About the Session

Tuesday, March 28, 2017
Batelle Grand
Greater Columbus Convention Center
Higher Ed Live: Contested Issues

Join Student Affairs Live co-hosts Heather Shea and Tony Doody as they moderate six fast-paced, eight minute, one-on-one debates between legendary thought leaders in student affairs.

The session will explore controversial topics in higher education. The session will include feedback from the live audience and twitter.

Debate Topics

  • Create or Cultivate: Will our culture’s obsession with innovation lead us to neglect maintenance and maintainers?
  • Authenticity: Should we reveal our authentic self in our professional capacity?
  • Graduate Preparation: Are Masters program adequately preparing professionals for the field?
  • Debate is Effective: Is debating an effective method of discourse?
  • Scope of Higher Education: Are the services and opportunities provided to today’s students are beyond the scope of the academic mission?
  • Consolidation: Should ACPA and NASPA merge to one student affairs association?

Get Connected

Stay connected throughout the conference and during the session with #ACPA17 and #higheredlive. Follow @higheredlive on Twitter for debate updates and more! Can’t make the 2017 ACPA Conference but still want to check out the debate? Higher Ed Live will be streaming the session LIVE for free at


Tony Doody
Senior Director of Student Engagement
Rutgers University

Heather Shea
HALE PhD student & Assistant Director, RISE
Michigan State University


Matthew Ferguson
Senior Client Lead for University Programs
Amazon Web Services

Debate Speakers

John Austin
Executive Director of Student Affairs
Ryerson University

Dr. John Austin holds an M.Ed in Higher Education Administration from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and an Ed.D in Educational Leadership, Administration and Policy from Fordham University in New York City. His 24-year career in Student Affairs has been at a mix of specialized performing arts schools such as the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, School of American Ballet, and Canada’s National Ballet School and large traditional post-secondary institutions such as the University of North Carolina and New York University. John currently serves as the Executive Director of Student Affairs at Ryerson University (Toronto, Canada) where he has responsibility for 5 departments: Housing and Residence Life, Student Life, Student Learning Support, Student Health & Wellness, and the Ryerson Career Centre. He has great interests in social justice, change management, fundraising, and Student Affairs innovations. The focus of his doctoral research resulted in the dissertation topic, “Leading Learning in the Arts: Skills and Competencies of Performing Arts School Leaders”.

Willie Banks
Vice President for Student Affairs
Indiana State University

Dr. Willie L. Banks, Jr. currently serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Indiana State University, a position he has held since May of 2015. Prior to joining Indiana State University, Dr. Banks worked for Cleveland State University for 3 ó years in a variety of positions, including Assoc. Dean of Students and Interim Asst. VP for Student Affairs. Dr. Banks worked at the University of Georgia for over 18 years in a variety of positions within the Division of Student Affairs including, Director of the Tate Student Center and Campus Life; and Assoc. Dean of Students for Intercultural Affairs. Professionally, Dr. Banks is involved with ACPA, ACUI, and NASPA. Dr. Banks received his undergraduate degree from Mercer University in Macon, Georgia and his Master’s and Ph.D. in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia.

Jill Carnaghi
Assistant Vice President for Student Development
Saint Louis University

Dr. Jill Ellen Carnaghi is currently assistant vice president for student development at Saint Louis University (SLU). Prior to working at SLU, she was associate vice chancellor for students and dean of campus life at Washington University in St. Louis. Jill earned her B.A. from Purdue University, her M.A. in college student personnel administration from Michigan State University, and her Ph.D. in higher education administration from Indiana University. She has held administrative positions at The University of Vermont and University of California-Davis as well. Among her involvement in professional associations, Jill served as president, treasurer, vice president for commissions within ACPA, and co-chaired the ACPA/NASPA joint meetings in 1997 and 2007. Peter Magolda and Jill are co-editors of Job One: Experiences of New Professionals in Student Affairs (2004) and Job One 2.0: Understanding the Next Generation of Student Affairs Professionals (2014).

Susan Robb Jones
Professor and Program Chair,
The Ohio State University

Dr. Susan Robb Jones is Professor and Program Director in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at The Ohio State University. She has published over 25 journal articles, over 26 book chapters, and 5 books. Her research addresses topics such as intersectionality, psychosocial development, qualitative methodologies, and service-learning in higher education. She is the co-author of Identity Development of College Students (2013, with Elisa S. Abes) and Negotiating the Complexities of Qualitative Research: Fundamental Elements and Issues (2006; 2nd edition 2014, with Vasti Torres and Jan Arminio). Jones is one of the co-editors of Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession (5th ed., 2011; 6th ed., 2017).

