Taking the Drama Out of Starting Your Degree Online

By Elizabeth Rittiman - February 9th, 2015

Learn more about the dedicated staff members serving and supporting our students. This month’s staff spotlight is on Alisha Pagán, a Student Support Advisor with an affinity for the arts.   

Alisha and Ken

Alisha S. Pagán is a Student Support Advisor at Colorado State University-Global Campus. Lucky enough to be born on October 31st, she is understandably a huge fan of Halloween. She is a Colorado native with all of her family here in Colorado, but her mom was originally from Hawaii and her dad from Puerto Rico. “I may be one of the few Colorado natives who can snorkel and swim better than I can ski or snowboard,” she laughed.

Background in Theater, Career in Education

Before Alisha joined CSU Global she was a big part of the theater scene in Colorado Springs and enjoys acting, singing, dancing, painting, sculpting, playing the viola, and being a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to the arts. Her favorite things are spending time with her boyfriend, family, and friends, live music, snuggling with her cat, reading fiction, and watching movies. Maybe it has to do with being born on Halloween, but she loves costumes and theater.

Alisha has been working in education for her entire professional career. After she graduated, she went on to teach at an elementary school for two years and absolutely loved it. She says she really enjoyed the kids and the things they taught her. Then she decided it was time to go back to higher education and started her career in financial aid.

“I have been lucky enough to work as a financial aid officer, school certifying official, military advisor, and director of student finance at different locations in Colorado and in Austin, Texas before settling in here at CSU Global,” Alicia explained, “I’ve been here for nearly a year and really enjoy helping students find a way to finance their schooling.”

Her Role as a Student Support Advisor

As a Student Support Advisor, Alisha’s main role is to help prepare students for their first course. This includes ensuring all their required documents are on file, walking the student through orientation, and answer any questions they have. Student Support Advisors are also responsible for helping students complete Tuition Planning if they are interested in using financial aid to pay for their degree.

“As a first-generation college student, I know how tricky it can be to navigate the financial side of school without much guidance, so it makes me happy to help students understand the process,” she says.

Tuition Planning is a unique process at CSU Global that is designed to ensure transfer students have the funding available to cover the credits left in their degree. Alisha works with the student to develop a plan to cover any gaps and help explore other ways reduce the cost of their program before they are enrolled.

Student As Well As Staff Member

Alisha graduated from the University of Colorado – Colorado Springs with a Bachelor of Arts in Visual and Performing Arts, and she graduated Magna Cum Laude with minors in Leadership Studies and Spanish. Currently she is working on her Master of Science in Organizational Leadership here at CSU Global and has really enjoyed it so far.

“If any other students are reading this, my advice is to ask questions,” says Alicia. “I often get nervous about posting a question in my class, but have realized that often my questions help other students, too. I would also say post early in your classes – that way if something comes up later in the week, you are better able to balance things in life, work, and school.”

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