Member Spotlight June 2024

Erin Trujillo, LPC, MBA
AVP/Director, ASU Counseling Services
Arizona State University

What is one piece of advice you would give to your colleagues who are starting out in college counseling?

My advice would be to value all your work experiences that you bring to college counseling and to hire a team with a wide array of work experiences, including but not limited to college counseling. It took me a while to value all that I learned prior to working in collegiate health, but in truth, so much of my ethics, perspectives, and gratitude for the current came from that work, and it translates so well into collegiate expertise. I also have some unique perspectives that have been crucial for moving our center forward to meet the current needs of students. Value all the experiences you bring to this role!

Could you share an innovative/program that you or your team have implemented that you are particularly pleased with?

I think our well-being work in our local high schools is really cool. Some years back, we recognized that students need some interpersonal and emotional foundations to be successful in college, so we’ve been weaving into the K12 arm of our university to build foundations through peer-to-peer work. We have an Associate Director who oversees K-20 peer-to-peer work, bringing the developmental perspective to college and high school cohorts and the developmental transition. I’ve seen this design shrink silos and expand insight for fully thinking about services, interventions, and prevention across young adult developmental needs. I think the simple act of tracking high school and local trends has been invaluable for leading a college counseling center.

Do you participate in any sports?

Last year I joined a rowing club! I am always my most active when I’m in a sport, and decided to try crew. It delivers – it’s hard and interesting and gets me out of my mind for 2 hours. I still don’t know what I’m doing, but it’s also nice that there are people 20 years older than me who are really good, so it’s a sport to grow into for years to come.

This past summer I got to travel with a former college teammate (soccer) to go to the Women’s World Cup in New Zealand. My picture is from that trip!

What is something about you personally that many people don’t know?

When I graduated from undergrad, the only thing I knew I wanted to do was travel. I spent the next 10 summers working in various summer experience environments, 7 of them with a high school summer international travel company. I speak proficient Spanish, so I got to lead service and cultural programs in Ecuador, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Spain. I was exposed to so many facets of life and culture during that window, and that transformed my understanding of wealth, happiness, and empathy. I was so sad to work a 12-month job and give this up, but it was a good run to travel with work and be exposed to being in one place for 5 weeks at a time.

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