Higher Education & Student Affairs

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My journey into the profession of student affairs

My journey into the profession of student affairs began well before I was aware there was such a thing.  Early on in life, I was constantly drawn toward being involved in groups. My earliest recollection of being an official member goes back to cub scouts—although I did not stay in the program for very long because knot tying was too much for me to master. In high school, I became involved in a number of organizations and began to notice that teachers or administrators would join our meetings and offer suggestions or advice—and most of the time what they said made sense.  From there, I took on a number of student leadership roles in college—each provided a chance to not only lead my peers but also to interact with staff and faculty who served in roles called student organization advisors.  It was one advisor in particular who pulled me aside one day during my senior year and encouraged me to consider a career in student affairs.  I still remember my response:  “Working with college students is a profession?” She said, “Yes, it is and I think you would be very good at it.” Thank goodness she was a patient soul.  Over the course of the next few months, she explained how the profession worked and the different paths for making one’s way into it.  Through her wise counsel, I was able to navigate my next steps in acquiring the necessary graduate education and work experience to join the student affairs’ ranks. And as they say, the rest is history.   That history has spanned thirty years and countless memories.  Central to these experiences has been the ability to impact thousands of students’ lives and to be impacted in return.  Furthermore, I have had the opportunity to work with some of the best and brightest people in the country, traveled internationally, caught a pass from a Heisman Trophy winning quarterback (you will have to ask me about that one) and continue to be challenged to develop my knowledge, skills and abilities.  If you are passionate about helping people learn, grow, and develop and enjoy the energy and enthusiasm of a college environment, then I can think of no better way to invest your life than in the profession of student affairs.  It certainly has been and continues to be a great adventure for me. 

My best to you,


Kevin P. Jackson, Ph.D., Vice President for Student Life

scottshepherd • October 29, 2012

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