DJ Zissen is a second-year CSSA student graduating this June. DJ defended his thesis on “Policies and Practices of L.G.B.T.Q. Friendly Institutions to Support Students who are Attracted to More than One Gender”.

Twitter handle: @djzissen


When I joined the CSSA program, just about two years ago, I thought I had a good idea of what I was getting into. Graduate school was just like my undergraduate experience… right? I just had to pass classes and then I could finally get the job in student affairs that I’ve always wanted… right? This cohort I was joining was going to be nice but not needed because I was already secure with my support structure within OSU… right? I came to find out all three of those notions were wrong.

Now, I could fill pages about my first two assumptions were incorrect, in fact wrote about it in my demonstration of competencies for those who are interested, but I was most surprised how important my cohort has become to me. For those who don’t know, I attended OSU as an undergraduate student, began working for INTO OSU right after graduation, and then transitions to the CSSA program. Because of this, I felt that I already had the support structure built that would support me through the difficult two years of graduate school. Looking back on that support structure, people moved, roles changed, or couldn’t understand what I was going through. Thankfully, my cohort was more than able to fill the void that was left. They are my cheerleaders, classmates, colleagues, and most importantly my family. I can’t think of my CSSA experience without the amazing group of people that make up #cohortlove and I am humbled to count myself a part of this fantastic cohort.

I guess, for the sake of brevity, what I am trying to say is this. I know that I would not be graduating on June 14th without the amazing people who I have had the honor to learn from, be challenged by, and be accepted within. Out of all the experiences that I have had throughout my time within CSSA, I am most thankful that I have had the time to get to know the 2014 Cohort. I am excited that we are getting ready to graduate and head out into the field we have worked so hard to join. I also excited to see what amazing things we accomplish no matter if we are at the same institution or across the country! #cohortlove


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