May 7, 2019
AVP. Please share with us your title, institution, years of service in your current role, and years of service as a student affairs professional.
RN. I’ve been in this AVP role for a little over four years and in the profession for 16 plus years.
AVP. Please share which units are within your portfolio in your current role.
RN. In my current role I supervise the following departments: Accessible Education Center (including the Center for Accessible Technology), Behavioral Intervention Team (BIT), Career Center, Counseling and Psychological Services, ECRT Case Manager, Military and Veterans Student Services, Office of the University Ombudsperson, Student Affairs Senior Case Manager, and the Student Health Center (including Wellness and Health Promotion). This portfolio consists of approximately 160 employees, includes 8 bargaining units, and has fiscal oversight for multiple budgets in excess of 19 million. I also oversee divisional professional development for 340 career employees and 1,100 student workers, divisional assessment, and co-chair the campus economic crisis response team (ECRT). In addition, I serve as a Skelly Hearing Officer and the lead for the Behavioral Intervention Team.
AVP. What do you enjoy doing most in your current role?
RN. I enjoy being in a role that has the opportunity to make a difference in student’s lives on a day to day basis while also having a large impact on their overall success. I’ve been able to be a part of beginning some great initiatives here at SJSU including starting a mobile food pantry, opening a permanent food pantry, starting the Economic Crisis Response Team, revamping the Behavioral Intervention Team, restructuring the Career Center, and increasing the number of case managers on campus, to name a few.
AVP. How are you involved in NASPA?
RN. I’ve been very involved with NASPA over the years. My involvement has included serving on the NUFP Advisory Board, the AVP Steering Committee, being a member of the inaugural NASPA SERVE Academy cohort, presenting various presentations at the regional and annual conferences and now serving on the NASPA Conference Leadership Committee for NASPA 2020 in Austin, TX.
AVP. What is the best advice you would give to yourself as a new professional knowing what you know now?
RN. I think the advice that I would give to my new professional self is to always meet the challenges that you face head on and address issues that arise as soon as is reasonably possible. I’ve learned throughout my career that to put off dealing with difficult issues, people, or situations only increases the anxiety that you experience in having to deal with them. Thus, I always tackle difficult situations and individual as soon as they arise and always try to approach them from the perspective of the effect on the students’ at the institution that I am working at.
AVP. What is something you are most proud of as an AVP?
RN. I’m proud of the work that I’ve done with my colleagues to better the student experience here at SJSU. We’ve worked to change a number of unfriendly student policies, implemented a number of student friendly co-curricular activities, and have worked through ways for us to expand our efforts to work with students concerning their basic needs.
AVP. Our roles as an AVP can be challenging. What do you do outside of work to ensure that you’re fresh and energized for your campus job?
RN. Outside of work, I make sure to try to exercise every day. I also try to make sure that I step away from work as much as I can when I go home at the end of the day. Luckily, I have two younger kids who definitely help me keep things in perspective.
AVP. What do you do for fun when you’re not working?
RN. Outside of work, I enjoy reading, going to see theater shows, and going to watch stand-up comedians perform. With our work being as challenging as it is, I try to make sure that I find the time to laugh as much as possible and to share those laughs with others.
AVP. How do you balance your personal life with your professional responsibilities?
RN. I actually try to integrate my personal life with my professional responsibilities as much I can. If I have to be on campus to attend a program or for a weekend event, I try to bring my family with me so that they can enjoy it as well. Having the kids definitely helps to break down the invisible force field that students seem to put up around administrators.
AVP. What are you reading now (or have you read recently)?
RN. I actually just finished rereading the NASPA “Where I Am From” book by Borrego and Manning and will soon be starting “The First 90 Days” by Watkins and “Your Why Matters Now” by Jones-Fosu as I prepare to transition into a new position at another university.
Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NASPA. If you agree or disagree with the content of this post, we encourage you to dialogue in the comment section below. NASPA reserves the right to remove any blog that is inaccurate or offensive.