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GPI: Leah Mudd - Assistant Director for Orientation & Student Experience

By Naidelly Coelho

Staff Writer

Courtesy of Leah Mudd

What is your educational and career background?

I got my bachelor's degree in psychology with an emphasis in clinical and counseling from Bellarmine University. It's a small private liberal arts university in Louisville, Kentucky. From there, I went to Florida State University and got my master's degree in higher education. I worked as a graduate assistant in the Office of New Student and Family Programs - so, really helping with orientation and orientation leader training in that capacity. And from there, I ended up here, which is really exciting. So, the preferred “FSU,” I would say - I'm sure others would say the same.

What is your job at FSU?

I’m the assistant director for orientation and student experience. Primarily I work with new student orientation, which is our first-year students and our transfer students that are incoming into Framingham State - really just getting them adjusted and adapted to our University. For first-year students, specifically, really highlighting what it's like to be a college student and what that will look like as a Ram. And then for our transfer students, really getting them used to our institution. Just hoping that people feel welcome and that they can find their place here and that they feel prepared. In addition to that, I also work with some student involvement pieces. The Student Government Association - I'm the advisor for that, along with the class officers as well. It's really exciting to kind of get folks into the door with orientation and then kind of see them through and help them get involved while they're here. That is the very broad type of overview you know. A lot of people at Framingham State wear a lot of different hats. You'll probably see me helping out, doing a bunch of random other things that maybe don't have to do with orientation or student involvement. But, I think that one of the really great things about working here and being in a staff role is that I have the ability to not only do my job duties, but also help around campus - not only to help everyone else, but also my professional development as well.

Can you tell me a little about your position as the new SGA advisor?

We had some organizational restructuring at the University as everyone knows. If you don't, you should read your email because it's all in there. Part of my new role was taking on Student Government Association, and I was actually really excited about that because I have past student government association experience. When I was an undergrad, I was in SGA at my university for all four years. The last two of those, I was student body president. I have a lot of experience, and it's really nice kind of getting back to that. I'm excited to kind of see it from the advisor perspective and really be able to help guide our students in advocating for the rest of the student body and really making sure that that stays the focus.

What are your career goals?

I'm a very big-picture thinker. Ultimately, I would love to be a president of a university one day - you know, like way down the line. But for now, I really just kind of want to stay in orientation - in first-year experience, whatever that may look like for me, but ultimately, one day, the retirement job would love to be a president of a university for sure. I mean, you know, go big or go home.

Do you have any hobbies?

It's getting to be winter time, so all my hobbies will be indoors now. But one of the things that I really do like most of the time to decompress is play Sims on my laptop, which a lot of people think is funny, but I've been playing since the desktop days. It's my comfort game.

Do you have any advice for students?

There are so many things that come to my head. But, a piece of advice that I got from one of my mentors in the past, and that is to take risks when it comes to getting involved. Applying for jobs and applying for internships. And, you know, really letting them tell you “No,” rather than telling yourself “No,” first. I think a lot of times, we have impostor syndrome and we feel like maybe we're not as qualified for this job or this internship or this leadership role on campus. And I always like to say it never hurts to try. You may apply on a whim and think that you won't get it and ultimately do, and that's really exciting. I always like to say, take risks. Let them tell you no first because I think that you could miss out on a lot of really great opportunities if you let your brain kind of tell you that you wouldn't be able to get that opportunity, whatever the case may be.



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