Name: Anitra Yusinski-McShea
Position: Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Office location: 201 Patrick and Margaret DeNaples Center
Educational background:BA in Sociology and Anthropology from Elizabethtown College
MA in College Student Personnel from Bowling Green State University
Finishing Dissertation – PhD in Human Development with a Concentration in Higher Education Administration from Marywood University
Previous student affairs background:Judicial Affairs Graduate Assistant – Office of Student Life at Bowling Green State University (BGSU)
Orientation Program Assistant – responsibilities for Student Program of Orientation for the Office of Student Life (BGSU)
Student Affairs Counselor – with main functional responsibilities in Judicial Affairs but also assisted with Student Leadership Development (LeadershipUGA) at The University of Georgia (UGA)
Assistant Dean of Students – UGA
Director of Student Activities and Orientation – The University of Scranton
Dean of Students – The University of Scranton
Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students – The University of Scranton
In this role, Dean McShea is responsible for assisting the Vice President for Student Affairs in the overall daily management of the division. In addition, she supervises several departmental directors and program leaders in the areas of Residence Life, the Center for Health Education and Wellness, Multicultural Affairs, the Jane Kopas Women's Center, Recreational Sports, Student Activities and Orientation, and the Office of Clubs and Organizations. Dean McShea also acts as the moderator of Student Government, provides assistance and outreach to commuting and off campus students and has primary responsibility for being a student advocate.
Why did you choose a career in student affairs?
I was a student leader at my undergraduate institution (Student Government, Residence Life, Peer Education, etc.) My mentor (Assistant Dean) at Etown gave me insights into the career of Student Affairs and I was hooked. I began looking at master’s programs with the goal of being a Dean of Students some day. How blessed I truly am for being in this wonderful field!
What do you enjoy most about working in student affairs?
Absolutely the answer is and most likely will always be working with students. As an educator, I feel strongly about the important role of student affairs into students’ development, learning and growth. It is such an essential piece of the learning experience. Not only am I energized by watching students learn and grow from the experiences we provide, but I also learn something each day from as well!
What advice would you give to a student considering a career in student affairs?
Where do I begin? First of all, I would tell students to really research the field. Go online and visit some of the professional associations in the field such as the National Association of Personnel Administrators (NASPA) www.naspa.org or the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) www.acpa.nche.edu. Make appointments with student affairs staff members and ask about the field, their journey, the work they do on a daily basis, etc. Do not be afraid to ask anyone in the Division for assistance. I would even suggest requesting an opportunity to shadow one of these professionals if possible.
Additionally, if a student is serious about a career in student affairs, I highly recommend beginning the process of exploring graduate programs in this area as soon as possible. There are some wonderful programs throughout the nation in the field. Some of these programs do differ in scope and experience however. So it is important to learn about each of these programs (i.e., the curriculum, graduate assistantship and practica opportunities, etc.) so that it can inform one’s application process. Many of these processes have December and January deadlines…therefore, it will also be important for students to keep track of these deadlines and ensure that resumes and GRE scores are in hand for the application processes. Most importantly, students should not feel like they need to enter this process alone. There are so many folks here who would love to help—myself included!