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NEXUS

the

The Official Newsletter of the Massachusetts College Personnel Association 

FEATURED ARTICLE

Servant Leadership in Student Affairs: 10 Easy Steps

MEMBER SPOTLIGHT MCPA Award Winners

January 2014

UPCOMING EVENTS

Coffee Talk @ UMass - Amherst 2/7/14 AOTA Conference @ UMass - Lowell 2/8/14


MCPA Executive Board President Dawn Eades MCPHS University @DawnEades

Marketing Coordinator Cecilia Hughes Boston University @ ceciliah

President-Elect Jenn Forry Newbury College

Website Coordinator Rhian Waterberg MassBay Community College @rwaterberg

Past President Jen Casavant Wentworth Institute of Technology @jen_casavant

Member at Large Shannon Pittman Northeastern University @ShannonJPittman

Membership Coordinator Hilary Caron Boston University @hilcaron

Member at Large Ben Lamb Williams College @BenjaminLamb

Treasurer Ryan Greelish Bridgewater State University @RyanGreelish

Member at Large Megan Wyett UMass Amherst @MWyett

Secretary Jessi Robinson UMass - Boston @jrobin19

Social Media Coordinator Dan Newman Endicott College @Dan_Bubbles

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Newsletter Editor John Mayo @jmayojr Graduate Student Liaison Kris Polk MCPHS University @Kris_Grace89 Graduate Student Liaison Sarah Santiago Roger Williams University @S_A_Santiago New Professional Liaison Vaishakhi Desai Boston University

January 2014


Letter from the President Dawn Eades, MCPHS University & MCPA President

Happy new year! I hope you all have enjoyed the perks of working in a college environment infused with some down time or as I like to refer to it, PJ time! Because with a new year inevitably comes the obligatory new year’s resolutions, I hope you’ve provided yourself with some time to reflect on the past year and to create some new aspirations for the upcoming year. Let me guess how this sounds. I will exercise. I will eat healthier. I will quit smoking. I will spend more time with the people I love. We typically design our resolutions to reach one goal; to enrich our lives, to be happier and with good intentions. What I’ve come to realize is new year’s resolutions are nice in theory but easy to disregard. Why? Because it means we need to change and change is HARD. Additionally, there are no consequences. Well unless you consider, seeing no change a consequence. But how’s that different than where you were a month ago? What if we designed our new year’s resolutions with consequences? What if we actually tried some type of behavior modification to reach our goals in 2014? And stuck to it? For example, what if you had to pay someone $5 every time you ate a cookie or you weren’t able to buy yourself something new until you completed 1,000 minutes of exercise? Naturally, it would require honesty and of course, discipline. I think small incentives work to our benefit. It is hard to imagine what my weight will be in 2015 when I’m more worried about how I’ll look tomorrow or next week. Rewards typically work better than punishments but I think it depends on the individual and the goal at hand. So think about what your resolutions really are and how important they are to you. Are you willing to hold yourself accountable to them? Are you willing to involve friends and family to hold you to them? How? What if you asked your friends to provide the consequences for not achieving your goals? Let me know what your plan is, I would love to hear how it’s going! I wish for you a wonderful and successful 2014. I hope you achieve what you set out to and hold yourself accountable. It’s ok to stumble along the way, I just hope you have your consequences in place to help you get back on track. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events this semester! Best of luck with those resolutions! My best, Dawn A. Eades MCPA President The Nexus

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January 2014


Show us some love!

http://www.facebook.com/mymcpa

@MCPATweets

Upcoming Events MCPA Coffee Talk Workshop UMASS Amherst 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

All the Above Conference UMASS Lowell 9:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

to

ACPA Annual Convention

Indianapolis, Indiana For more information visit: http://convention.myacpa.org

*** For complete event information visit us at http://www.facebook.com/mymcpa *** The Nexus

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January 2014


2014 ACPA Governance Election Results Please join us in congratulating these outstanding newly elected ACPA leaders who will serve us and our association well!

Governing Board Positions

Vice President Gavin Henning, New England College (New Hampshire) Director of Equity and Inclusion (Elect) John Garland, Alabama State University Member-at-Large – Senior-Level (Elect) Laura Bayless, University of Wisconsin-Platteville Member-at-Large – Entry-Level (Elect) Amanda Mollet, University of Idaho

Assembly Positions Assembly Coordinator for State Divisions (Elect) Jason Cottrell, North Carolina Central University Assembly Coordinator Standing Committees (Elect) Jennifer Ferrell, Keene State College, (New Hampshire) Assembly Coordinator for International Divisions (Elect) Allyson Logie-Eustace, The University of the West Indies, St. Augustine

Assembly Leadership Standing Committee for Men & Masculinities, Chair (Elect) Daniel Tillapaugh, University of San Diego (California) Standing Committee for Women, Chair (Elect) Erin Simpson, University of Oklahoma The Governing Board will announce its appointment of the Director of Professional Development (elect) in January. The Nexus

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Servant-Leadership in Student Affairs: Easy Steps by John Mayo, MCPA Newsletter Editor, @jmayojr

The theme of the most recent MCPA Drive-in conference was “Engagement and Innovation” and it inspired me to write about servant-leadership. Type “leadership” into Google and you will see over 140 million results. In the first 10 are websites for leadership consultancies, articles that tell you the X number of ways to be a great leader or the 147 things every great leader does (such as own a dog), and even the Merriam Webster definition of leadership; but you will not find any articles or websites dedicated to servant-leadership. Servant-leadership as a concept might be unfamiliar to many student affairs administrators, but it is a leadership style that is practiced by many of us without even knowing it.

