Social class often goes unspoken or spoken about in coded language in higher education generally, and student affairs specifically. Yet, social class is an organizing principle, whether we pay attention to it or not, for those aspiring to attend, attending, graduating, teaching, and working in higher education.

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Keith Edwards speaks with Sonja Ardoin, Ph.D. and becky martinez, ed.d. co-authors of the new book Straddling Social Class in the Academy. This episode will discuss the lessons from the 26 narratives of students, faculty, and administrators from working class and poor backgrounds from the book and implications for student affairs practitioners, practice, and policy.

This free episode will air live on Wednesday, April 24 at 1 pm ET. To watch the archived video, just return to this page at any point after the episode airs.

If you have questions for our panelists, in advance of the episode please email or tweet @KeithEPhD with your question and Keith will incorporate it into the dialogue. We will also take questions during the episode via the Twitter backchannel at #higheredlive or connect with panelists @drbeckymartinez and @SonjaArdoin.


Watch the broadcast on our platform:

Already registered?
Login and Watch

Or, sign up now!
Register and Watch



Episode Host

Keith Edwards

Keith Edwards

Over the past 18 years Keith (he/him/his) has spoken and consulted at more than 200 colleges and universities, presented more than 200 programs at national conferences, and written more than 20 articles or book chapters on curricular approaches, sexual violence prevention, men’s identity, social justice education, and leadership. His research, writing, and speaking have received national awards and recognition including ACPA Dissertation of the Year and ACPA Diamond Honoree. His TEDx Talk on Ending Rape has been viewed around the world. Keith is also a certified executive and leadership coach for individuals who are looking to unleash their fullest potential. Keith was the Director of Campus Life at Macalester College in St. Paul, MN from 2007 – 2015 where he provided leadership for the areas of residential life, student activities, conduct, and orientation. He was an affiliate faculty member in the Leadership in Student Affairs program at the University of St. Thomas, where he taught graduate courses on diversity and social justice in higher education for 8 years.


Sonja Ardoin

Sonja Ardoin, Ph.D. is a learner, educator, facilitator, and author. Proud of her hometown of Vidrine, Louisiana, her working class, Cajun roots, and her first-generation college student to PhD journey, Sonja holds degrees from LSU, Florida State, and NC State. She considers herself a scholar-practitioner of higher education; she served as an administrator for 10 years before shifting to the faculty in 2015. Sonja studies social class identity, college access and success for rural and first-generation college students, student and women’s leadership, and career preparation and pathways in higher education and student affairs. Learn more about Sonja at


becky martinez

becky martinez, ed.d. is a consultant and trainer with an emphasis on social justice, leadership and organizational change. Her work focuses on engaging individuals and groups to recognize systemic dynamics of privilege and oppression to create more inclusive and equitable policies, practices, and structures. Prior to full-time consultancy, becky worked as a student affairs administrator at both public and private institutions in California. She is a faculty member for the Social Justice Training Institute and a Co-Lead Facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute.