Student Profile: Alexa Anastasio
Alexa Anastasio was involved in many student-life roles while studying to receive her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Health Studies at Monmouth University. Alexa was president of the residence life association during her senior year and had experience as a residence assistant (RA), orientation leader, tour guide, and Peer Leadership Assistant.
She realized her passion was impacting the lives of college students through these experiences, prompting her to apply to the Graduate School of Education’s Master’s degree in College Student Affairs (CSA). The GSE’s CSA program attracted Alexa because it requires completion of two crucial components of becoming a CSA professional: hands-on experience and a strong theoretical foundation. Part of the hands-on experience includes a two-year internship.
“We are learning about students while being students,” noted Alexa. “So everything we learn, we apply to ourselves and talk about it and it’s really powerful in that way.”
Alexa secured a position as a Hall Director to fulfill her internship requirement. As a Hall Director, Alexa directly mentors four RAs, teaching them everything from community building to crisis management. Alexa dedicates a large portion of her time getting to know and impacting as many undergraduates as she can.
Alexa values the opportunity to attend a large, diverse research institution and still enjoy an intimate community of support. Her small classes allow her to connect with her professors on a first-name basis. She also benefits from a cohort of CSA students with whom she takes all of her classes over the two years.
“Having a group of people that I have grown with, and learned from, is truly amazing,” said Alexa. “I’ve gained professional ties but I’ve also met some of my best friends in this program.”
Alexa is involved in several professional-development organizations including the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) on which she serves as the Regional Coordinator for New Jersey Alliance (the New Jersey branch of ACPA). As Regional Coordinator Alexa plans professional-development opportunities for members in the tri-state area. She helped organize and run the Career Central program, which connected qualified professionals with employment opportunities, during the annual ACPA conference.
Alexa’s passion for helping others extends to the local community. Opportunities at Rutgers allow Alexa to serve the community while also connecting with undergraduates that she would not have the opportunity to meet otherwise. During the Scarlet Day of Service Alexa served as a site leader at the New Brunswick Bike Exchange, where she worked with ten undergraduate students to restore bicycles for the community.
Alexa also enjoys writing about her thrift-store shopping adventures on her blog during her free time. These adventures began when she was a child, thrift-store shopping with her mother and grandmother. She loves documenting and sharing her finds.
After graduating in May 2015, Alexa hopes to secure a position in Residence Life at a university that focuses on the arts so that she may pursue a degree in the arts while challenging herself to adapt to a new population of undergraduates. Alexa also hopes to eventually earn a doctorate degree and become a professor.
To learn more about the CSA program, click here.