Gatepost Interview: Kevin Long, Notetaking Coordinator for CASA, Staff Member of the Year

How do you feel about being elected Support Staff Member of the Year?

I won the Support Staff Member of the Year award, which was really, really unexpected and definitely very exciting. I didn’t even know I was nominated for it, but it was for my work through the Center for Academic Success and Advising (CASA), and it was definitely a humbling sort of award. I’m actually leaving Framingham after this year – I’m going to go to another school. I’m going to Wentworth Institute of Technology, so it’s really nice to leave on a good note.

Could you briefly describe your resume and background?

I graduated from Framingham State last year. I was a communications major with minors in sociology and English. When I was here at Framingham State as a student, I was very involved on campus, and I served as a Resident Assistant. I was manager – one of the mangers – of the Student Transportation Center. I worked as a Foundations peer mentor. Right now, I’m currently enrolled in grad school at Salem State University. I’m in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program, so basically, I’m studying how to work with college students and how to kind of aid their development through the college process. I also work as a graduate fellow at Salem State in addition to being Notetaking Coordinator here. And I just received an offer from Wentworth Institute of Technology, where I will be starting in June as their Assistant Residence Director.

What is your favorite part of FSU?

I really love the small-community feel, and that’s something that I definitely tried to seek out when I was looking for other positions after this position ended this year. So, what I really like about Framingham State is, you know, I know everyone who works at the Career Services Office, I know everybody who works in the Student Involvement Office and it really makes for a very intentional and kind of rewarding experience – just working with fellow professionals that you know. I feel like if I, you know, went to a larger school that had 25 people working in an office, I may not be able to have the relationships I have with people here at Framingham State. And the same goes for when I was a student here as well. You know, I was able to have really great relationships with my fellow students, and I was able to develop those relationships because, you know, there weren’t 25,000 students that I wanted to get to know. There was a small number of them that were dedicated to the same causes that I was, and I think Framingham State overall really does a great job with developing its community,

What was your favorite part of being able to work with students?

My favorite part about working with students is a lot of them are not aware of the services that we have here, just like, the various kind of avenues they can go down in order to solve a specific problem, and I love being the person that introduces that to them. An example could be, you know, whether it’s something simple, like printing out their schedule in order to get accommodations because they have a documented disability – you know, a lot of students don’t know how to go about doing that. Or a lot of students don’t know how to go about signing up, you know, in order to take their final exams through CASA. And just kind of showing them the process of doing that, and they really get to learn a lot about the inner workings of our university, and that, you know, we do have intentional practices that do make sense. I really like having those conversations with students and explaining to them that, you know, we do have those services that provide for them.

What would you say is the best experience you’ve had, either as a student or while working here?

I’d say that the All University Banquet is probably one of my favorite things here, just as a student and as a professional, because it’s our way of recognizing, you know, clubs and organizations. What I like the most about it, though, is that it is student-nominated. So, it’s not, you know, Student Government Association saying, ‘Hey, we want to nominate these people and we want to have a say in who gets the awards.’ It’s actually students who have the voice, which I think is really empowering, and I think that it causes a lot of clubs to, you know, finally get that validation that they need in order for them to take that next step to kind of improve themselves. I know, for the winners last year – the Comic Book Club – they were up-and-coming, and they won that award at the banquet, and for them, it was just so validating that the work that they’re doing and the fun that they’re having is kind of definitely becoming a successful endeavor of theirs.