Featured Colleague: Student Services Advisor Sadia Inshan Finds Her Path Through Professional Development

Tuesday, June 22, 2021

By Claudia Zequeira

Sadia Inshan, student services advisor, serves as a navigational guide to students embarking on their academic journey at the busy East Campus Answer Center, usually a students’ first stop at Valencia College.

Besides processing documents required to attend the College, Sadia provides information on topics ranging from financial aid to residency and course selection. She also facilitated new student orientations, where students are instructed on key ways to succeed at Valencia, among many of her tasks.

But her role is much more than that.

“While students are working on their degree, I also serve as an advisor who actively listens to their concerns and resolves obstacles they may be facing,” said Sadia about her role.

In the time she has been with Valencia, Sadia has thrived. Her career here began as a federal work study student at the Office for Students with Disabilities, where she said fell in love with the culture of College.

She then moved into a part-time staff assistant role at the Peace and Justice Institute (PJI) in 2017. From there, she quickly transitioned into a role as a part-time student services advisor and, soon after, into her current full-time role, where she is able to strike a balance between productivity and a personal, caring touch.

“The Answer Center is a fast-paced environment that requires efficiency and accuracy to serve our voluminous and diverse student population,” said her supervisor, Lauren Zanders, manager, student services.

“Sadia has proven she is more than capable to perform highly in this environment and contribute to the overall success of the office. Her Answer Center peers have used the following words to describe her: authentic, energetic, committed and ambitious.”

Sadia has indeed embodied all the adjectives Lauren used to describe her.

In particular, she has taken advantage of multiple opportunities that have propelled her career and from which she has learned significantly.

“While utilizing my master’s degree in social work, I became a mentor for the Horizon Scholars Program. I have had the honor to be a mentor for the past three years,” said Sadia.

“Within my department, I was also given the opportunity to manage and supervise the federal work study students. It also makes me very proud that I have had the chance to participate in the very first Virtual Developmental Leadership Program. This allowed me to expand my leadership skills and grow.”

Sadia recently completed Valencia’s Virtual Leadership Development Program, which was developed during the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic to offer leadership development virtually to Valencia’s emerging leaders. This cohort-based program allows employees to explore behavioral drives, practice employee competencies and demonstrate effective communication skills through self-reflection, exploration, individualized learning and engagement with colleagues.

Sadia said she is very appreciative of Valencia for these opportunities, which are encouraged by leaders and co-workers alike.

“What I love best about working at Valencia is the unlimited amounts of opportunities for growth. I have set many goals for myself within my time at the College and, with the support of my leadership, I have been able to accomplish those goals,” she said.

“I have always felt supported by my team and my colleagues. I love the continuous encouragement that I receive from those around me within the Student Services team. I have never felt so appreciated and motivated at any other organization that I have been employed with,” she added.

Here, she is also inspired by the College’s efforts to promote and follow principles of diversity and inclusion.

“The College ensures everyone who comes from different backgrounds and experiences is included, valued and that their voices are heard,” she said. “One of my favorite quotes that I learned in the Virtual Leadership Development Program is ‘Diversity is being invited to the party, inclusion is being asked to dance,’ and Valencia invites everyone to share their voices, experiences and opinions without fear of judgment. This increases motivation to work together as a team and accomplish goals.”

Those same principles of inclusion apply to the College’s admission policy, which provides opportunity and hope to members of the community no matter their socioeconomic status.

“The community relies on the College to build a strong foundation to assist others who may feel like they do not have a place to go,” she said. “We promote opportunity to those in need. Valencia College never ceases to leave a positive footprint in the community.”

Sadia herself is a product of the College, as she earned an Associate in Arts from Valencia. She then went on to earn a bachelor’s in psychology and a master’s in social work from the University of Central Florida, where she also previously worked as a student services coordinator.

In her free time, Sadia enjoys traveling and visiting new places. More recently, she took a photography class and has taken up nature photography as a hobby.

“My goal by the end of the year is to visit as many states as I can and photograph my journey,” she said.

Know of someone doing great work at the College, who has been an employee for one year or more? Send the colleague’s name to us at The_Grove@valenciacollege.edu. He or she might be one of our featured colleagues, subject to supervisor’s approval.


  • Natasha McIlmurray said:

    Congratulations on your many accomplishments, Sadia! So glad you are here.

    AMWed, 23 Jun 2021 10:11:12 +0000Wed, 23 Jun 2021 10:11:12 +0000am21,10:11 am

  • Lauren R. Thomas said:

    Sadia!!! I'm so glad to see you recognized! Thank you for all you do for our students. You're amazing!

    AMWed, 23 Jun 2021 11:53:08 +0000Wed, 23 Jun 2021 11:53:08 +0000am21,11:53 am

  • Brigi Divin said:

    Congratulations on your accomplishments and best wishes for your next adventure! 🙂

    PMWed, 23 Jun 2021 15:53:26 +0000Wed, 23 Jun 2021 15:53:26 +0000pm21,3:53 pm

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