Staff Spotlight, April 2013
Working with students has reinforced Kathryn Palmieri’s belief that getting involved on campus and in the community is an excellent way for students to find their fit and reduce the achievement gap impacting graduation rates.
After obtaining her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development, Kathryn began her career teaching fifth grade, but decided to get into advising after reevaluating her educational goals. In fall 2008, she temporarily got back in touch with her teaching roots as an instructor for the First Year Experience course General Studies 21, in which she incorporated the Writing Partners @ Sac State service learning program as a teaching tool. Following a semester of exchanging written letters, Kathryn believes “one of the best experiences with that class was watching the [in-person] interactions between the fifth graders and college students at the culminating activity [held at Sac State]… it was inspiring to see the students rise to levels of engagement and responsibility that were not always obvious in the classroom setting.
“Although I do not currently teach in the classroom, I believe we continually teach others through role modeling.” As the Associate Director of Academic advising, Kathryn encourages volunteering and community involvement for three reasons: it creates a sense of pride, provides personal development and self-reflection, and fosters future employment potential, noting “volunteering is associated with a positive work ethic, which translates well into a potential workplace.”
Through Sac State Serves, Kathryn previously volunteered for the 2010 Ice Cream Safari and 2011 Girl Scouts Mega Cookie Drop events. “Volunteering is important to me because it helps me to stay connected to my community, give of myself, and reflect on my privileges. I think it’s helpful for students to see staff and faculty volunteering as well because it demonstrates commitment to the campus and larger community, and it is an opportunity to be a role model and …mentor to students,” she said.
Personally and professionally, Kathryn seeks to reduce the achievement gap (the discrepancy in academic performance between underrepresented minority students and their peers) through her involvement in the University’s Graduation Initiative. Her work has included creating templates for four-year degree roadmaps, assisting in the development of an early alert system pilot program, and supporting the University’s Leadership Initiative through Academic Advising workshops.
Kathryn hopes to be a part of many future projects advancing her community and campus involvement. “In my dream world, I would like to open a fully-funded community space that would look a lot like the [Sac State Multi-Cultural Center, to] be used for social justice education, including workshops, films, book discussions, and community art projects.”
Contributed by M. Hardy
Each year, more than two thousand Sacramento State students, faculty, staff, and alumni participate in programs and projects sponsored by Community Engagement Center. Programs such as Alternative Break, Sac State Serves, and Service Learning fulfill our mission to facilitate learning and engagement by linking campus and community for mutual benefit. Through Spotlight, Community Engagement Center will highlight outstanding individuals and programs advancing community engagement in the Sacramento region.
last updated: 5/28/2013