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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

Meet the Graduate Team

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Tamarah Frank

Student Services Coordinator (Preska)


Education: Currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Counseling and Student Personnel: College Student Affairs. In May 2018, I graduated from St. Cloud State University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Communication Studies, with an emphasis in Relational Communications.

What I like about being a SSC: Coming into the role of SSC, I had limited experience in management. This position has allowed me to directly supervise over 20 undergraduate students and manage the front desk of Preska Hall. I have learned more about working with professionals in the field of residential life and continue to learn more each day.  

Student Connections: I love working with students, it is my passion! I want to help students achieve their goals, so at work I often make a point to sit behind the desk and talk with the desk workers and students walking past to hear about what they’re up to! In addition, I help students with roommate conflicts, room changes, and conflicts the desk workers have.

Favorite SSC Memory/Experience: This Halloween, I had the opportunity to attend Preska Hall’s WOW (What’s on Wednesday) and do spooky trivia! At the end, the residents did a costume fashion show that was super funny! I still cannot believe my team lost…but we confidently got 4th place.

Professional Development: My favorite professional development opportunity, outside of weekly meetings with my coworkers and supervisor, was attending the Minnesota College Professionals Association (MCPA) conference here in Mankato. Not only did I get to see classmates and coworkers present, but I also had the chance to meet professionals and graduate students in Student Affairs.

Position Balance and Academics: I have been fortunate in that the days I am busy with classes I can distribute my work hours to other days in order to take part in my program. Taking 12 credits this semester has been a little much for me to handle at times, but the job has been a great benefit as it allows me to afford a Master’s Program and ensures I can attend all of my classes.

My Professional Dream: While I am still learning about the wide array of careers in student affairs, my dream job at the moment is being a director of campus activities. Any career where I help students have positive experiences outside of the classroom would be a position in which I could thrive.  

Heather Culver

Student Services Coordinator (Julia Sears)


Education: I am currently pursuing a Master's Degree in College Student Affairs. I started my undergraduate education at Iowa State University before transferring to finish at the University of Northern Iowa. I graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Leisure, Youth, & Human Services, with an emphasis on Nonprofit Management and Youth Development.

What I like about being a SSC: I truly love so much about my job. It draws upon my strengths of organization and administration but also provides many challenges. I am able to learn how to navigate different roles as well. Sometimes, students just need me to listen, while my employees need me to represent them and their ideas, and professional staff need me to meet deadlines. I am part of a team in Julia Sears, with the other grads, and across Residential Life as a whole, but I am a different team member with each of these.

Student Connections: I love being able to meet and build relationships with students as well as developing student leaders. I am able to interact with students at various points of their college career and be a helper to them along this journey. You never know who is going to reach out to you and why, and I love being able to adapt and help however I can. My favorite part is recognizing students and calling them by name when I see them.

Favorite SSC Memory/Experience: Move in days were probably the most enjoyable time for me. I have been a CA and RA and have always loved move-in day, but this year was even more exciting. I got to do more behind the scenes planning, preparation, and problem-solving but also got to share my enthusiasm as students got to come home to Julia Sears for the first time. My staff and I made it an exciting and fun atmosphere, and I had a complete blast meeting the new students and their families. It definitely got me pumped up for an incredible year in Julia Sears!

Professional Development: The SSC position excited me because I saw a wide variety of professional development opportunities. I work closely with other professional staff members within in the hall, but also report to the Area Director. The wealth of knowledge in Julia Sears alone has pushed me to grow, but I also have the opportunity to supervise over 20 undergraduate staff and oversee the function of the Julia Sears Front Desk. There are so many aspects to the SSC job that you really get to grow in many facets but you also have the ability to take on additional roles to challenge yourself in new ways.

Position Balance and Academics: Residential Life really helps to make sure the graduate students meet this balance. Their #1 priority is our education, and everyone has been so willing to work with me around academics as well as professional development. As an SSC you work with your Area Director to set your schedule. My hours stay pretty consistent from week-to-week, I also have the flexibility to move them around to best fit my needs as a Master's student and developing professional.

My Professional Dream: I want to work with student leaders on a college or university campus. I aspire to be part of their journey of self-discovery and hope to help them unlock their potential for their college career and beyond. I am thankful for my current experience and hope to continue in a career field where I am able to have various tasks from day-to-day and see where the journey takes me!

