What are the hot trends and issues in Student Activities today? What are strategies we can employ to ensure programs are diverse, accessible and inclusive? What separates an average from an unforgettable student experience? Is participation in Student Activities programs linked to retention and student satisfaction? What are some innovative ways that departments can connect with students to increase engagement and participation? What are some ideas for more affordable, low-cost programming? On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Tony Doody talks with Cindy Kane, Veronica Riepe, Brian Gardner, and Brian Proffer to answer these questions and many more.

Please contribute to the conversation by emailing questions before the show to tony@higheredlive.com 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.


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.


Cindy Kane

Dr. Cindy Kane serves as the Director of Student Involvement and Leadership at Bridgewater State University. In addition, she is currently serving as a member of the 2016-2017 cohort for the ACE Fellows program.She is a consultant, speaker and part-time instructor and teaches courses in both student affairs administration and leadership development in both on-line and face-to-face settings. Her volunteer service in the profession has been as a Board member, National Convention chairperson and recent chairperson of the Research and Scholarship Group for the National Association for Campus Activities.
Cindy is the co-editor of “Beyond Meetings: Lessons and Successes in Student Organization Advising” published by the Student Affairs Collective and her research interests include a focus on the scholar-practitioner in the student affairs profession. Her recent study about the scholar-practitioner in the campus activities profession has received grants and awards from the Association of College Unions International, the National Association for Campus Activities and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.


Veronica Riepe

Veronica Riepe, PhD, is Director of Student Involvement at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she has been since 2010. She previously served as Director of the Rogalski Center and Student Activities at St. Ambrose University in Iowa, as a Residence Hall Director at Emporia State University in Kansas and the Assistant Director of Student Services at William Penn University in Iowa. Her NASPA experience includes serving as the Registration Chair for the 2012 and 2013 IV-West Regional Conferences as well as Major Speakers Co-Chair for the 2014 conference. NASPA IV-West awarded her the Outstanding Mid-Level Professional in 2014. Currently, Veronica is the Knowledge Community Co-Coordinator for NASPA Region IV-West. She was previously involved with the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) serving as the Iowa Unit Coordinator and Chair of Graphics/Publications for the Upper Midwest Region and was named the region’s Outstanding New Professional in 1998. She has made numerous presentations at various regional and national events throughout the years. Veronica earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from Loras College, her Masters of Arts degree from Emporia State University, and her PhD in Higher Education Administration from Illinois State University. In her free time she loves to read, attend Husker athletic events, being a Big Sister to Olivia and raising money for Big Brothers Big Sisters most recently by repelling down a 16 story hotel in Lincoln.


Brian Gardner

Brian Gardner is director of Student Involvement at Maryville University of Saint Louis (MO). Brian held the position of NACA chair for the 2015-2016 fiscal year. In his previous NACA Board position, he served as Vice Chair for Programs.

Brian has been actively involved with NACA for several years. His experience includes serving as Chair of the Mid America Regional Conference in 2010, Regional Block Booking Coordinator, 2008 National Convention Off Site Logistics Coordinator and more. He was also the recipient of the C. Shaw Smith New Professional Award, the 2012 Janet Carl Smith award from Mid America and the Legacy Award. In addition, Gardner has written several articles for Campus Activities Programming, the award-winning publication of NACA.

Gardner received his Bachelor of Science degree in marketing and his Master of Business Administration degree from Maryville University of Saint Louis.


Brian Proffer

Brian Proffer is currently an Assistant Manager for the University Activities Board at Michigan State University. His experience covers a wide breadth and depth of functional areas including Student Activities and Programs, Student Organizations, Student Leadership Programs and Orientation Programs.

He earned his B.A. in Mass Media Communication from the University of Michigan-Flint and M.A. in Educational Leadership-Higher Education Student Affairs from Eastern Michigan University. He has had the opportunity to serve at University of Michigan-Flint, Concordia University-Ann Arbor and Marygrove College prior to Michigan State.

In his spare time, Brian enjoys spending time with his partner Michael and their daughter-cat Coraline as well as with friends and family. He is an avid blogger and maintains a blog of professional and personal life musings. He also volunteers his time with several organizations and groups including Kappa Sigma Fraternity, #SAChat, ACPA-Michigan and #ACPA17 Strategic Marketing Team.