I had the opportunity to supervise, mentor and advise my undergraduate intern in the Women’s Resource Center. The young woman was a senior.  As graduation was approaching, I was able to combine practical application with my course work. In CSA 563, Career Counseling and Development, we chose a student to advise in career and professional development as a part of a case study assignment. Using various resources from the career center and class, such as the Strongs Interest Inventory, Strengths Quest, Myers Brigg Assessment and the Career Puzzle, I was able to help my intern through the transition in a very practical way. Because we had an established relationship and I had followed her personal development, I was able to effectively address issues and advise her accordingly. The case study occurred over 5 appointments, ranging from intake questions and a career puzzle to providing resources related to assessment of her strengths. Together we were able to discuss goals and next steps in the process of finding a career. Using Kolb’s Cycle of Learning I was able to identify ways the student would best examine her strengths, learn from her experience and ultimately discover her vocation.  Using Parks (2000), I encouraged the student to continue to ask herself the difficult questions about how her values can be integrated into her career and sense of vocation.


In my programs with the Women’s Resource Center it was important to provide the students with resources available both on the campus and in the community. I understood the importance of utilizing the counseling center on campus for the development and well being of our students. I hoped to introduce students to a community organization located outside of the campus-counseling center, involved with issues of domestic violence. I coordinated various events with Project Sister, asking them to facilitate conversation around issues of dating violence and date rape. In addition I developed strategic relationships with campus psychologists and counselors. An example of a great partnership in the counseling center was with Elaine Walton, a psychologist whose expertise is women and domestic violence relationships. She was a continual resource for our events and programs, coordinated evening workshops and provided worksheets and handouts for student life. According to Kitzrow (2009) it is imperative with the changing mental health challenges of our students, that student affairs professionals connect students with appropriate resources and encourage collaboration with campus counseling centers.


I had an opportunity to advise a student during an emotionally heightened event on campus. The student was upset about recent events on campus, was emotionally distraught, and was prepared to take action against the administration.  As a professional I knew that as a racial minority the student’s sense of belonging to the college campus was at risk. According to Chickering’s Second Vector it is important for the student to learn how to manage emotions and involve them in working through these problems to produce a positive outcome (Chickering & Reisser, 1993). There were appropriate outlets for his frustration and I was able to work with the student.  Through my previous observation of the student I believed him to be in Sue and Sue’s Introspection Stage of his racial identity development (Sue & Sue, 1990). He was engaged with other students and reaching out to the majority student groups.  I also observed, however, that morally he saw things as right or wrong and was in a dualistic stage of moral development according to Perry’s theory of intellectual development. This made it difficult for the student to understand the possible obligations of the administration in this case.  The interaction of developmental stages proved to be challenging in our conversation. According to Baxter Magolda (2001), in order for students to gain self-authorship, it is important to expose them to different experiences, probe with questions they are not asking and support them to move beyond what they currently know. My response included foresight into the future, holding a tension between self and others and learning to offer grace to those with differing perspectives. With the foundation of key theories, I was able frame my interactions and understanding of the student experience.


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