Last week, the Student Leadership and Engagement team said farewell to Assistant Director for Student Organizations Carla Christensen, who departed for a new position at the University of Washington, Bothell. Through her position, Christensen touched the vast student community as she supported on-campus organizations every day.
Christensen had been with SLE since January 2014, when she took on the newly created role. Since then, she proved to be an invaluable resource and friend to students. Her work focused on developing resources and guidance to student leaders and organizations.
Christensen specifically helped students develop programs including Orgfynder and the Student Organization Planner, according to Christensen’s supervisor, Marci Nuñez. Christensen also oversaw the creation “Out of the box” workshops, presentations by peer advisors focused on exposing club leaders to resources for their planning and development.
“I loved my job working with SLE,” Christensen said. “I have truly enjoyed seeing students come up with their own initiatives, create a project plan and see it through to completion.”
Nuñez added “Carla understood the many university policies which impact student organizations, from risk/liability to financial, and worked to navigate these policies in support of 123 undergraduate and 26 graduate organizations.”
Christensen said she greatly enjoyed working with the Peer Advising Team and the ASUSF Senate’s Vice President of Finance, Nikki Sanchez. “Helping a student hone in on their idea, create something, and see it through to fruition and to coach them through that process was one of the things that motivated me every day to come to work,” Christensen said.
One of SLE’s peer advisors, junior business administration major Abraham Dabbas, described Christensen as enthusiastic, focused and knowledgeable. “Carla truly knew the ins and outs of her job,” he said.
Christensen said her fondest memories were rooted in her everyday interactions around the office. She described walking around to check in with colleagues while also staffing the peer advising team desk, which gave her the opportunity to interact with people she didn’t know.
“I learned the awesome things that students can accomplish when encouraged to traverse their own path and explore that which inspires them,” Christensen said. “I learned how to navigate challenging conversations… to help folks find middle ground; I learned that you can create a work family with both students and colleagues, but you have to show up with your true self in order to do so.”
Christensen plans to stay in contact with USF and watch her successor adapt the role to meet new needs of students and fulfill a their vision. Brittany Sanguma, the assistant director for Student Government, has temporarily taken over Christensen’s role according to an email sent out to ASUSF funded account holders and executives.
“I know that our students and their organizations will continue to be supported; I know that a solid team is in place to work with everyone; and I know that I will dearly miss navigating challenges and celebrating accomplishments with you all throughout the year,” Christensen said.
Christensen’s new job at University of Washington, Bothell is assistant director for Student Engagement and Activities. She will be working with students to provide resources for student organizations and also work with the department budget.
Featured Photo: Assistant Director for Student Organizations Carla Christensen (center) left USF on Nov. 1 for a new position at University of Washington, Bothell. GABRIEL GRESCHLER/FOGHORN