Supporting Students through Off Campus Life


 

Olivia SheetzWinchester, VA native Olivia Sheetz now applies her management and people skills, which she learned as a psychology major at Radford University, to OCL. With her background in psychology, Sheetz is currently enrolled in James Madison University’s school counseling graduate program to eventually become an elementary school counselor.

Whether it was fate or a coincidence, Sheetz found her current position as a Graduate Assistant for OCL while searching for a job on Joblink. During her first summer semester at JMU, she applied with hopes that she would be able to take part in student affairs again. In her interview with OCL Coordinator Rebecca Carbaugh, she fell in love with OCL and was inspired by the exchange of ideas she and Carbaugh bounced off each other.

With Sheetz’s education, goals for the future, and work experience, she is well equipped to take on a supervising position as a Graduate Assistant. Her studies in psychology and counseling lend themselves to this work style, in addition to helping her get along with others and “understand where people are coming from.” Sheetz is also prepared to oversee the student liaisons, given her three-year supervising position for orientation at Radford.

Sheetz feels lucky in her position with a great work environment and work-life balance, which she hopes to keep up throughout her six-semester graduate program. She is grateful to have such good coworkers, saying, “I could see us being friends in the future when we no longer work for the office.”

When Sheetz isn’t working one-on-one with the staff, she’s also learning more about the community and OCL’s role in it, like providing UDAP contracts. However, supervising the staff of six undergraduate student liaisons makes up the bulk of her position. “I really like that I can make it what I want it to be, lead however I want, and help the SLs be really creative in what they’re doing,” Sheetz says. Sheetz not only helps the undergrads with their responsibilities such as posting on Facebook and publishing a monthly newsletter; she also acts like a mentor to all of them.

She hopes to grow from her experience at OCL as she learns more about JMU and the surrounding community, confessing how difficult it can be to get involved as a grad student. Sheetz may hold these personal goals, but her main focus is to make a positive impact on OCL itself and the students she supervises. “I really want to help the undergrad staff develop professionally.”

When she isn’t working or studying, Sheetz can be found cuddled up with her cat, Sage, reading historical fiction novels. In addition to her interest in history and thoughts of a post-retirement job at a museum, she also takes advantage of JMU’s surrounding nature and hikes with her friends. In her free time, Sheetz never wants to “just veg out.”

Published: Friday, September 29, 2017

Last Updated: Friday, September 29, 2017

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