What is Servant-leadership? The idea of servant-leadership has been around for a very long time, longer than any of us. The term servant-leadership was coined by Robert Greenleaf, he defines servant-leadership as “the servant-leader is servant first…[that] it begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first” (2002, p. 27). This idea of serving others is seen throughout history. The idea of service to others is most identified with religious views, such as Christianity. However, the idea of service to others is no longer just a religious viewpoint, over the last several decades the idea of serving employees (servant-leadership) has taken root in corporate organizations, but less so in higher education. Take your top-down organizational chart and flip it upside-down; that is essentially what a servant-lead organization looks like. Servant-leadership can easily be described as serving one’s employees first, before all others. This can take many forms, from (a simple form) providing health and wellness services to (a more committed form)

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employees to a CEO taking first hand feedback from front-line employees. One company that does this is The Men’s Wearhouse. In an interview for the World Business Academy Men’s Wearhouse Founder and former CEO George Zimmer stated that when employees in his company are given the opportunity to lead others their jobs are defined “not in terms of what it means for your own pocketbook, or career aspirations, but for what it means to the people whom you are being asked to lead” (Brutoco, 2007, p. 3).

Servant-Leader in Training

ership. The Men’s Wearhouse preference their corporate stakeholders as employees first, customers second, vendors third, local communities fourth, and shareholders last (Brutoco, 2007). This is unlike most publicly traded companies, who tend to place primacy on the importance of the shareholders and their quarterly earnings, or companies who embrace the motto, “customers first.”

Why be a Servant-Leader? Application in Higher Education and Student Affairs

Now, you ask, how is this applicable to my Servant-leadership is a new concept for many. work in student affairs? We, as a group, are Prior to my Organizational Leadership provery student-centric; look at any piece of margram at Gonzaga University, servant-leadketing material from any college or university ership was unknown to me. A concept that and you will terms like “(w)holistic student was discussed through the program was that development” and “student engagement.” For everyone is a “servant-leader in training” imnow, let us focus on the staff, the professionplying that there is no perfect servant-leader al and para-professionals or servant-led institutions with whom we work and since “even the most well-in“Servant-leaders supervise. How can we be tentioned servant-leaders in servant-leaders to them, how should strive to training will at some point can we serve our staff memin time do or say something help others become bers. Spears (2002) notes that we, ourselves, regret” (L. that profit should not be the whole again” C. Spears, personal commusole motivator for companication, March 26, 2012). nies; they should strive to create a “positive impact on employees and Many of the so-called “Best Places to Work” the community” ( p. 9). This sentiment some(as identified each year by Fortune magazine) times gets lost in corporate America and also exhibit some form of servant-leadership. in our institutions of higher learning. InstiTDIndustries (TD) is one of the best and oldtutions, which by their very nature should est examples of servant-leadership practiced promote principles of servant-leadership, do in corporate America. In the early 1970s Jack not always do so because they are inherently Lowe, Sr., founder of TD, found Greenleaf’s esa business and need to operate with a healthy say The Servant as Leader. He was inspired by bottom-line. While the idea of the “universiit and modeled his business around it, distribty-as-business” is upsetting to some, it is the uting copies to employees and even developing reality; without revenue (tuition and fees) from training programs based on servant-leadership happy customers (students and parents), then principles (Spears, 2002, p. 9). the university would not be able to operate. The Men’s Wearhouse is another example of However, do not fret, working in the univeran organization, which practices servant-leadThe Nexus Page 7 January 2014


sity setting is very worthwhile and rewarding. Having an impact on the development of many young people has a lot of intrinsic rewards. This is exactly what Greenleaf (2002) was describing when he said that servant-leadership “begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first” (p. 27). Student affairs professionals seem to be drawn to positions in which they can help others, we just need to look to serve our employees as we also continue to serve our staff.

Ten Characteristics of the Servant-Leader There are several volumes written on how to be a servant-leader. One that is applicable to student affairs professionals is Spears’ Ten Characteristics of the Servant-Leader. This “list” breaks down traits that a servant-leader should possess, traits that seem to be inherent to working in student affairs.

1. Listening In terms of servant-leadership, listening is defined as “listening intently” to others, but also listening to oneself through reflection (Spears, 2002, p. 5). Horsman (2011a) reports that listening should be done with one’s “total being” (p. 3). As student affairs professionals we have an opportunity to spend time with our staff and our students, this allows us to listen with our “total beings.” In addition to talking and listening, we have the ability to observe over time, which helps us recognize changes in attitude when a student or staff member is having difficulty.

