2021 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

2021 graduating employee

By Life@TheU

Heather Michelle Stevens

What is your current role and department at UM?
I am an assistant director of Divisional Initiatives and Student Advocacy in the Division of Student Affairs.

What degree will you be receiving at graduation?
I am completing a Doctor of Education in higher education leadership.

How long have you been at the University?
I have been working in a permanent position since February of 2016, although I began in a temporary capacity in my division in June of 2015.

What were some highlights of your time as a student and employee? 
I also earned my bachelor’s degree from UM. The spirit of being a student and believing in this wonderful community is so imbued in everyone. The energy is motivating and exciting, which makes getting work done for classes and for my job always possible—even if the workload for either at times made me feel otherwise. Above all, the greatest highlight for me was getting to study something that is important to the UM community. For my dissertation, I studied socially responsible leadership development and student government participation. I have served as an advisor to Student Government since 2015. It was really rewarding to get to focus on a topic that was so interrelated to my motivations to work and something that I could give back to this community to ensure that the student learning experience outside of the classroom continues to be the best that it can be.

What is a favorite UM memory? 
I am very fortunate to have many to choose from. I think my favorite UM memories have always been made at Homecoming. I think there is something so special about having current students and former students all together and seeing the excitement in a shared space on campus.

Have you received any awards, honors, or special achievements? 

  • Award for Exceptional Advising, Student Government, April 2019
  • Exceptional Work with Students, Division of Student AffairsLaurel Award, April 2018
  • NASPA NOW Professional Recognition, Integrity Pillar Recipient, March 2018
  • The William Leftwich Award for Outstanding New Professional in NASPA Region III, June 2017
  • Omicron Delta Kappa, University of Miami Circle Initiate, December 2014
  • Iron Arrow Honor Society, November 2014

Please share advice for employees looking to go back to school.
Take advantage of your network and support systems here. I think I would not have been able to complete my degree without the support of the Student Affairs team, particularly my mentorsincluding senior vice president Dr. Whitely. Even if you aren’t finding the connections within your immediate area, I think there are folks all across the University who are here to support and guide you if you just ask.

Learn about other 2021 graduating employees.