It’s been a long journey throughout the last two years in my graduate program at APU and there are many more things that have contributed to my success in the program than just my own dedication and exhaustion.
Firstly, I want to give a large thanks to the CCSD faculty and staff. From breaking down complicated theories and to staying up late grading papers and meeting with students day in and day out they have routinely been an inspiration to each and every member of our cohort. Though each are professors, they carefully walk the line between faculty and staff combining student learning with active student engagement, at all times putting student development at the forefront of everything they do.
All of my supervisors have been constantly challenging and supporting me throughout my assistantships at APU. Chuck Strawn, thank you for pushing me to always leave my mark on the world around me, as well as be as intentionally-minded as possible about each situation I am faced with. Jordy Dickey, your relaxed, personable nature is an inspiration to the balance of both professionalism and authenticity that I love about both you and student affairs. And finally, Frank Romero-Crockett, thanks for always putting students first and showing me how to balance family life with work life in a real, tangible way.
From working with interns in Communiversity to hanging out with LA-Termites, I have had made great friendships, mentorships and contacts that I will continue to learn from for years to come. Each and every student I have had the honor of working with the past two years has offered valuable, cherished learning opportunities and I will never forget the time we were able to spend together.
There is no way I would have been able to get through this program if it weren’t for the magnificent people in my cohort. Thanks to each of you who helped me when I was down, and put up with me when I was on top of the world. I look forward to working with (okay…under) you in the future. I have no doubt we have future college directors, presidents and deans in our class. The only question is who will get there first. God bless and good luck to each of you.
To my family, thank you for each of the encouraging words, emails, texts and high-fives you’ve given me over the years, especially when I really needed them–including several times throughout the last two years. You are the reason I continue to educate myself and learn both in and out of the classroom. Mom, thanks for always thinking everything I do deserves an A+ no matter what the syllabus says and encouraging me to do reach all of my goals, no matter how lofty. Jason, thanks for checking and re-checking just about every major paper, presentation and project I worked on throughout this program and for setting the bar so high. To the rest of ya, thank you for pushing me to never become complacent with the amount of knowledge I’ve already gained, but instead to further seek wisdom and knowledge in everything that I do. Thank you.
My friends, who are probably the most-impacted people in regards to my sometimes overwhelming schedules the last two years, thank you for understanding. Jorge, thanks for always being there for me when I needed someone to either talk to or kick me in the you-know-what. Definitely couldn’t have gotten this far with you, man. Tyler, thanks for each encouraging word and challenging me to be a better man each day. Sean, thanks for helping me defeat the enemies on a regular basis, which turned out to be a fantastic therapy, by the way. Brent, thanks for always bringing just about every hyperbole down to earth again (“Wwwoooowwww!”). Chile, it’s been a long year for the both of us. Thanks for turning my frown upside down more times than I can remember. Our late night talks and watching Giants games together were some of the best times I had this year. Megan, I know we’ll be friends for years even if you’re in Pasadena and I’m in Boston. It’s just like that. Thanks for never sugarcoating the truth with me. Molly, your encouraging words and smiles have always been an inspiration to me. I don’t know how you do it, but one of these days, if we hang out enough, I’ll figure you out. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
To each of you, I will never forget the amazing, life-changing things I learned from you. Thank you, again.