A UToledo student has been accepted into a national program that develops student affairs leaders.
Tayana White, a senior majoring in women’s and gender studies, joins the 2020-21 class of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Undergraduate Fellows Program.
White said the Undergraduate Fellows Program is an “incredible opportunity that is especially important for underrepresented students like me who wish to further a career in student affairs.”
“Like many other higher education fields, some disparities make it difficult to succeed due to historical challenges,” she said. “My acceptance into the program is great because it acknowledges that obstacles exist. Some individuals realize this issue and want to assist in my success. I also believe the program is a head start in the workforce that I need as a first-generation student.”
White is the director of programming and special events for the Association for the Advancement of African American Women and this spring will continue as an intern with Complete College America.
Following her graduation in May, White said she hopes to continue her education at UToledo as a graduate student.
“I have a passion for advocating for underrepresented students,” White said. “I intend to continue to advocate through college completion, providing resources and sharing students’ stories.”
Lydia Cozier, programs coordinator for the Center for International Studies and Programs, is one of White’s mentors at UToledo, along with Dr. Michele Soliz, associate vice president for Student Success and Inclusion.
Cozier said she still recalls first meeting White three years ago when she applied to be a federal work-study student in the CISP office.
“One of the questions I asked her was, ‘What are the qualities you will bring to the job?’ She mentioned she did not have much experience but had the willingness to learn, determination to figure it out and would ask questions. With her using these three skills, I am proud to say, I have seen her significantly grow and develop personally and professionally ever since.
“Tayana is an excellent example to UToledo students. Any student who has the willingness to learn, the determination to figure it out and is always asking questions can achieve anything.”