LEAD and The Power of First-Gen
Erin Kimura-Walsh has overseen the LEAD Scholars Program at Santa Clara University since 2009 and is currently the Director of the program. Erin was an undergraduate student in English and Japanese at Santa Clara before earning an M.S. in Counseling from San Francisco State University and a Ph.D. in Higher Education from the University of California, Los Angeles. As the Director of LEAD, she engages in strategic planning while overseeing the day to day operations. She plans the long-term growth and development of the program such as programming, courses, fundraising, and strategic partnerships. She ensures the successful implementation of LEAD Week and college success activities throughout the year for first-generation college students. Furthermore, Dr. Kimura-Walsh teaches courses for the LEAD Scholars Program that focus on college success, leadership skills, diversity, and equity in higher education.In this episode Antonio brings on the Director of the LEAD Scholars Program, Erin Kimura-Walsh, to speak on Erin’s experience during her time as a student at SCU, the difference between her experience and what she sees today, how the LEAD Scholars Program was created in 2003, the conceptualization of LEAD Week, academic and leadership growth opportunities in LEAD, the impact LEAD has had on its students, reimagining LEAD to maintain its effectiveness in a virtual setting, and the significance of peer mentorship in LEAD.