This year, we are highlighting all of the great work that our graduate assistants perform around our campus by featuring the nominees for the 2021 Graduate Assistant of the Year Award. This award is coordinated by the Career Center, which works with the Graduate School to pick the winner of the award. We were so impressed by all of the nominees that we are going to feature them on our blog. Congratulations to all of the nominees!
Jalynn Madison, nominee for Ball State’s 2021 Graduate Assistant of the Year Award
For the 2020-2021 academic year, Jalynn served as a GA to support the Department of Journalism’s Outreach and Engagement Office, where she helped coordinate multiple workshops and events for high school journalism students from around the state, organized the department’s professional development and speaker series, and managed social media promotions and additional recruitment efforts. She was nominated by Brian Hayes, Assistant Department Chair and Senior Lecturer of Journalism. Brian said this about Jalynn, “Part of Jalynn’s role as the graduate assistant in the Outreach and Engagement Office within the Department of Journalism requires her to supervise and manage a staff of five undergraduate students. She’s responsible for organizing the workflow, assigning tasks, leading weekly staff meetings, and giving progress reports and status updates. Her ability to delegate jobs, prioritize tasks, communicate information, and monitor progress are strengths of every good leader.”
Here is a Q & A with Jalynn
What was the most valuable part of your assistantship experience?
The most valuable part of my assistantship is that I am surrounded by individuals who are so willing to help. I am a BSU alumna who graduated from the Communication Studies Department; I knew next to nothing about the Department of Journalism when I got my assistantship. But, everyone that I’ve had the pleasure of working with has been extremely kind and helpful. They’ve made me feel comfortable asking questions, and I think, because of that environment, I have been able to grow and learn so much more.
How do you think your GA assignment has helped you to grow as a professional and a student?
In my assignment, I work with a small group of undergraduate students in the Office of Outreach and Engagement. We oversee the department’s events and social media, as well as Journalism Workshops and its corresponding events. Through this challenging assignment, I’ve not only learned how to be a better leader, listener, and manager, but I’ve also been able to gain a new skillset in public relations. I’ve learned that a leader doesn’t always have to the have the answer, and that, sometimes, it’s best for the leader to take a step back and let others step into the spotlight. This is a mentality that I practice daily in our office and that I plan to carry with me outside of academia.
Is there anything else you would like to communicate about your experience as a GA?
Being a GA is difficult; not only are you a full-time student, but you’re also an employee of sorts. It can be hard to find that balance between school and work. But, I think, the experience is well worth it. In the midst of developing skills and working on real-world projects, I’ve found friendship with the other students in my office and have built relationships with the faculty in the department that will remain with me for years to come. I encourage any and all students to consider applying for assistantships for the duration of their graduate years; it is well worth it!