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College of Education

COE Graduate Student Blog

Cooking with AEDT

Posted by Aaron (AEDT) on June 13, 2017 at 8:06 AM PDT

Not too long ago a classmate of mine had a fun idea for us to have a cooking class. Since our AEDT program is online, it’s tough for us to network with one another. It was the end of the quarter and it was a great chance for us to take a break from the world of academia. One of the things that I like to do when we have networking opportunities like this is observe others, because I get to see more of everyone’s personality in person. It was quite fascinating to stand back and watch my classmates interact with each other. In many of our classes we’ve talked about having a community of learners, and it was so neat to watch a wonderful community of learners in front of me. As we were involved in cooking, the natural teacher instinct in my fellow classmates came out. We helped one another and were teaching each other in our kitchen classroom. It was great to see the comradery!


I was nervous for this cooking class because I was doing some of the teaching about the cuisine. I burned the first batch of vegetables, but Dr. Stacey Robbins was alongside me and she encouraged me and helped me through my mess up. Even though I was doing some of the teaching, I learned so much from my classmates on that day. Our natural instinct is to help one another. We are all students and it's important for us to encourage and support one another. I learned that I can't let titles and things intimidate me. As I left our cooking class I really felt and honored and privileged to work with and have such wonderful classmates. Many of them will be graduating, and I will really miss them.

- Aaron (AEDT) 

Reflection on the Year

Posted by Avery (SDA) on June 8, 2017 at 6:06 PM PDT

The academic year is quickly coming to an end, which is serving as a great opportunity for reflection. A year ago, moving to Seattle to begin this new adventure of graduate school was an exciting prospect that I couldn’t yet fully imagine. Since then, I’ve become a member of the SU community, and started down the path of developing into a professional.

When I started the program, just 9 months ago, I thought my goal was to return to a boarding school, like the one I graduated from, as a residential life staff member. The Student Development Administration program has provided me with countless opportunities to explore myself, my interests, and the field of education which has brought me to the conclusion that I don’t know what my goal is anymore.

Through networking opportunities provided by faculty and staff members who have truly taken the time to get to know me, I’ve realized there are multiple ways to get to the same positions, many of which I didn’t even know existed. Through my graduate assistantship, I’m learning how to incorporate research, theory, and my identities directly into my work. Through internship experiences, I’m learning what I value and thrive on in a professional setting. Finally, through the great relationships I’ve been fortunate enough to be a part of within the SUSDA community, I’ve learned how to be vulnerable in order to let myself be supported and celebrated in ways that are lifegiving. My professional interests have shifted, but more importantly, I’ve had the opportunity and support to grow as a person in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I’ve become more confident in myself and the gifts I’ve been blessed with, I’ve learned to articulate my values, started to figure out how privileged I’ve been to navigate systems not designed for me and am learning how to advocate for those who don’t have a voice within those systems.

A year ago, I couldn’t have imagined I’d be the person I am today. And I can’t imagine who I’ll be a year from now, but I know it’ll be someone I’m proud to be. 

- Avery 

Guest Post: Almost to the finish line!

Posted by Garick Sherburn (SDA) on May 1, 2017 at 9:05 AM PDT

Last Friday, I presented my graduate portfolio for the Student Development Administration program. I mean WHAT?! I can’t believe it! Time has flown by since last year and I can’t believe that the time has already come for me to graduate. The feeling is crazy, to say the least.

One of the most interesting reflections I have discovered about my portfolio process was my lack of nerves throughout the entire process. I can name so many different times in my life when I had the little butterflies of nerves before a major event. However, this time I didn’t feel them at all. I didn’t even feel them the week before the presentation. I can’t help but wonder why I felt this way.

As I flush out my thoughts further, I think something that it boils down to is my sheer sense of pride in my accomplishments. I look at my portfolio as a living treasure that showcases who I was two years ago and who I am now. I see the scared little boy on his first day of Educational Research class to the confident young professional about to begin his first full-time career. How many people can say they have a living document that showcases all of that?! I mean, if they were part of the SDA Program then yes, a few people.

