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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Q&A with Alannah Vazquez

Alannah Vazquez poses with her rubber duck collection in her office on the third floor of Campion Student Center. PHOTO: ALLY ENGELBERT ’25/THE HAWK

Alannah Vazquez was appointed associate director of Student Leadership and Activities in November 2023. Vazquez has bachelor degrees in middle level education and American studies from La Salle University, and a master’s degree in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida (UCF).

Prior to her work at St. Joe’s, Vazquez was a program coordinator at UCF and the University of Delaware (UD), and worked in housing at Rollins College in Winter Park, Fla. The Hawk sat down with Vazquez to learn more about her new role.

The Hawk: What inspired you to pursue a career in educational and student leadership?

Vazquez: Being able to work with older students and realize the development that you’re giving to them and really developing them into the humans that they’re going to become was such a passion of mine. There’s a theorist, [Arthur] Chickering, and he’s very big on finding your purpose through college and really becoming that human, that citizen that you’re going to be when you leave. My philosophy is so embedded in that because I want students to grow as a person. You could be a volunteer for our programming board, but I want you to get something out of this position, not only the stuff that we’re going to give you, but what do you genuinely want to get out of this? It was really just about working with students that were older and had that mindset of they know what they’re doing, they want to be doing it, but also being able to help develop students into the people that they want to become.

The Hawk: What are the responsibilities of your position?

Vazquez: Right now, I advise Hawk Hill Productions [HHP], which is the program board here on the Hawk Hill campus. I also oversee everything that goes on in the Perch, and all the student workers. We have about 21 student workers who work at the Perch and the Campion [Student Center] information desk downstairs. So those are the primary things that I do.

The Hawk: What are your current and future plans as associate director?

Vazquez: [I’d like to see] a lot of the changes in the Perch. The Perch is very much this untalked about, unseen student lounge that I feel like needs a lot of tender loving care. I would love to revamp it and really make it into something that students want to hang out in, or just have it be a staple that can be another place that students can book for events. Right now, we’re making it both, but how can we find a happy medium where it can look nice, and we can have the chairs set up a certain way, but then we can also make it an event room?

…For my students, I want to see them become great leaders. We have a lot of juniors on the [HHP] board this year…[I want to make them feel like] they’re going to go on to do great things and prepare them for the real world. And for our first-year students that are joining the board, how am I making this experience for them that they’re going to want to come back and continue to make this better?

The Hawk: What do you hope to bring to the students you work with?

Vazquez: Something that I did this year is I incorporated the enneagram, which is a personality test that I learned in the corporate world. It’s really about, how do you work with others and how do you communicate with others? Then when [students are] working together, if they have disagreements, they’re really able to hone in on their leadership development to help guide them through things. At the end of the day, I want to be their coach, in a sense…I’m a big believer in, “let’s do it and fail, and if we fail, okay, we learn from it, but we at least did it.” I’ll never say no to anything because for me, it’s about being that lifelong learner and constantly just wanting to improve and be a better person and [be] a better version of myself.

The Hawk: What is your favorite part of the job so far?

Vazquez: I think not only working with Beth [Hagovsky] and being able to learn from her, but also working with the students that are here. They’re just so excited to have me and learn from me. I’m excited to learn from all of you and grow you all into leaders and be that person that can coach you on and advise you and help you get to those places that you want to be in. When you wake up and want to come to work everyday, you know you’re in the right place.

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Ally Engelbert
Ally Engelbert, Managing Editor
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