Evette L. Allen, PhD.
Director of Student Life, Leadership, and Involvement Utah State University
Where did you go to school and what did you study?
Arkansas State University, B.A. in Communication Studies; University of North Texas, M.A. in Communication Studies, and University of Denver, PhD in Higher Education
Tell us about your school/work life:
I currently work at Utah State University Eastern as the Director of Student Life, Leadership, and Involvement. In this position, I work directly with our student government and student activities team, leadership programs, and diversity and inclusion programs. Our office plans a lot of large events to assist students with adjustment and social enjoyment while on campus, we help student develop leadership skills in a number of ways, and plan programs to assist students with social responsibility and awareness. In addition to my work on campus, I work in the field of student affairs on issues related to social justice. For example, I serve on the social justice strategic planning committee for NASPA Region V Board. My specific responsibilities include looking at ways to help our student affairs professionals incorporate social justice ideas into their daily work and practices.
Tell us about your life outside of school/work:
Outside of work, I like to travel to new places and try new food. on a typical weekend, I can be found watching a movie or catching up with family and friends. I am also involved with the Upsilon Beta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., and with this group I am involved in various projects for uplift in the community. I occasionally read for leisure or write for reflection when I have a free moment.
What do you think matters more in college: grades or networking?
I think in college, students should have a combination of satisfactory grades and networking skills. Good grades can show that students have worked hard toward something and Networking is just establishing a network of people in your field or area of interest to contact for advice, projects, etc. I believe that the combination of both show future employers or clients that an individual can set a plan and get work done and establish trusted relationships that may be needed for consulting or collaboration. So, while your main purpose for going to school is gaining knowledge and experience in a certain field, do not forget to make connections along the way.
How did you know your path or decide your current path?
I decided my career path while I was working as a graduate assistant in orientation and first year experience. I loved working with students and welcoming them to the institution. The first year of college is critical and connecting student to much needed resources can assist with their satisfaction and retention during college. Being on a college campus and working to help students develop leadership skills was where I felt most fulfilled and so I continued in that field.
What’s the most exciting project you’ve worked on?
I think there is more of a type of project that makes me most excited. I am most excited when I work on social justice related programming or workshops. I am really excited when students, faculty, and staff can explore their biases and look at ways to make spaces more welcoming for all individuals.
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