“If it wasn’t for the organizations I have been a part of, the staff I have gotten to know personally, or the professors who actually know my name, I couldn’t say Clayton State University has made my dreams come true. But because I have had an incredible experience here at Clayton State, I can say my dreams have been made real,” confesses Samantha Lapier, a senior Psychology and Human Services major.
A Dalton, Ga., native, Lapier has just been chosen for the 2014/2015 class of the NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP). This fellowship aides historically disenfranchised and underrepresented professionals in their study and pursuit of careers in student affairs and/or higher education.
Originally pursuing a degree in Dental Hygiene, Lapier quickly realized that she wanted to do something else. She changed her major to Psychology and has dedicated herself to student affairs ever since. She is deeply involved in Clayton State campus life activities such as the Diversity Education Experiences for Peers program, the Student Leadership and Involvement Council, and the Student Government Association.
“Clayton State University has the best support system in all of USG,” exclaims Lapier, “This campus has helped me find my unique path. After attending this institution, I am now applying to receive my Masters in Higher Education and Student Affairs.”
To gain experiential learning before graduation, Lapier works as an intern for the Department of Campus Life at Clayton State. She professes that she has a new appreciation for Student Affairs because of this internship and now knows that this is the perfect path for her.
“This was the best experience I could have received,” comments Lapier, “After working with Ms. Lakiesa Rawlinson, I was able to have a hands-on experiences and not so much just hearing about how great student affairs is.”
Lapier describes her internship experience as the starting point of her graduate learning in Student Affairs. Her goal is to work at an institution where she can implement or intensify diversity and leadership.
“My ultimate goal is to teach courses on campus like our CSU 1022 course, or credited courses on the breakdown of leadership,” states Lapier.
Her love of diversity and leadership has not gone un-noticed by Laker Nation. She has gained many positions that recognize her potential. She serves as a Team Leader for AmeriCorps, a Resident Assistant for Clayton Station Apartments, a Laker Insider for the Office of Recruitment and Admissions, and has earned the 2014 President’s Volunteer Service Award.
“Clayton State is a strong beginning to my grand future. I gained the most amazing mentors, experienced the best development, and created bonds with significant people in my life,” comments Lapier. “My involvement with this campus has had its ups and downs but I would not change a piece of my Clayton State story.”