About the Session

Tuesday, March 8, 2016
12:30pm – 1:30pm
Higher Ed Live: Contested Issues
Recording: higheredlive.com/recording/

Join Student Affairs Live co-hosts Heather Shea Gasser 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

  • Master’s Required: Is a masters degree in Student Affairs the best preparation for the field?
  • Credentialing: Should we require credentialing of Student Affairs professionals?
  • Faculty vs. Practitioners: Are practitioners using research?
  • Bright or Troubled Future: Is the future of Student Affairs in higher education at risk?
  • Move Up or Move Out: Multi-institutional Experiences vs. Single-institutional experiences
  • Coddling: Are intrusive practices helping or hurting our students?

Get Connected

Stay connected throughout the conference and during the session with #ACPA16 and #higheredlive. Follow @higheredlive on Twitter for debate updates and more! Can’t make the 2016 ACPA Conference but still want to check out the debate? Higher Ed Live will be streaming the session LIVE for free at watch.higheredlive.com.


Video Games vs. Sports
Higher Ed Live hosts Tony Doody and Heather Shea Gasser debated the topic ‘Should video games be considered a sport?’ as part of a kick off for the Contested Issues Debates that will be live at #ACPA16 on Tuesday, March 6. Watch the video to hear their arguments and get an idea of what the debates will be like at the live event.
Watch Here


Tony Doody
Senior Director of Student Engagement
Rutgers University


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

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Matthew Ferguson
Director of Orientation and Family Programs
Rutgers University

Head to Head Debates


Debate Speakers

Paul Gordon Brown
Consultant, Speaker, and Educator

Dr. Paul Grodon Brown is a consultant, speaker, and educator conducting research on the impact of digital and social technology on higher education and the college student experience.  His recent dissertation, “College Students, Social Media, Digital Identities, and The Digitized Self,” explored how traditionally aged college students navigate complex issues of  development online—including aspects of self esteem, competition, learning to be genuine, and the establishment of identity.  After 15 years of experience in various roles both as a college administrator and faculty member, Paul currently serves as the Director of Curriculum, Training, and Research for the higher education technology company, Roompact. Roompact focuses on leveraging technology to enable, enhance, and support residential education and residential student learning.

Ed Cabellon
Assistant to the VP Bridgewater State University

Dr. Ed Cabellon is a senior student affairs leader, internationally recognized as an experienced digital technology educator catalyzing change throughout higher education. With almost twenty years of progressive administrative experience in student affairs areas, Dr. Cabellon currently serves as the Assistant to the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Bridgewater State University, focusing on strategic marketing and communication efforts, technology integration, and management of divisional budgets. His recent doctoral research was a ten-year historiography on how student affairs administrators used digital technology in their work, yielding a Technology Implementation Model for education. He also serves as Co-Chair of ACPA’s Presidential Task Force on Digital Technology in Higher Education and was a 2015 ACPA Diamond Honoree.

Stan Carpenter
Dean of the College of Education
Texas State University

Dr. Stan Carpenter is Dean of the College of Education at Texas State University.  He has held a variety of administrative and faculty positions including Dean of Students, academic department chair, and Executive Director of the the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE).  He has had several leadership roles in both ACCPA and NASPA.  Dr. Carpenter has won major national, regional, and campus awards in the areas of teaching, scholarship, and service. He has given over 160 conference and invited presentations and authored or co-authored over 100 journal articles, book chapters, and other professional publications and reports focusing on professionalism, leadership, and professional development in student affairs.

Zebulun R. Davenport
Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

Dr. Zebulun Davenport is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.  He earned a Doctorate in Higher Education and Leadership from Nova Southeastern University, a Master’s of Education in College Student Personnel Administration, and a Bachelor of Science in Communications/Public Relations with a minor in Human Services from James Madison University.  Davenport’s publications include co-authoring a book entitled First-Generation College Students – Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement; a chapter in an edited volume entitled Recruiting, Selecting, Supervising, and Retaining Staff, in McClellan, G. H., Stringer, J. and Associates (Ed.) The Handbook of Student Affairs Administration (4th ed.), a chapter in an edited volume entitled The Student Success Conundrum, in B. Bontrager (Ed.) Strategic Enrollment Management: Transforming Higher Education; and a chapter in an edited monograph entitled Creating Collaborative Conditions for Student Success in S. Whalen (Ed.) Proceedings of the 8th National Symposium on Student Retention 2012.  Dr. Davenport also serves ACPA in the capacity of faculty for the Aspiring SSAO Institute, SSAO Advisory Board, and Director of External Relations, Governing Board. In 2015, Davenport received ACPA’s distinguished award Diamond Honoree.