Jones is the recipient of prestigious awards including ACPA’s Contribution to Knowledge Award (2015), Emerging Scholar (2001), Diamond Honoree (2005), and Senior Scholar (2009) awards; Thomas M. Magoon Distinguished Alumni Award (2012) and Outstanding Scholar Award (2011), from the University of Maryland; NASPA’s Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member (2010); The Ohio State University Alumni Award for Distinguished Teaching (2002).

Dr. Jones earned her Doctor of Philosophy degree in College Student Personnel Administration from the Counseling and Personnel Services Department at the University of Maryland; her Master of Education in Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration at the University of Vermont; and her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Saint Lawrence University.

Julie Payne-Kirchmeier
Associate Vice President,
Chief of Staff
Northwestern University

Dr. Julie Payne-Kirchmeier currently serves as the Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff at Northwestern University in Evanston, IL, in which she oversees all divisional facilities, finances, assessment, strategic planning, human resources, the Norris University Center, and Division Services (SAIT, Student Affairs Marketing, Special Projects, Night Safety Transit), as well as oversees all communications and board matters for the Vice President. She earned her B.S. degree in Genetics and her M.Ed. degree in Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education from Texas A&M University-College Station, and her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership, Administrations and Foundations from Indiana State University. She teaches student development theory in the higher education master’s program at Northwestern.

Dr. Payne-Kirchmeier has been highly involved in professional associations, including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA), Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I), ACPA College Student Educators, and served as Conference Host and President of the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers (GLACUHO). She currently serves as the NASPA IV-E Regional Director, is a member of the NASPA Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice (JSARP) Editorial Board, and is the past chair for the Certification Commission for NACAS. 

A long-time advocate for women’s rights and feminism in higher education, Dr. Payne-Kirchmeier is also deeply invested in politics in higher education. Most recently, Dr. Payne-Kirchmeier was honored to facilitate a discussion at the 2016 ACUHO-I Annual Conference and Exposition with Donna Brazile and Ana Navarro.

Heidi Levine
Vice President for Student Development
Simpson College

Dr. Heidi Levine is the Vice President for Student Development at Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa. Prior to joining the Simpson community in June, 2015, Heidi served as Asst. Vice President and Dean of Students at Cornell College (Mt. Vernon, IA); previous positions include serving as the director of Student Health and Counseling at the State University of New York College at Geneseo. Heidi was the 2011-12 ACPA President; other professional involvements have included chairing ACPA’s Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services, serving as a member of the State University of New York Chancellor’s Personal Safety Task Force, and the American College Health Association Mental Health Standards Task Force. Heidi has presented and written on topics including student mental health issues, curbing high-risk alcohol use, impacts of campus suicide, student privacy rights, dealing with disruptive student behavior, and multicultural competence. Heidi earned her Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Temple University, M.S. in counselor education from the Pennsylvania State University, and B.A. in psychology from Northern Illinois University.

Patrick Love
Vice President for Student Affairs
New York Institute of Technology

Dr. Patrick Love is the Vice President for Student Affairs at New York Institute of Technology. His career in higher education has spanned managerial work in student affairs, academic affairs, and as a professor in college student affairs. Patrick earned his doctorate in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University and his master’s degree in Counseling Psychology and Student Development from The State University of New York at Albany. When not working, he competes in road races and triathlons, plays the guitar, and writes music.

Gretchen J. Metzelaars
Senior Associate Vice President of Student Life
The Ohio State University

Dr. Gretchen J. Metzelaars is currently the Senior Associate Vice President of Student Life at The Ohio State University, a position she has held since June 2010. In this position she provides the Office of Student Life with strategic direction and oversees dining services, housing administration, the Ohio Union, orientation, residence life and student activities. She has worked in the field of student affairs for almost 40 years. Additionally, she is the advisor to the Muslim Student Association and one of the advisors to TEDxOhioStateUniversity. She teaches a class every now and then when she feels the calling or is under duress.

