SUSDA Newsletter October 2, 2015

Click here for the official newsletter!


Whoa.  Is it the weekend already?  It’s a good thing that none of us are busy yet!

That’s a joke.  Hope you all are doing well these first few weeks of the school year and know that we are cheering and rooting for you!  Here’s what you’ve all been waiting for… the RETREAT AGENDA!!

9:00 am Welcome (Coffee, tea, and light snacks will be provided)
9:20 am Community Standards
9:25 am Icebreaker
10:15 am Professional Identity Workshop
11:15 am Social Media and Events
11:25 am Table Talks
1:00 pm Community Building Activities
2:45 pm BREAK
2:55 pm Reflection Activities
3:50 pm Closing Activities
5:00 pm GO HOME

Dress comfortably!

Other SUSDA Happenings

October 12 – Letters of Intent for First Year Liaison (FYL) Due
October 19, 5:00 pm – First SUSDA Meeting: FYL Speeches (Voting opens) (Location TBD)
October 22 – FYL Ballot Closed

October 31 – Halloween Party! (Location and time TBD)
November 2, 4:30pm – Continuing Student Check-In (Location TBD)
**Worry not, First Years, your FYL will be setting one up soon!
During Thanksgiving – Friendsgiving (Location and time TBD)
December 4 – Holiday Party (Location and time TBD)

Professional Development Opportunity: WACPA One-Day Conference in Tacoma, Nov 13

The Washington College Personnel Association (WACPA) is excited to bring a low-cost professional development opportunity to the Pacific Northwest on Friday, November 13th, 2015 at Pacific Lutheran University.

We will be featuring keynote speaker, Dwayne Todd, Vice President for Student Affairs at Columbus College of Art & Design and who served as co-chair for ACPA on the ACPA/NASPA Joint Task Force on Professional Competencies and Standards.  Additionally we will be featuring a graduate student poster presentation area, and a discussion based round table session so that we can best learn and collaborate with our colleagues.

We are now accepting program proposals at

You can register at

You do not have to be a member to attend, so just register as a guest if you’re not yet a member of WACPA or ACPA.

Please email with any questions.

Welcome SDA 2015-2016!

What an exciting time to be aspiring Student Affairs Professionals!  Your SUSDA Exec Team has been working hard on providing a great experience for you as we enter into this school year, so be on the look out for updates, events, and all things SDA coming your way!  Don’t forget to join us on the SUSDA Community page on Facebook and get your calendar skills ready for synchronization.  It’s going to be quite the discerning year.

Till then, check out some of the updated links on our website and be on the lookout for our calendar.  Sync it and receive the bountiful opportunity of community.


November E-Team Meeting

Hi all,

In an effort to be transparent about what E-Team is working on throughout the year, we will be sharing our E-Team meeting agendas with you all each month. If you have any specific questions about anything on the agenda or have a topic that you would like the E-Team to discuss at the next E-Team meeting, please leave a comment in the suggestion box (located on the right column of this page).

E-Team Meeting
November 2, 2014

  1. Check-in with E-Team
  2. Debrief SDA Orientation
    1. What went well?
    2. What should change next year?
  3. Debrief SUSDA Retreat
    1. Thinking about flow of day, location, feedback
      1. What went well?
      2. What should change next year?
    2. Pulse of SDA Community
      1. What is causing stress?
      2. How can we continue building community?
    3. Community Meetings
      1. November 17 meeting
      2. Brainstorm future meeting topics
    4. Around the table
      1. Committee check-ins

SUSDA Member of the Week: Taylor Dukes


Name: Taylor Dukes

First Year or Continuing Student: Continuing Student

Current Job: Center for Service & Community Engagement Student Leadership Coordinator; South Seattle College Ombudsperson

Why are you passionate about student affairs?
Student affairs has the opportunity and ability to provide a path of affirming, challenging, and transformative education for students.

What is your favorite class that you have taken at SU?
Higher Education Law

What is your favorite place to go or thing to do in Seattle?
I love going to Seattle Sounders & Reign games!

Outside of class and work, how do you like to spend your time?
I like to read, craft, spend time with loved ones, and smash the white, racist, homophobic, patriarchal paradigm in my spare time.

Fun fact: I used to be a marching band nerd and still count my steps when I walk.

SUSDA Member of the Week: Nik Bowen

Nik and his cat, Max

Nik and his cat, Max

Name: Nik Bowen

First Year or Continuing Student: First Year Student

Current Job: University of Washington Bothell – Student Engagement and Activities Program Assistant

Why are you passionate about student affairs?
Studying at a university is such a powerful transformation time in a person’s life. It is fulfilling to support and make that process as meaningful as it can be for others. I want to help shape the leaders of today and the future and make it a better place.

What is your favorite place to go or thing to do in Seattle?

I love going to Seattle Bouldering Project for climbing. which is a great workout for your body and your mind. It’s extremely social too when you go with friends and meet new people. Plus, they have yoga, which I just tried and loved, as well as other fitness classes and lifting equipment. They have lounge areas for homework and reading. Going out for lunch/dinner and a beer after a great climb is the best.

