This past weekend, I had the amazing opportunity to “retreat” with the SUSDA e-team. Dustin, Stephanie, Ester, Brandon, Sarah, Nathan, Kelly, and I embarked on an adventure out into the woods in North Bend somewhere (30 minutes east of Seattle for those of you who are still new). We arrived at our one-bedroom destination where Dustin was told we would have at least three or four beds. There were two twin beds with two couches… for the eight of us. But being the flexible and easy-going people we are we did not let the cob webs, spooky trees, lack of beds, or bugs get us down. Instead we put our cell phones in the “cell phone garden” and left our worries in the “worry tree” at the door. We filled our time with fun icebreakers, deepening exercises, and of course made time to plan for a meaningful and social year ahead.
During the retreat, one of my favorite activities was sharing with one another the initial reason why we decided to serve on the e-team. I learned that people have joined the SUSDA e-team for the following reasons:
- To pursue something that others thought they would be good at
- To make others feel included into the SDA community
- To provide opportunities to create a more cohesive community
- To ensure that the program is offering everything that students need to succeed
- To provide professional growth and development opportunities
I shared with the group that I joined the e-team because I believe in the success of our students and want to provide opportunities for professional development and continued success after graduation. I believe that SUSDA professional development programs will prepare our graduates for life beyond Seattle University. Now, I am not just speaking to continuing students either. First-year students can gain real-life experiences through internships, making connections by attending professional conferences and building relationships with SDA Alumni through programming. I believe that all of these experiences coupled with our education will make SDA students some of the most marketable student affairs graduates in the state and competitive nationally.
I thought that this was a fitting topic to share on the blog today, because during the retreat I was quite moved by the care and support that the SUSDA e-team wants to provide for you. Dustin, Stephanie, Ester, Brandon, Sarah, Nathan, Kelly, and I are willing to invest our time to ensure that you have a good year, and a successful start or continuation to your professional career in Student Affairs. During the school year, I find that life gets busy, people become stressed, and sometimes one becomes overwhelmed. When that happens to you, remember that there are wonderful people, on the SUSDA e-team, who will always support and care for you.