Welcome to The Defectors, Series 2!

In The Defectors’ inaugural year, I shared the following to express my desire to share a collection of “untraditional” student affairs and higher education practitioner stories:

I hope there’s a rising legitimacy in our ability to conceive of student support and advancement of the higher education profession on paths that don’t lead to a deanship, vice-presidency, or presidency. Professionals can make an impact on education – its impressionable students and dedicated professionals alike – in nontraditional ways. I hope that the posts shared here over the remainder of the month show you that in personal and critical ways.

That hope remains intact in the series’ second year, as I look forward to sharing the stories of ten more professionals who have parlayed their experience with college students into unique experiences. But there are two major differences in our second edition.

First, this year our authors’ stories are being shared during Careers in Student Affairs Month. Why? As we prepare to introduce a new crop of prospective professionals to this work, It feels imperative that we highlight all the ways these new candidates could elect to do it. In the best case, I believe that the opportunity to serve college students and staff on campus, will be presented alongside the many other ways this work can be done. Be it an auxiliary organization, professional association, or nonprofit that could later partner with a campus, there are more options than meet the eye.

Which brings me to our second change: a sponsor!

I am pleased to welcome Presence to this “season” of The Defectors as a sponsor, making it possible to compensate each of the series’ contributors. An educational technology company based in St. Petersburg, FL, Presence “is the Campus Engagement Platform for Institutions that insist on providing world-class student opportunities to learn and succeed.” Should you be interested in embracing the Defector lifestyle yourself, they’re hiring!

I can’t wait to share these wonderful stories with you. May they help you learn more about why ten professionals elected to defect, what organizations are benefitting from their talents, the ups and downs of their new normal, and what it would take to bring them back to their former stomping grounds. Again, from last year’s series:

this series was borne of a crush of questions- first the ones I asked before setting out on my own, and then later the ones I answer often from those considering making the leap. By creating space for those living the defector life to share their stories – at conference, through webinars, and even/especially in graduate preparation programs – the curtain can be pulled back on this otherwise mysterious way of life.

Today, the series starts with my own story- a small one, about how I’ve made an important part of my Defector lifestyle (travel) a little easier. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more of these stories each Tuesday and Thursday.

beth triplett, leadership dots

Wimer Alberto, GradGuard

Kelly Wuest, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands

Dustin Ramsdell, 2U

Tara Singer, Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK)

Paul Brown, Roompact

Brian LeDuc, Education Design Lab

Corey Bates, Tribridge

Kayley Robsham, Presence


About Amma:

Headshot of Amma Marfo

Amma Marfo, today’s contributor

Amma Marfo is a thoughtful, yet incurably silly, independent educational professional based in Boston, MA. 

She is an outspoken advocate for creativity, believes strongly in the power of humor, and looks forward to helping you find the way you live and work best. You can follow her on Twitter @ammamarfo, especially if you know how she might be able to become friends with Gina Rodriguez or Jack Falahee.

The Defectors (series 2) is sponsored by Presence. At Presence, we’re working to solve all of the higher ed problems you’ve always heard couldn’t be fixed. If you love asking questions, finding solutions to intricate problems, and learning about new people and places, we want you to join our team. Check out our open positions and apply today!