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Office of Student Center for Social Justice and Identity Graduate Assistantship

Department: Office of Student Center for Social Justice and Identity, Dean of Students

Points of Contact:

Position Summary:

The Graduate Assistant is part of the Office of Student Center for Social Justice and Identity (SCSJI) in the Dean of Students division at Vanderbilt University. The Graduate Assistant will assist with aspects of all SCSJI core areas of responsibility, in order to offer a comprehensive work and professional development experience. The GA will primarily focus on providing support to cultural student organizations, assisting with the implementation of current diversity and social justice programs and initiatives, and collaboratively developing and implementing culturally relevant programs and initiatives grounded in theory, research and best practices.

Time Commitment:

The position will begin in August 2019 and last for 9 months. Continuation of the assistantship will depend upon satisfactory performance of your assigned duties and progress toward your degree. You will be expected to work 20 hours per week excluding university breaks. This may include some evening and weekend hours.

About the Work Unit:

The mission of the Student Center for Social Justice and Identity is to promote an environment of cultural competency, inclusivity, and awareness on the Vanderbilt campus. Our vision is to provide a comprehensive service of inclusion and cultural engagement that facilitates the creation of an institution dedicated to all forms of racial, cultural, gender, religious, ability, and sexual identity expression. We seek to do this by equipping the Vanderbilt community with the tools necessary to be to effective agents of social change in an increasingly diverse world.

About the Office of the Dean of Students

The Office of the Dean of Students serves a central role in student learning and development at Vanderbilt, advancing the University’s mission of teaching, research, and service by fostering academic and social networks through which students develop as intentional learners and global citizens. The Office of the Dean of Students creates opportunities to involve students, faculty and staff in diverse learning communities and provides a critical support structure for enriching the overall student experience. We achieve these ends through strategic alignment, both internally and in concert with other university departments. We care deeply. We educate completely. We lead with excellence. Diversity, equity, inclusion, and mental health are top priorities for the institution and by extension the offices of the Dean of Students. Our staff are committed to continued growth in knowledge, awareness, skills, and experience engaging with these priorities in a higher education environment.

Key Functions and Expected Performance:

The Graduate Assistant responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Participate in the development and implementation of signature trainings, workshops, and educational initiatives of the SCSJI and the offices within the Dean of Students for student leaders and student organizations.
  • Collaborate with the Office of Greek Life to assist in the development and implementation of diversity trainings and workshops relevant to the Greek community at Vanderbilt.
  • Assist cultural student organizations advised by SCSJI with organizational management and student activities relevant to their organizational missions. This includes advising, attending meetings and events, and facilitating program planning and assessment.
  • Assist with maintenance of the SCSJI website, events calendar, and social media platforms.
  • Contribute to SCSJI assessment efforts, particularly for advisee student organizations.
  • Attend and participate in meetings, programs/events, as well as serve on various divisional and/or university-wide committees as requested.
  • Other responsibilities as needed.

Learning Outcomes

The SCSJI GA experience is designed to enhance development in the following competency areas Developed by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA)

  • Personal and Ethical Foundations – Develop an awareness of one’s own values and beliefs as it relates to professional practice and personal wellness.
  • Assessment and Research – Develop the ability to design and conduct assessment and research of various programs and utilize data to inform one’s own practice.
  • Leadership – Develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to affect change in a work environment by taking on leadership responsibilities and working collaboratively with a team.
  • Social Justice and Inclusion – Develop the critical and analytical tools necessary to create learning environments that foster equitable participation of all groups of people, while seeking to address and acknowledge issues of power, privilege and oppression.
  • Student Learning and Development – Develop knowledge of student development theories and the skills to put theories into practice.
  • Technology – Develop the skillset and ability to utilize various forms of technology, including web based and social media platforms to improve and enhance professional practice and workplace initiatives.
  • Advising and Supporting – Develop the knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to providing advising and support to students and groups through direction, feedback, critique, referral, and guidance.

 Education and Certifications:

  • Full-time enrollment in graduate degree program at Vanderbilt University is required.
  • Enrollment in the M.Ed. Higher Administration Education program in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organizations at Peabody College is strongly preferred.

Experience and Skills:

Required Qualifications

  • Basic understanding of diversity and one’s cultural competencies (values, beliefs, and knowledge in cultural issues).
  • Strong interest in working with issues of difference as well as diverse student populations and cultural student organizations.
  • Knowledge and skills in student programming and student organization advising.

Preferred Skills

  • Theoretical knowledge of social justice, multiculturalism, and best practices informing programming.
  • Experience working with multicultural populations and programming.
  • Technological competence (Microsoft Office: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, WordPress).
  • Basic advertising and marketing skills.
  • Proficient in social media and web marketing.


The compensation for this assistantship includes an annual stipend of $11,300 paid over the 9-month period and a 66% tuition scholarship, (33% paid by the Office of the Dean of Students/Office of the Provost and 33% paid by Peabody College) paid directly to your student account. The tuition benefit is for the total minimum number of hours needed to complete your academic program.

NOTE: It is required that you apply for financial aid and request that any available work-study funding be used towards these positions.

*The tuition award is tied to your academic year, rising 2nd and 3rd-year students’ tuition scholarship differs.