The area of student conduct is a unique one to work in. Not only do I get the opportunity to invest in students, but I also get to influence policy and hone some other skills. While technically I am an office of one, I have indirect oversight of about 17 people in their capacity as a hearing officer. My pathway to student conduct is not traditional by any means. I was never an RA or an RD. Not only did I not know that there was such as thing as a conduct office at colleges and universities, but I also had no idea that higher education was even a “thing.” I graduated from college with a business degree and worked in the real estate development and management field. At some point, I decided to change a job and found myself working in the president’s office at a state university. Simply put, I have strong organizational skills and office work comes easy to me…that’s how I landed this administrative job. Through pure observation that everybody else either had a master’s degree or higher and noticing I was the only person of color in that office, I felt the need to go back to school. Since at this point I was working in a university, I decided to enroll in a program that fed my interest of working with young people and the next generation. No, this did not translate into studying in a higher education/student affairs program. Remember, I still didn’t quite know that higher education was a “thing.” Instead, I pursued a master’s degree in criminal justice. It was at the conclusion of this program and several informational interviews later, that I learned that student conduct is an area to work in. What got me really excited was the opportunity to mentor and invest in students. Long story short, I was hired into a newly created office specifically to help oversee student conduct. These days, I am pursuing my doctorate and am proud to say that I will be graduating this May with my Doctor of Education in Higher Education Administration.
Cassie Kao is the Associate Director Community Standards and Residence Life
If you would like to connect with Cassie please email us at info@TappingTalent.org