2. Empathy Empathy is the idea that the servant-leader understands the needs of others and recognizes their “special and unique spirits” (Spears, 2002, p. 5). This is a skill that will allow the The Nexus

servant-leader to make that much needed connection with others. Empathy is paramount to a career in student affairs. Empathizing with students and staff allow us to make stronger connections and to provide support as needed.

3. Healing Servant-leaders should strive to help others become whole again (Spears, 2002, p. 5). In terms of student affairs, healing can take many forms. Student affairs professionals tend to jump to students in distress when they hear the word healing. However, healing is more than just walking a student to the Counseling Center or ensuring a student is going to see their academic advisor. Healing can be helping a student staff member understand their financial aid or how the “RA Room and Board” credit affects their overall bill. An example from my graduate program: a friend of mine received a ticket from the town and needed to appear in court to fight it, one of our professors helped her through the process and went with her to the courthouse.

4. Awareness Awareness and self-awareness, helps servant-leaders have a better understanding of values and ethics (Spears, 2002, p. 6). Southwest Airlines requires executives to partake in “days in the field” this is one way that Southwest helps it’s leaders develop awareness of what is going on with front-line employees. These “days in the field” consist of management interacting with customers at reservation desks and even loading baggage (Ruschman, 2002, p. 132). How do you as a student affairs professional maintain awareness on your campus? If you are a CHO, when was the last time you visited your residence halls? When I was an undergraduate student the campus had just hired a new president. He quickly became known as an administrator that was available

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to all students, faculty and staff. He created this image by eating brunch on the weekends in the dining hall and having conversations with students.

the employees know that they can help customers (Ruschman, 2002, p. 132-33). In the same light, student affairs professionals need to practice conceptualization.

5. Persuasion

7. Foresight

For servant-leaders the power of persuasion, not positional authority is the means in which things get done. Servant-leaders need to act as a consensus builder, not coercer in their organizations (Spears, 2002, p. 6). Ultimately the boss is the boss and they are responsible for making the decision, but that does not mean conversations and consensus cannot be part of the decision making process. Input and discussion from subordinates is important as everyone brings myriad experiences to the table. A good servant-leader will capitalize on this to make the best decision possible.

6. Conceptualization Servant-leaders must be neither just a dayto-day thinker nor just a ‘big picture’ thinker. Conceptualization is a balance of the two (Spears, 2002, pp. 6-7). Southwest executives exemplify this by having a high-level of employee satisfaction. Southwest has found that a high-level of employee satisfaction will result in high-levels of customer satisfaction because

Foresight is a similar concept to conceptualization, but it differs in that foresight is the understanding of past lessons, combined with current realities, to inform possible outcomes of decisions made (Spears, 2002, p. 7). This skill is important for all leaders and managers to master because this frame of reference can be used to justify decisions to superiors.

8. Stewardship Servant-leaders must serve the needs of others, through openness and persuasion, not control (Spears, 2002, p. 7). TDIndustries (TD) does this through allowing their employees— also known as partners—to take paid time off from work to volunteer in their community (Ruschman, 2002, 129). In a similar experience, allowing staff to take paid time off for professional development, without requiring them to take a vacation day or use their PTO days is one way in which student affairs professionals can practice stewardship within their office.

How not to be a servant-leader! The Nexus

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one another.

9. Commitment to the Growth of People Having a commitment to the growth of people is a concept that goes back to Greenleaf’s question: “do those served grow as a result?” As Spears (2002) notes, “people have intrinsic value beyond their tangible contributions” (p. 7-8). Servant-leaders must have a commitment to helping others grow as individuals and leaders (personal, professional, and spiritual growth of others) (Spears, 2002, p. 9). The phrase “your professional development is not my responsibility” has been cited many times by senior level student affairs administrators. While this point can be argued by many, the servant-leader does not take responsibility for a subordinates professional development, they invest in their professional development by providing resources, information, days off, and if possible financial support.

10. Building Community The last characteristic outlined by Spears is the concept of building a community. Servant-leaders must understand that for an organization to succeed the employees must feel a sense of connection with each other, the company and the communities in which the organization operates. Servant-leaders need to move the organization into a position to be committed to the greater good (Spears, 2002, p. 8). TD’s commitment to the community is exemplified through not only the push for employees to take time off to volunteer, but the many local and national charities, such as the Boy Scouts of America, the United Way, and even local little league teams (Ruschman, 2002, p. 129). How do you build community with your staff on campus? I once worked in an office that would do a staff dinner/movie night monthly and this allowed us to build a community, which enhanced our work with The Nexus

Since no one could ever plan on being perfect at everything that was discussed, the term used is servant-leader in training. Everyone is training and developing individual servant-leadership capabilities, but only through practice can one expect to be the best servant-leader possible. Through the practice of these servant-leadership ideals, in education and in business, one can hope to ensure that those served grow as leaders and that they themselves want to serve.

