Crystal Denise Knight

MA in Higher Education Leadership

What do you hope to do with your degree and/or credential, and why?

I hope to be a director of an LGBT/PRIDE Center or any Multicultural Center that has a strong foundation in advocating for social justice. 

When did you begin your program, and when do you anticipate completing it?

I began the MA in Higher Education Leadership program in July 2014 and anticipate graduating May 2016. 

How did you hear about SOLES, and why did you choose to enroll?

I learned about SOLES at a graduate school fair that took place at Cal Poly Pomona. I chose to enroll because my program and my role as a graduate assistant offered opportunities to actively participate in social change.

What is your background? For example, where are you from, where else have you earned a degree, and where have you worked?

I grew up in the bay area in Northern California. I’m an alumni of UC Santa Cruz (Class of 2013) and have a BA in Psychology. I’ve served with AmeriCorps, and have primarily worked at Women's Centers, LGBT Diversity Centers, and in college programming/activities offices.

Are you currently working? If so, do you work full-time or part-time, and what do you do?

Yes, and I love my job! I currently work at the United Front Multicultural Center as a graduate assistant through SASC (Student Affairs/ SOLES Collaborative). I am in the office 20 hours per week and my primary tasks revolve around inclusive programming, student advising, alumni engagement, and AWESOME programs, including the Safe Space Allies Network and Rainbow Educators. 

Which class has impacted you the most? Why?

LEAD 550: Leadership Theory and Practice, one of the core classes for the program, drastically impacted the way that I see myself as a leader and the ways that I interact with others. This class encouraged me to explore my social identities and to assess how I lead when I’m facing challenge and controversy. 

Are there specific SOLES faculty, staff or administrators you feel have contributed significantly to your success? How have they helped?

Adan Sanchez, the Associate Director of the United Front Multicultural Center, has invested so much in my success. As a SASC supervisor, he is committed to my academic, professional, and personal growth in this program. Adan is sincere, encouraging, wise, and passionate about student development. I’m lucky to know him.