Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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Graduate Assistants

Reese Johnson

Master’s College Student Personnel; Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor’s Bachelors of Social Work; Northern Michigan University

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
College Culture

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
Lots of sleep and spending time and money in Chicago

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
The amazing support systems you develop

Is there a specific area of Student Affairs you are most interested?
Student support services/ Trio/ Disability support services


Cameron Wolbrink

Master’s College Student Personnel; Southern Illinois University – Carbondale, IL
Bachelor’s General Psychology; Western Michigan University

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
The class that has had the biggest impact on me so far is Social Work 501: Generalist Practice. This class has given me a very realistic glance at what the social work field is actually like. Our professor real life experiences which directly demonstrates the content we are learning in class. Additionally, she provides us with information about how the Clinical Social Worker exam works, what prerequisites there are, what kind of questions will be asked, and the types of continuing education will be required afterward.

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
When not in class, I love getting together with other Graduate Students to have game nights, have movie nights, go to local wineries, and visit the nearby cities.

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
I was most surprised by the passion the student body has for Southern Illinois University. I come from an institution with a lot of university pride, but the students here really show them up with care for SIU and their fellow Salukis. This is really shown within our student staff members, the Dawg Pound, and the other registered student organizations.


Alexandria Davis

Master’s College Student Personal Program/ University of Northern Iowa
Bachelor’s Family Services/ University of Northern Iowa

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
The class that has had the biggest impact on me so far at SIU is Finance in Higher Education. I truly enjoy this course because I am learning so much that will definitely help me now and in my future. Also the professor who teaches the course Dr. Donahoo is a lot of fun which makes the course go by with a breeze

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
When I am not working I love to sleep , catch on television series that I miss during the week, I also like to travel to visit friends and family, last I enjoy hanging out with my fellow housing grads and CSP grads. Most importantly I enjoy having time to myself when I can sit in my big bed and relax. I am really open to getting out and having fun because time flies so fast so I try to do things so I can enjoy every moment.

Is there a specific area of student affairs you are most interested?
I was really surprised by the culture here at SIU. At my undergraduate institution students do not really speak up and challenge the beliefs that are norms of others. I love that students have a strong sense of diversity and are willing to protect what is right versus what is wrong.

I am interested in working in Academic Advising role because I value those one on one conversations I have with students and want to be the one who can give them resources while also letting them chose there journey and guiding them along the way.


Candice Sewell

Master’s Higher Education Administration- College Student Personnel; Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor’s Radio/TV Broadcasting. Southern Illinois University-Carbondale

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
WGSS- Black Feminist Thought

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
Watch episodes of Big Mouth and Ricky Morty

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
How dedicated our institution is on helping students the best way that they can.

Is there a specific area of Student Affairs/Higher Education you are most interested?
Multicultural Affairs.


Sara Kennedy

Master’s College Student Personnel; Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor’s Eastern Illinois University: English Literary Studies with a Sociology minor

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
A class that has impacted me is my Student Affairs Administration class. We are able to reflect what we do in the work place into the classroom and it is an awesome way to work and learn with other graduate students on campus.

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
When I am not working or in the classroom, I love to read, travel, and hang out with friends. I truly enjoy being outside and southern Illinois has many beautiful places nearby for hiking and sightseeing!

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
The people at SIUC are unique in every way! I am very happy with the relationships I have made with my staff, my supervisors, and my residents.

Is there a specific area of Student Affairs/Higher Education you are most interested?
My heart belongs to residence life and housing! However, I am very interested in expanding my experience and working in other areas of student affairs.


Brandon Laninga

Master's Workforce Education and Development; Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor's Psychology; Ferris State University

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
The class that has had the biggest impact on me so far at SIU would be Student Affairs Administration. This class allows our cohort to learn common disciplines within student affairs administration while also being able to perform activities to solidify our understanding of the course material.

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
Napping or hanging out with the other grads.

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
I was surprised most by how friendly the wild deer and squirrels are here. It’s cute but also mildly terrifying.

Is there a specific area of Student Affairs/Higher Education you are most interested?
Student Rights and Responsibilities


Luke Stoecklin

Master’s Masters of Business Administration (MBA); Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor’s Bachelor of Economics and English; Rockhurst University

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
I enjoy reading, exercising, and playing fantasy football and basketball.

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
The beautiful campus scenery and abundance of student involvement opportunities.

Is there a specific area of business you are most interested?
Finance.


Kelsey Huelsmann

Master’s College Student Personnel; Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor’s Bachelors of Social Work; Murray State University

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
I would say the class that has had the biggest impact on me is my Student Affairs Administration course because during this course is when I knew that student affairs is where I needed to be, and my passion is to help college students and guide them to success.

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
I enjoy working out/ doing Crossfit. I also LOVE to shop. I also enjoy traveling to different places to visit my friends. I love to also hang out with the amazing people in my cohort.

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
The access to help here on this campus. I have been able to find some resource on this campus to help my students and even myself

Is there a specific area of Student Affairs you are most interested?
I am interested in admissions and more specifically becoming an Admissions Counselor. I would love the opportunity to travel to different high schools and talk with prospective college students about the amazing opportunities college has to offer.


Shuyan Han

Master’s Master of Business Administration; Murray State University and Master of Accountancy; Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor’s Accounting; Murray State University

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
Women, Gender, and Sex. Studies has had a major impact on me at SIU. I have found it to have an enormous impact on the way that I view the privilege that I have, and it has really changed how I worked with students.

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
In my down time I like to work out or play sports. I use this hobby as a stress reliever

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
The diversity of the student body. I came from an institution whose students were mostly white and middle-class, so getting to work with a variety of students from different backgrounds has been great.

Is there a specific area of student affairs you are most interested?
Currently, I am very interested in continuing to work in housing, although I am also interested in working with multicultural students.


Edna Murrieta

Master’s College Student Personnel; Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor’s Public Administration; California State University

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
College Students/Cultures thus far has helped me understand what it means to be a college student and how an individual and their college experience can have significant impact on what is happening in the world around them. It is not shocking that students now and days are still experiencing the many of the same things that students in the 60s did. This course has inspired me to research and develop new ways as a future practitioner I can create space for students to develop their stories and find their voices to empower change.

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
I enjoy going to the local coffee shop to read a book of my choice, as well as thrifting in Carbondale and sounding cities.

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
Being from California I would say that the people and their hospitality surprised me the most along with the tremendous about of community service opportunities that are offered on and off campus.

Is there a specific area of Student Affairs/Higher Education you are most interested?
One day I hope to work in the department of TRIO programs to help assist students during their transitional period when adjusting into a four year institution. More specifically with Upward Bound because as a first generation student, I would not be here if it wasn't for the program and dedicated individuals who gave me the right tools and aid to help me succeed.


Taylor Delaney

Master’s Public Administration; Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Bachelor’s Social Work; University of Mississippi

What class has had the biggest impact on you so far at SIU?
The class that has had the biggest impact on me so far at SIU is my POLS 541: Seminar in Applied Problems of Public Administration: Diversity, Equity and Cultural Competence in the Workplace course. It's extremely relevant to the work we are doing here, and I always look forward to class discussions.

What do you like to do when you are not working or in class?
I like spending time with other grads and love going thrifting and crafting. I also enjoy spending time outdoors!

What surprised you most about working at SIU?
What surprised me most about working at SIU is how welcoming and friendly everyone has been!

Is there a specific area of Public Administration you are most interested?
I am most interested in going into Community Development!