References

Brutoco, R. (2007). You’re going to like the way he leads: George Zimmer and The Men’s Wearhouse. Viewpoint, 21(3). Retrieved from: http://www.worldbuisness.org/. Greenleaf, R. K. (2002). Servant leadership: A journey into the nature of legitimate power and greatness. Mahwah, NJ: Paulist Press. Horsman, J. (2011a). Listening and moral intelligence for servant-leaders. Module Three Lecture Notes. Retrieved from http://learn. gonzaga.edu/. Horsman, J. (2011b). Servant-leadership and moral intelligence. Module Three Lecture Notes. Retrieved from http://learn.gonzaga. edu/. Ruschman, N. L. (2002). Servant-leadership and the best companies to work for in America. In L. Spears & M. Lawrence (Eds.), Focus on leadership: servant leadership for the twentyfirst century. (pp. 123-139). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Spears, L. C. (2002). Introduction. In L. Spears & M. Lawrence (Eds.), Focus on leadership: servant leadership for the twentyfirst century. (pp. 1-16). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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MCPA CLASSIFIED HELP WANTED - Newsletter Contributor Are you interested in writing for the newsletter? Read a good book lately and want to write a review? Are you working on a project in your office that you want the association to know about? Is there a hot topic in higher education that you want to write about?

PICTURES SOUGHT-AFTER We want your pictures! Are you doing something fun with staff? Was there an amazing event on your campus? Did you attend an MCPA event? Send us your photos!

Photos help enhance the look of the We are seeking submissions of all types to newsletter. Photos can be submitted to be featured in The Nexus. For information NEWSLETTER@MYMCPA.NET or to submit an article please contact NEWSLETTER@MYMCPA.NET

INFORMATION REQUESTED

“SPOTLIGHT” NOMINATIONS NEEDED

Did you recently have an amazing life event that you want to share? Did you get promoted? Did your office recently hire a new staff member? WE WANT TO HEAR ABOUT IT!

Searching for creative and amazing Submit all personal and professional individuals to be highlighted as “Spotlight of updates to NEWSLETTER@MYMCPA.NET the Month.” We are accepting nominations for the following: undergraduate student, graduate student, MCPA member. All nominations should be submitted to NEWSLETTER@MYMCPA.NET

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Drive-In Conference Recap by Ben Lamb, MCPA Member-at-Large and Conference Co-Chair, @BenjaminLamb

A

gain this year, MCPA is excited to announce another highly successful annual Drive-In Conference! This year we held the wonderful event at Newbury College on Thursday December 12th. With over 25 institutions represented at the conference, this was one of our most successful events to date! While looking to model our own theme “Modeling Innovation and Engagement,” this year’s conference aimed to implement new qualities not seen before at an MCPA Drive-In. These noticeable changes came in the form of an open business meeting during lunch, and our first ever poster presentation slot held in the morning. The theme for this year’s conference spoke to the nature of our field, and allowed for a diverse array of programs from a wide breadth of functional areas at their respective institutions. In total, 13 different presentation programs were held over the course of the day. The morning kicked off with a seemless registration process thanks to the incredible efforts of Tanika Mangum of Newbury. While attendees checked in, several of our sponsors for this year’s conference; Teamworks, My Favorite Student, and Johnson & Wales, were available to meet the attendees and network. A forth sponsor, PublicIdentity wasn’t able to be in attendance. To kick off the activity, our first ever poster presentation was held in the main hall, followed by the opening welcome and a riveting keynote by Daryl Healea. Daryl’s keynote The Nexus

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Photo credit: Sarah Santiago

January 2014


“The Next Big Thing Is Already Hear” spoke to our need to both look forward and look at what is happening now. A favorite quote, tweeted and retweeted several times during the conference was “Want to be innovative in Student Affairs? Then don’t sleep through the revolution!.” As we work in our field he noted how important it is to look across the table at what’s going on, and to not always think you need to jump lightyears ahead in order to be part of the positive shift. Sometimes, the greatest ideas are looking you in the face, and framing this really opened up the attendees to the ideas that were being shared both in sessions and through the conversations being had. MCPA would like to again thank Daryl for his wonderful addition to this year’s conference. His level of professionalism, ability to bring together a breadth of ideas and thoughts, and unique way of putting the information out to the audience all around enhanced the day and the development that occurred. Many attendees noted the keynote as one of their favorite parts of the day, which speaks for itself.

of Boston University. With such a broad topic (Innovation and Engagement) the programs spoke to a wide breadth of participants, they included: Universal Design for Student Affairs: Enhanced Engagement for All Learners Presented by Genia Bettencourt

Keeping It Global: Supporting Our International Students Presented by Julia Chatzinoff

The Innovative Job Search

Presented by Sara Sheckells

Lead Green! Sustaining Your Leadership Impact Presented by Kristin Skarie

Campus-Wide Benefits of Safe Zone Training Presented by Lexy Haplen

The New Generation of Higher Education Presented by Dennis Camacho

Developing a Supervisory Skill Set Presented by Anne-Marie Kenney

Preparing for the Unexpected: Acing the Crisis Test

Presented by Cecilia Hughes-Marshalkowski

Be More Than Your Title: A Panel Discussion

After launching the Drive-In into the day, a cohort of high quality programs kicked off. These programs were selected by a core group of conference committee members led by two MCPA members at large, Megan Wyett of UMass Amherst, and Ricky Junquera The Nexus

