By Dr. Regina Hyatt, Dean of Students
I started working in Student Affairs because I had a great experience as an undergraduate student at my college. I was super involved and my advisor suggested that I pursue a graduate degree in College Student Personnel instead of going to law school. I took his advice and now 17 years later, am excited to serve as the Dean of Students at UAHuntsville. October is Careers in Student Affairs Month so thought I would start sharing some of the unique things that make student affairs work so interesting.
1- Every student has a story, something that makes him/her unique and I get to hear those stories. I’m a better person for it as it gives me perspective outside of my own experience.
2- Balloons: I gave a tutorial during Week of Welcome to our WOW Leaders on how to make a balloon bouquet. I told them it’s a life skill we all need to have!
3- Student organizations that do really cool stuff. Where else would you be able to watch the Space Hardware Club launch a REAL experiment on a balloon or witness 1000 students gather to play video games with each other? Or concrete canoes attempt to make it across the campus pond?
4- All the pizza you would ever want to eat! Definitely the preferred food group for college students so if you work in Student Affairs, you better like pizza because chances are, you’ll be eating it at least 2 x a week. It just so happens that I do like pizza (and the never ending supply of candy that seems to be available on all of our desks).
5- Ah-ha moments: those times when you see the light click on, when a student really gets it and realizes that the decisions they are making are important.
6- Feeling like I make a difference: It doesn’t happen every day, but when it does, it feels great. Whether it’s helping a student navigate a problem, or opening a window of opportunity for a student, working in Student Affairs means that I get to impact students’ lives in a very personal and meaningful way.
I love working with students and hope that their experiences here at UAHuntsville will lead them to futures that are fulfilling both personally and professionally. I have the best job in the world!
(You can follow Dean Hyatt on Twitter @UAHStudentsDean)