Spotlight: Michelle Cannaday
“I really like seeing the growth of students. Sometimes they might be a little older, or maybe just really shy, and I can relate to that. Watching them grow and gain confidence so that by the time they leave, they are happy with their college experience. I’ve had students come up and express tremendous gratitude to me just for taking the time to help guide them as much as I could or to get them connected somewhere. That is just very rewarding.”
Alumni Michelle Cannaday: WVC Student Leadership & Engagement Coordinator for the Campus Life Office.
Please introduce yourself and your current job title and role:
"My name is Michelle Cannaday and I work here at WVC as the student leadership and engagement coordinator for the campus life office. That means that I work closely with the student senate and with all of our ASWVC clubs. I was hired for this role in February of 2016.”
Why did you choose WVC and when did you graduate?
“I grew up in Oroville and I started attending WVC at the Omak campus for my very first year and then moved to Wenatchee for my AAS degree which I completed in the winter of 2007. I participated in the WVC graduation ceremony in the spring of 2008, then I transferred to WSU for my BA degree. When I first started at WVC, I took a psychology class just as a requirement for my degree and I fell in love with psychology. When I transferred to WSU, I sought out the human development degree, which included a lot of the psychology and sociology and humanities type of classes. “
What are some memorable moments about your time at WVC?
“I was a little bit older when I started attending classes here at WVC and was living in Cashmere, taking classes and then would go right off campus to study so I was not involved in clubs or anything like that, but I was hired as a work study student with the facilities department. Then when I transferred into WSU, I was able to get a work-study role in the financial aid office, which then led to a part time job in admissions, which created an opportunity for a full time job in admissions. So I kind of worked my way through the college in different areas, and then, like I said, I was hired 2.5 years ago into my current position.”
Describe your current job role:
“I currently work with the ASWVC senate all throughout the year. They put on a lot of activities and I help with coordinating all the pieces and parts of their events. It takes a lot of people being involved to put an event together, so whether that is purchasing the supplies they need, scheduling the space and rooms they need and all the details that go with that, I am their main coordinator. The same goes for clubs. Sometimes they travel out of the area, so I coordinate their hotels, make their travel and meal arrangements, take care of registrations… I sometimes feel like I am a combination of a travel agent, an event coordinator, a tour guide and… a mom! It’s definitely been interesting. A lot of fun and a lot of stress sometimes when there are multiple events happening in a relatively small frame of time. I also help students with getting their student ID cards and bus passes. We do individual or small group campus tours. We handle all the lost and found which is actually an enormous task! I am also budget manager for the senate and clubs, so keeping track of all the funds coming and going is an ongoing responsibility. I employ work study students here and having their help is really beneficial.”
How did WVC prepare you for your future?
“I remember when I first started working at the financial aid office, I was extremely, painfully shy. The phone would ring and another co-worker and I would just look at each other in terror, like deer in the headlights and it was just the scariest thing! I feel like I’ve really had an opportunity to come out of my shell a little bit and gain some confidence through opportunities I’ve had here at WVC. Even to this day, its unimaginable to me - sometimes I have to get up in front of students and speak and I just do what I have to do, even though it’s not my norm! I feel that through opportunities here on campus, I can now pull myself out of my comfort zone, do what I normally wouldn’t feel confident in doing, and in small increments I become more confident in doing what I’m needing to do.”
Any advice for current WVC students?
“Don’t be afraid to take your time and find your passion. Often, there is that message that says you need to know what you are going to do the minute you graduate high school. But the truth is, you don’t. Sometimes you just need to learn and grow through new experiences and opportunities so don’t be afraid to take your time.”
Favorite parts about being involved here as staff at WVC:
“I really like seeing the growth of students. Sometimes they might be a little older, or maybe just really shy, and I can relate to that. Just watching them just grow and gain confidence so that by the time they leave, they are so happy with their college experience. I’ve had students come up and express tremendous gratitude to me just for taking the time to help guide them as much as I could or to get them connected somewhere. That is just very rewarding.”