Presented by Ryan Greelish, Jennifer Forry, & John Mayo

Modeling Social Justice Engagement: Innovative Activities for Students Presented by Genie Bettencourt

International Student Engagement from the Ground Up Presented by Vaishakhi Desai & Ben Champney Page 13

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Professional E.N.G.A.G.E.M.E.N.T. for Grad/New Professionals Presented by Ryan Greelish & Megan Wyett

Lions, and Tigers, and Bears Oh My! Presented by John Mayo

Session reviews from all of the workshops gave great insight into how much of a positive impact attending had on participants. Thank you to all of our presenters for your hard work and thoughtfulness! We hope that all of our attendees had the opportunity to engage with one another and network across disciplines and institutions throughout the day. It’s always great to see so many people from so many backgrounds together in a room, even if for a short time, and none of this would have been possible without all the help and hands that worked to bring the conference to fruition. Whether it was our sponsors, our host Newbury College, the excellent dining services team, or the many folks who took to the microphone, handed out session reviews, or helped things move smoothly, all who participated, Thank You! Lastly though, and certainly not least, we must offer up our sincerest thanks to the 2013 Drive-In Conference planning committee: Megan Wyett, UMass Amherst Ricky Junquera, Boston University Mallory Pernaa, Wentworth Institute of Technology Clara Lau, Northeastern University Tory Atkins, Northeastern University Ben Miele, Merrimack College Judith Frank, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Racheal Pozerski, Tufts University Megan Purcell, Babson College Brittany Vytal, Massachusetts College of Art and Design Genie Bettencourt, UMass Amherst Brandon Huggon, MCPHS University Thank you to all who attended, participated, tweeted, retweeted and engaged with this year’s Drive-In Conference! We owe a great deal of gratitude and credit to each of you. We’ll see you all again next year, and if you’re interested in hosting the 2014 MCPA Drive-In Conference at your institution, make sure to let us know, we are always here!

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Brandon Huggen

Outstanding Service to MCPA

Nomination: Brandon has been unceasing in his dedication to MCPA for most of the time that I’ve known him. From actively recruiting my cohort in graduate school, to increasing knowledge and participation in MCPA events within the Academic Resource Center at MCPHS, to serving on the E-Board and the Conference Committee the last few years, Brandon has been a face of MCPA. His infectious laugh and outgoing nature allow event attendees both new and old to feel welcome and comfortable. He’s constantly on the go, checking in with members, introducing people, making sure everyone is happy, even when he’s not in charge of the event!

Academic Counselor MCPHS University

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Spotlight: Why did you get involved in student affairs?

I became involved with student affairs when I realized what a crucial time college is in a person’s development. While my undergraduate experience was a particularly memorable time in my life, I never thought it was going to be. November of my senior year, I reluctantly thought to myself “I guess I’ll apply to college now.” I initially rejected the idea that I needed the educational credentials to make something of myself in the world. At that point, I would have been content working my high school job as an arcade cashier for the rest of my life! Then I entered college and my world expanded. I realized how small my world was and decided to take advantage of all the opportunities provided. I made friends and rapidly became involved in campus life. My campus involvement turned into a snowball effect and before I knew it I was an Orientation Leader, Resident Assistant, Campus Tour Guide, Judicial Board Representative, and served in several capacities in the Student Government Association. While my experiences in campus involvement piqued my interest in field, the idea of working with students during a very impressionable time in their lives is what compelled me to apply to graduate school and work in higher education. I entered the field because I want to help students grow, excel, and succeed; I find it very rewarding to work with students pursing their dreams, becoming professionals, and starting their lives.

Who inspired you to pursue this career?

I was fortunate enough to have the encouragement and guidance from some very supportive advisors in college. While Worcester State University has a number of excellent faculty and staff members, Tim Sullivan, Kristie McNamara, and Sibyl Brownlee were the individuals that tirelessly committed themselves to my development as a professional. After seeing how committed and compassionate they were to the students they served, I felt the need to dedicate myself to students in the field as well.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned (so far) in your career?

Never make assumptions or let your personal bias dictate the direction of your conversation with a student. I think it’s fair to say that we all bring diverse perspective and experiences to our roles which make us uniquely qualified to assist students. It can be easy to infuse yourself into a position and project your experience on someone else. I work with a particularly at-risk student population which can make some aspects of my position particularly challenging. The students I counsel come from wide variety of cultural, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Each student brings unique individual circumstances that present a number of challenging, yet rewarding, experiences for me as a professional; but I never know what to expect from an interaction. In my role, the students I work with range from those that most describe as having “typical” transitional issues to those that are battling serious financial, mental health, cultural, and personal concerns. When I least expect it, a student will tell me an extreme personal circumstance in confidence that tests my ability to provide them with the guidance they need. I’ve come to realize that I can’t make any assumptions about what a student is going to tell me. I’ve worked to become more intentional about listening to each student with an open mind and remain completely unassuming about their circumstance. The Nexus Page 17 January 2014


Roger After Dark

Program of the Year

Nomination: RAD was created to give students a late-night substance free environment to socialize in on Fridays. At RAD, which are scheduled after normal campus wide programs and events, students are able to hang out and have fun without the pressure of drinking alcohol or using drugs.

