The Defectors, Series 2: Paul Brown, Roompact

Today’s Defectors contributor post comes from Paul Brown, Director of Curriculum, Training, and Research at Roompact. Not sure what we’re doing here yet? All is revealed here.

 

Those that know me, know that I’ve always tended to follow my own lead. My career path— especially recently— has been no different. When I graduated with my undergraduate degree from SUNY Geneseo, I took a safe route. Not quite ready to enter the “world of work,” I went straight on to get my Master’s Degree in College Student Personnel from Western Illinois University. In saying it was a “safe route,” that is not to say I wasn’t interested and passionate about the field—it was quite the opposite—but staying within the known world of academia was relatively easy.

After Western, I worked at Miami University and American University in residence life and academic affairs roles. That finally brought me to Boston College where I was a full-time PhD student in Higher Education. My initial goal in seeking a PhD was to become a faculty member. I loved teaching. I loved research. It was a good fit. As I progressed through my PhD, however, a side gig developed. I began going to colleges, universities, and conferences to speak about my research into the influence of digital and social technology on the college student experience. I began traveling more as a result of it and became hooked. I also started blogging and participating in knowledge communities online.

Having this kind of academic and creative freedom felt amazing. There was almost a point where I considered pursuing it full time. The realities of working for yourself, however, including funding your own health care, paycheck instability, and an itinerant lifestyle- which wasn’t for me. I wanted something “in between.” I wanted something with the stability of having an employer, but with the creativity of being your own employer.

I was open to making a career switch, and since I studied technology’s impact on college students, this opened up the opportunity for me to work for higher education-related technology companies. Out of sheer luck, I found Roompact, my current employer. Roompact makes residential education and curriculum software for college and university housing departments. It has been a perfect fit—combining my residence life and higher education background with my passion for and research on technology.

My current job has the creativity and flexibility that I craved. Working for a relatively young company means we are often figuring out new processes and solving new problems that none of us have ever encountered before. There’s no one to ask about how to do something. You rely on each other, use your network, and be willing to try, fail, and learn. This happens nearly every day.

Working at Roompact has also given me personal flexibility. Flexible vacation means I can continue to do speaking engagements on the side. Having a role that is more project based means I can break out of the traditional 9-5 weekly schedule. And finally, being able to work electronically means that I can do my work from almost anywhere in the world.

The transition was (and is) not without its challenges. It has challenged me to re-think and examine my identity which had been wrapped up in colleges and universities for so long. This hasn’t necessarily been a bad thing, just different. It has also challenged me to maintain and grow my network with friends and colleagues to stay in “the conversation” within the field. I remain passionate about the work we do to help students.

Making a jump to a higher education adjacent field has been an amazing experience for me and one that I don’t see ending anytime in the near future. The truth is, work should be something you’re passionate about and that challenges you. My current job has that and it doesn’t seem likely to stop anytime in the near future.

A career is a journey and not a destination. Right now, I’m very happy with where that journey is taking me. As I evolve, so does my career.

Paul Gordon Brown is currently the Director of Curriculum, Training, and Research at the residential life and education software company, Roompact. While he was a PhD student in Higher Education at Boston College, Paul started a successful speaking and consulting business coaching colleges and university on the impact of social media and technology on college student learning and development. For fun, Paul travels the world and delights in finding weird and offbeat roadside attractions. Reach out to him at paulgordonbrown@gmail.com, or via Twitter @paulgordonbrown.


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!

 

The Defectors, Series 2: Tara Singer, Omicron Delta Kappa

 

Today’s Defectors contributor post is a cartoon (the first for this series) created by Tara Singer of Omicron Delta Kappa . Not sure what we’re doing here yet? All is revealed here.


When I was a university administrator, I would throw a Happy Fiscal New Year’s party for my staff.  As of July 1 each year, we felt rich because the budget distributions had been made, and we could go shopping for those types of office supplies and equipment that we had put off purchasing until there was money available again.  We could update and print revised versions of publications.  In some years, we could even book travel.  The money from tuition and state funding allowed us to begin the academic year with the hopes that we would have enough funds to get us through to the following summer.  

