Gabrielle St. Léger, Ed.D.
August 2, 2017
On behalf of the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program and NASPA Region II, congratulations on your admittance to the program! We look forward as a Region and an association to support you in your exploration of our field of Student Affairs.
My name is Gabrielle St. Léger and I am honored to have the opportunity to serve as the Region II NUFP Coordinator! I was a NUFP fellow from '99-01 while attending West Virginia University in the Benedum 5-Year Teacher Education Program. It seems like yesterday that I had dreams during my undergraduate then of being an English High School teacher and returning to my old school district to make real change and move up the ranks of K-12 administration. It was many many moons ago, but I can 100 percent attribute my chosen career path and successful professional testimony to the first lessons I learned through NUFP.
My mentor was Dr. Katherine Bankole, Associate Professor of History and Director of the Center for Black Culture and Research at West Virginia University. She taught me the nuances of our field and shared her journey of being a woman of color in higher education and student affairs. She was candid, present, and so engaged in my development and learning through our one-on-one conversations, career exploratory assignments and personal reflections. She also shared with me her network of first class professionals who invested time into providing me their perspectives and understanding of student affairs and higher education.
I also participated in the Summer Leadership Institute (now known as the Dungy Leadership Institute) in 2001 at University of New Mexico, which further advanced my understanding of the field and my desire to pursue a career in student affairs. Working with the professionals dedicated to the next generation of leaders in our field was an honor. The summer experience was life changing and the final piece that lead me to return my last year to West Virginia and jump into the field. I chose to attend the NASPA national conference to interview for positions in student activities and residence life. I confidently jumped into the field knowing I had more than passion, I had substance.
As an alumna of the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program I can attest to the importance of having early exposure to the field of student affairs as well as a dedicated mentor; it made all the difference for me. My hope is that through this program you will take advantage of these same opportunities as well as others like the summer internships and our conference events designed for you to stretch yourself and explore our field. Take full advantage of all we have for you to help affirm your decision to pursue a career in this field.
As your NUFP Region II Coordinator I am here to serve as a resource to you and your mentor. Please do not hesitate to contact me. I am excited for this journey you are about to embark on and look forward to you all forging your own professional testimonies, as I did, starting with NUFP experiences!
Again, a huge congratulations! I look forward to meeting and connecting with all of you soon.
Gabrielle St. Léger, Ed.D
NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program | Region II Coordinator
Dean of Students, Old Westbury Campus
New York Institute of Technology
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