Adrienne Shavers, Loras Alum

Empowering Change

February Duhawk Dozen

Adrienne Shavers (’14)
Sociology & Social Work
Lincoln, Nebraska

2014 graduate, Adrienne Shavers is revered by her friends and classmates for how closely she helps students and the lengths she’s willing to go to make a connection. However, with great humility, Adrienne admits that it’s a mutually impactful relationship. “I had no clue that the students I work with were going to help me more than I would ever be able to help them.”

Though over the years, she has found great success in higher education, it wasn’t something she had always envisioned. “I didn’t know my career would be in higher education, but I am so glad that I had all of the resources and connections that helped me down this path.” Adrienne had countless people in her corner throughout her college career that kept her pushing through some of the more difficult times. Early at Loras, Adrienne had a conversation with her mom about transferring. With great advice, her mom encouraged her to stay and to try getting even more involved than before. “I started getting involved with Residence Life and started going to programs,” Adrienne started. “Then I was hired as a resident advisor, and I knew that I wanted to continue working within student affairs.” From there, faculty and staff like her Hall Director Anthony Davis, and professor of Sociology Lisa Garoutte, helped her find her home away from home at Loras. “I was a first-generation student, so I didn’t know what I was getting into,” Adrienne started. “That whole experience helped me want to make the world better for future generations and students.”

After graduating, Adrienne was confident she wanted to continue in higher education, but she wasn’t sure whether she wanted to continue at a large or small institution. “This wasn’t what I had dreamed of,” Adrienne started, “so I needed to find what I really wanted.” That search led her to Oakland University, in Michigan, where she was able to experience new cultures and new world views. “I wanted to cultivate new experiences to find where my right fit would be.” Adrienne was quick to point out that it was her small-school experience that showed her just how connected a college community could be. “I knew all my professors and they knew whether or not I was in class,” Adrienne said. “I want to bring that to every institution that I work at.”

In addition to a love of helping others; diversity, equity, and inclusion have become cornerstones of Adrienne’s career and education. “I wanted to create positive change within higher education by working with diverse students.” Adrienne understands that no one has the same experience, especially when it comes to college. In her time as a resident advisor and as a professional, allowing people to feel seen in their individual experiences has become her focal point. “I utilize my voice and advocate with my students by elevating their voices.” Not only does Adrienne help create a space for change by empowering her students, but she teaches important skills to help students in their futures as well.

Adrienne truly embodies the Loras Dispositions in all that she does. Her ability to advocate and support students with a wide array of backgrounds is what makes her February’s Duhawk Dozen.

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