Get to Know Noodle’s Student Support Coach, Treya Lynch
My leadership style has always been motivational and creative. Knowing how to think outside of the box and find creative ways to affect change.
Treya Lynch is a Noodle Student Support Coach. Originally born in Queens, NY but raised in Brooklyn, she received her education at SUNY College at Purchase majoring in Political Science. She also received her Masters in College Student Personnel Administration from SUNY Buffalo. Treya recalls that she always wanted to work with college students from her sophomore year in undergrad and describes education as a career that feels like ‘home’. She enjoys being able to support students in Noodle’s programs on their academic journeys to graduation through her extensive background in higher education and her ability to connect with them on a personal level.
What elements or traits does a great leader exhibit?
A great leader has great communication skills. They possess great listening skills. They are also empathetic and have the ability to motivate.
When you think of great leadership, who comes to mind? Why?
I have great admiration and respect for Michelle Obama. She is recognized for being a strong leader and supporter of education. She once stated “ I can tell you education was everything for me, It opened doors. It gave me the confidence to pursue my ambitions and make my voice heard in the world. For me, education was power.”
This quote resonates with me being a first generation college student and first person in my family to earn a Master’s Degree. I also value education as giving me a voice and a chance to move out of Brooklyn and go towards the direction of my dreams. I remember all of the scrutiny the former First Lady received while President Obama was in office. I admire her strength as a First Lady, a wife, a mother, an educator and a role model for young Black girls and women.
How has your personal leadership style evolved?
My leadership style has always been motivational and creative. Knowing how to think outside of the box and find creative ways to affect change. I’m also a good listener. I observe and I try my best to see the bigger picture. My approach and mindset is —let’s get it done and find a fun way to do it! A simple strategy but I know people do their best when they are motivated and have a vested interest. My style is to creatively challenge you to get things done. I’ve always believed the distance between two points is not a straight line, but a motivated journey full of zig zags, squiggly lines and even sometimes circles all before you to get to the next point or level.
What is it about your background or career experiences that successfully positioned you for your role at Noodle? Describe that role.
For 3 years I’ve served as a Student Support Coach indirectly with Noodle, but joined the team full time last summer. In my role, I support two programs with the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Prior to that I supported the University of Virginia in the School of Data Science. My job is to foster relationships with students, be a liaison between them and our University Partners and support students from their initial welcome call up until graduation.
My role as a Student Support Coach is defined by my ability to establish a good rapport with students. They feel very comfortable with me. This has always been the case even when I worked on campus and students would just casually hang out in my office. I believe students feel connected and have described me as approachable and supportive. I also don’t apply a one size fits all approach to coaching. I like to meet the students where they are. I often use humor, pop culture, and shared experiences to develop deep connections. I have an array of experience within higher education!
How do you support the success of your team?
If this was an episode of Friends, it would be titled: “The One Where Treya Comes Up With An Off The Wall Idea.” My role on my team is to be the motivator. To provide ideas when we are stumped, to motivate and to celebrate my team. I will give you accolades and make sure you are recognized for your efforts.
Describe how your career has been enhanced by exposure to diverse people, places or experiences.
I’ve worked with diverse groups my entire life. I also come from a very large family in New York City. I am the oldest of my siblings and experienced many firsts in life as a result. All of these experiences have shaped my coaching style and allowed me to wear many hats from an administrator to a student advocate. My career in higher education is shaped by my extremely extroverted personality. I am definitely a social butterfly. I’ve always wanted to work with any position that would be student facing and interactive.
I have a background in Residence Life for over 10 years. I worked very closely with Student Activities and Student Leadership. I’ve held positions in Student Conduct and Judicial Affairs. I’ve taught First Year Seminar courses at 2 year community colleges and 4 year diverse universities. I’ve supported at-risk students, college athletes, and I’ve served as an advisor to several student organizations. I’ve worked with undergraduate, non-traditional students and everyone in between. For 5 years, I also served as conference chair for NJANSA—The New Jersey Association of New Student Advocates— that promotes and develops student success in higher education at various two-year and four-year institutions, both public and private, from the areas of student and academic affairs.
Something that also influenced my career was when I did a semester abroad in Ghana my senior year of college. That humbled me and taught me about privilege even when poverty is no stranger.
What are some of the most effective tools in your leadership arsenal?
I believe in accountability and transparency. Accountability builds trust and transparency allows people to feel supported. I also believe having emotional intelligence is key. Emotional intelligence is the ability to understand, recognize, process, and react to various emotions and feelings. It applies to your own feelings as well as the emotions of others. Often it includes the following: Self awareness, self regulation, motivation, empathy. People who are self-aware are able to monitor and control their emotions and feelings when reacting to others.
Please tell us something about yourself that people would be surprised to learn.
I am a professional makeup artist and full time mermaid! I moved to a small beach town so I can access 5 beaches within 20 minutes.