Everybody's Crying Wolfe 1

Everybody’s Crying Wolfe! Graduate Student Spotlight on Danielle Wolfe

Upon starting her college career, Danielle Wolfe, now a Monmouth graduate student, always had a pretty clear idea on what she wanted to do inside the classroom. But, as the years flew by, her experiences outside of the classroom are what truly influenced her decision to continue her college career at Monmouth and to choose her program.

“I graduated with my Bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in childhood studies. I knew since around 4th grade that I wanted to be a counselor–I know it sounds crazy. Initially, I thought I’d want to become a child psychologist. Once I became more involved on campus, everything changed,” Wolfe said.

Wolfe, a graduate student who is earning her Masters of Science in Education (M.S.Ed.), is in the Student Affairs and College Counseling program on campus. But, before coming to Monmouth, her undergraduate career was spent at Stockton University in Galloway, NJ.

“I chose Monmouth [to continue my college career] because the minute I stepped on campus, I felt at home. The campus environment was so warm and friendly, which made me feel as though I could really thrive in this community. It had a similar feeling to where I went for my Bachelor’s degree, Stockton. If it felt like home and I could envision myself loving where I learn every day, then that’s where I’ll be glad to stay,” she said.

Her time at Stockton brought about many newfound passions, “I worked as a Student Assistant in the Tutoring Center, I was a Resident Assistant (RA) for upperclassmen and freshmen, I was on several executive boards, I volunteered for anything and everything that I could. The most impactful part was being an RA and having my then supervisor and now mentor show me the world of Student Affairs and I knew that this is where I was meant to be,” Wolfe said.

Everybody's Crying Wolfe 2At Monmouth, her graduate life closely resembled her undergraduate life as far as activities and involvement goes. While one of Wolfe’s main priorities is being a student, she is also the graduate assistant (GA) for the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services. In her graduate assistantship, she is involved with the Commuter Student Mentor Program (CSM) and is also involved with the Student Government Association (SGA).

“This GA is probably one of the best things that I could have done during my time at Monmouth, especially being able to work alongside and learn from Dr. Vaughn Clay. I am so grateful for all that he has done for me during my time here, and I am lucky to work with him,” she reflected.

Dr. Vaughn Clay Ed.D, Director of the Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Services and Advisor to the CSM Program and SGA, has been working side by side with Wolfe since January of 2017.

Clay said, “I think it’s always a great learning opportunity for everyone involved. That’s a central component that you can find with any graduate assistantship or internships, it’s an opportunity for the student to learn more about a specialty within a field of study that they’re pursuing.”

“My hope has always been that it’d be constructive for her and that she has been able to acquire a new skill set that she will be able to take with her when she graduates. That has been fun, it’s always great to insert some new personalities to the office, SGA, the CSM Program.

It’s important to get those interactions and experiences. The GAs are never much older than the students they advise. Overall, I hope that she is getting out of it what she had hoped to get out of it. It’s been so positive having her,” Clay continued.

The people that work with her certainly feel the same way about her. Amber Galati, a sophomore accounting student and commuter student mentor said, “This year working with Danielle [Wolfe] through the CSM Program was great. She was the person I was able to go to if our advisor was not available. Danielle [Wolfe] would help us out in any way she can. She is the type of person who would drop everything to help you.”

“When I was in a hard situation and didn’t know what to do, she gave new perspectives that would have never occurred to me. She tries her best to bring all of us together to have one cohesive unit with the CSM Program. I am so glad she was our GA this year,” Galati continued.

In working with the CSM Program, Wolfe helped coordinate and plan events and programs as well as maintain a sense of teamwork and ensure all mentors were as well kept as possible.

Though her work does not stop there, Nicholas Verzicco, a junior business student and President of SGA, said, “I really respect Danielle [Wolfe]. I know it’s not easy to come from a 4-year institution like Stockton and fit well into another university so fast, but Danielle [Wolfe] has done it and is doing it well still. She is very engaged with Senate and has been a resource this year especially pertaining to our bylaws. She has great character and we enjoy her presence and contributions to Senate.”

Shannon Lawrence, a junior music industry student and commuter student mentor, said, “Danielle has helped me a lot this semester. She has been such a big help with getting organized with the CSM Program for me. She’s shown me a lot in the academic field and how to stay on top of everything while still keeping sane. I can always go to her to talk or just for a friend and I am so glad I met her this year.”

Her contributions to the community do not stop there. Wolfe, alongside working with SGA, the CSM Program, and handling classes, also has a graduate internship through her Student Affairs and College Counseling Program here, at Georgian Court University (GCU) in their Office of Student Success.

“In this office, I am able to work with students who are struggling with skills such as time management, studying and retaining information, project deadlines, organization, and more. I am able to also work with a group of students who are on academic probation and help them get back to good academic standings,” she said. 

“It is an incredibly rewarding experience, and I learn something new every single day…this experience has helped me see the ‘whole student’ as we have talked about in our classes.”

Wolfe encourages people both professional and just peers to remember, “Students are not just students, and being a student may not always come first to someone. They may have family obligations, work obligations, personal obligations, etc. that may impact their academic standing, but that does not mean that with some support they cannot thrive and be successful,” she continued

Everybody's Crying Wolfe 3Though Monmouth may be one of her stepping stones to continue on to what she loves to do, she does have one great take away from her time spent at the University: “One of the greatest lessons that I have learned from my time here is best said with this quote: ‘If the plan doesn’t work, change the plan but never the goal.’ I have career goals that I have set, and although the plans may not always work out, there’s always another way of reaching that goal.”

“I’ve learned to not give up on these goals because they’re career goals I have dreamed of since falling into Student Affairs. I will continue to put my all into everything that I do and work hard to reach these goals: to impact a student’s life, to be as inspirational to someone as my mentor is for me, and to love what I do every day,” Wolfe said.

Though she is a jack of all trades when it comes to her graduate career, she also remembers vividly what it is like to be an undergraduate student frantically trying to do everything, “My greatest advice to undergraduate students is that if you haven’t already, get involved in your campus community. There are so many great clubs and organizations on this campus as well as job opportunities that may change your perspective.

She reiterates, “My experiences outside of the classroom made all the difference for me. But make sure that if you are getting heavily involved and are taking a lot of classes all at once to take the time for yourself every once in awhile.”

“Self-care is incredibly important and sometimes we put ourselves on the backburner. Take the time to read for fun, take that yoga class, sing at the top of your lungs, binge that Netflix show, etc. As long as you’re on top of your work, take the advice of the great Tom Haverford from Parks and Recreation and ‘Treat yo self,'” she continued.

Wolfe offers some advice to prospective graduate students, “My advice to prospective students in my field is to collect all of the experiences you can. I have been able to work in so many different offices and I am grateful for every experience. It helped me navigate which areas I’d most like to end up working in one day and also help me grow and develop myself professionally as well as personally.”

Wolfe also encourages prospective graduate students to continue through the struggles, “For those applying to grad school in general: remember to breathe. The applications may be long, the essay may be difficult to write, the interview (if the program has one) may be scary, but it’s going to be so worth it.”

PHOTOS COURTESY of Danielle Wolfe