In the wake of the non-indictments by the grand juries in the Michael Brown and Eric Garner cases, campus leaders have looked to student affairs educators to address the needs of the campus community by creating safe places for students, faculty, and staff to a) effectively engage in meaningful dialogue and b) manage/lead change directly related to these matters. The questions that abound are: What is our role in leading and engaging student activism and how can we support ongoing racial justice work within our campus communities? How can we create space for having these difficult conversations among ourselves as colleagues? And, what are the next steps in moving from conversation to action?
On this episode of Student Affairs Live, host Heather Shea Gasser connects with four student affairs leaders to discuss these questions and more. Joining Heather are Dr. Stacey Pearson-Wharton, Dr. Paul Porter, Dr. Larry Roper, and Dr. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart.
Please read the detailed bios of the panelists below. We welcome your questions, comments, and insights throughout the show. Please tweet to #higheredlive or @higheredlive.
Student Affairs Live is sponsored by ACPA-College Student Educators International.
This strategic partnership calls attention to the power of pairing an innovative professional development delivery method with the strength of a renowned professional organization. ACPA has a long standing history of thought-leadership and is respected for generating and disseminating knowledge.
Heather SheaHeather Shea'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 candidate 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. Connect with Heather on Twitter at @heather_shea_
Dr. Stacey Pearson-Wharton
Dr. Stacey Pearson-Wharton has devoted her life to helping people of all backgrounds overcome the things that hold them back from their true potential. As Director of the Counseling Center at the Susquehanna University Dr. Pearson specializes in issues related to eating disorders, feelings of loneliness and overcoming the hurdles of racial prejudice and leads the university’s mental health efforts. Prior to her appointment at Susquehanna she also served in various roles at University of South Florida, University Michigan, Pennsylvania State University and the University of Central Florida. In addition, she worked two years as the Director of Equity and Inclusion for the American College Personnel Association. She received her in Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in Counseling Psychology, holds Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor’s from Norfolk State University. Connect with her on Twitter @DrStaceyPW
Dr. Paul Porter
Dr. Paul Porter has served The University of Scranton as Director of Multicultural Affairs since 2012. Paul’s research explores the influence of multicultural competence in student affairs administration, racial identity and performance, and campus experiences for men of color. An accomplished public speaker, Paul’s Multicultural Competence 101 presentations and seminars have entertained and enthralled faculty, students, and staff nationwide. Paul earned his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration from Indiana State University in 2011. Connect with Paul on Twitter @DrPaulPorter
Dr. Larry Roper
Dr. Larry Roper is a Professor in the School of Language, Culture and Society and Coordinator of the Social Justice Studies Program at Oregon State University. Previously he served as Vice Provost for Student Affairs from 1995-2014. Larry currently serves as a Commissioner with the State of Oregon’s Higher Education Coordinating Commission and as Chair of the NASPA Faculty Fellows. Connect with Larry on Twitter @larryroper
Dr. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart
Dr. Dafina-Lazarus Stewart has been an associate professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University since 2005. Previously, ze taught at The Ohio State University and Ohio University. Dr. Stewart completed hir undergraduate degree in sociology from Kalamazoo College and earned hir master’s and doctoral degrees in Higher Education and Student Affairs from The Ohio State University. Dr. Stewart’s research interests focus on issues of race, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, religion, spirituality, and faith as they are related to student identity, experiences, and outcomes, and institutional transformation through an intersectional framework. In 2011, Dr. Stewart published an edited volume on the practice of multicultural affairs, Multicultural Student Services on Campus: Building Bridges, Re-visioning Community and is currently working to complete a historical narrative of racial desegregation and integration and the experiences of Black collegians at private, elite, liberal arts colleges in the Great Lakes region between 1945 and 1965. Connect with Dr. Stewart on Twitter at @