About the Session
Join Student Affairs Live co-hosts Heather Shea Gasser and Tony Doody as they moderate four fast-paced, eight minute, one-on-one debates between thought leaders in student affairs.
- Safe Space: Should campuses be a safe space for students?
- Politics on Social Media: Should you share your political beliefs on social media?
- Lower the Drinking Age: Should the drinking age be lowered from 21 to 18?
- Social Media Consequences: Does social media do more harm than good?
Stay connected throughout the conference and during the session with #ESAC16 and #higheredlive. Follow @higheredlive on Twitter for debate updates and more! Can’t make the 2016 Excellence in Student Affairs Conference but still want to check out the debate? Higher Ed Live will be streaming the session LIVE for free at watch.higheredlive.com.
Please note the thoughts and opinions expressed in our debates do not necessarily reflect the opinions of our individual panelists.
Tom serves as the Sr. Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Vice Provost for University Programs at New York University (NYU). Tom has been full-time in the field of higher education for over thirty years with a focus on student affairs, a field in which he and his team have been lauded as one of the leading service-delivery / innovative organizations in the country. His work includes focusing on enhancing students’ overall living and learning experience outside the classroom particularly in the areas of student involvement and engagement, residential living, orientation, student conduct, high school immersion programs on college campuses, and departmental assessment. He also holds an academic appointment to teach graduate level courses. Additionally, he is a certified life coach and does personal and executive coaching. Tom has been professionally active in associations focused on student affairs. In particular he served on the executive boards of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I) in the Tri-President Role (VP, President-Elect, President) and as President of the Mid-Atlantic College and University Housing Officers (MACUHO).
In 2004, Tom co-founded his second business, Swift Kick, to help colleges create, increase, and measure student engagement. Swift Kick was honored as the 2007, 2008, and 2009 National Campus Speakers of the Year and since 2004, Swift Kick has worked with over 550 schools and trained over 200,000 campus leaders on how to create a culture of engagement where every student feels welcomed, connected and engaged. Their trainings have been named the best student leadership training program five times by APCA and is the only program to ever win the award three years in a row. Through Tom’s work in higher ed, he also created The Student Affairs Collective as the ultimate online community of peer-to-peer learning for Student Affairs Professionals.
Dr. Lendof has a Doctor of Education degree from Teachers College, Columbia University; a Master of Science in College Student Development from Long Island University, C.W. Post and a Bachelor of Arts in Politics, Economics and Society from The State University of New York, College at Old Westbury. Dr. Lendof is a Student Affairs professional with 20 years of experience working in higher education and serving students at public and private universities. She currently serves as the Director for Residential Staff and Programs at New York University, and prior to that worked as Assistant Director for Residential Life at Rutgers University New Brunswick, and Teachers College, Columbia University. Dr. Lendof is highly involved in regional and national organizations and has presented at a number of conferences. She is currently a member of the NASPA Region II Conference Planning Committee, the co-chair for the NASPA Latina/o Knowledge Community (LKC) Pre-Conference, and chair for the Region II LKC. She served as a faculty member for the 2014 James Grimm National Housing Training Institute (NHTI) and the 2013 NEACUHO/ACUHO Regional Entry Level Institute (RELI).
Dr. Felicia McGinty is the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. McGinty has a distinguished background with nearly 30 years of professional experience in student affairs administration, as well as a notable record of public service. As a seasoned administrator, she leads with a forward-thinking, student-centered philosophy to enhance the co-curricular experience and promote student success. Dr. McGinty’s particular areas of interest and expertise encompass enrollment management (student recruitment, retention and graduation); academic advising; first year programs; counseling and psychological services; and the creation of climates of support for diverse student populations. She has developed and taught courses on First Year Success, Critical Thinking, and Academic and Personal Development- all designed to assist new students in transitioning to college, and to increase retention rates in traditionally vulnerable populations.
Dr. McGinty has presented nationally on social justice issues including sexual violence and racial and ethnic diversity. Her broad experience is complemented by leadership positions in various professional associations and community service organizations. Currently, she serves as a board member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Region II, co-chairs the Council of Student Affairs for the Association of Public Land-Grant Universities (APLU), and is a member of the Universities Studying Slavery project (USS).
