Carmen Wilson

Biographical Information:

Name: Carmen Wilson
Pronouns: they/them/their
Undergraduate institution: Armstrong State University, Savannah, Georgia
Hometown: Savannah, Georgia
Why OSU CSSA? I had a friend go from Georgia to Oregon State University for a different graduate program. She loved OSU and encouraged me to apply. Unfortunately, she moved back to the East Coast right before I came here. In a general sense, I like (well-planned) adventures. I had never been to the West Coast, with no family or friends here. The CSSA program fit my needs the most: A unique GTA position, generous compensation package, and rave reviews across the country. It was the perfect opportunity.
Graduate Assistantship: Human Services Resource Center (HSRC)

A little bit about me:

Hi everyone! My name is Carmen Wilson. Born and raised in Georgia, lived in New York, currently residing in Oregon. In better words, a Southern Belle with the style of an NYC diva and the passions of a PNW hippie. I have worked as an RA, in the field of social work, and at an international boarding school before arriving at OSU. My interests are social justice, frugality (I’m obsessed with saving money), the environment, and fashion. When I have the downtime and energy for self-care, you can find me running, playing The Sims, reading everything*plus* my textbooks, hiking, and dancing in my room. My career interests are academic and/or career advising and residence life.

As a person who makes up multiple marginalized identities, it was important to choose a place where I could survive and thrive. My loved ones and I were nervous for me.

"Oregon?! There ain’t no Black people there!"
"Who moves to Ori-gone?"
"Is Oregon on the East Coast?"

My fears were quelled once I started school. Oregon State is striving with opportunities and spaces for people of marginalized identities. Even better, the minoritized people here have such passion and energy for their livelihood and the lives of others. There is still much work to be done and we’re ultimately still in rural Oregon, but the support group I have through my cohort and my friends makes it (almost) feel like Portland. They keep my fire lit and my cup full.

My graduate assistantship is with the OSU Human Services Resource Center. Working at the HSRC helps me stay connected. We work to alleviate food insecurity, poverty, and homelessness among college students and the surrounding communities. We use efforts such as our food pantry, textbook lending program, and emergency housing to combat these issues. I am fortunate to be in community with a diverse staff and client population to directly apply my understandings of social justice into the work I’m doing now. Every day I am challenged to think more inclusively and radically, strengthening myself as a professional and a person.  I couldn’t ask for a better assistantship.

Whether you choose Oregon State or not, attend a program that cares about you and for you. Fit matters! Student affairs programs are, usually, only two years, but a lot can happen in two years. Make it worth it.