Graduate Student Spotlight - Andrew Hartman

Kristin Wyninegar, NASPA IV-W Graduate Student Representative

September 19, 2017

Name: Andrew Hartman

Hometown: Elrose, SK

Graduate Institution: University of Saskatchewan  

Degree you are working towards: Leadership in Post-Secondary Education

Undergraduate Institution: University of Saskatchewan

Why you chose your graduate institution:

My mentor, who was enrolled in the Educational Administration program through the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan, spoke highly of the program. I looked at a few other institutions, but after talking with administration in the College of Education I learned the college was releasing a specialization in Leadership in Post-Secondary Education. I knew the program was a perfect fit for me. I compared the course topics with other institutions, and the Leadership in Post-Secondary Education Degree at the University of Saskatchewan provided a well-rounded education in Higher Education with flexibility to choose courses that fit my interest areas.

Why you wanted to go to graduate school:

Curiosity was what initially drove me to graduate school. I wanted to understand more about Higher Education; learn more about the system that students have to navigate through in post-secondary institutions; and learn what made the students successful? How can us, as Student Affairs professionals, support students best? Why do universities operate the way they do? It was my general curiosity around Higher Education and my desire to support marginalized students persevere through universities that drove me to graduate school. Now, after completing the course work in my graduate program I have discovered my passion for research around student success and development.   

What area(s) of Student Affairs interest you most and why:

I am most interested in the Student Residence area. I developed my passion for Student Affairs when I was the Resident Assistant and the Senior Resident Assistant in my undergraduate degree at the University of Saskatchewan. I think residence has a unique opportunity to support student’s development. The amount of student development that happens outside of the lecture hall in a university is enormous. Residence is such a unique opportunity to have a vast array of students from different backgrounds and disciplines interact with one another in a small community. Residence students get additional programming that helps them in their development and helps them in learning new parts of their identity.  The support Residence Life Staff provides students in their transition into university is another large portion of why I am interested in this area, whether that be through crisis or gaining life skills through living on the student’s own for the first time.

A memorable moment working with your students at your assistantship (if applicable):

Working in Student Affairs can be an emotionally and physically draining profession. During a stretch of student crises, student support sessions, and project deadlines I was starting to feel the fatigue. One of my students dropped by my office and handed me a stone while saying “Someone gave this to me a long time ago, but I’m pretty sure it belongs to you.” I looked at the stone and it had the word “spirit” engraved on the side of the stone. The student added “You really are the spirit here, and I want you to know that we appreciate it.”

This moment was a special moment for me because it really hit me regarding the impact and relationships I was building with the students. I was impacting their lives, and they were impacting mine.  The stone sits in front of my monitor as a reminder why I do what I do, but also as a reminder to practice self-care so I have the energy to support my students.

What is your dream job?

Right now, being the Director of Student Affairs at an institution would be my dream job. My graduate program sparked my passion for governance and the coordination of student supports, which both of these things in combination are quite complex. My dream institution outside of my current institution, St. Peter’s College, would be Carleton University. Carleton has really caught my eyes over the years because of the impressive supports and programming they have in place for their students. They are an institution I would really enjoy working in at some point in my career.

What you would like to be remembered for?

For me, I would want to be remembered as someone that was there for my students. University can be a hard transition for students, so I would want to be remembered through the eyes of my students as someone who was there for them so they didn’t feel alone or on their own. A lot of the programming I do is to help students develop a sense of belonging within St. Peter’s College . So I would want to be remembered as someone who provided opportunities that made my students feel like they mattered and belonged.

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