Sarah Santiago Coordinator of Residence Education Co-advisor, RAD Roger Williams University

The Nexus

Roger After Dark events are planned by a group of student volunteers, organized by the Dean’s Office. For each event, RAD co-sponsors with a different student-run club or organization on campus and organizes each event around a specific theme. To go with the theme of the event RAD provides food, give-a-ways, decorations, and entertainment to make the program as successful and appealing as possible. RAD is financed by the “”Kelly Fund”” which utilizes fines students incur from violating the alcohol and drug policy through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. The Kelly Fund is designated for all late night, alternative weekend programming throughout campus. Many campuses offer late night and weekend programming to combat drinking culture. The strength of Roger After Dark lies in the passion of this student run group and its co-sponsorship. While the Dean’s office organized the original group and we co-advise the students, the RAD committee members are passionate about giving students something to do that leads away from the drinking culture. True success in our field is when our goals and passions align with students’ goals and passions, leading the students to take over and drive a program. Co-sponsorship engages different groups of students for each event, leading to a new following each week, building RAD’s attendance. While Roger After Dark was started and is supported by the administration of Roger Williams University, Roger After Dark will continue to be successful because of the students who put on the events.

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Spotlight: What do you love about working at Roger Williams University?

I love the CORE group, staff, and students. The family feeling, teamwork, and caring between the CORE group is unmatched with anywhere that I have been. Our supervisors truly care about us and how we are doing. They really emphasize our quality of life and encourage us to be people outside of the position. The students are energetic and have a ton of “Hawk Pride.” When everyone around you cares about you and your institution, how can you not love where you work?

What do you do to relax outside of the office?

I spend a lot of time hanging out with the people I work with. They are amazing, so I love spending on and off hours with them. When I can, I get home to see my family and my 3-year-old brother. I also enjoy hopping in the car and exploring new places.

Who inspired you to pursue this career?

One of my Resident Directors, Shannon Jordan, really helped me understand who I am and what I stand for. She is caring, compassionate, and strong. Watching her in her role and seeing how she influenced my life inspired me to try to make a difference in the lives of students.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned (so far) in your career? Own your home. I wrote about it in a previous issue, but it is so important to embrace where you live, especially for a new, live-on professional. Calling your new apartment/institution/state “home” can go a long way for your happiness.

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Roger After Dark

Program of the Year

Nomination: RAD was created to give students a late-night substance free environment to socialize in on Fridays. At RAD, which are scheduled after normal campus wide programs and events, students are able to hang out and have fun without the pressure of drinking alcohol or using drugs.

David Lewis Assistant Director of Housing Co-advisor, RAD Roger Williams University

The Nexus

Roger After Dark events are planned by a group of student volunteers, organized by the Dean’s Office. For each event, RAD co-sponsors with a different student-run club or organization on campus and organizes each event around a specific theme. To go with the theme of the event RAD provides food, give-a-ways, decorations, and entertainment to make the program as successful and appealing as possible. RAD is financed by the “”Kelly Fund”” which utilizes fines students incur from violating the alcohol and drug policy through the Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards. The Kelly Fund is designated for all late night, alternative weekend programming throughout campus. Many campuses offer late night and weekend programming to combat drinking culture. The strength of Roger After Dark lies in the passion of this student run group and its co-sponsorship. While the Dean’s office organized the original group and we co-advise the students, the RAD committee members are passionate about giving students something to do that leads away from the drinking culture. True success in our field is when our goals and passions align with students’ goals and passions, leading the students to take over and drive a program. Co-sponsorship engages different groups of students for each event, leading to a new following each week, building RAD’s attendance. While Roger After Dark was started and is supported by the administration of Roger Williams University, Roger After Dark will continue to be successful because of the students who put on the events.

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January 2014


Spotlight: What do you love about working at Roger Williams University?

The passion and pride that the students have for being a part of the Community and the University

What do you do to relax outside of the office? Spend time with friends and family

Why did you get involved in student affairs?

I became involved in student affairs because I enjoy working with college students. So many staff and faculty helped me while I was in college, especially freshman year and I wanted to do the same for other college students.

Who inspired you to pursue this career?

When I was an RA in college, my boss and the hall director at the time truly inspired me to pursue a career in higher ed.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned (so far) in your career? Although some students may not appreciate it at the time and may not show gratitude, the work we do matters they really do appreciate all the hard work.

What advice would you give to undergraduate students looking to pursue a position in Student Affairs? Find a mentor who has ha a similar career path to what you are interested in. Learn from them and ask for advice.

What advice would you give to graduate students looking for a position in Student Affairs? Start networking and reaching out to colleagues in higher ed not just in your region but nationwide.

