A Class of His Own

The accolades are piling up for Pedro Marin.

The marketing major from Grand Blanc earned the Student of the Year award from the National Association of College and University Residence Halls (NACURH) during its annual conference in May 2018 at Arizona State University in Tempe. NACURH is an organization for student leaders in college campus housing operations.

“This was completely unexpected because there were so many great people who are doing great things for their campuses across the country,” he said. “I thought my chances were pretty up in the air. It’s just me doing the things I love to do.”

He qualified for the national award after receiving recognition from one of the organization’s regional affiliates in November 2017.

Marin, named National First Year Student of the Month in August 2014 by NACURH following his freshman year, plans to pursue a professional career in student affairs in higher education. It’s a passion he picked up early on at SVSU.

“When I was a freshman, I knew I wanted to work with people to spread positivity and inspire movement and education for others, but I didn’t know how I wanted to do that,” he said.

He began taking on leadership roles in SVSU’s Residential Life community and receiving inspiration from his first campus mentor, Merry Jo Brandimore, a longtime SVSU student affairs administrator who retired in 2016.

“MJ really introduced me to this profession as a possibility, and I fell in love with it,” Marin said.

Brandimore’s successor, Sidney Childs, associate provost for Student Affairs and dean of students, became Marin’s adviser in October 2017 as part of Marin’s acceptance into the NASPA Undergraduate Fellowship Program for the Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education.

Marin joined about 200 individuals in the national program, which offered opportunities for scholarships, on-campus mentorship and professional development events to students from underrepresented and historically disenfranchised populations.

Through that opportunity, Marin accepted a paid internship at the University of Colorado Boulder, where he worked with the campus’ student affairs services, including its career services and diversity programs.

“I’m so appreciative of all the ways SVSU, NACURH and NASPA has allowed me to grow,” he said. “I’ve had so many great opportunities.”

Marin has received several SVSU awards recognizing him for his work as a resident assistant. Outside of campus, he is a regular participant in the SVSU Alternative Breaks program that sends students to help nonprofit organizations across the nation during the holiday and spring break periods.

Marin plans to graduate from SVSU in May 2019, then pursue a postgraduate degree in student affairs leadership.

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