Outside of class and work, how do you like to spend your time?
Besides climbing and staying fit, I spend my free time pretty relaxed. I love TV and movies as well as playing video games with friends. I’m definitely a day time adventure kind of guy who enjoys trying new things and learning. If you need a buddy for any activity, let me know and I will find time.

Fun fact: I am a dual citizen of the United States of America and Ireland.

SUSDA Member of the Week: Kari Berkas


Name: Kari Berkas

First Year or Continuing Student: First Year Student

Current Job: Graduate Assistant at the Albers Placement Center in the Albers School of Business and Economics, Seattle University

Why are you passionate about student affairs?
I think it is important to provide opportunities and guidance outside of the classroom so that students can get the most out of their college experience. In addition, I have had multiple professional experiences with international exchange in the past few years, so I am particularly passionate about working with study abroad programs and supporting international students.

What is your favorite place to go or thing to do in Seattle?
Eating at a seafood restaurant on the waterfront.

Outside of class and work, how do you like to spend your time?
Besides spending time with friends, I like to exercise outside – usually that means walking or running (but I love to play tennis any chance I get). I also enjoy going to coffee shops, listening to music, playing piano, and watching comedy TV shows.

Fun fact: I used to live in Japan.

SUSDA Member of the Week: Tiff Hayes


Name: Tiff Hayes

First Year or Continuing Student: Continuing Student

Current Job: Academic Advisor in the College of Arts & Sciences, Seattle University

Why are you passionate about student affairs?
Being able to see and sometimes engage with students going through the development process while pursuing higher education is my favorite part of student affairs. I love watching students figure out who they are, what they’re about, and why they do the things they do – this is where my passion comes from!

What is your favorite class you have taken at SU?
Leadership in Education 1 with Monica Nixon

What is your favorite place to go or thing to do in Seattle?
This is a really hard question. There are so many great things!! I really love Golden Gardens and Volunteer Park when the weather is nice… when it’s not so nice, I like anywhere with a fire place!

Outside of class and work, how do you like to spend your time?
I am a lover of live music so whenever I have the chance to see a show, I take advantage of it! I also love to bake and cook, explore new areas of Seattle, go on road trips, and I’m obsessed with crime shows, so any time I need a break from real life, you can find me watching Law & Order, SVU, NCIS, Criminal Minds, etc. (you name it, I’ll watch it).

Fun fact: I auditioned for Jeopardy when I was in high school!

What Defines My Year…

I have successfully finished my first year of graduate school! I am halfway to my Masters of Education in Student Development Administration!! Writing that feels weird, so just imagine how I feel when I say it. I have accomplished something I couldn’t have ever imagined, but no accomplishment comes without a long road and a few bumps.

I set out the school year with a plan to blog throughout and to reflect on things as they came, but as this year continued to hit me with bump after bump that became too hard. This has easily been one of the hardest years of my life; maybe even the hardest year of my life.  I set out on this journey in Seattle on August 10, 2013 and thought I was ready for whatever I would experience. Oh how wrong I was. From being called the N-word to feeling completely alone in Seattle to being sexually assaulted to my grandma passing away to my friend trying to commit suicide, this year has hit me with an amount of pain that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. Let’s be clear, I am not sharing my experiences with you so you can sympathize or even empathize with me but as a means to continue in my healing. To say these things to someone is one thing, but to write them on the internet makes these experiences even more real as they are now permanent.

Domonique Crosby

When I see it all in a list like that it’s hard to believe I am still standing. The truth is there were so many amazing experiences and people who helped me over each one of these hurdles. These bumps do not define me or the time I’ve had here so far. It’s the HRL staff that took me in as family and ensured I would get through it all that has defined my year. It’s the staff meetings every week where my RAs kept me constantly laughing and proud to work with them that define my year. It’s the insatiable amount of love and support I received from my current RD, Christina, that defines my year. It’s the cohort of 24 amazing individuals who challenged and supported me that defined this year. It’s the visit from two of my best friends that define my year. It’s the 300 student leaders that benefited from a 3 day off campus training that I poured my heart into that defines my year. It’s the straight A’s I’ve earned each quarter that define my year. It’s the fact that I, an African American girl who was told in the 9th grade that Black kids don’t go to college, am here pursuing a Master’s degree that defines my year. It’s the fact that my mom, who worked 2 jobs to support us while I was growing up, gets to tell me each week that she’s proud of the woman I’m becoming. It’s these great experiences that define the amazing 1st year I have had.

Now don’t get me wrong, I am still healing from the pain but I WILL NOT let it define me or the experience I’ve had here. This year has been a roller coaster ride, but it has changed me in the most positive way. My first year of graduate school was good, bad, ugly, and beautiful but worth it. I get to look back at this year and say “Damn, that was the hardest time ever but I made it.” This is what defines this year for me. This was the year of resilience, thanks to a dear friend for teaching me this, as I continued to plow through all the hard times. I have come out of this year a better professional and a stronger person. Thank you to those who helped me through it all. Time to get ready for my next adventure which hopefully will teach me just as much as this year.

“You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.” – Dr. Maya Angelou

– Domonique Crosby

Read more from Domonique’s own blog at: