NASPA IV-W Graduate Student Spotlight
Briana Cresswell, NASPA IV-W Graduate Student Representative
February 28, 2017
Name: Danielle Linderman
Hometown: Republic, Missouri
Graduate Institution: Missouri State University
Degree you are working towards: Student Affairs in Higher Education
Undergraduate Institution: Drury University
Why you chose your graduate institution:
After deciding to attend graduate school, I looked at every student affairs related program in the country that I could find. I made a detailed excel sheet with the university mission, course descriptions, benefit packages, etc. After all this research, Missouri State stood out as the best option for me. It was an added bonus that it was close to home!
Why you wanted to go to graduate school:
Graduate school was never the plan. I have always loved school but as an undergraduate student, if you would have asked if my post- graduation plans included another degree, I would have laughed. My undergraduate degree was in graphic design so my original plan was to spend a year working as a sorority consultant in order to save money, then I was going to move to a large city and pursue design. As I began traveling to different universities as part of my consulting job, and meeting with various fraternity/sorority life advisors, I realized that student affairs is something I’m really passionate about. Even more than that, I realized that student affairs is something that I could turn into a career. The process of deciding to return to school, looking at various grad programs, interviewing for GA positions, and enrolling at Missouri State actually happened very quickly. In the future, I would love to find a position that allows me to combine my love of student affairs work, and my creative/design side.
What area(s) of Student Affairs interest you most and why:
It’s a little overwhelming how many possibilities there are with student affairs (in a good way!). At this point in time, I would say that orientation and first-year programs interest me the most. Serving as an orientation leader was my favorite thing I did as an undergraduate student. I think the first few months in college are extremely crucial in making sure students feel comfortable and excited about their university experience; I love the idea of making a positive impact on students during this time. With that being said though, my professional experience so far is in fraternity/sorority life so that is always a possibility as well. I’m (hopefully) going to be doing an AUHO-I internship this summer, which will help me determine if residence life is another area I would like to pursue.
A memorable moment working with your students at your assistantship:
Since I work for the VP of Student Affairs, I mostly have interactions with staff members in the division, rather than students. However, working as a consultant for Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women last year gave me the opportunity to meet hundreds of collegiate women from all over the country. I loved hearing what Pi Phi meant to them and their goals for their chapter. This year, I’m still friends with many of them on social media, and it’s really neat to see them post pictures of how well they’re doing. Whether it’s individual members getting awesome jobs/internships, chapters hosting a successful event, or women sharing their sisterhood stories, I love seeing how an organization that means so much to me touches the lives of thousands of women on a daily basis. A few women have even been in touch to update me on how my suggestions impacted the chapter, or how they’ve improved since I saw them last…. Messages like that always make my day and remind me why I chose this field!
What are your hobbies?
I love reading, especially true crime or mystery novels, but it’s hard to make time to read for fun while in school. I’ve always loved listening to music and going to concerts; I’m in the process of teaching myself guitar! Aside from that, I love hanging out with my dog, Apollo, and my new kitten, Zella.
If you could take a year off from work/school what would you do:
I absolutely love traveling! If I could take a year off, I would enroll in a program like Remote Year, where you travel with a group of strangers for a year to different countries all over the world… or I would buy a refurbished VW van and drive around the US.
What is your dream job?
My dream job is to combine my love of student affairs and my graphic design background. The actual idea of what this looks like changes on a monthly basis. Right now, I would love to become a certified Strengths Coach, and start my own leadership consulting blog.
The best gift you have ever received?
It’s been a life long dream of mine to hold a sloth. Since second grade they have been my absolute favorite animal. For my 23rd birthday, my fiancé took me to an animal sanctuary in Missouri where I got to feed sloths and even hold a baby sloth. Yes, I cried happy tears.
My secret passion is?
Music, for sure. Most people don’t know how much I love singing. I’m working hard to make more time to practice singing and guitar these days; it’s something I would love to pursue more seriously in the future.
What you would like to be remembered for?
I would like to be remembered for being passionate about my work. When someone loves what they’re doing, I think it really comes across and inspires everyone around them. I’m sure I’ll have good days and bad days with whatever career I choose, but I want it to be clear to the people in my life that I am happy with the work I’m doing.
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.