Why I Chose EMU
Rachel Leonard: ‘I wanted to earn a nationally recognized degree.’
A first-generation student, Rachel Leonard says she chose to pursue a Master of Higher Education Student Affairs degree at EMU due to the program’s stellar reputation.
“I had heard great things about the education programs at Eastern and wanted to earn a nationally recognized degree,” says Leonard, who graduated from EMU in the spring of 2020. “The opportunities for internships and graduate assistantships really impressed me. I was able to apply what I learned in the classroom.”
While at EMU, Leonard also had a graduate assistantship at Faculty Development Center, where she helped ensure that instructional resources remained robust so faculty could best support student needs.
After graduating from EMU, she accepted a role at the University of Michigan-Dearborn as an advisor for the Student Support Services Program within the Office of TRIO Programs.
“I serve as a guiding light for UM-Dearborn students who may be first-generation, low-income, or identify with a disability,” she says. “I absolutely love what I do and am ecstatic that I have the education and experiences from my time at EMU to be able to support my students to the best of my abilities.”
Building a network
One of the things Leonard enjoyed most when at Eastern was making valuable friendships with classmates and peers.
“When I first enrolled at EMU, I didn’t know anyone in my program,” she says. “Branching out was a great experience. I met so many wonderful people through my courses and across campus. I made great friendships and I know we’ll support each other for years to come.
“My experience in the Faculty Development Center was very unique. I met many faculty members and other outside professionals, and those connections have been important. We can help each other down the road. I’ve truly built a strong network that will support me socially and professionally.”