Choice door and changeOften the unsung heroes in an organization, mid-level professionals have unique challenges, and opportunities that create a need for continuous learning and growth. How can one transition from a “specialist” to a leader of a cross functional team? What factors affect mid-level longevity and career satisfaction? How can one effectively lead from the middle? What skills and competencies are essential in order to perform the duties of a mid-level professional?

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Tony Doody speaks with Dr. Mamta Accapadi, Vice President of Student Affairs at Rollins College, Dr. Maureen E. Wilson, professor and chair of the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University, and Dr. Nicky P. Damania, Director of Student life at Bakersfield Community College and chair for ACPA’s Mid-Level Community of Practice (MLCOP).

Please contribute to the conversation by emailing questions before the show to or by tweeting live during the show using the #higheredlive hashtag. We’ll do our best to infuse questions from viewers (with attribution) into the live conversation.


Episode Host

Tony Doody

Tony Doody

Tony Doody has over 25 years of practical experience and oversight in senior leadership positions within the Higher Education industry in the areas of Facilities Management, New Student Orientation, Recreation, Parent and Family Programs, Leadership and Training, Marketing and Communications, Adult Learning, and Major Events and Programs. He currently serves as the Director of Student Centers at the University of Delaware. Over the last six years, Tony has presented at over thirty universities and national conferences on topics of innovation, digital leadership, technology, and unconventional leadership. He received the Diamond Honoree Award from the ACPA Foundation, the highest honor of the American College Personnel Association, recognizing transformative contributions to the field (2017) and earned NASPA's 2017 Technology Emerging Practice Award. In addition, Tony has worked over 20 years as a consultant in the areas of executive coaching, leadership development, presentation skills, risk-taking, innovation, social media, conflict resolution, and team cohesiveness. Past clients include J&J, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Vistakon, Navigant, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, United Way, Merrill Lynch, Tumi International, and Aventis Pharmaceuticals.


Dr. Maureen E. Wilson

Dr. Maureen E. Wilson is professor and chair of the Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University. Her research interests include professional identity, socialization, preparation, and practice and behavioral norms. Her article with Debora Liddell, Amy Hirschy, and Kira Pasquesi – Professional Identity, Career Commitment, and Career Entrenchment of Midlevel Student Affairs Professionals – was just published in the Journal of College Student Development. Wilson edited the ASHE Reader on College Student Development Theory and contributed chapters to books including Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession (6th ed.) and Campus Crisis Management. She is associate editor for the Journal of College Student Development and served on the ACPA Governing Board. Her awards include the ACUHO-I Research and Publication Award, ACPA Diamond Honoree, and NASPA Region IV-East Outstanding Contribution to Student Affairs through Teaching Award.


Dr. Nicky P. Damania

Nicky Damania is the current chair for ACPA’s Mid-Level Community of Practice (MLCOP). He has been involved with the development of this new community of practice since its conception. MLCOP has been a driving force to bring more skill and professional development opportunities to mid-level practitioners.

He attended Colorado College where he doubled majored in biology and drama. He earned his Master’s Degree in Career and Technology Education at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and completed his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership, Research, and Policy at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in 2012. He began his professional career as the Director of Student Activities at Colorado State University-Pueblo in 2008 and moved to University of Nevada, Reno as the Associate Director for Student Engagement. Since 2014, he is the Director of Student life at Bakersfield Community College where he oversees student assistance, leadership, governance, organizations, and activities programs as well as being the campus conduct officer.

He is a collaborative colleague with a passion for enhancing practitioner involvement and engagement through the use of innovative programmatic endeavors, best practices, and assessment-driven planning. His focus areas are on developing student leadership and creating effective and efficient student organizations.


Dr. Mamta Accapadi

Mamta Accapadi, Ph.D. is a partner and a mother first. She is grateful to be in a head and heart space where her daughter challenges and affirms her sense of purpose every day. Mamta serves as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Rollins College. Mamta received her Ph.D. in higher education administration from the University of Texas at Austin, and she served as a postdoctoral fellow in Women’s Studies at the University of Houston. She also holds a M.Ed. in higher education administration and B.A. in microbiology, both from the University of Texas at Austin. Mamta is deeply grateful for the opportunities she has been offered to champion social justice education efforts, and commit to mentorship of under-represented communities. She has served as a consultant, written curriculum, and worked with universities and companies on inclusion of different constituency groups. Follow Mamta on Twitter at @MamtaAccapadi