Being a judicial officer is a job unlike any other she’s done, but Missy Enanoza is up to the challenge. A graduate student worker in USC Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards (SJACS), Enanoza tries to make every encounter with students a positive one.
“It’s something completely different from what I’ve done before, but I’m enjoying helping students reevaluate their decisions and learn how to be better citizens,” explained Enanoza, a student in the Postsecondary Administration and Student Affairs program at the USC Rossier School of Education.
The Woodbury, Minn., native earned a B.S. in business administration from DePaul University in Chicago. She considered becoming a music teacher but decided to pursue an academic career as a faculty member and research culturally based fraternities and sororities.
In her current position, Enanoza meets with students three days a week about their behavioral cases. Her responsibilities include notifying students that they need to meet with SJACS, which hears cases and assigns sanctions for infractions.
“Relaxing students so they will be open and honest is a challenge,” Enanoza said. “They’re very worried about what’s going to happen.”
When students arrive in her office, Enanoza uses the “challenge and support” counseling model.
“When a student is worried that they might get suspended or [is] scared of the consequences, I tend to be more supportive because the student needs to be reassured that this isn’t a punitive office and that this should be taken as a learning opportunity,” she explained. “If a student doesn’t understand how his or her actions violated the student conduct code, I tend to be more challenging because the student needs to understand that he or she has to abide by the rules even if he or she doesn’t like it or agree with it.”
Enanoza is working on a project to assess the effectiveness of some of the sanctions imposed for behavioral issues.
One of the most common sanctions requires students to write an educational/reflective paper, which is graded on a 1-5 scale. Enanoza plans to review the essays, code the types of learning and lessons, and use this system to better assess the effectiveness of the papers as an educational tool.
Enanoza, who also sings in the USC Student Affairs Choir, enjoys steering students in the right direction at a critical crossroads in their college careers.
“I do really care about the students,” Enanoza said. “I feel like I’m helping them make a change.”