Careers in Student Affairs: Katie Dalton

After graduating from Boston College in 2003 with a degree in Psychology, I entered the exhilarating world of advertising as an account executive on the General Motors account at Mullen Advertising. I truly enjoyed the fast paced, dynamic and creative environment however, after a particularly long night trying to finalize a direct mail piece that I was certain would end up most recipients’ trash barrels, I found myself looking for more meaning. After relaying my feelings to a wise mentor, he advised me to find the job that I want, the one that would bring me joy, and then to figure out how to get there. I did just that and discovered the exciting world of higher education administration; a place where I could get paid to stay in college forever.

I enrolled in the Higher Education Administration MA program at BC in 2005. I gained higher education administration experience working in two different assistantships while in graduate school, first as a graduate assistant in the Student Affairs Business Service Center and second as a Peer Minister in Duchesne Hall on Newton Campus. Both provided me with learning opportunities outside of the classroom that were very transferable to positions that I applied for following graduation. For my first professional job I serve as the assistant director of the Women’s and Gender Studies Program at Brandeis University for four years before returning to BC in 2007 as the director of the Women’s Resource Center.

When I plotted my course in higher education administration I did not foresee myself in this position necessarily, however it certainly combines my passion for working directly with students with that of working on higher level institutional policies.

As the director of the Women’s Resource Center my days are consistently inconsistent. The Center is run as a feminist collaborative meaning it is much more linear than hierarchical. That being said, the seven undergraduate student workers and three graduate assistants have tremendous responsibility conceiving of and implementing programming. I guide each of the students in their overall programming endeavors and meet with them weekly to discuss the progress of their projects and offer advice and assistance as needed. I oversee the Bystander Intervention Education Program, a violence prevention program, as well as the Sexual Assault Network, a 24 hour hotline staffed by trained advocates to serve the needs of those affected by sexual violence.

I also serve students who are struggling with disordered eating and survivors of sexual violence. Students either schedule appointments or drop into my office as needed. Although I am not a trained counselor, I work with students as a bridge to University Counseling Services.

The Women’s Resource Center is part of the greater Office of Health Promotion so I am subsequently part of a larger administrative team that addresses health and wellness at Boston College. I meet weekly with my supervisor as well as my colleagues in OHP to conceive of creative ways to address health issues that students face.

A career in higher education offers the advantage of working in a dynamic and exciting field, one in which I find remarkable meaning. I particularly enjoy working at a mission driven institution where the formation of students is at the forefront of the work that we do.

Katie Dalton
Director of the Women’s Resource Center, Office of Health Promotion
BA ’03; MA, Higher Education Administration ‘07

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