What will your contribution to the field be?

By Luis H. Garay

My blog post title for this week comes from a posed question by one of my professors. For one of my classes this semester, we are reading two books. I have discussed both of them here. One of the chapters in the book talked career advancement and the author’s journey throughout their career.

My professor asked for this week’s Blackboard post, “As you project forward, I pose this question:  What will your contribution to the field be?”

What an interesting question, I thought. This was an especially interesting question as in less than 3 weeks I will graduate with a Master of Science degree from my program at the University of Central Missouri. I’d like to share what I wrote below:

What a great question for the topic of this chapter! I know for me, whatever my contribution to the field will be, will be centered on the students I work with. Two values which I have come to form and stand on are support and story-telling. I wish to support students through their journey in higher education.

By support this means teaching them the language of higher education, guiding them through an institution, and teaching them the culture of an institution. I want to be able to remove personal, institutional, and any road blocks which will ultimately aid in the student’s success. I will always have a place in my heart for those from marginalized communities and I have a feeling my work will be centered in this.

In story-telling, I want to assist students in owning their story and telling their story. I have been blessed to know people who have supported me in my story unfolding but who consistently encourage me to share my story. I believe that through story telling is where people make connections, acknowledge differences, and where the power of love and understanding come from. It is a lofty goal but a necessary one.

SAFirstYears readers, what will your contribution to the student affairs field be? Tweet me your thoughts at @LuisHGaray and/or comment below. As always, thanks for reading! 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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