Student Profile: Heidi Nicklaus


Heidi Nicklaus (Ed.M. College Student Affairs ’14) always had a passion for higher education and a deep sense of Rutgers University pride. She came to Rutgers as an undergraduate to become involved in the Rutgers Scarlet Knight Marching Band. She became an active member in the band for four years and even served as the Piccolo Section Leader. Alongside her marching band duties and her academic responsibilities studying psychology and anthropology, she was very active in on-campus organizations such as Iota Sigma Beta Sorority which is the only leadership sorority in the nation, and Scarlet Listeners, a peer counseling hotline, where she took on positions as a supervisor and a trainer. She credits her involvement with both her sorority and Scarlet Listeners as major contributors toward developing her leadership and counseling skills, and her love of working with students. She also gained experience working with departments such as admissions and study abroad.  These experiences fueled her interest in working in higher education and inspired her to pursue a master’s degree in College Student Affairs (CSA) at the Rutgers Graduate School of Education (GSE). 

As a member of the fourth cohort of the CSA program, Heidi is excited to be part of the program’s development.  One of her favorite aspects of the program is the cohort system, which has given her valuable opportunities to collaborate and network with other students from different backgrounds.  She notes, “Whether it’s doing schoolwork or just hanging out, it’s so great to work with people that have different experiences because they offer a different perspective.” Networking is especially important in pursuing internship and fieldwork experience as part of the CSA curriculum.

The CSA program requires students to engage in internships and fieldwork related to student affairs whether on-campus at Rutgers or in nearby institutions. Heidi is currently interning with Rutgers Residential Life. As the Hall Director of Tinsley, which houses about 200 first-year students, she supervises the staff of four Resident Assistants (RA’s) and is responsible for programming initiatives to support community development, diversity, scholarship, and citizenship. Over the summer, she worked at Johnson & Wales University located in North Carolina. The fieldwork experience and internship component of the CSA program is highly beneficial as it enables students to gain hands-on experience while working in various departments of student affairs.

After graduation, Heidi hopes to pursue a career in student affairs working in the East Coast. Through her internship with residential life and working with orientation and transfer students, she has developed a passion working specifically with incoming students. Furthermore she is also considering pursuing a Ph.D. to continue her love of learning.

In her free time, Heidi enjoys staying active by attending Rutgers Recreation classes and running. She also enjoys reading, travelling, hiking, and spending time with friends.  

Heidi encourages students who are interested in the CSA program to take advantage of opportunities that are challenging and build strong relationships with their supervisors.

“My favorite thing about working in student affairs is being able to have a positive impact on students’ development and journey throughout their college career. My ultimate goal is to be able to challenge them to think in new ways, learn new skills, and develop confidence as well as direction in their life.” 

To learn more about the Ed.M. in College Student Affairs Program, click here.