Dr. Mena serves as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at Rutgers University-New Brunswick (45,000 students). As Associate Vice Chancellor, he manages the day-to-day operations of the Division of Student Affairs helping to provide leadership for the 25 offices and departments that make up the division. Specifically, he supervises the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Engagement, and departments of Dining Services, Residence Life, Student Centers and Involvement, and Cultural Centers.
He earned a Bachelors degree in Political Science and Masters of Education in Student Development and Higher Education Administration from the University of Maine. He received his Doctor of Philosophy degree in Higher Education, Student Affairs, and International Education Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park. His dissertation study titled – The New South: A Case Analysis of Latino Students Attending a Historically Black University in North Carolina – focused on understanding the growing phenomena of Latinos enrolling at HBCUs in the South.
Professionally, Dr. Mena has been involved with a number of higher education professional organizations, including the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). He served a two-year appointment on the ACPA/NASPA Joint Task Force on the Future of Student Affairs that recommended consolidation with ACPA and served as the inaugural Co-Chair of NASPA’s Latina/o Knowledge Community. He recently served as a faculty member and organizer of NASPA’s inaugural New Professionals and Mid-Level Professionals Institute and is on the NASPA 2017 National Conference Planning Committee. He is a regular presenter at national conferences and has published in the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice and contributed a book chapter in Cultural Centers in Higher Education.
Dan Morrison is Executive Director of Residence Life at Rutgers-New Brunswick, joining the Rutgers Student Affairs team in August 2016. Previously, Dan served nearly 20 years in the Department of Housing at Georgia Tech. He leads a 16,000+ resident program and a staff of 70 professionals, 33 graduate interns and 300 Resident Assistants and Apartment Assistants. Dan held two roles in Resident Life at the University of Maryland during a 10-year span. He began his professional career as Assistant Dean of Students for Greek Affairs at Ohio Wesleyan University. Dan received his B.A. from the University of Toledo and an M.A. in Student Personnel in Higher Education from The Ohio State University. Extremely involved in professional development and service, he presents at regional and national conferences and has published in the Journal of College and University Housing, served as President of the Georgia College Personnel Association, is active in ACUHO-I and ACPA, where he served on four convention teams and is currently on the Executive Committee of the ACPA Foundation Board of Trustees.
Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Kevin Laurence Pitt is currently the Director of the Office of Student Conduct at Rutgers University where he is responsible for adjudicating both the Code of Student Conduct and the Code of Academic Integrity. Previously, Kevin served as the Deputy Director of Student Conduct at the University of Pennsylvania and as Assistant Director in the Office of Student Conduct at the University of Maryland, College Park where he oversaw the Code of Academic Integrity. Kevin has an array of student affairs experiences, which will help him manage the complex student conduct processes here at Rutgers. Kevin’s background includes positions in residence life, fraternity and sorority affairs, academic integrity, and student conduct. Kevin has presented at both NASPA and ACPA on academic integrity and student conduct related topics. Kevin received his Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature from Rutgers College and his Masters of Arts degree in English Literature from University of Maryland, College Park.
Zaneta Rago-Craft is the Director at the Rutgers University Center for Social Justice Education & LGBT Communities, and holds an MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs from New York University.
Originally from the Jersey shore, she graduated in 2010 from the Ramapo College of New Jersey with a BA in History and Women and Gender Studies. While at Ramapo College, she discovered her passion for student affairs while working as a Program Coordinator and Queer Peer Services Coordinator at the campus’ Women’s Center. She transitioned to NYU immediately after graduating where she served as the Graduate Assistant for the NYU LGBTQ Student Center. While at her two former institutions, Zaneta coordinated and led Safe Zone trainings, peer education initiatives, and general LGBTQ/diversity programming.
Zaneta has a passion for infusing social justice education into her student affairs work. In the summer of 2011, Zaneta studied abroad in South Africa, where she conducted an ethnographic study and created a short documentary on the experiences of LGBTQ South African youth. Zaneta has a particular interest in facilitating conversations around the intersectionality of multiple identities and oppression, art as activism, feminism, anti-racism, LGBTQ representations in the media, and multiracial experiences in a “check one box” world.