Higher Education & Student Affairs MA

Name: Isaiah Antoine
Email: ijantoine@dons.usfca.edu
Program: Higher Education & Student Affairs MA 
Hometown: Antioch, CA

Why USF?

USF's commitment to social justice really transforms the program and education you'll receive into something meaningful that can inspire change.

What has been the highlight of your program thus far?

Being able to actively work via in my desired field via the internship component of my program.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Find what ignites your passions in education. The work is a lot easier to do when you love it.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:

Brenda's French Soul Food

Jessica AlvaName: Jessica Alva
Email: jealva@dons.usfca.edu
Program: Higher Education & Student Affairs MA 
Hometown: Sunnyvale, CA 
Connect with Jessica on LinkedIn

Why USF?

I started by tenure at USF in 2014 as a first-year undergraduate student. During my four years at USF, I became involved and met various staff members who constantly pushed me to be better. These staff members were the ones who introduced me to student affairs as a career. During my fourth year as an undergraduate, I also connected with a graduate student in the cohort above mine. They talked to me about the kinds of material that were covered in classes and common topics of disagreement in class. The discussions being had were exactly the ones I wanted to be a part of. This reassured my decision to attend USF for another two years.

What has been the highlight of your program thus far?

The best part of the HESA program so far is the faculty. Never have I ever been so fortunate to have faculty that have taught with such passion, knowledge, and vision for a better world. Not only do they support all their students, but they constantly challenge us and tell us what we need to hear.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

It never hurts to sit in on a class or talk to a current student. Both will hopefully give you the information you need to make your decision.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:

Tarantino's Restaurant in San Francisco

Winnie BeeName: Winnie Bee
Email: wbee@dons.usfca.edu
Program: Higher Education & Student Affairs MA 
Hometown: Palm Springs, CA 
Connect with Winnie on LinkedIn 

Why USF?

I chose USF for the awesome faculty and the emphasis on social justice in our curriculum. Another deciding factor was the Student Affairs Internship Program (SAIP) that was offered. It is great to have the opportunity to learn about student development theory and then seeing it in action.

What has been the highlight of your program thus far?

My cohort! They've been an excellent resource and support system throughout my grad school experience. I have definitely leaned on my peers when processing readings, writing papers, and getting advice for my practicum/internship.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Take advantage of your practicums and keep an open-mind when figuring out what functional area within student affairs you want to work in. I used my practicums (as well as my SAIP internship) to gain exposure to the different offices and figure out what it is exactly that I want to do.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:

The Italian Homemade Company

Shaquilla ThomasName: Shaquilla Thomas
Email: Sthomas11@dons.usfca.edu
Program: Higher Education & Student Affairs MA 
Hometown: Miami, FL 
Connect with Shaquilla on LinkedIn

Why USF?

USF gave me the opportunity to explore a different side of the world coming from Florida, as well as being in community with minority groups all individuals with similar goals, different perspectives, cultures and interests but wanting to make the similar impact in our communities.

What has been the highlight of your program thus far?

The greatest highlight of my time in Higher Education & Student Affairs is the growth that I have experienced while attending classes and depth of knowledge I have been able to gain from peers to continue to push through the sometimes difficult work we partake in in Student Affairs.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Some key advice I would give is stay authentic to you but be open minded about thoughts and perspectives. Listen & ask questions because sometimes it may spark a whole new perspective.

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:

Citrus Club/Kaiju Eats

Zayna SeyediName: Zayna Seyedi
Email: zseyedi@dons.usfca.edu
Program: Higher Education & Student Affairs MA 
Hometown: San Jose, CA
Connect with Zayna on LinkedIn

Why USF?

The highly educated and experienced faculty really make USF special. I couldn't have asked for more intelligent or approachable professors. I'm really impressed by both their research and their service to the community.

What has been the highlight of your program thus far?

The people that I've gotten to learn from and build community with. My cohort consists of an amazing group of individuals from all different backgrounds and experiences. I know I will continue to look to them for guidance and support long after I graduate from my program.

What advice do you have for prospective students?

Make yourself a priority by taking the time to practice self care and by doing things that bring you happiness. Mental wellness is incredibly important and often taken for granted in this day and and age where we are constantly on the go. Also, don't be afraid to reach out for support - you are your best advocate!

Favorite Bay Area Restaurant:

Hog Island Oyster Co. by the Ferry Building or Picaro in the Mission District