Danielle DeSawal
Master’s Program Coordinator and
Clinical Associate Professor for
Higher Education and Student Affairs
Indiana University

Dr. Danielle DeSawal is the Master’s Program Coordinator and Clinical Associate Professor for Higher Education and Student Affairs at Indiana University. Danielle’s research interests focus on professional preparation, advising student organizations on campus, and higher education administration. She has been honored by Indiana University with the faculty award from the Commission on Multicultural Understanding, Trustees Teaching Award and the Gordon Faculty Award through the Division of Student Affairs. In addition, she has been recognized as an ACPA Diamond Honoree. Prior to joining the faculty Danielle served as the Educational Program Coordinator for the Association of College Unions International (ACUI). She currently teaches courses in higher education administration, student development, professional development in student affairs, student organization advising, and leadership development. Danielle holds her B.S. in Consumer and Family Students Education from Colorado State University, her M.ED in Higher Education Administration from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville and her Ph.D. from Indiana University.

Keith Edwards
Social Justice Educator,
Sexual Violence Prevention Speaker
Men’s Identity Scholar,
Leadership Coach

Keith Edwards is a social justice educator, sexual violence prevention speaker, men’s identity scholar, and leadership coach.  He has spoken and consulted at more than 100 colleges and universities, presented more than 100 programs at national conferences, and written more than 15 articles or book chapters on these issues.  He is also an affiliate faculty member in the Leadership in Student Affairs program at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN, where he teaches graduate courses on diversity and social justice in higher education.

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

Dr. Susan Robb Jones is Professor and program chair in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at The Ohio State University.  Her research interests include psychosocial perspectives on identity, intersectionality and multiple social identities, service-learning, and qualitative research methodologies.  She is the co-author (with Dr. Elisa S. Abes) of books titled Identity Development of College Students (Jossey-Bass, 2013) and Negotiating the Complexities of Qualitative Research: Fundamental Elements and Issues (with Drs. Vasti Torres and Jan Arminio) (Routledge, 2006, 2nd edition published in 2014). She is the recipient of several prestigious awards including ACPA’s Contribution to Knowledge Award (2015), Emerging Scholar (2001) and Senior Scholar (2009) awards, the Outstanding Scholar Award (2011), from the University of Maryland and NASPA’s Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member (2010).

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 for dining services, housing administration, the Ohio Union, student life orientation, residence life and student activities; additionally, she is an advisor to TEDx Ohio State University. Dr. Metzelaars was selected to be the 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 is thrilled to be leading the 2017 ACPA Convention Experiences Team when ACPA comes to Columbus, Ohio.

Kristen Renn
Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education
Michigan State University

Dr. Kristen Renn is Professor of Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education at Michigan State University, where she also serves as Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies and Director for Student Success Initiatives. Her academic interests lie at the intersection of student learning, development, and success. She is an ACPA Contribution to Knowledge Award recipient, past member of the Governing Board, and recently completed her term as Associate Editor for International Research and Scholarship for the association’s flagship journal, the Journal of College Student Development.

Paul Shang
Ph.D. Retired Assistant Vice President for
Student Life and Dean of Students (Retired)
University of Oregon

Paul Shang is a proud ACPA past president and an active member for almost 30 years.  He is a Diamond Honoree and recipient of the Annuit Coeptis Senior Professional Award, and has been active in many other aspects of the Association including the Coalition for Multicultural Affairs, the Ethics Committee, and Books and Media.

Paul has had over 35 years of student affairs/academic affairs experience, including experience at the director’s level or as a senior student affairs officer.  He has enjoyed responsibilities with academic advising administration; implementation of scholastic standards policies; student retention programming; orientation; recruitment; facilitation of service delivery through use of technology; judicial affairs; serving students of color and commuter students; crisis management; advising student government and fraternity and sorority life organizations; teaching and leadership of first year experience courses; and, advising and mentoring graduate students.

Stacey Pearson-Wharton
Assistant Dean of Student Life and
Director of the Counseling Center
Susquehanna University

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 Assistant Dean of Student Life and 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.