But I think my lack of nerves embodies the strong professional I have become. I didn’t feel the nerves because I know how hard I have worked and I know how my portfolio has demonstrated that. Furthermore, my community is surrounded by so many wonderful peers and mentors that have guided me and shaped me along the way. I felt their excitement in me. They were rooting for me every step of their way and their confidence gave me that extra motivation to keep fighting even when the road was tough.

I feel lucky to have been part of this portfolio process and through my studies here at Seattle University. It wasn’t all easy, trust me but the success is modeled in who we are now. I am so glad to be a future graduate of Seattle University and of the SDA Program. They made me a better person and a better professional for the future.

- Garick Sherburn (SDA) 

Embrace the (Seattle) Gray

Posted by Rose Ann E. Gutierrez (SDA) on April 11, 2017 at 11:04 AM PDT

I have had the privilege of calling five places home: the Philippines; Virginia Beach, VA; Richmond, VA; Miami, FL; and Seattle, WA. My encounters and interactions with people in these locations wove the fabric of my being. Additionally, each place taught me valuable lessons I carry with me on a daily basis. One of the most important lessons I have learned and am still continuing to learn in Seattle is to embrace the gray. finalroseann

 Embrace the gray; I mean that in the most literal and figurative sense, especially living in Seattle. I am a long-term planner, and my mode of operation is to always have a plan. My contingency plans even have contingency plans of their own, so when life goes awry, I become anxious. I do not do well with uncertainty, and for the most part, others do not either. The unknown can cause fear, doubt, and anxiety. I, however, also believe that this type of internal dissonance is meant to grow you. With that, I have learned to perceive times of uncertainty as an opportunity of growth in my confidence and faith.

Adversity builds character, and any challenge you overcome—during times of transition and uncertainty—is meant to build your mental, emotional, and physical capacity for the next level of your life. From September 2016 to March 2017, I swam in the grayest of spectrums, as I experienced the doctoral application process. I applied to four of the most competitive programs in the country, and to be honest, I experienced impostor syndrome throughout the whole process, especially as a first-generation college student. There came a time when I did not know what I would do if I did not get accepted to any program. I, however, knew to reframe my thinking because no matter the outcome, what we can control is our attitude and mindset in moving forward. With the support and words of encouragement of mentors, I learned to embrace the gray. I gave myself pep talks for reassurance that no matter what happened—if I got accepted or not—was meant to happen during this time. Even when I did not get the best news, I still embraced the gray. I had to remain humble during the process, and if it was not my time to pursue a doctoral degree, I had to accept that it was not my time. That only meant that I would remain resilient and reapply the following year. I had to accept this reality that I did not plan for to begin with. While I trusted the process and leaned in faith, I became less anxious, and unexpectedly—when I was not thinking or worrying about the process—the acceptance letter for one of my top choices of programs came! Embracing the time of uncertainty made me appreciate the outcome more, and I will be pursuing my PhD at the University of California, Los Angeles this fall.

 During these months, I think of those deciding on master’s programs in student affairs and my peers who are looking for internships or applying to secure a job or assistantship for the following academic year. People may also be trying to figure out classes or how to map out their academic trajectory in alignment with their professional goals. What a scary yet exciting time! In the field of student affairs, I have repeatedly heard, “Trust the process,” during the waiting period. I, too, have said that to others. Yes, trust the process, and if you do not trust the process, trust yourself. Trust that you are competent and capable. Trust that you are enough. Trust that you will find your fit. If the outcome is not what you expected, it is all right because you will land, where you are meant to serve your purpose. I believe each day we get a piece of life’s puzzle. Sometimes, that piece may or may not fit within our puzzle. Even so, we gain better clarity on our puzzle because we know what pieces belong or do not belong. This ultimately provides us a better understanding of our pathway in life. Learn to embrace the gray for it serves to cultivate a sense of resilience, persistence, and patience.

- Rose Ann E. Gutierrez (SDA)