Flores Earns NUFP Fellow Recognition

Senior Jocelyn Flores of Fayetteville has become the third Arkansas Tech University student to earn a NASPA Undergraduate Fellow Program (NUFP) award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators for 2016.

As a NUFP Fellow, Flores will benefit from opportunities for individuals from historically underrepresented populations to pursue careers in higher education student affairs.

She joins fellow Arkansas Tech seniors Suede Graham of Clarksville and Hailey Robinson of Okmulgee, Okla., as NUFP Fellow honorees.

All three will be mentored by Dr. MarTeze Hammonds, associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Arkansas Tech.

“A lot of it was Dr. Hammonds,” said Flores when asked why she wanted to become a NUFP Fellow. “He was like ‘you should totally do this.’ I went through it, and I decided that if I didn’t get it, it was not meant to be. When I got it, it was nice knowing that I am valued in a way when it comes to student affairs. I want to have that same feeling when I am accepted into a graduate school.”

Flores finds comfort in having a support network of students with similar goals facing similar challenges as they prepare to transition from college to career.

“It will be really good for networking,” said Flores. “We have a Facebook page, and it sounds cheesy, but it’s really nice having people who are as passionate as me and super pumped about student affairs. When I check the Facebook page I see that they need help with something, and I realize I am in the same boat. It’s a support system and a great honor. I love what the program stands for. They are looking to student affairs as it relates to minorities, which is a big deal to me because I am a minority and a first-generation student.”

Flores has found success as an Arkansas Tech student, a fact that she credits in part to the assistance she has received from her peers.

“Any resident director that has stepped onto this campus has helped me,” said Flores. “The first year I had Barbara Braga, and I got really close to the resident assistant staff in Caraway Hall. They encouraged me to be an R.A., and freshman me didn’t know what I was getting myself into. That passion and love for student affairs came out. A really big mentor of mine is Chelsea Sepolio. She’s not here anymore, but we text on a weekly basis and she’s always been that person for me.”

In addition to her work as a resident assistant, Flores has also served the campus community as a freshman orientation leader and an officer with the Residence Hall Association.

As a NUFP Fellow, Flores will receive on-campus mentorship, access to special programming at the NASPA annual conference, invitations to apply for paid summer internships and a chance to attend a leadership institute hosted by NASPA.

“I’m that kind of person who wants to jump around and learn about every department on campus,” said Flores. “I really like student conduct. I’d like to be a dean of judicial affairs one day, but my big-time, ultimate dream would be to serve as president of a university. I know that’s a big dream, but I’m just going to go for it and see where I end up.”