7) Individual, Group, and Organizational Communication Presentation / Publication
Graduates should be able to demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills with students and colleagues and their ability to develop and maintain effective partnerships with individuals from the campus and local community. In meeting this competency, students should demonstrate their experience with/ability to…
Reflections: Positively manage, develop, and engage in working relationships with faculty, staff, and students across functional and institutional boundaries
I think my experiences at UIC provided me with a tremendous amount of learning with regards to this competency. I collaborated with numerous UIC students, staff, and faculty. I feel that this was beneficial to my growth as a CSSA graduate student because I came into the program with a heightened sense of how to manage, develop, and engage in working relationships in a higher education context. I was fortunate in that I had a great mentor at UIC. Her leadership provided me with a lot of learning opportunities.
Throughout my graduate assistantship I have worked with numerous OSU student affairs staff. I have had to manage relationships with staffers from OSU Publications, Admissions, Registrar’s Office, SOAR, Financial Aid, Dean of Students, Academic Success Center, Student Health Services, Services for Students with Disabilities, Student Conduct, Community Service Center, and OSU Graduate School. All of these interactions have required me to be use different aspects of my professional competencies. I have had to learn how to communicate effectively in multiple contexts. I think it helps that I was a communications major in my undergraduate program. I was a student leader for a professional student organization. I had to be able to manage relationships with fellow students and university faculty/staff.
One of the areas in this competency that I have worked hard to maintain is my network of professional and personal contacts. I keep in touch my original student advisor from IHCC. It has been very rewarding to see his career progression in relation to my own. I also have a network of peers in student affairs who I communicate with on a regular basis. We share current events and best practices information. It serves to strengthen our overall knowledge base.
My practicum experiences with Student Conduct as a hearing officer and as an instructor for Odyssey/Academic Success challenged my abilities to interact with students due to varying degrees of engagement. I learned very quickly that even though students had signed up for a class that did not mean that they wanted to be in it. I had to earn trust and build a rapport. The same thing occurred in my student conduct hearings. I had to create a relationship with a student in an hour. This was not an easy task. I had to work with students who oftentimes were anxious, stubborn, and/or tired.
Initiate and participate in working alliances and teams with a wide range of people across cultural boundaries
I have worked really hard to develop relationships with folks who are in a wide range of units at OSU. During my CSSA Assessment class I spent a lot of time building a relationship with staff at the Native American Longhouse. I felt that it was important to make this connection because I did not want to marginalize anyone. I have made “working alliances” as well as developed relationships with people at all of the OSU cultural centers. However, this does not mean that I have someone reached a relationship plateau. I continue to engage and work with people from a variety of OSU departments.
Take on key leadership roles though these partnerships and collaborations
I think a lot of my learning in this area has come from my experiences in student conduct. I was on the student judicial committee at UIC and I even chaired conduct hearings. At OSU I have served as an informal hearing officer as well as participating as a student conduct committee representative. I have been able to work with students, staff, and faculty.
I have taken on leadership roles for my assistantship within numerous projects. The OSU Success project, Admissions web site re-design, and the Student Health Services information system project were all initiatives where I was able to provide significant leadership. My knowledge of technology has proven to be invaluable in my navigation of a myriad of student affairs processes.
Serve as advocate, counselor, and/or advisor to students or student groups
I served as mentor for several student organizations at the University of Illinois at Chicago. I provided guidance, counseling, and advice for the following student groups: UIC Peer Educators, Chicago Flame (UIC Student newspaper) Editorial Staff, UIC Orientation Leaders, UIC Muslim Students Association, and the UIC Pride Students.
I think my practicum with OSU Student Conduct provided me with additional learning for this area. Please see the Student Conduct practicum blog category for more details: http://ericstoller.com/blog/category/practicum-2/
Manage and/or mediate conflict, crisis, or problematic circumstances
The interesting part about this section is that a lot of my experiences at UIC and OSU that deal with mediation are confidential.
Significant practical learning occurred within my student conduct practicum and my Academic Learning Services practicum. Two courses which enriched this competency were Cross Cultural Counseling and Fundamentals of Counseling. I learned about motivational interviewing, how to listen, and how to effectively use silence. I used all of these skills during my student conduct experience.