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Sagan Hunsaker: UW Alumna B.A. ’10, M.A. ’13 & SLCE Coordinator

Sagan Hunsaker is an instrumental part of the University of Wyoming. Her dedication to excellence and commitment to students are overshadowed only by her good humor, thoughtful advice, and bubbly attitude. I was fortunate enough to go on the Alternative Winter Break trip to Bolivia this past winter, and I felt an interview with Sagan could shed some valuable light on what it’s like to work in Student Affairs. As an added bonus, I got to hang out with this inspiring woman.

Her Campus: What is your position? How long have you held it?

Sagan Hunsaker: My official position is Coordinator of Alternative Breaks and Volunteer Program in Service Leadership + Community Engagement and I have been in that position for going on 4 years.

HC: How did you end up in the position?

SH: I had a graduate assistantship in the Campus Activities Center when I went to grad school, and then I took a full position. When I graduated I was able to go on an Alternative Break as a leader to Belize in March. Then in June, the Coordinator of Alternative Breaks position opened. After going on the trip, I felt like my skills and interests matched that job better and I was able to make the jump from Campus Activities Center to Service Leadership + Community Engagement.

HC: What are your duties?

SH: I coordinate all of the Alternative Breaks so that includes our winter, spring and summer breaks, and with each trip it’s a little different. I’m a little more involved with winter because it’s more working with the graduate student who coordinates that trip. With the spring, it’s more coordination of travel and serving as an advisor to trip leaders, and, in the summer, it’s serving as an advisor for those trip leaders. I oversee all the volunteer services. In everything I do, there is a student involved and it’s all student-oriented, very rarely do I work in an event that a student isn’t carrying out. I help with partnership building and I am able to do a little bit of leadership things as well. I also work with the Freshman Year Institute. I like meeting students just as they get here and getting to see them graduate and move forward.

HC: Where are you from originally?

SH: Afton, WY

HC: How did you end up at UW?

SH: I ended up at UW because I visited a handful of different school in the area, and I came to visit my older sister who was here and loved it. I didn’t really do much visiting with academic programs; I wanted to find the best social fit and where I felt that there was a community for me. I also received the first year of the Hathaway, which was a big reason I came as well.

HC: What degrees did you obtain from UW, and what years did you graduate?

SH: I did my undergraduate in Communication and graduated in 2010 and I finished a Masters in Counseling in 2013.

HC: How did your experience at UW help you get to where you are now?

SH: I feel like UW was probably one of the biggest factors of where I am now. I was able to get involved as an undergraduate in the community because my courses helped me shape my interests and passions. And my graduate assistantship helped solidify my career path. I think both my undergraduate and graduate degrees were instrumental in helping me get to where I am now.

HC: What is the best advice you can offer a woman going into your field?

SH: I think part of it is knowing your worth and your value to an organization and to a community, and then, I think for me, it’s being confident that other people do, too. That goes with building partnerships; that knowing what you have to offer whomever you work with is important, and they view that as well. For anyone entering a field of higher education or community development, I would say continuing to educate yourself in all the ways that matter. I think that can be on the issues you’re working with, with issues that face your community… being a lifelong learner I think is important to success.

HC: If a current UW student in your field had more questions about your journey to success, would you be open to talking with them? If so, what is the best way for them to reach you?

SH: Absolutely! Please email me at shunsake@uwyo.edu.

Sydney Stein is a junior at the University of Wyoming pursing a Bachelor’s in Communication with minors in Honors, History, and Gender and Women’s Studies.Sydney enjoys long walks in the mountains, funny conversations, receiving flowers, fiction novels, smelling gardens, jumping off diving boards, Oxford commas, and elephant rides.  
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