Meet the AWAs!
This year there are seven student workers joining the Writing Center staff as Administrative Writing Assistants (AWAs). Because you may be interacting with these amazing Walden students, we wanted you to get to know a little more about them!
Al Muftau Adeite,
pursuing an MA in
What do you like best about being a Walden student? Every aspect of the program is geared towards preparing students to become agents of social change.
What is your favorite book and why? There Was A Country by Chinua Achebe. It tells the story of the Nigerian civil war from an insider's perspective. The civil war was predicated on the strive for change by a section of the country.
What is your favorite food? Pounded yam with melon soup cooked with assorted fish and goat meat. This is a Nigerian delicacy.
What is the best piece of wisdom anyone ever gave you and why? A professor once wrote on his door, "Try to know something about everything and not everything about something.”
pursuing an MS in
What do you like best about being a Walden student? The best part of Walden is the camaraderie that exists between the students even though the classes are online.
What is your favorite book and why? My favorite book is Among the Hidden. The book made such an impression on me when I was younger, and I love the plot line.
What is your favorite food? My favorite food is spaghetti.
What is the best piece of wisdom anyone ever gave you and why? Change is the only constant in life. This is my motto for everything. As humans, we resist change even though it's what we do. I learn to live with change and embrace it.
pursuing a PhD in Public
What do you like best about being a Walden student? I love being a Walden student because of Walden’s mission of social change and giving back to our community through our own unique part in the process of social change
What is your favorite book and why? My favorite book is Mutant Message Down Under because it encompasses the thought that we are all connected to each other.
What is your favorite food? My favorite food is probably unusual and a little embarrassing but it is cabbage—any way you want to cook it =)
What is the best piece of wisdom anyone ever gave you and why? The best piece of wisdom anyone has given me is to stay curious—retaining that child-like enthusiasm for life allows all sorts of joy to continually flow in to ordinary life, work, and hobbies. A second piece of wisdom that I cherish is to stay grateful and I think about all the blessings life brings each day!
Leah B. Mazzola,
pursuing a PhD in
What do you like best about being a Walden student? I love that my values are aligned with Walden's! I feel good about Walden's mission to train social change agents. I am a social entrepreneur driven to pursue this degree to drive social change in my pursuits, so learning about Walden's mission, values, and culture was the icing on the cake in my decision to transfer in.
What is your favorite book and why? Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck. This book offers insight into the science that supports the idea that a growth mindset and drive are more important to success than ability or achievement. This science offers plenty of motivation for the lifelong learner.
What is your favorite food? Good pizza.
What is the best piece of wisdom anyone ever gave you and why? "Own your story. Hold your head up," because I come from rough beginnings. My self-concept held me back. The process of owning my past and understanding that it did not make me who I am, but that I make me who I am, was empowering.
Olawunmi (Ola) Obisesan,
pursuing a PhD in Public
What do you like best about being a Walden student? I love Walden because the learning environment is supportive and meets my learning needs.
What is your favorite book and why? I have many favorite books but the one I have read over and over again and seems to provide a guide as to how I live my life personally and professionally is Monday Morning Mentoring: Ten Lessons to Guide You Up the Ladder by David Cottrell. This book has opened my eyes to the fact that life provides the unique opportunity to positively influence the lives of others and everybody should strive to seize this opportunity.
What is your favorite food? My favorite food is rice, and I have more than 20 ways of preparing rice; I love cooking and since I am creative with my rice recipes, I will have another 10 recipes before the end of the year.
What is the best piece of wisdom anyone ever gave you and why? The best advice I have ever received was in 1997, and I take it everywhere with me. My mentor said to me, “Others may but you cannot because your case is different.” So many times, when I have felt overwhelmed with work or school and I have come close to quitting my job or dropping my classes, I tell myself "others may but I cannot." This PhD program has been stressful, but I am four classes away from finishing, and this phrase has kept me going. When I look at this phrase from another angle, it means that I have to be unique in all my doings; I do not have to do things the same way as everyone else.
Ryan (RJ) Henson,
pursuing an EdS in College
Teaching and Learning
What do you like best about being a Walden student? I think what I like best about being a student at Walden is the ever-expanding growth in the community. This was one of the things I was worried about going to an all online school, but I have noticed that the community here is amazing and very welcoming.
What is your favorite book and why? My favorite book is I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou. I love this book because for so many years, I felt like the caged bird. I was afraid to speak my mind, shy, and really didn't know how to express myself. I am glad I read the book because it gave me enough motivation to change how I felt.
What is your favorite food? I LOVE Spanish food. My mom would always cook it when I was growing up and it ended up becoming one of my favorite genres of food. I think my absolute favorite dish is Posole.
What is the best piece of wisdom anyone ever gave you and why? I think the best advice I ever received is from my mentor Dr. Spencer. He told me one day, "If you don't speak up in life, you tend to get run over and overlooked. You have the ability; use it to your advantage." This always stuck with me because I would often not speak up when necessary and was overlooked for a lot of opportunities. I have always kept this close to heart as I travel through the school and work journey.
|Vicki Ann Guerra-Vasquez |
and her daughter. Vicki is
pursuing a PhD in Public
What do you like best about being a Walden student? I enjoy getting to know everyone in the courses. In addition, I love learning new things as well as from my fellow peers/scholars. Likewise, it is nice to be able to time-manage oneself by taking courses online.
What is your favorite book and why? My favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. The book is inspiring to me for the way the author presents the characters. For me, it made me feel like part of the story, as if the images were right in front of me.
What is your favorite food? My favorite food is chicken, especially in Chinese food, salads (Greek), cold pastas, hot pastas, etc.
What is the best piece of wisdom anyone ever gave you and why? I would have to say my eldest daughter. She told me, "Mama, it’s okay if you make a mistake; you can try again." Children are very wise at their young age (sponges) and still love their mamas.
The AWAs will be assisting Writing Center staff in replying to student e-mails that come to