As the fall term commences on colleges and universities across the U.S., we have heard from many practitioners and scholars–given the recent tragic events that unfolded in Charlottesville–of an urgent need to continue the conversation about racism and white supremacy in our institutions of higher education and our roles as student affairs educators. Confronting the continuing realities of white supremacy facing institutions of higher education for many student affairs educators requires an approach to our work that acknowledges our own complicity as well as attends with care and concern for our students, and also for our colleagues, and for ourselves.
We recognize that our work with and alongside student activists and change agents on our campuses increases in complexity when outside elements enter our campuses. Many are in search of resources and strategies for increasing understanding, collective action, and self-care amidst our current realities. Our hope is that this episode of Student Affairs Live brings together voices of people who have long served as resources and sources of support. Joining host Heather Shea are Dr. D-L Stewart, Dr. Craig Elliott, Mx. Alex Lange, Dr. Mamta Accapadi, and Dr. Claire Robbins.
This free episode will air live on Wednesday, September 6 at 1 p.m. ET. To watch the archived video, just return to this page at any point after the epode airs.
Please contribute to the conversation by emailing questions before the show to firstname.lastname@example.org or by tweeting live during the show using the #higheredlive hashtag. We’ll do our best to incorporate questions from viewers (with attribution) into the live conversation.
Heather SheaHeather Shea's career in student affairs spans 16+ years 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 is a true Student Affairs Generalist. Heather is currently serving as the assistant director of RISE (Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment), a living-learning community at Michigan State University while also a full-time doctoral candidate in MSU's HALE (Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education) Program. She completed her master’s degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Colorado State University in 2000. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heather_shea_
Claire K. Robbins, Ph.D.
Dr. Claire K. Robbins (pronouns: she, her, hers) is an Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Virginia Tech. She has over 15 years of experience in student and academic affairs practice, research, and teaching at public and private institutions. Her research explores influences of graduate and undergraduate education on (1) the development of socially constructed identities, especially race and gender; (2) perspectives on racism and equity, diversity, and inclusion; and (3) professional and academic socialization. Claire is passionate about advancing racial and social justice in and through graduate education, especially in student affairs. Her most recently published and forthcoming articles in the Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Student Affairs Practice, and College Student Affairs Journal present findings and implications from a national study of racial consciousness, identity, and dissonance among White women in student affairs graduate programs. Claire is an ACPA Emerging Scholar-Designee (2016-2018), co-chaired ACPA’s Next Generation conference (2014), and completed the Social Justice Training Institute (2016). She holds a Ph.D. in College Student Personnel Administration and a graduate certificate in Women’s Studies from the University of Maryland, an MSW from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.A. from Swarthmore College.
Dafina-Lazarus (or D-L) Stewart, Ph.D.
Dafina-Lazarus (D-L) Stewart, PhD (pronouns: ze, zim, zir) is Professor in the School of Education and Tri-Director of the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program at Colorado State University. Ze is a scholar, educator, and activist focused on empowering and imagining futures that sustain and cultivate the learning, growth, and success of marginalized groups in U.S. higher education institutions. Dr. Stewart’s work is motivated by a love ethic grounded in justice and informed by an intersectional praxis that recognizes the lived experiences of individuals with multiple minoritized identities, as well as the material effects of interlocking systems of oppression. Over the course of zir career, ze has focused most intently on issues of race and ethnicity, sexuality, and gender, as well as religion, faith, and spirituality in zir research, teaching, and service to professional organizations and institutions across the nation. This work has produced nearly five dozen journal articles and book chapters, as well as three books. Dr. Stewart is the parent of a new, first-year college student, learning how to let go and embrace this opportunity to unearth and reimagine zirself as an empty-nester. In particular, ze hopes to make zir yoga practice more consistent, recommit to distance running, learn how to swim, take up hiking and maybe even pottery.
Mamta Accapadi, Ph.D.
Mamta Accapadi, Ph.D. (pronouns: she/her/hers) 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
Craig Elliott II, Ph.D.
Dr. Craig Elliott II (pronouns: he/him/his) works as the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment and Student Services at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA and holds a rank of Assistant Professor. Craig’s research interests explore white caucus work, the intersection of Transformative Learning and Social Justice work, inclusion and equity, and institutional change. Craig has presented numerous programs at the local and national level on diversity, gender, class, social justice, social change and leadership, and served ACPA, NASPA, and NCORE in a variety of capacities. He is a Social Justice Training Institute alumnus, a past faculty intern with SJTI, and a Lead facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute.
Alex C. Lange, M.Ed.
Alex C. Lange, M.Ed. (pronouns: they/them/their) is currently a PhD student in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at the University of Iowa. Since completing their master’s degree at the University of Georgia in 2014, Alex has worked in a variety of functional areas, including intra- & intercultural community development, LGBTQ student services, student affairs operations, leadership education, and residence life. Their professional and research interests include how students make meaning of their dominant identities and internalized dominance, white supremacy student organizations on college campuses, and using overlapping critical frameworks to complicate student experiences and development. Alex has a Masters of Education in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Law and American Society from the Wilkes Honors College at Florida Atlantic University. You can find them on Twitter at @itsAlexCL or check out their blog for more musings.