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CEHD Strengths Spotlight | Venoreen Browne-Boatswain | Graduate Coordinator of Multicultural Programs and Outreach

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At the University of Minnesota and in CEHD we feel every student has what they need to be successful. We believe in taking a strengths based approach and work with students to learn to use their talents so they can be developed into strengths.


What are your top 5 talent themes?
My top five themes are: Responsibility, Input, Connectedness, Developer and Activator.


Which talent themes fit you best and why?
Responsibility is a natural part of who I am, and it plays an important part in my life. As the oldest child in a family of eleven, I took on duties at a young age generally reserved for adults. For example, before I left for school, it was my responsibility to cook for, clean and clothe all of my siblings. Consequently, responsibility has been a trait that I value since a very young age. My sense of responsibility has also shaped my professional life. Every day I strive to give my all. Hence, it is very important to be a dependable team member by taking responsibility for my actions and maintaining a positive attitude. In conclusion, responsibility is an important trait to me personally, professionally and spiritually. Prior to taking the strength finder assessment, I did not realize that responsibility was a strength of mine.


In what ways do you use your talents each day?

I truly believe that things happen for a reason. As a result, I believe that my role as a multicultural coordinator is exactly the position that I should be in. During my daily interactions with student, I always try to pass on values that have helped me throughout my academic and professional career. These values include Responsibility, Input, Connectedness, Developer and Activator. I inform students of color that it is their responsibility to be a developer and activator for their communities. With their connectedness to the community, they can provide great input into the discussion of equity and diversity at the University.


How have you worked to developed your talent themes?
As previously mentioned, I have benefited from the StrengthsFinder assessment because I was not aware of some of the strengths that I possess. Now that I am aware, it is my responsibility to develop a "StrengthFinder" workshop for the various student groups that I work with. Often, students of color are not aware of their strengths. Along the same lines, many students of color do not realize what they have to offer to the university. Just as the StrengthFinder assessment informed me of my strengths, this tool may help students of color realize the potential strengths that they have hidden. An increase in self efficacy can be very beneficial to the retention of students of color at the University of Minnesota. For these reasons, I plan to invest my time into developing a "hands-on" workshop modeled after the StrengthFinder assessment.

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