She’s leading students that were once like her

Kelci Goss sits in to listen to her Dog Days students during their new orientation leader training on April 13, 2018. (Ramuel Reyes/The Collegian)

Kelci Goss said she remembers her first year at Fresno State. As a first-generation college student, finding a sense of community on campus was important to her.

She joined a first-year experience program and grew active in student organizations. Eventually, she became an orientation leader for Dog Days: New Student Orientation.

Now, as an alumna from the media, communications and journalism department and assistant coordinator of Dog Days, she hopes to help students find their own communities.

“I just want to help others and be a connector,” Goss said.

She said she would love to help students find their path as they navigate through their university experience.

Originally from Sacramento, Goss said she didn’t always know she wanted to go into the field of student success. But she soon discovered after being involved as an orientation leader during her undergraduate years that helping students was her passion.

After getting her master’s degree from the University of the Pacific, she returned to the Central Valley where her education first began.

She said the area has a sense of community she “can’t really put into words.”

“I know it sounds cliche,” she said. “But I think there’s a lot of support here, and it’s grown so much from even when I was a student to now as a professional staff.”

Goss said it’s been an adjustment seeing herself in a role she once answered to as a student. Listening to her students and connecting with her staff is her tactic for being the best supervisor for them, she said.

“I’ve been trying to find my confidence within this role. I get to call the shots which has been a challenge for me, but it’s also been a lot of fun because I get to help make change on this campus,” Goss said.

Goss has a few projects in mind, including expanding the overnight orientation sessions, providing connections venturing further into campus resources and, eventually, utilizing the new University Student Union space to host “breakout sessions” during Dog Days.

“It’s only going to continue to grow,” she said. “And we have some of the best working students, I think, in the CSU.”

The possibilities for change are endless for Goss, and with her new career path, her work for the university and student success has only begun.

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