The Nexus

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January 2014


Katie-Ann Mason

New Professional of the Year

Nomination: Katie-Ann Mason was hired at the BU School of Social Work 2.5 years ago as a support staff member in our Department of Admissions. From the first day of her job, she’s been incredibly committed to the team. She learned as much as she could in the support staff role and learned under the tutelage of the Associate Dean of Admissions. She swiftly processed thousands of applicants in her first two years, acted as the first contact for students, ultimately becoming the first impression for the School for many. She is candid, warm and dedicated to her role. As a first generation college student, she has been a role model for many of our students.

Admissions Counselor Boston University School of Social Work

The Nexus

In her second year, the director of admissions stepped down. Because of Katie-Ann’s promise to the School, the deans chose to restructure the Admissions team. Katie-Ann rose to the role of admissions officer. She is now overseeing applications for our MSW program, delegates task to the new support team, and travels across the US as an admissions rep. If anyone is deserving of this award, it’s Katie-Ann Mason. I am certain she’ll become a leader in the higher education field! “

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January 2014


Spotlight: What do you do to relax outside of the office?

Right now I am finishing my Ed.M. at the BU School of Education and since I live in New Bedford and commute to work I don’t have much down time at the moment. When I can I really enjoy going to see my husband’s school performances (he is a middle school music teacher) and I enjoy acting. When I am finished with school this May I will be working on finding a show to audition for, I find acting freeing and relaxing”.

Why did you get involved in student affairs?

Neither of my parents attended college, and as a result I come from a very humble financial background. This meant funding my undergraduate degree with a series of hefty private loans, federal loans, and scholarship money. These are some of the top reasons I valued my college career so highly, it wasn’t an option to skip class, or party, party, party. I was there with a goal; I needed to get my degree so I could succeed in life. This personal connection led me to get involved on campus. I was a Senior Interviewer for Admissions, a Resident Advisor for two years, and a Peer Health Educator while working 30 hours a week in retail to pay the out of pocket remaining tuition costs. As is the case with many of our colleagues, I never thought I could pursue higher education as a career option, but it is my involvement in school and my personal connection to my educational mission that brought me to this field and I am very thankful for it. I am also thankful for all of the support I had along the way.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned (so far) in your career? The most valuable lesson I have learned in my career so far is to be proactive and get ahead of any potential problems or concerns. By doing so you have the chance to prevent its occurrence altogether or at least be in more control of the issue if it ends up surfacing. Being able to do this also requires being a team player! I am fortunate to work with the team I do at BUSSW.

What advice would you give to undergraduate students looking to pursue a position in Student Affairs? Get involved in as many leadership roles, clubs, and organizations as you can manage with your schedule and still be effective in those roles. Employers are going to want to see that you have invested time in the field you are now/soon to be seeking employment in, plus this work can be downright fun!

The Nexus

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January 2014


Kris Polk

Outstanding Graduate Student of the Year

Nomination:

Graduate Assistant Residence Life MCPHS University International Advising Berklee College of Music

The Nexus

Kris Polk is currently a graduate assistant at MCPHS University whom I have worked with for approximately a year and a half. I am nominating her for “Graduate Student of the Year� due to her strong work ethic at our institution as well as numerous others she has worked with. Kris currently is a member of the executive board of MCPA as a Graduate Student Liaison. She holds this position while currently in the CSDC program at Northeastern University, being a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Residence Life at MCPHS University, and a graduate intern at Berklee College of Music in the International Advising Office. In her position at MCPHS University, she oversees our Residence Hall Council, which she has done a great job with both last academic year and this year. She has put a spark back into the council, which was much needed, and gives them great direction as an organization. Kris also works very hard in getting to know the Resident Assistants and finding out what their needs are in order to plan our monthly in-services as well as Winter Semester RA Training. Kris is always looking for ways to improve current programs in our office and utilizes her experiences from her summer internship at Cornell University as well as her experiences as a Resident Assistant at Albion College to help us grow as an office. Despite all that Kris is involved with, she is always willing to take on more to help her fellow coworkers.

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January 2014


Spotlight: Why did you get involved in student affairs?

I became interested in student affairs as a career because of the international students I had as residents my first year as an RA at Albion College. The questions they came to me with regarding American culture were things I had never thought about and made me realize how little I had reflected on my own experiences. It is my hope to help other students discover new things about their surroundings and themselves.

What do you love about working at MCPHS University? Working at MCPHS has given me the opportunity to work with some intensely dedicated and creative RAs. I am also thankful everyday for the Residence Life pro staff as I feel supported in my work and can have fun with them.

What do you do to relax outside of the office?

Some things I enjoy doing to relax involve reading travel narratives and watching “Community,� a fictional TV show about a group of lovable misfits at a community college.

What advice would you give to undergraduate students looking to pursue a position in Student Affairs?

Embrace the idea of reflecting constantly and seeking feedback. Give yourself feedback and welcome it from colleagues; accept congratulations on a job well done and be ready to hear when something needs adjusting.

