The College of Education graduates thousands of bright and engaged educators every year, and each year the College awards the top students, which range from Outstanding Liberal Studies student, to Graduate Dean’s List, to Outstanding Credential Student. Included in this list of honors are the awards for Outstanding Graduate Student and Outstanding Thesis. And this year, the College was pleased to award both of those distinct honors to graduate student Macey Lachman, who graduated with her M.S. degree in Counseling, Student Development in Higher Education (SDHE).
Lachman, who earned her BA in History, with an emphasis in civil and human rights issues in U.S. History from UC Berkeley, applied to the College of Education at CSULB for her graduate degree specifically for the SDHE program. Lachman said, “I was drawn to SDHE due to its reputation in the student affairs field as an excellent program that also integrates social justice into the curriculum.” Her thesis, A Problematic Yet Necessary Effort: White Women in Student Affairs and Anti-Racist Allyship, examined through a qualitative study, how 10 white women working as mid-career professionals in highly diverse institutions across southern California made meaning and engaged in anti-racist allyship. Lachman organized her findings along four themes: perceptions of campus climate at diverse institutions, developing white racial consciousness, efforts towards anti-racist allyship, and complexities of white allyship. Lachman was inspired to explore this topic as a thesis from her own personal challenges of understanding her role and place in anti-racist work both professionally and personally, and how to make meaning of and engage in anti-racist allyship. As a result, she was able to develop a conceptual model of white anti-racist identity development.
As a grad student at CSULB, Lachman was deeply involved with campus life. She served as the Vice-President of the SDHE student organization, Association of Professionals in Student Affairs, of which she was previously a member, as well as serving as part of the moderation team for @SAgradMOD, a group which facilitates a weekly Twitter chat for grad students in Student Affairs. Lachman was also a Student Development Fellow working with the Basic Needs Program, the Emergency Intervention and Wellness Program, and CalFresh Outreach Program. Lachman worked to develop support services for pregnant and parenting students which included setting up a Facebook page, facilitating the creation of a family-friendly study area, and hosting events. This summer Lachman will still be working on campus to create a website for pregnant and parenting students, a campus map showing changing stations on campus, and creating a single point of contact for CalWORKs assistance, a program which provides financial assistance and work support to low-income families. Lachman also worked in the Dream Success Center in fall 2017 and assisted the coordination of professional development for grad students working in the Division of Student Affairs at CSULB. In addition to this vast professional experience, Lachman also interned at various community colleges, including Orange Coast College, Cypress College, and Golden West College. When asked about some of her favorite memories as a CED graduate student, Lachman offered, “A more recent memory was on my birthday. I was really busy with my thesis trying to get…finished before my defense. Two of my friends from my cohort…came over to study with me. They brought me pie, and we had some laughs while also being productive. That type of support is why I really love the SDHE program’s cohort model. I couldn’t have gotten through the program without my peers.”
The Outstanding Graduate awardee is also asked by the College of Education to nominate one of their professors as the Most Valuable Professor. Lachman nominated Dr. Shametrice Davis. When asked how Dr. Davis inspired her as a student, Lachman replied, “I had the pleasure of taking the Introduction to SDHE course, SDHE538, with Dr. Davis, and she served as the chair of my thesis. Her support was integral to my development as a student affairs professional, researcher, and person overall. She approaches her work with authenticity, strength, and compassion. It was an honor to work with her, and I think the College of Education is lucky to have such a brilliant and caring faculty member.”
After wrapping up at CSULB this summer, Lachman plans to pursue a career in higher education as either a community college counselor or as an assistant director in student affairs. She plans to pursue her doctoral degree within the next few years.