Voice of a Lifetime Logger: Emma Byers ’11

Emma Byers ’11 is currently studying at the University of Denver to complete her Master of Arts with a concentration in College Student Development. She returned to Puget Sound this summer as an intern in the Division of Student Affairs and in the Academic Advising Office.  She worked with several departments on various projects such as, researching Sexual Misconduct/Assault prevention efforts at other institutions and creating an assessment tool for the Logger Diversity Summit. We enjoyed working Emma and look forward to working with her as a professional in the future. We took an opportunity to ask Emma to reflect about her experience as an intern this summer and share her thoughts with you.

When thinking about your experience this summer, what did you discover about Puget Sound that you did not know as a student?
I had a very untarnished view of Puget Sound when I was a student. I haven’t been disillusioned this summer, but I think I’ve become a bit more realistic. I have discovered that there are challenges faced by staff at the university, but I have also discovered the perseverance and positivity that the staff continually expresses. I have been happy to see that despite obstacles, Puget Sound is still the wonderful place I have always known it to be.

What surprised you in terms of your projects/work?
I was pleasantly surprised by how willing colleagues at other institutions are to share best practices and assist with projects. I had not had much occasion to interact with colleagues from across the country, but some of my projects had me calling everywhere from Pennsylvania to California and everyone on the other end was happy to chat. I like that I am entering a profession where such collaboration is the norm. I was also surprised to learn all that goes into departmental and divisional assessment. Assessment is an important part of the work we do and I now have a greater appreciation of the work that goes into measuring learning outcomes and creating instruments, experience that I will carry with me in my future roles.

What will you take with you to your future roles?
The staff at Puget Sound display a truly collaborative spirit in all that they do. I have been so impressed with the level of communication between departments in the division and across campus. Puget Sound resists the urge to silo and I was so appreciative of the interactions I had with people from different offices. Knowing that this kind of collaboration can exist with a combination of respect among peers and good leadership is something that I will carry with me to my future roles and search for in potential institutions of employment. 

How does this experience impact/affect your future career goals?
The experience doing research for the Sexual Assault Work Group, opened up a whole new functional area of interest for me. When I get back to Denver I will begin training to become a survivor advocate and hope to incorporate these skills if not this direct experience into a future position.

What does Once a Logger, Always a Logger mean to you now?
Experiencing what it means to be welcomed back into the folds of the university with open arms makes it clear that being a member of the Logger family is not something that goes away with time or distance. When I thanked Mike Segawa for welcoming me home so warmly, he said that that is what an education at Puget Sound gets you – support, guidance, and smiles on everyone’s faces when you walk through the door. Being a Logger has always been a point of pride, but seeing the hard work of the staff and faculty from a “behind the scenes” perspective has increased that pride exponentially. I hope to one day return as a full-time staff member at Puget Sound and I know that if I do, I will find the same Logger-level of support as if I’d never left.