The University-as-Theater: Are we just putting on a performance?

Is the university just an act of theater obscuring what is… or isn’t going on?  Are we caught up in traditions that have shielded us from realizing our own faults?  from public criticism?  Are we ready for the impending changes to higher education as a whole?  Thinking about higher education as a theatrical performance exposes some of these questions. Organizational theorists Bolman and Deal recognize two bodies of theory that make up this notion of the university-as-theater. The first, dramaturgical theories, focus internally. They describe performative acts that involve “social interaction among individuals… Read More

The Student Development Transit System Map

I had a lot of fun putting this together!  You wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get the poster visually right while trying to make sure it makes sense conceptually and theoretically.  Too reductionist?  Maybe.  Areas for improvement?  I’m sure.  Let me know how you’d try arranging it in the comments below. BUY this as a poster! Or a greeting card.  Help fund my doctoral dissertation!  The paid version uses a sharper, higher resolution file. For the poster, there are multiple price points, qualities, and sizes….  All proceeds help fund my dissertation…. Read More

Understanding Digital Student Development (Presentation at @NASPA_R1)

I have the pleasure of presenting at the NASPA Region I Annual conference today.  The topic?  How might we re-envision Student Development theory for the digital age.  Below you will find an abbreviated version of my presentation. Some additional resources that might be of interest include: My past posts related to digital identity and identity development in digital/social media contexts. My dissertation research proposal on college students, social media, and the self. An animated video on Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Theory reimagined for social media. A video of my ACPA 2014 PechaKucha title “Digital… Read More

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