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The Vermont Connection

Abstract

The Vermont Connection, at its core, is about people who invest in people. As aspiring and practicing student affairs educators, we invest in ourselves, in our students, in our colleagues, and in our research—research that frequently centers on the relationships among these groups of people. We invest because we grew from relationships with those who cared enough to do the same for us. We are the product of myriad connections across time and landscapes, knit together in our common experience in the University of Vermont’s Higher Education and Student Affairs (HESA) program. Intentional connection building is the purpose of HESA’s Graduate Colleague (GC) program, where incoming first-year students are matched with second-year students to assist in the transition to Vermont, the University, and HESA. In the following article, five generations of GCs discuss, through the lens of feminist theory, how our special connection informed and shaped each of our academic experiences, professional development, and voice-finding processes.