Kayla Pauly

Student Services Coordinator (Crawford)


Education: Currently pursuing a master's degree in Professional School Counseling. B.S. in Psychology from Minnesota State University, Mankato.
What I like about being a SSC: I love having the opportunity to develop professional skills before entering the workforce. I especially love meeting with students and helping them find ways to enhance their environment in the residence halls. Being an SSC provides me with the experience to help people, and also allows me to flex my schedule as I see fit. 
Student Connections:
Meeting with students around the residence halls and connecting with desk staff is a huge part of the job. I love having the ability to not only supervise, but become friends with many student leaders within the dorms and allow them the opportunity to grow within the department. 
Favorite SSC Memory/Experience: My favorite SSC experience so far has been move-in days! Meeting the residents and helping them feel at home was incredibly fun.
Professional Development: One of the best things about this role is having the opportunity to improve professional skills. With administrative tasks, collaborative teams, diversity training, and being a supervisor has really helped my professional growth. 
Position Balance and Academics: With being an SSC, you have the freedom to make your own schedule, which makes it immensely manageable between classes and a social life. 
My Professional Dream:
My professional dream is to help elementary students with social, emotional and behavior issues and how they translate to a school setting. I enjoy working with students and cannot wait ti pursue my career as a Professional School Counselor. 

Rudy Correa

Student Services Coordinator (McElroy)


Education: Currently pursuing my Master’s degree in Human Services Planning and Administration. I completed my undergraduate in Food Science with a minor in Nutrition here at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
What I like about being a SSC: I like the opportunities the position gives me to develop administrative skills. The position allows me to be creative and apply what I learn in class to help residents and my staff. Being an SSC allows me to work and learn directly from the Area Director and gives me leadership with a team of 20 student workers.
Student Connections: The SSC has direct supervision of the front desk staff and engages with residents for different reasons. I am the key resource for room changes and mail. However, I like to make myself available for any resident who needs assistance. I really like watching my staff grow as professionals and working hard to achieve their goals. Also, I like interacting with students and see them enjoying their experience in college, making friends and memories.
Favorite SSC Memory/Experience: My favorite memory was watching the McElroy team’s Homecoming performance (Fall 2017). Their energy, creativity, and connection was very entertaining and a clear example of the strength of the McElroy community I belong to.  
Professional Development:
There are many professional development opportunities offered to the SSC. For instance, participating in the staff meetings, having weekly 1:1s with the Area Director, and attending seminars/webinars.
Position Balance and Academics: I appreciate that my academics are the number one priority for the lead team. The Area Director is as interested in my professional development as in my academics. The position gives me plenty of flexibility to work around my responsibilities. 
My Professional Dream:
My goal is to work at an international non-profit that works to eliminate food insecurity. With my background in Food Science & Nutrition, my administrative skills, and my Master’s in Human Services I want to work planning projects for leading organizations to eradicate hunger.

Megan Ross

Academic Success Coordinator


Education: I am currently enrolled in the Counseling and Student Personnel Professional School Counseling program; I have my BA in Psychology from UW-Eau Claire.
What I like about being an ASC: My favorite part of being the Academic Success Coordinator is the variety! I get to work independently, coordinate with my supervisor, collaborate with community advisors, and work in a group setting within the Academic Success Committee. Additionally, I help lead and support community advisors in building academic programs, I plan and execute residential wide events, and I have smaller tasks like creating passive programming posters and exerts to be included in the res life newsletter. No two days are alike, and new ideas are constantly getting tossed out and explored, so I really enjoy the constant change and progress I experience within this position.
Student Connections:
I have had the opportunity to connect with many students as the Academic Success Coordinator. I connect with students indirectly by serving as a resource to community advisors, who are the front line for academic programming and fielding academic questions. I interact directly with students when I attend programs that community advisors are putting on or when I am running larger scale events like the campus tours or stomp to success.
Favorite ASC Memory/Experience: My favorite experience working as the Academic Success Coordinator was planning and participating in Stomp to Success, an event that promoted the free tutoring services on campus. I designed and hung promotional posters, I rented the Stomper costume, set up a photo booth, and got to meet and interact with so many students over the course of the day. Additionally, we (myself and the community advisor in the Stomper uniform) were connecting students with a resource that could significantly and positively impact their educational experience. Overall, it was a really awesome memory.
Professional Development:
I believe this position has really helped me grow in so many ways! I gained a lot of event and program planning and promoting experience. I became more comfortable and confident in reaching out to, and sharing information with, full-time professional staff and undergraduate community advisors. I learned how to more effectively balance my time, stay organized, and prioritize responsibilities. Overall, the variety of responsibilities, tasks, and opportunities that this position entails really allows me to grow and develop a broad range of skills and abilities.
Position Balance and Academics: Balancing this graduate assistantship with my Master's Program has been relatively easy because Residential Life as a department makes our education a priority. For instance, my supervisor usually checks in with me to see how my classes are going and how manageable my stress levels are. Additionally, one day a week I have a heavy class load (6 hours of class), so I am able to flex my hours so that I can focus on school that day, and work longer days the other 4. Overall, my supervisor and the department as a whole are very mindful of my role as a student and are constantly supporting me in my educational endeavors.  
My Professional Dream: My professional dream is to earn my Master’s degree and work within a high school as a school counselor. I hope to develop programs to prevent serious issues like dating violence, substance abuse and cyberbullying, and to promote student goal setting and working towards achieving those goals. Overall, I hope to have the opportunity to interact with adolescents in a meaningful way!