Seized opportunities impact Moore and other students' success
- Author: Aurelia Spaulding
- Author: Thursday, October 31st, 2019
WKU graduate student Lamario Moore came from Jackson, Mississippi, to Western Kentucky University for one reason. His one reason will ultimately benefit not only his academic career, but the success of many other WKU students.
“I chose WKU because of the unique opportunities that they afforded,” Moore said. In his second year in the Student Affairs program, Moore shows his desire to seize the opportunities afforded to him through participating on campus committees, advising student groups, and serving as a graduate assistant with the Intercultural Student Engagement Center (ISEC) all while applying his coursework outside of the classroom.
The ISEC assists the university with recruitment and retaining minority students at WKU. “I assist with supervision of our Center mentors by holding bi-weekly one-on-ones to ensure academic and personal success,” Moore said. More than 60 students that participate in the ISEC programming have mentors call Navigators. The responsibility of working with mentors is an important one for Moore to contribute to in order to support student success.
“Lamario has enriched ISEC in so many ways: the office, our programming, our staff, and more importantly—WKU students,” explained Dr. Martha Sales, Executive Director for the ISEC and TRIO Programs.
Coordinator for Retention Initiatives Jackie Pillow added, “Lamario is transparent when it comes to sharing his experiences with the scholars. He is essential to the ISEC staff because he brings a fresh view to the center and all that it stands for.”
In addition to his work with mentors, Moore plans and develops multicultural and intersectional programming such as lunch-n-learns, dialogue series, and social events. He works as a liaison for student organizations to encourage attendance at cultural programs and to execute heritage months.
“Lamario Moore is one of those increasingly rare individuals who has all three bases covered,” said Dr. Aaron Hughey, Professor in the Department of Counseling and Student Affairs. “He understands how to translate theory into practice in an exceptionally efficient and effective manner; he is able to relate to others (students, peers, other professionals) in a very empathetic and authentic manner; and he has the perfect attitude for working in the student affairs field – he is a self-motivated team player who truly wants to make a difference in the lives of others.”
All three of the bases that Hughey describes are seen in Moore’s role as a graduate assistant at the WKU ISEC, and is recognized in his other roles as well. Moore serves on the Student Affairs Graduate Association (SAGA) Steering Committee where he works with four other colleagues to sponsor professional networking opportunities, conferences, training workshops, and social events for current and past students.
“I have applied what I am learning through my interactions with students. During my Counseling Skills class I learned helping skills on working with students and resolving conflicts,” Moore said. “This has helped me immensely because I am able to effectively help students. Several of my roles also require me to work with different groups of students, so I am developing a non-bias approach to the work that I do.”
The roles vary between working with students and staff. During his first year, Moore facilitated the Dynamic Leadership Institute while also serving on the Homecoming Committee, the Campus Pride Index Committee, and with the Social Justice & Inclusion Committee. Currently, he serves as co-advisor for the Black Student Alliance and the Epsilon Theta Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity. Inc.
Moore is a Distinguished Minority Fellow and will graduate from WKU in May 2020.
“I have noticed transformations with the student leaders that I work with. These students are setting a new standard for themselves, and I do feel like that is due to my unique style of leadership,” Moore said.