As a student at Fresno State, Shawna Blair did not realize that working at the campus post office would lead to a career helping students impact their communities.
Being a student-employee of the University Student Union, she found ways to get involved on campus as a student leader. And that led to her current position as program and event coordinator for Student Involvement.
"As a student leader on USU Productions and a senator on ASI, I learned of the options to have a career in higher education," she said. "I always had the passion and pride to work at Fresno State as a full-time employee because I loved my experience as an undergrad."
Blair has spent ten years on campus as the full-time program and event coordinator for Student Involvement.
"I always had a love for leadership, mentorship and event planning," she said. "I knew I wanted to have a career in event planning."
Her favorite part of her job is the students she meets and works with.
"I love watching them grow personally and professionally while impacting the campus community," she said. "They inspire me when they get excited about events or projects to make happen for the campus. We have amazing students at this campus who really want to make a difference and have an impact. I am lucky to work with many of them on a daily basis."
She has helped many students along their leadership journey.
"I collaborated with the Richter Center to create what is now our Alternative Spring Break program — taking students to do local service projects during the week of spring break," she said. "We are currently in our ninth year of the program and excited for the upcoming spring break."
Bringing meaning and purpose to campus events is important to her. She wants to make sure events connect to students.
"These events help make the students of the campus feel a stronger sense of belonging to Fresno State along with increasing their pride for the campus," she said.
This year she moved into the role of the main staff lead for the Vintage Days festival.
"When I was a student in my undergrad, I became involved with ASI and USU Productions," she said. "I always wanted to serve as a student coordinator on the Vintage Days committee.... I’m excited to have the opportunity to work with the student committee to host one of the favorite traditions of the Fresno State. This year we are celebrating 43 years."
Vintage Days contributes to the campus community by providing the biggest fundraising opportunity for campus clubs. Many of the clubs use the funds raised from Vintage Days to attend professional conferences and events. In addition, Vintage Days brings the community to campus.
"For some it may be their first introduction to Fresno State and what a wonderful and exciting way to welcome them," she said. "Alumni are able to come back to campus and reminisce on their time as a Bulldog. Show their families where they had classes and where they spent most of their time along with activities they were involved in."
She is highly involved with the yearly planning of Homecoming. In the past, she has also been the University Commencement coordinator. In addition, she has served as an adviser for many years to the USU Board of Directors.
"My most important responsibility would be providing an opportunity for student leaders to learn and grow in a safe, welcoming and teaching environment," she said.
Blair has served on many campus committees, such as Staff Assembly and the Division of Student Affairs Professional Development Committee. Currently, she serves as the social media coordinator for the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) West 2017 Conference planning committee.
The last two years she has presented at professional conferences.
"I also had an article published in 2016 in the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Campus Activities Programming Magazine," she said.
Blair holds a B.S. in Recreation Administration and Leisure Studies and an M.A. in Education Administration and Supervision. In 2010, she was named Graduate Student Dean's Medalist for the Division of Student Affairs.
Her hobbies include running; she was in her first half-marathon on April 2 at the California Classic
"I have run five 5ks since January 2016," she said.
She also enjoys watching and following women’s sports.
Blair currently has a brother attending Fresno State. He graduated last year with a B.S. in Kinesiology and is in the single subject credential program.
She is a proud aunt of six girls and one boy.