Hailey Cruz is a graduate student studying school counseling and will graduate in spring 2018. In fall of 2018, she plans to return to her post-masters program in licensed professional counseling (LPC). Cruz can also attest that she is a hard worker from the number of activities she is involved in at Kean University.
The Miron Student Center (MSC) game room is an environment that builds character and is an outlet for Cruz as a graduate assistant. She is also president of the graduate and part-time student council ever since she was an undergraduate senior. Being a part of Student Organization has helped her to branch out and she has become fond of her e-board members.
Kerrin Lyles, director of the Miron Student Center (MSC) believes that Hailey has a great work ethic.
"She is currently responsible for the MSC Game Room. She has been on top of things ever since she was placed in that position. She makes sure that all of the equipment is in working condition and lets the management team know when we are running low on supplies. Hailey has also come up with different ideas for programs in the game room. One of her biggest strengths was her ability to build a strong connection with the staff of the game room. They will often make plans to go out together outside of work and just hang out as a staff, without their director. I think that correlates to how they work as a team inside of the game room. Hailey is a great role model, has a very contagious personality and is always looking for the positive in everything that she does," Lyles said.
When asked why she was involved at Kean, Cruz wanted to do better things and to excel as an undergrad. She wanted to have a platform that would lead her to success.
"I think as an undergrad, I always had that family feel at Kean, so that is why I started off as a resident assistant (RA), and at that time, I was able to branch out of my shell. In my first year, I received RA of the year. I believe I got it because I really try to take pride in building team leadership when working with my students and residents. There are so many people who I look up to, and who have given me a chance to excel in my opportunities such as Janice Murray-Laury, Kerrin Lyles, and Maximina Rivera."
"I have a physical planner and then a Google Calendar. Google Calendar helps me keep organized with all the events I have because if it wasn't for Google Calendar, I don't know how I would remember so many things. So with that, it helps me not to overbook for Student Org or the game room, and then for my planner that's how I'm able to see what I have to do when I come to many activities. Thankfully I balance it well without getting too stressed," Cruz explained.
"For the game room, some of the duties are to do different evaluations. Mid-semester final evaluations for the students ensure that the equipment works fine in the game room, create a good team environment, and we make sure to create a weekly bond with our 20 to 25 students. I am also sure to communicate and collaborate with the professional staff as well, which include all staff meetings. In the last staff meeting, I brought someone from domestic violence in Jersey City for women rising, so I try to think outside of the box. Downstairs, we raised over 200 dollars due to a simple all-staff program."
"All the students' voices are heard and sometimes they can't go directly to the professional staff so it's our job to plan programs around their interests and to have a good board. Other than that, I'm also in counseling and I'm here for my step-it-up program."
"For students trying to get involved at Kean, I feel like Kean University is a place like no other. You'll never get this family feel, you'll never get the professional staff who really see the deeper wisdom in you, and at Kean, they are able to help bring that out. As a freshman, you can grow with each different department or even as a senior it's never too late."
"Kean University was a choice for me because I got denied to different schools and I didn't know where I was going. But with Kean University my mother and step-father came with me to the open house and through there we fell in love with everything."
Cruz wants students to understand that growth happens at the end of one's career and it is important to branch out.