Our Students

Our students currently are comprised of several international students and from over 10 states! We value intersectional identities and welcome a broad spectrum of students to our program. Their many lived experiences and narratives enrich our classroom discussions and facilitate exposure to diverse perspectives. Our program is currently one of the most diverse in the region for a student affairs program. Below is a sample of some of our current students and why they selected our SIUE CSPA program. 

Alexis Paladini

AlexisI am from Appleton WI and earned my degree undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire.   I first heard about SIUE as an institution when I interviewed for my graduate assistantship within housing. Upon receiving a second, on-campus interview for my assistantship I started looking into programs at SIUE which is when I found CSPA. What drew me, ultimately, to SIUE was the campus atmosphere. When I stepped onto campus for my second interview, I felt like home. I loved interacting with the students and the staff. And what made me decide the CSPA program was the right fit for me was its rigorous curriculum. Other programs I was looking at only required students to perform one practicum and choose between a comprehensive exam or a research project. At SIUE, we are required to have two practicum, take a comprehensive exam, and create a final research project. I was excited to join a program that set its students up for success and made them competitive candidates upon job searching.

Rani Somers

Rani I hail from the town of Marion, IL which is located in the southernmost part of the state.  I came to SIUE in 2010 and 4.5 years later, I graduated with a B.S. in Psychology with a Minor in Criminal Justice Studies in December 2014.  After graduation, I had an amazing opportunity to work for my sorority at our national office.  It was through that experience that I discovered my love for student affairs.  I decided to pursue a graduate degree in student affairs and I knew that I wanted to come back to SIUE so the CSPA program was the perfect solution!  I currently am serving as a second-year Graduate Assistant for Fraternity & Sorority Life at SIUE.  I love being able to work with our young, Greek leaders on campus and giving them the tools that they need to be successful.  Through the CSPA program, I have had two practicum experiences.  My first practicum was located in the Community Engagement Department in the Kimmel Student Involvement Center.  The second practicum experience was located in the Undergraduate Advising Office of the College of Arts and Sciences. An opportunity that I have been given is to create and develop a student organization that is solely for our program.  It is called Chi Sigma Alpha: The Society for College Student Personnel Professionals.  This organization gives us the opportunity to connect with our fellow program students.  The CSPA Program at SIUE has given me a strong foundation to start my professional career.

Ashley Jeffers

JeffersMy name is Ashley Jeffers. I am from Steeleville, IL. My undergraduate institution was also Southern Illinois University Edwardsville where I earned my B.S. in Applied Communicated Studies. I am currently a second year in the CSPA program. I am fortunate to serve as a Graduate Assistant within the Office of Admissions at SIUE under Campus Visit and New Student Programs. I am currently the Graduate Senator for Student Government, an active member of Chi Sigma Alpha, and the NASPA Graduate Associate for our campus. I chose SIUE CSPA because of the affordability, the great support and mentorship from student affairs professionals on campus, and the graduate assistantship opportunity!

Ashley Dunn

DunnMy name is Ashley Dunn and I am from Granite City, Illinois.   I received a Bachelor of Arts in Contemporary Studies from Fontbonne University, in Saint Louis, Missouri.  Currently, I serve as the Student Services Coordinator for Southwestern Illinois College at the Sam Wolf Granite City Campus.  Many of my responsibilities consist of Financial Aid and Enrollment Services, and involves taking a holistic approach to serving students.   Through Financial Aid I am a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).  The first practicum I completed for the CSPA program was with SWIC's Student Support Services, also known as TRIO.  I am looking forward to the second practicum with SWIC's Industrial Technology Center where the institutions vocational programs are housed.  I chose SIUE's CSPA program for an opportunity to have a degree that specifically goes along with the experience I have gained in higher education.  This program has met my expectations in meeting student services' staff from other institutions and building a networking system within my own field. 

Meagan Arnold

ArnoldI have spent the better part of my life split across the Mississippi.  I spent my formative grade school years in St. Louis, MO and my high school years in the booming metropolis of Jerseyville, IL.  When I transferred to SIUE after my first year of college, I had no idea what I really wanted to be when I “grew up.” After exploring many different options, I received my bachelor’s degree from SIUE in Studio Art with a focus on Weaving.  After graduation, I found a full-time job on campus working in the Career Development Center.  That is where I finally found where I needed to be.  Student Affairs has been the calling I was waiting for my whole life.  I chose the CSPA program at SIUE because working with students and helping them “figure it out” is what I am passionate about.  My experience in the Career Development Center coupled with my practicum experiences in Academic Advising and with Dr. Sasso for the CSPA program have driven me to learn, push, and explore the exciting world ahead of me as I embark on my career in Student Affairs!