Introducing My Dissertation Topic: College Students, Social Media and the Self

This Thursday, I will (finally) have my dissertation proposal hearing.  This means I will present my proposed dissertation research to my committee and seek approval to move forward into the data collection and analysis phases.  Proposals  generally include the “first three chapters” of a dissertation.  These chapters are typically an introduction, a review of literature, and a research plan including methods of data collection and procedures.  Below you will find a sample from my proposal as well as the presentation I will be using when I present it to my committee.  Enjoy! The following study attempts to… Read More

The Difference Between a College Student’s DIGITAL and ONLINE Identity (And Why We’re Getting it Wrong)

As you probably know at this point, my research involves college students and how they construct a sense of self in digital and social media spaces.  In conducting this research, I’ve encountered the term “digital identity” frequently.  I’ve used it, and some of my doctoral student colleague friends have written about it (including Paul Eaton, Josie Ahlquist, and Ed Cabellon).  What I haven’t often found is a clear consensus on what “digital identity” means in a student affairs or college student educator context.  As I’ve furthered my own research, being perfectly clear on this concept (at least… Read More

Applying Bronfenbrenner’s Student Development Theory to College Students & Social Media

Tweet (One of my colleagues and friends, Paul Eaton, wrote a great blog post about Bronfenbrenner’s applicability to online/social media spaces.  I also wanted to have a go at the topic, so I purposely didn’t re-read his post until after publishing this one… and there’s agreement… but with a twist… read on…) Urie Bronfenbrenner‘s theory of ecological development is a commonly taught theory in college student development courses.  Although it was developed prior to the existence of the web, it nevertheless represents a highly useful tool for understanding the impact of the web on human… Read More

VIDEO Posted of My #PechaKucha on the Main Stage at #ACPA14

“Digital Identity Isn’t About (A Separate) Identity At All” The video of my PechaKucha presentation on the big stage at the 2014 ACPA-College Student Educators-International Convention, is posted on YouTube!  Woot!  Check out the annotated slide version here.  View it below.  And see more from other presenters here.

Digital Identity Is NOT About (A Separate) Identity At All

My research passion is about college students and how social media and technology impacts the developmental process. Unfortunately, I’ve found a lot of the discourse in student affairs around this subject to be lacking. When you attend a conference session or read a thought piece centered around this topic, they often focus on marketing, technological tools, and their use, rather than what’s occurring at a more theoretical or fundamental level. If articles and sessions do focus on student development, it is often on the byproducts of a larger developmental process rather than on how technology may be changing the… Read More