Reflections on being First-Year Liaison
By Keisha Jackson
April 12, 2013
This past year I have had the great honor of serving SUSDA as the First-Year Liaison! I have had a ton of fun in this position doing programming that I love! Some highlights for me include: chairing the Graduation Celebration Planning Committee with six fantastic classmates who are also first years (Erin, Jackie, Katie P., Theresa, Tracy & Sophie), hosting
table talks, socializing with various classmates within the program and immersing myself into my graduate school experience.
A year ago I was also doing work that I truly loved as a full-time professional at the College Success Foundation. I invested five and a half years into my work there and grew immensely as a person, professional and advocate for social justice. Then, on the assurance of that change is necessary I left that role and came into my SDA experience full of passion, energy and hope to get involved, create meaningful relationships and to enjoy this experience of graduate student life. The first-year liaison position has been a wonderful opportunity to engage in all of the aforementioned areas.
In this experience I have learned a few things about myself. First, I am pretty adaptable to changing settings. Even, if there is discomfort, I lean into it and try to learn and grow in the transition. Second, I have an extreme Type A personality! Surprise people! But I have noticed that it has gotten worse while I have been in grad school. But the truth is that it’s a very good thing! To be organized through the constant chaos that is grad school keeps me grounded. Third, I enjoy learning from others and though I bring my ideas, skills and talents to the table, others do as well and I am very happy to receive their ideas, skills and talents into my space of learning and adapting.
Finally, I have enjoyed the guidance and conversations that I have had within the SUSDA e-team, especially from Mike (chair) and Kelli (Vice Chair). They have both provided helpful information to me, which has aided in my ability to be First-Year Liaison. Additionally, my SUSDA mentor Laura Lynn Horst has been wonderful! She was the First-Year Liaison 2011-2012 and provided me with a wealth of information (and documentation) all year long (via email, text, and our favorite pass time – happy hour – with an occasional karaoke time to boot!)
It’s been a blast! Now, the homestretch to presenting a lovely graduation celebration to the SDA graduating class of 2013 awaits! June 14 here we come!