Stephania Rodriguez ’14 loves mentoring young people—that is, people just a year younger. She has found a calling to become a student affairs professional, thanks to her experiences as a mentor for the Premier Scholars Program and resident assistant. “I really have enjoyed working with first-year students,” she says. “I’ve always known I wanted to major in a business field like human resources but now I know I want to branch off into student affairs.”
To make her goal a reality, she applied for and was accepted into the 2011-2012 class of the Undergraduate Fellows Program of Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, formerly known as the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Acceptance into the program ensures access to mentoring, a national conference, paid internships and participation in NASPA’s Summer Leadership Institute. She schedules regular meetings with Kimberly Sluis ’99, dean of students and her mentor at North Central. “She’ll be guiding me through the steps of reaching my goal,” says Rodriguez, who knows that graduate school is in her future.
She said she especially enjoyed her role in last summer’s Premier program, giving advice to incoming students about academics and campus life. “The feedback I got from them was so rewarding,” she says.
Despite commuting from her Aurora home last year, she earned a resident assistant position in Geiger Residence Hall. “It’s another step up into a leadership role,” she says. “It’s been fun to see my floor turn into a community and I try to be there for them when they need something.”
North Central NOW Winter 2012