Benson gains hands on experience

October 8, 2003

PLATTEVILLE - Attending graduate school at UW-Platteville is providing students the first-hand opportunities needed for post-graduation success. This is the case for UWP alumni, Jeff Benson, a native of Cobb, who returned to UWP this fall as a graduate student and has been named the new student advisor for Segregated University Fee Allocation Commission (SUFAC).

Understanding the operational procedures for a governance organization such as SUFAC is nothing new for Benson. During his years at UWP as an undergraduate student, Benson was a member of SUFAC and served on the board for two years where he filled the position of both president and vice president. As student advisor to SUFAC, Benson now has the opportunity to work with and view the organization from an entirely new angle along with gaining the responsibility for numerous activities.

As advisor, Benson is in charge of working with the executive board and training new members to ensure that the organization is running smoothly along with attending meetings to advise members as needed. Reviewing balances of the contingency reports is another responsibility of the advisor. In doing so, the organization is aware of how much funding it can provide without overspending or under spending its account. Benson is also working on creating a book of guidelines for the next advisor to follow along with other various behind the scene jobs. Filling the position of student advisor offers Benson exactly the experience he needs to coincide with his graduate degree and prepare for a position following his graduation.

Benson originally graduated in May, 2003, with an undergraduate degree in business administration with a management emphasis and a minor in comprehensive business and economics. He chose to return to UWP to attend graduate school for counselor education with an emphasis in student affairs in order to fulfill his plans to become a leadership counselor one day. At the moment, an emphasis in student affairs is not offered at UWP, but students and faculty are currently working to make this a possibility.

"It is neat being part of a new student based program," Benson said. "Being able to help develop the program and its curriculum provides students a unique hands-on experience."

As part of his graduate program, Benson is currently filling the position as graduate assistant to Michael Viney, assistant chancellor for student affairs. In this position Benson is responsible for compiling data on student retention at UWP to determine the return rate for students following their freshman year. Benson is also gaining experience by fulfilling a number of small jobs throughout the university system in the department of student affairs.

"This experience provides [Benson] outstanding opportunities for growth and development for a professional career," Viney said. "He also brings a unique set of skills and experience to [SUFAC] as a former student member that makes him a valuable asset to the program."


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