSP program and providing many memories and affinity for Macomb & WIU.
To this day, some of my dearest friendships were born out of Macomb & WIU! There are very few colleges and universities that do not have some type of “7 degrees” of WIU and to be a part of that network is a honor and privilege."
Edwin S. Darrell
Associate Director for Student Success
"WIU opened my eyes to possibilities I did not know existed. I was a first generation college student who knew nothing about college life, let alone about a future working in higher education. I became an RA in Higgins Hall and my life and career goals changed. I could see a much larger future before me. I loved being and RA and it turned out I was really good at it (Higgins Hall RA of the year two years in a row baby!). Who knew college students could be a career? A career that continues to challenge and reward me daily!"
Director of Residential Life
"I would not be where I am today without Western Illinois University. At WIU, I found the mentors that guided me towards a challenging, fulfilling, and fun career in Student Affairs and beyond."
"Western Illinois University is a place that provided me many opportunities both inside and outside the classroom that helped shape the professional that I have become. The guidance that I received beginning in my freshman year from the Residence Life staff was instrumental in my desire to increase my involvement on campus. This guidance and involvement, paired with the positive mentoring I received, ultimately helped me in my decision to become a Student Affairs professional. I see Western Illinois University continuing to take a proactive role in transforming students become leaders."
Aggie (Witowski) Northrup
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
"I gained so much from my experience at Western. I was taught, both in the classroom and in my job, to value people for their differences and to embrace diversity. My Western experience has truly prepared me to work in so many different areas of Student Affairs; spending time in Residence Life, Orientation, Student Activities, and now Alumnae/i Relations. I was given the opportunity for practicums and internships while at Western that really helped me form who I was as a Student Affairs professional and experience different things. Lastly, the education that I received at Western has set me far beyond my peers and readied me for more professional roles early on in my career. I see Western’s program being a catalyst for students to gain an edge into the field of Student Affairs and the great world of Higher Education."
Assistant Director of Alumnae/i Relations
"Coming from the CSP graduate program at WIU, I firmly believe I was more than prepared for life as a professional staff member due to the pairing of academic rigor and practical experience the program offers. In my assistantship with UHDS, I was given opportunities to advise RHA programming, supervise RAs, manage a 24 hour front desk, and attend conferences to develop myself professionally. Supervisors were very encouraging and cared about my education. Support didn't stop with my assistantship, as the classes I took in the CSP program built a well-rounded foundation for my practice as a student affairs practitioner. I was able to hit the ground running when I started my first professional position. I felt comfortable asking questions, making learning outcomes, supporting my department, and challenging my students. Lastly, I am grateful for my CSP cohort, which gave me 19 other people to learn with and my "housing cohort" or all of those individuals I worked with while in my assistantship who have become lifelong mentors and friends. While I only spent two years at Western, I'll forever bleed purple and gold!"
Residence Life Coordinator
University of Northern Iowa