She was selected to be ACPA Standing Committee for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness’ inaugural Senior Practitioner and was honored with selection as a senior member of Annuit Coeptis. She was chosen as an ACPA Diamond Honoree in 2008. She has been involved for many years in various capacities with ACPA conventions including her leadership of the innovative 2014 Convention in Indianapolis. She is thrilled to be leading the 2017 ACPA Convention Experiences Team in her adopted hometown of Columbus. She received her BS in Forestry and Wildlife from Virginia Tech in 1975, her MS in Recreation from Indiana University in 1979, and her Ph.D. in Recreation from the University of Maryland in 1995.

Laura Pasquini
Lecturer and Researcher
University of North Texas

Dr. Laura A. Pasquini is a Lecturer with the Department of Learning Technologies in the College of Information at the University of North Texas in Denton, TX and a Researcher with The Digital Learning and Social Media Research Group at Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. Her scholarly work examines digital and open practices, specifically how social technologies impact and influence professional organizations, development, and identity as we work and learn from networked communities of practice.

Dafina-Lazarus (D-L) Stewart
Bowling Green State University

Dafina-Lazarus (D-L) Stewart, PhD (pronouns: ze, zim, zir) is Professor of Higher Education and Student Affairs at Bowling Green State University.  Ze is a scholar, educator, and activist focused on empowering and imagining futures that sustain and cultivate the learning, growth, and success of marginalized groups in U.S. higher education institutions.  Dr. Stewart’s work is motivated by a love ethic grounded in justice and informed by an intersectional praxis that recognizes the lived experiences of multiply marginalized individuals as well as the material effects of interlocking systems of oppression.  Over the course of zir career, ze has focused most intently on issues of race and ethnicity, sexuality, and gender, as well as religion, faith, and spirituality in zir research, teaching, and service to professional organizations and institutions across the nation.  This work has produced nearly five dozen journal articles and book chapters, as well as three books.  Dr. Stewart is the parent of a soon-to-be first-year college student, learning how to let go and embrace this opportunity to unearth and reimagine zirself as an empty-nester.  In particular, ze hopes to make zir yoga practice more consistent, recommit to distance running, learn how to swim, take up hiking and maybe even pottery.

Vasti Torres
Professor, University of South Florida
and Former Dean of the College of Education

Dr. Vasti Torres is a Professor at the University of South Florida and former Dean of the College of Education. Previously she was Professor and Director of the Center for Postsecondary Research (CPR) at Indiana University. Before becoming a faculty member, she had 15 years experience in student affairs. She was the Principle Investigator for several grants including a multi-year grant investigating the choice to stay in college for Latino students as well as a grant looking at the experiences of working college students. She has worked on several community college initiatives including Achieving the Dream, and Rural Community College Initiative. She was the Associate Editor of the Journal of College Student Development from 2008-2015. In 2007 – 2008 she became the first Latina president of a national student services association – ACPA. She has been honored as a Diamond Honoree, Senior Scholar, Wise Woman, and the Latino Network John Hernandez Leadership Award by ACPA. Other honors include the Contribution to Literature and Knowledge Award from NASPA, Professional Achievement Alumni Award from the University of Georgia, and the 2008 Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award. In 2011-2012 she was a Fulbright Specialist in South Africa. Dr. Torres is a graduate of Stetson University and The University of Georgia.

Jamie Washington
President and Founder
Washington Consulting

Rev. Dr. Jamie Washington serves as the President and Founder of the Washington Consulting Group (WCG), a Multicultural Organizational Development Firm out of Baltimore, MD.   In October of 2015, WCG was named by the Economist as one of the Top 10 Global Diversity Consultants in the world, and one of two selected from the US. Dr. Washington has served as an educator, administrator, and consultant in higher education for over 32 years. Dr. Washington also serves as the President and a Founder of the Social Justice Training Institute. He was recently elected as the Vice President and President Elect of the ACPA (College Student Educators International).

Dr. Washington serves as the Chair of the board for Many Voices, A Black Church Movement for LGBT person: on the boards of Campus Pride, Beyond Diversity, Leadershape, Lead365, Vanderbilt School of Divinity Creating Welcoming Churches project and the ACPA Foundation. He has served on the faculty of Lancaster Theological Seminary Summer Academy, as a Visiting Professor at Winston Salem State, and as Assistant Professor of American and Women’s Studies at UMBC. He is also graduate affiliate faculty at UMCP. He serves as a Co-Lead with Leadershape, Lead Faculty with Lead365, and proud member of ODK, Golden Key Leadership Honorary, and Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity.