Opportunities to reflect come in many forms. Some present in challenging ways such as loss of a mentor, an arbitrary job firing, being an internal candidate who is not interviewed/hired, and addressing professional ethical dilemmas. The art of responding in these situations is being able to continue meeting the demands of the campus and home while working through and reflecting on the many emotions associated with them.

On this episode of Student Affairs Live, Heather Shea Gasser will talk with four folks who have been there… Laura Bayless, Tim Gordon, Steve Sutton, and Regina Zmich are going to share some strategies to survive and thrive during and after professional heartbreak.


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


Laura Bayless

Laura Bayless currently serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville, where she provides leadership for academic advising for undeclared students, campus activities, career services, counseling services, dean of students office, health services, leadership development, pioneer involvement, residence life, and student conduct. She previously served as the interim vice president for Student Life at Caldwell College in Caldwell, N.J.; vice president of Student Affairs at St. Mary’s College of Maryland in St. Mary’s City, and dean of students and assistant dean for Student Affairs at Longwood University in Farmville, Va. Bayless earned her Bachelor of Arts in speech communications/mass media from Denison University; Master of Science in college student personnel services at Miami University, and a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech. Laura has also served in a number of leadership roles in ACPA, including Coordinator for Commissions, Chair of the Commission for Administrative Leadership, and is currently the Member-at-Large for Senior Level Professionals. Connect with her on Twitter at @laurabayless


Timothy Gordon

Timothy W. Gordon is currently the Dean of Students and part time faculty in the School of Education at University of Wisconsin Milwaukee,  He is responsible for providing leadership for the Dean of Student’s Office and the Student Life Centers at the university.  He has worked at both private and public institutions as well as many located in urban centers.  He is an active member of the American College Personnel Association and has authored or co-authored several articles and presented workshops on a variety of topics—including dealing with professional heartbreak. Connect with Tim on Twitter at @twgordo


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.


Regina Zmich

Regina Zmich has been employed in student academic affairs at large research institutions for over 20 years in varied disciplines including public policy, engineering, and biological sciences.  Currently she serves as the Director of Academic Services & Financial Aid, Ross School of Business, at the University of Michigan.  Active in ACPA throughout her career, Regina is a Vice Chair for Membership on ACPA’s Commission for Campus Safety and Emergency Preparedness.