Zak Payne

Master of Arts in Higher Education, Student Access and Success

Field of Study: MA in Higher Education - Student Access and Success

Year in Program: 1st Year

Where do you HAIL from? Northern Michigan

Prior degree(s): Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature, University of Michigan

Before coming to UM: I graduated from U-M in 2015 and planned on going into teaching. I moved to Wolfeboro, NH for the summer and then to New Bedford, MA. I decided that teaching was not for me and returned to Michigan for the winter months. I moved back to Ann Arbor in April of 2016!

Why your program? I have a passion for helping people, particularly for college students. I find joy in helping those who may need support as they navigate a college campus, adjust to a new lifestyle, and work towards finding their niche as they consider countless opportunities. I feel that this program aligns with my interests in promoting student access and developing mechanisms to support student learning, development, and success.

The best part of SOE so far: I've enjoyed most of my classes so far and I really like how my cohort came together, professionally and socially. It's a great feeling when you have a support network of peers that is actually interested in your career and how your life is going!

After graduation: I would like to stay in Ann Arbor and work for the University from a Student Affairs capacity. My goal is to work within Greek Life, Residence Life, or some sort of Student Organization Coordination office going forward. Essentially, I want to support students with their life outside of the classroom!

Teach me something! I like to cook, listen to music, and play games/sports. I've always been a fan of Good Time Charley's, Ashley's, and Mister Spots. Going to the Arb or the Botanical Gardens are also great choices when the weather is nice. Football Saturdays are life. From an academic standpoint, I would say don't be afraid to ask or speak up. The professors are here to help and they want you to understand the material (even if it is really confusing or daunting). Chances are somebody else wants to ask too!