As a non-profit administrator, I don’t have access to resources that “miraculously” appear on July 1st.  Whatever money that our nonprofit has in the checking account from the previous fiscal year is carried over, but there won’t be new funds until we (a) secure new members and (b) raise more money from donors.  Both of those activities don’t begin in earnest until about the first of September making the summer months budgetarily lean.  I’m sure my colleagues who have gone into business for themselves experience a similar, if not more significant, challenge.  It may be the price to pay for not having a budget based on the whims of a state legislature, but it is definitely worth it.

Tara Singer is the executive director of Omicron Delta Kappa, the National Leadership Honor Society.  Prior to working at O∆K, she spent nearly 30 years working on campuses in a variety of student affairs and university advancement roles.  She is often amused by her colleagues, her three sons, the cat which came with the farmhouse she bought, and the cows across the street.  She is less amused by the occasional bear which comes to visit and knock over the garbage can. She may best be reached at tara@odk.org.


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!

 

The Defectors, Series 2: Dustin Ramsdell, 2U

 

Today’s Defectors contributor post comes from Dustin Ramsdell, Student Support Advisor at 2U . Not sure what we’re doing here yet? All is revealed here.

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – J. R. R. Tolkien

My story boils down to knowing what I wanted, but not where to find it.

I was working in Maine as a Resident Director, wrapping up my second year while my partner was about to graduate from her own higher ed master’s program. We were both ready to move closer to the Mid-Atlantic region to be nearer to more family, friends, as well as just be closer to more stuff.

My job was fine, it wasn’t too stressful but also wasn’t challenging me in the ways I wanted. It felt very safe, and I was hungry for more. I had tried to find some different jobs available in higher ed adjacent organizations, but was coming up short in terms of actual postings. Any progress with the ones I did find fizzled out. I searched for campus based roles as well, and didn’t find what I was looking for there either.

Eventually, I stumbled across my current role as a Student Support Advisor, and the hiring process was smooth, fast, and fun (a rarity for higher ed from my experience). I was excited to jump into a position with a growing higher ed tech company changing the face of the field. It had a laid back culture, which I loved, and I was able to do what I did best to support the company; guide students to be successful as they moved forward in their studies with whatever they might need. I work with online MBA students at American University calling, emailing, and troubleshooting all sorts of things. I’m essentially an academic advisor and coach to these students, so the demands really depend on the needs of the student.

I felt I had given a lot of organizations a fair chance to impress me with their culture, their team, and the position. I never found anything that really spoke to me on a campus. They either were more of the same of what I was currently doing (which I was ready to move on from), had a culture where I didn’t see enough urgency and progress (was the problem with where I was), or the compensation just wasn’t worth the sacrifice (I know education is typically going to be paying less, but as a master’s educated professional working to support and build a family, I knew what I was worth).

The journey so far, one which started almost a year and a half ago, has been a mixture of fun, stress, growth, frustration, and a lot of self-exploration. I’ve learned a lot about how complex systems of higher education work, how they can work better, and what I (generally) want from the next step in my career. While the transition was difficult, between moving and getting used to a more metric driven culture, it would be hard for me to imagine going back to a campus role. It would have to be something like I haven’t encountered yet but I feel may be out there. I know some professionals have positions with the urgent, creative, laid back culture that I love but it really seems few and far between. It also seems it can rely solely on a single person in a position of decision making power to drive it, rather than an organizational commitment to continual improvement and progress in creating a stellar student experience.

I don’t know if my current position, department, or company is where I want to be for the long term. But for now, it is giving so many more growth opportunities than I was getting or I feel like I could be getting elsewhere. Plus, it’s been a fun ride. I feel even more strongly now that the wide pasture of positions in different higher ed adjacent organizations need to be featured more prominently in grad programs as potential options. These groups could benefit greatly our student development expertise, and we could use benefit just as much from their unique perspectives and opportunities.

While I don’t know where I’m ultimately headed yet, in the end, it’s all about the journey.