The Nexus

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January 2014


Chris Haigh

Access and Inclusion Award

Nomination: Chris came to Wentworth in the spring of 2011 as the Associate Director for Student Leadership Programs/Coordinator for the Intercultural Center. Right from the start, Chris dove into exploring the campus climate around diversity. Chris was willing to ask the difficult questions and was persistent in the quest for a more inclusive environment for student at Wentworth. Chris was in integral part of the creation and design of both the Intercultural Center space as well as the Prayer and Meditation room in our new Campus Center that was constructed in 2012.

Director Diversity Programs Wentworth Institute of Technology

Partly due to Chris’ persistent efforts to bring issues of Diversity and Inclusion to the forefront of campus conversations Chris was appointed to the newly created position of Director of Diversity Programs in the spring of 2012. In this role Chris has spearheaded pretty much every conversation on inclusion, diversity, and campus climate at all levels of the Institute. Chris is steadfastly committed to making the Wentworth community a more welcoming and inclusive environment for everyone. Chris has created new campus traditions such as the Leopard Oath that all new students sign, the Beloved Community Social Justice Retreat for students over Martin Luther King Jr. weekend, and several other initiatives out of the Student Experience Diversity committee in order to move the campus towards this this goal. Chris is a champion for everyone regardless of identity. Chris fights the uphill battle for social justice daily and has worked tirelessly to improve the experience for all people at Wentworth.

The Nexus

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January 2014


Spotlight: What do you do to relax outside of the office?

Spending time with my partner is essential. She is also in education, teaching high school humanities, and there can be long stretches of time that we don’t see each other. When we are together being active is important. We snowshoe, play basketball, ride bikes, hike, or just go for walks with our two dogs. I also love to travel, try new things, and meet new people. And of course, good food makes me happy.

Why did you get involved in student affairs?

I never really sought out to be a Student Affairs professional. In fact the journey to my current position was very nontraditional! After undergrad I tried many paths from coaching to computer technology to working as a bookseller. Then an opportunity to get involved in nonprofit work came my way and I was hooked into doing social change work. That is my passion and it led me to my Masters Degree in Social Justice Education at UMass-Amherst, but I still wasn’t thinking about Student Affairs at that point. I went back to nonprofit work and have done consulting for a number of years focusing on leadership development, diversity and social justice, and even teambuilding. My favorite is combing all three aspects! I had been living in Boston for quite some time when I saw a posting for a position at Wentworth. I was intrigued so I applied. Here I am 3 years later, truly enjoying the joys and challenges of my work. I get to work with wonderful students, and I get to think about positive institutional change with colleagues. So I guess I have become a Student Affairs professional, with the heart of an activist!

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned (so far) in your career? It is OK to not know. Not only does this apply to my life’s journey, but also to the work that I do in terms of diversity and inclusion. Our world is changing so fast. Our lives are changing so fast. In academia there seems to be pressure to be the expert and know everything. I find it so freeing when I can say, “I don’t know” and not feel guilty about it. This isn’t an excuse for inaction, nor a sign of a lack of intelligence. It is actually an opportunity to grow, to engage in dialogue to truly learn, and to broaden our perspectives.

Is there anything else that you would like the MCPA membership to know about you? I am very passionate about institutional change and growth, especially from a multicultural and inclusion perspective, such as MCOD (multicultural organizational development). I am proud of the work that Wentworth is doing in moving towards a more inclusive campus to help our community grow. In doing this work it is important to connect with, support, and learn from other professionals who are doing similar work towards positive institutional change. I would love to connect with folks! haighc@wit.edu The Nexus Page 27 January 2014


Lamar McClinton

Acomplished Leader Award

Nomination: Lamar is a skilled and patient mentor to so many students on our campus. Countless students stop by the office on a weekly basis just to sit and talk with Lamar about opportunities for campus involvement, classes, or just life in general. Perhaps what is most inspiring is that Lamar will never turn a student away. Even while holding a challenging split position in Residence Life and Campus Activities, Lamar makes time for each and every student that asks for his attention. His dedication and patience should certainly be recognized, as Lamar is a critical piece of the Student Affairs Division at Newbury.

Newbury College

I would describe Lamar as someone who is very well connected. He has taught me a lot about how to develop relationships with colleagues across departments as well as outside vendors. His networking abilities continue to bring great programming opportunities to our students. This year, Lamar has been personally responsible for providing our students with everything from discounted Celtics tickets to free salsa dance lessons and Zumba classes. Lamar is quite proficient at hearing the student voice and bringing events that students love to attend! And how can I mention Lamar’s programming efforts without talking about alternative spring break?! Lamar coordinates our spring break service trip every year and does a fantastic job! Leading a group of over 15 students to a service destination out of state is no easy task, but Lamar tackles it every year with so much enthusiasm. Everything from the travel bookings to the student fundraising efforts, Lamar makes it happen. ASB is one of the most talked about opportunities of the academic year and students walk away with a life changing experience. I’m proud to call Lamar one of my professional role models and, of course, my friend.

The Nexus

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The Nexus Jan 2014