Graduate assistant brings new opportunities to table

Mitchell Graham – Staff Writer

This week, our Student Spotlight focuses on Traesha Pritchard, a Department of Communication Graduate Assistant and both undergraduate and graduate student at Clarion University since 2011.

She currently holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication with a concentration in broadcast and is working toward a master’s degree in mass media arts and journalism.

Pritchard was drawn to Clarion because of a high school friend who was attending the university while she was still a senior in high school, as well as her desire to one day become a sports broadcaster.

Pritchard can often be spotted around Becker Hall doing research, facilitating events for Eagle Media and finding ways to get students involved in the department. She attributes her success to having such a high level of involvement in the various on-campus organizations available to students outside of the classroom.

As a former cheerleader and Black Student Union president, Pritchard said these experiences made her who she is today and fostered her personal growth.

Her journey has led her to connect more deeply with her fellow classmates as well as herself. It’s these strong connections that motivated Pritchard to become a very active mentor to the black community on campus, and has also helped her discover her true passion: helping college students to be happy and successful.

Pritchard describes an evolution of her life goals. “During my junior year, everything in life changed for me and I knew that I wanted to go into teaching, hopefully becoming a college professor and making a difference on college campuses. At that time, I was sort of thinking about starting an organization. By my senior year that dream flourished and I was able to officially start an organization here,” she said.

That organization is Queens Uniquely Empowering Every Notable Sister, or QUEENS, which provides social and academic support to its members. “I started QUEENS on March 4, 2015 with my best friend and co-founder Brana Hill, who is a senior, and five of our closest friends. First it started as a mentorship program with the mission of helping women of color through their college experience and professional goals. We were all heavily involved in the fashion show here, so we just grabbed seven of the girls that were part of the fashion show with us and every week we had a circle and talked about life. It helped us to connect us with them on a different level,” said Pritchard.

The organization is now over 50 “Queens” strong with several others active at Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania. Pritchard has also brought her naturally caring personality to the internet via her blog, The Divine Black Woman (www.thedivineblackwoman.com).

Her web-based readers are treated with a supportive and healing environment where Pritchard regularly posts positive affirmations and gives visitors the opportunity to sign up for email updates.

When asked about the importance of getting involved outside of class, Pritchard shared some points of wisdom for those who may be hesitating. “Getting involved was the best thing I could have possibly done here. If you feel something is right for you, go for it. Don’t be hesitant because anything is possible, and you never know what type of networking you can find and get involved in and who someone knows. Getting involved was the best decision,” she said.

That mentality has certainly served her well and we look forward to the continued success of this remarkable Golden Eagle.

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