Dustin Ramsdell currently works as a Student Support Advisor at 2U helping to the support online MBA students at American University. He previously worked as a Resident Director at Husson University in Maine, and went to graduate school for College Student Affairs at Rutgers University in New Jersey. Things that make Dustin laugh are all things smartly silly, puppets, and a good pun. Connect with Dustin at his blog, on Twitter, or on LinkedIn.


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!

 

The Defectors, Series 2: Kelly Wuest, Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands

 

Today’s Defectors contributor post via video from Kelly Wuest, Volunteer Services Coordinator with Sexual Trauma Services of the Midlands. Not sure what we’re doing here yet? All is revealed here.

 After graduating from Columbia College in 2006 with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Kelly received her Master’s Degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs from University of South Carolina in 2008. She is a roller derby skater with the Columbia QuadSquad. In her free time, Kelly and her husband Mike go camping, cook, and spend time with their rescue pets. Kelly is empowered by making a difference in the lives of others and strengthening the community.


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!

 

The Defectors, Series 2: Wimer Alberto, GradGuard

 

Today’s Defectors contributor post comes from Wimer Alberto, Director of Campus Partnerships at GradGuard. Not sure what we’re doing here yet? All is revealed here.

It has been six months since I decided to leave my job in higher education and step into a student-affairs aligned role as the Director of Campus Partnerships at GradGuard. I’ve learned a great deal about myself and the field of higher education over the past six months. Although I have always been curious about what my career could look like as a Defector, I would have never envisioned that the transition would happen at this point in my career.  Looking back on it, I am very glad that I decided to take a leap of faith and follow what my heart was encouraging me to do.

Prior to my job at GradGuard, I worked in various functional areas within residential life and housing for eight years.  Enjoyed my time working in housing, largely because I had opportunities to work with talented student affairs professionals and make a difference in the lives of young people. Student affairs is the place where I developed my identity as an educator; an identity which I will continue to hold onto today. However, as time went on, I began to struggle with one important question:

What do you do when something that was once a professional aspiration, is no longer something you desire?

That is the question I asked myself when I came to terms with the fact that I no longer aspired to serve as Dean of Students or Vice President of Student Affairs. While I did not have any concerns about my capacity to eventually grow into those types of roles, I did have some concerns about the physical, psychological, emotional and spiritual toll that a role like that would have on myself and that people I love.

It’s not that student affairs became any less important to me. It’s that I started to prioritize the alignment of career and my personal life with the things that are most important to me.

At the same time, I knew that I enjoyed impacting the student experience, even when orchestrating the “behind-the-scenes” aspects that students never get to see. My identity as an educator was never tied to my position or title.  It was — and still is —tied to my purpose, which is to serve others. In turn, in order for me to be truly prepared to make the transition from a working on campus to working at a company, I needed to come to terms with the fact that not only can student affairs professionals make a difference outside of the classroom, they can also make a difference working outside of campus altogether.

Amma Marfo captured this perfectly when she stated” I’d argue that a many people aren’t leaving the field, so much as they’re leaving campuses. This distinction matters”.

After I made this important mental shift, I was able to wholeheartedly look at my transition as something that was not only feasible, but also something that also aligned with my aspirations. My transition to GradGuard specifically was somewhat serendipitous. Part of our team is based in Phoenix, where I currently live. This prompted me to reach out to the team to see if they had any needs within the organization that I could fill, which evolved into a  series of conversation and an eventual offer.  The experience taught me a number of things:

  1. If you are thinking about making the switch to a company specifically, make sure you find one that has a value set that speaks to you.
  2. Make sure that the mission of the organization is something that you are excited to contribute to.
  3. Spend time with the people in the organization. Get to know what the organization’s needs. Ask yourself, “do I see myself contributing to the direction the organization is going in?”

Part of my current role consists of oversight over the day-to-day operations of the renter’s insurance side of the business, where I oversee software implementations, assist with business process development, strategic planning, marketing and operations. The other part of my role consists of university relations—ensuring that we are meeting the needs of our current housing partners, making sure the company is active in the higher education space, mentoring, presenting, consulting, and living out the values of the company through my interactions with higher education professionals who interact with students on the ground.

