Staff Spotlight: Kaelyn Thomas
Mar 8, 2023
Kaelyn Thomas is the Coordinator for Student Leadership and Engagement. In this role, she provides programming for the students on campus like Harry Potter Week, movie nights, trivia nights, campus concerts, and field trips off campus.
Kealyn Thomas is a Jacksonville, Fla. Native. Upon graduating from high school, she decided to go to college at The University of North Florida where she studied Anthropology and was active on campus as a Resident Assistant and in Greek Life. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree, Thomas did a year of service with City Year Jacksonville and earned a master's degree in Student Personnel in Higher Education at The University of Florida. At UNF, she really enjoyed making an impact as an RA and wanted to continue to do so through a career in Student Affairs. That is what drove Thomas to come to Flagler College, she wanted to explore diverse ways to provide fun and exciting experiences to students here.
How has your professional and educational background informed your work at Flagler?
Through my master's program, I learned how to center student voices and experiences in my programming. This is important to make sure students feel represented and included in the programming that our office is providing.
What do you enjoy most about working at Flagler?
I really enjoy working with the students on our campus! I get to meet students all the time at our events and I have been able to get to know them and what they really enjoy seeing from us. It always makes me feel good when a student lets us know they really enjoyed one of our events or learned something new from a field trip.
Tell us about a recent project or goal you’ve completed within your department that you’re proud of.
A project that I have recently completed that I am proud of is our Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service project! As part of Spring Welcome Week, we were able to bring this event to campus to connect our students with the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. in St. Augustine and with different non-profits around St. Augustine. Through this program, we were able to donate handmade blankets and clothing donations to the Betty Griffin Center, provide volunteers to the Lincolnville Museum for their speaker series, and help make progress at the donation closet and pantry at St. Frances House. We are hoping to continue this event and make it larger each year!
Do you have a stand-out memory from working with students or other campus community members?
One of the memories that stands out to me from my first year of working here is our first Orientation of the summer in 2022. This was my first time helping with orientation and it was a wonderful experience! I got to help introduce new students and their families to the community of Flagler College and make them feel that much more comfortable attending in the fall semester. We got to tour them around and Lewis the Lion even stopped by for some pictures and family fun! After the first day was over, I felt so much more connected to the campus community.
What is one thing no one would guess about you?
I have a pet Bearded Dragon named Charlie
Who is someone that inspires you and why?
Someone who inspires me is my supervisor and the Director of Student Leadership and Engagement, Ashley Cofield. She has taught me so much this year about what it means to have a career in Student Affairs and how to be an effective leader on campus. She inspires me through her work with our student leaders on campus. She has created a new leadership series to help students learn about and implement leadership skills in their everyday life and career. I look up to her for supporting me through my first year of graduate school and helping me become a young professional in the field.