By Alyssa Richardson
Alyssa Harshfield, coordinator of new media and social networking, graduated from Southwestern in May 2012 with a bachelor’s degree in computer science and digital arts and minor in writing. When asked about the biggest difference in being a student and a staff member Harshfield said, “The professionalism. Faculty members now come to you for questions rather than the other way around. You become more of a peer to them.” Harshfield decided to return to SC because of the job opening, along with the appealing atmosphere Winfield has to offer. “I wouldn’t have wanted to learn a new town on top of learning a new job,” said Harshfield.
Alissa Sheppard, head cheerleading coach, graduated with a bachelors of art degree in communication in May 2012. While she had been the cheer team captain while a student at Southwestern, she is now learning how to adapt to being a coach and leader for the squad. “I’m learning how to become a stronger leader. It’s hard trying to get my girls to understand that I’m no longer their teammate,” said Sheppard. Out of loyalty and gratitude she returned to her alma mater in order to coach. “SC has done so much for me, so this is one way I can return the favor,” said Sheppard.
Korie Hawkins, admission counselor, graduated in 2011 with a bachelors degree in communication. She returned to Southwestern due to the small community setting and comfortable feeling Winfield tends to create. Now working in the admissions office, Hawkins has to modify her relationships with faculty and other staff members. “The biggest difference in being a staff member and student would be changing over your relationship with faculty. You are no longer viewed as a student to them but as a peer and colleague,” said Hawkins.
Grahm Whitley, network support specialist, has not graduated yet but is earning his bachelor’s degree in computer science and psychology. Whitley was offered the job due to his extensive knowledge of the systems used for the networks and computers, on top of the fact that he had already worked for the computer center previous to being hired. “This job comes with more responsibility, and is different since I am now a full time employee as opposed to a full time student,” said Whitley. He is now a part-time student working to finish his degree.
Alyssa Richardson is a sophomore majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.