Danielle Pacheco (she/her/hers)
Hometown: Las Vegas, New Mexico
Graduate Institution: University of Northern Colorado
Degree Currently Obtaining: Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership (HESAL)
Undergraduate Institution: University of Colorado at Boulder
Why did you choose UNC: The HESAL program at the University of Northern Colorado (UNCO) focuses on developing competencies and maintains a strong commitment to social justice in our courses. Our program has values that matched mine as well such as highlighting a practitioner-scholar model. Lastly, UNCO is close to home, so that is a plus!
Why did you choose to go to graduate school: I have worked various positions and held many roles throughout my professional career but working with students in higher education is where my heart is. Student success is my passion, I enjoy serving students and offering support in many capacities. As a non-traditional first-generation graduate student, I allowed myself the time to figure out what occupation was the most meaningful to me, and I found that working with students is what truly makes me happy. It has been a very rewarding and humbling experience thus far.
What area(s) of Student Affairs interest you the most and why: Residential Education and Housing - This area of student affairs would allow me to make meaningful connections with students outside of the of classroom. This area is unique and encompasses a lot of the work I am looking for in my next professional role. Advising - I enjoy advising students and offering support and guidance when students are registering for classes. As the current graduate assistant for the Honors Program at UNCO I advise students and discuss degree pathways and class options. It has been an enjoyable experience.
What is a memorable moment of working at your current institution: I have enjoyed working and learning alongside my cohort. It has been fascinating to see how much we have grown in just one year. My first year of graduate school was amazing and it all thanks to the relationships and friendships I made during this time! Go Bears!
What is the best recognition that you have received: I received a 4.0 GPA during my first year of graduate school
What advice would you give to current undergraduate students looking into graduate school: I would encourage undergraduate students to investigate programs that interest them and speak to current graduate students and ask questions and get advice. Graduate school is possible, it is just a matter of finding what your passion is and going for it!
What has NASPA meant to you: NASPA has provided lots of opportunities for my friends and myself to grow as a professional, as well as equipping members with the tools and knowledge to be successful. NASPA has allowed for so many relationships to grow and develop and built a space for professionals to receive guidance through integrity, innovation, inclusion, and inquiry.
If you would like to nominate someone for a Graduate Student Spotlight fill out this form here or reach out to Patrick Bussiere, Graduate Student Representative.