Navigating workplace dynamics might be one of the most critical—yet often unacknowledged—challenges facing student affairs educators. Unlike other careers that are competitive and driven by sales-and-profits, student affairs educators often seek opportunities to form connections, increase collaboration, and foster productive team-centered workplaces. Yet, underlying tensions between individuals, groups, departments, or even campuses can seriously undermine our effectiveness and our core purpose—serving students.

In this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Heather Shea Gasser talks with Dr. Kathy Obear, co-founder of the Social Justice Training Institute and author of a new book Turn the Tide: Rise Above Toxic, Difficult Situations in the Workplace, about strategies for recognizing triggers, choosing intentional reactions, and maximizing our effectiveness through self-care and healing.

Watch this webcast for FREE at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 6, 2016 by visiting watch.higheredlive.com. No advance registration is required. After the episode airs, the video will be immediately archived and accessible on higheredlive.com/student-affairs-live.

We welcome your participation in this episode. To suggest questions for discussion, please email heather@higheredlive.com or tweet @heathergasser. Participate in the backchannel conversation during the live episode by tweeting to #higheredlive.


Episode Host

Heather Shea

Heather Shea

Heather Shea's career in student affairs spans nearly two decades and five different campuses, and involves experience in many different functional areas including residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services–she identifies as a student affairs generalist. Heather is currently serving as the director of Women*s Student Services in the Division of Student Affairs at Michigan State University having just completed her Ph.D. in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Colorado State University in 2000. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heather_shea_


Dr. Kathy Obear

Dr. Kathy Obear, President, Alliance for Change Consulting and Coaching, has worked with staff, students, and leaders at hundreds of colleges and universities to create more equitable and inclusive organizations, including addressing homophobia and dismantling heterosexism. Kathy has been legally married in both MA and NY and is celebrating her 30-year anniversary with her wife in August! Dr. Obear is a Founding Faculty member of the Social Justice Training Institute (www.sjti.org) and has taught graduate level courses on Effective Facilitation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She is regarded as an expert at training leaders and facilitators to navigate difficult dialogues and triggering events. Follow her on Twitter ‪@KathyObear