Airing Live on Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 1:00 p.m. ET

Events across the U.S. and world sparked a recent upsurge in student activism this past spring on college and university campuses across the U.S. As microcosms of larger society, campuses have, since the 1960s and before, provided visibility and voice for student activists to engage, lead, protest, converse, and raise critical perspectives around a variety of social issues. How have campuses effectively engaged student activists? How can student affairs professionals support activism as a powerful tool for fostering civic engagement? And, how can we engage in activism ourselves within and beyond our professional roles in student affairs?

On this episode of Higher Ed Live, Heather Shea Gasser connects with three individuals whose scholarship, personal identities, and daily work in student affairs involves working with, engaging in, and studying activism. Joining Heather are Drs. Chris Linder, Stephen John Quaye, and Stephen Sutton.

Please tweet questions and comments to @HigherEdLive or email Heather in advance of the show at and she’ll work to incorporate them into the dialogue.


Episode Host

Heather Shea Gasser

Heather Shea Gasser

Heather Shea Gasser’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 student 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. She currently serves as the Director of Membership Development for ACPA-College Student Educators International and blogs for Feminists in Student Affairs. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heathergasser


Dr. Chris Linder

Dr. Chris Linder is  an Assistant Professor of College Student Affairs Administration at the University of Georgia.  Prior to becoming faculty, Chris worked in student affairs for 10 years, most recently serving as the director of a campus-based women’s center.  Chris’s research interests include campus activism, student identity development, and creating and maintaining inclusive campus environments.  In her recent work, Chris explored strategies of campus sexual assault activists and the role of social media in student activism.  You can follow Chris at @proflinder.


Dr. Stephen John Quaye

Stephen John Quaye is a parent of a remarkable, inquisitive, kind four-year-old named Sebastian. Stephen is also a believer in the power of personal storytelling and strongly believes that hearing and sharing our stories with others can foster connections and learning across differences. He values the power of dialogue as a vehicle to promote change in society. He also loves bow ties, baking (he makes a pretty mean scone and key lime pie), reading, and writing poetry. Finally, he is a faculty member in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Program at Miami University, where he works with graduate students to help them find their passions and voices. His Ph.D. is from Penn State University, his master’s degree is from Miami University, and his bachelor’s degree is from James Madison University. You can follow Stephen at @esjayque.


Dr. Steve Sutton

Steve has worked in higher education for close to 30 years.  He has a Bachelor of Science in Microbiology and a Master of Arts in Higher Education and Student Affairs, both from The Ohio State University.  His Doctorate of Education is from the University of Houston, where he studied the retention of students in web-enhanced courses. Steve currently serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for student affairs at UC Berkeley, having a career that spans a variety of functional areas in student affairs, such as residence life, student activities, student union management, financial aid and facilities management. Steve has served as a Dean of Students at the University of Houston – Clear Lake and a Vice President for Students Affairs and Enrollment Management at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Steve’s areas of expertise include organizational development, crisis intervention, change management, professional development, sexual assault/sexual violence education, and student advocacy. Steve is very active in his professional associations, too, having served as the annual convention chair for the American College Personnel Association (ACPA), and he currently serves as the President of the ACPA Foundation. Steve draws his inspiration for working with college students largely from his experience as a first generation college student. You can follow Steve at @ssuttonacpa.