Templeton joins Emerging Leader cohort

May 7, 2019

Emerald Templeton was one of seven to join the NASPA Emerging Faculty Leader Academy Cohort in March 2019. Templeton, who joined MSU’s faculty in 2018, will take part in the one-year program to help build her knowledge and experience in her career.

“I am looking forward to working with the cohort, expanding my repertoire and bettering my practices as a faculty member,” Templeton said. She is an assistant professor in the Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education (HALE) programs and coordinator of the Student Affairs Administration program. “My guiding question is always: How can I make student affairs better? I am interested in how we solidify our identities as student affairs professionals, better prepare our students and improve the field.”

Templeton has been an active participant in NASPA for years, and has been a practitioner in the field for even longer.

She began her career with various leadership roles in community and state organizations, finding her passion for contributing to public service. Following a master’s in counseling from San Francisco State University, Templeton worked on college campuses as an academic and career advisor, director and educator. She then pursued a doctorate focused on higher education leadership studies from the University of San Francisco.

“Change is slow but the work is fast in student affairs,” she said. “There is a lot of change that needs to happen. People often love the work, but because they’re so immersed in the work, they can get burned out. My role as a leader is to help facilitate that environment of care so that the work can be enriching, sustainable.”

That is what made her the perfect fit for her role at Michigan State University—her first full-time faculty position.

“I want to take the work I did on the ground and connect it to what I’m doing now, how I can help our students shape the future of the field,” Templeton said.

The 2019-20 Emerging Faculty Leader Academy recognition and kickoff began during the NASPA – Student Affairs in Higher Education conference in March.


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Associate Professor Matthew Wawrzynski also received recognition at the NASPA conference, being named as a Pillar of the Profession.