As a technologist in student affairs who does not interact with students in my formal position, I envy my colleagues who deal with students everyday. I enjoy my interactions with students and staff discussing about student development, leadership and social issues and so I look for opportunities to be able to be involved with the student affairs community outside my formal technical role.
In my position as an IT administrator in a central department that serves all of student affairs, I get exposed to the business processes of all the departments when implementing or developing web applications and vendor systems. In the course of the projects, the discussions with directors/programmers revolve around business requirements, timelines, funding and resources. On the other side with my technical colleagues, discussions revolve around server/network infrastructures, security, development standards. Unfortunately, discussions about student afairs and student lives in general rarely get discussed. Throughout my career, I have identified opportunities around the campus to see where I could get involved as a non-techie.
Here are some activities I’ve participated in the last few years:
* Serve as organizational advisor for the Filipino-American interest organization and Latino fraternity
* Participate as staff representative for a student led fee committee (http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/sfac)
* Serve as staff representative to student staff divisional meeting
* Review freshman applications for the Admissions department
* Serve as facilitator for summer transition program dedicated towards first generation students (http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/eop/step)
* Serve as member of student resource team (http://www.sa.ucsb.edu/srt)
* Serve as a mentor through a mentorship program
* Provide letter of recommendations and references for graduate schools/jobs
* Participant as a panelist for career development course
My involvement with the programs above are for two reasons: 1) I personally enjoy the experience and 2) I feel the experience provide me with reminders of why I do my job and provides me with a sense of purpose.
Based on your experience, what other opportunities can you recommend?