I can honestly say that I have never felt as fulfilled in my career as I do now. I get to work with brilliant people who genuinely want to make a positive impact in the lives of the thousands of students we serve across the country. I get to experience the higher education landscape from a lens that I would have never thought possible. Most of all, I am contributing to something larger to myself, in a role that challenges me to use my degrees and the competencies that I learned in higher education every single day.

Over the past six months, I have had many conversations with colleagues and friends that have asked me if I would ever consider going back to working in a university setting. To be honest, I would not rule it out. However, if I have learned anything in my most recent transition, it’s that you need to find an organization whose missions and values you align with, regardless of whether the organization is a non-profit, company, or unviersity department.  Remember, your work matters but you matter more. And if you ever find that your aspirations are no longer things that excite you, that’s perfectly fine, as long as you are willing to look for something that does.

Wimer Alberto serves as the Director of Campus Partnerships for GradGuard. Prior to working at GradGuard, he served as the Assistant Director for Guest and Conference Housing at Arizona State University. He enjoys stand up comedy and he secretly dreams of coming up with a higher education version of “Impractical Jokers”. Email him at walberto@gradguard.com if you would like to continue the conversation with him.


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!

 

The Defectors, Series 2: beth triplett, leadership dots

 

The first of our Defectors contributor posts comes from beth triplett, owner and lead of Leadership Dots. Not sure what we’re doing here yet? All is revealed here.


 

I wanted to put off writing this until the last possible minute – not because of procrastination, but because I felt like if I waited one more day or week I would have learned so much more. Such is the journey as a “defector” – every day there is a new technology or business practice or idea or something that I want to absorb.

But for right now, as of today, I am an independent consultant who helps new supervisors gain the confidence and skills to be awesome in their new roles. I help individuals and groups (like work study supervisors who have never supervised before) figure out how to rock the new responsibilities they have been given. I did not set out to do this. I did not plan to do this. The work found me…

…but first I was forced out of a vice president for enrollment job that I held for 8 years. I did not see it coming as I had record classes (and admissions is definitely a numbers game), but in January 2016, my boss called me in and said that she “wanted to go in a different direction.” Little did I know what a gift that would be for me to do the same.

I spent the winter in a combination of shock/mourning/exploration. My natural instinct was to find another VP for enrollment job – something I am very confident I could have done – but that involved moving, which I did not particularly want to do. With every day that I was not in the high-pressure rat race of admissions, I wanted to go back less and less. So I looked for “what else” I could do to keep the lights on and my heart happy.

I spent the spring in an interview process for the CEO job at a local non-profit. I found out in May that I was the runner-up. So more reflection and clouds. When August 1 came, I knew in my heart that I wasn’t going to be on a campus for the opening of the school year, and made an appointment with the accountant that day to establish myself as an LLC.

Once I committed to the choice of going it alone, I thought I would certainly become an enrollment consultant. I had been a vice president in that area for 23 years. I had sustained success in recruitment and financial aid at four small private institutions, and they are the ones struggling mightily in today’s climate. I had used an enrollment consultant and thought I could be a great one. So I spent a lot of time and effort getting a website with that focus, doing marketing mailings and heading down that path.

Before business really got started, I did other things to pay the bills. I taught classes at another area college. I wrote a federal grant. I was the project manager for a national child welfare conference. I did individual coaching about supervision. I did training for groups about supervision. I continued to write my daily leadership lesson (www.leadershipdots.com).

But it wasn’t until I got a giant new bookcase and I sorted all of my books into piles on the basement floor that I had a revelation. I had about one shelf about enrollment and higher education. I had four about leadership, another four about business management and another two about human resources. Enrollment was not my first love; developing young admissions staff was. I liked working with the people – enrollment was just the vehicle; just as working with young student life staff had been the purpose and working through student services was the vehicle, and developing student leaders was the goal I accomplished through the vehicle of activities. It took me 16 months, but the lightbulb went on. This is what I think I am meant to be doing! This is how I can contribute to the world – and love it – and keep food on the table. Yeah!

Working from home / being self-employed is an awesome gig if you can get it. I relish getting up without an alarm. I adore working from my porch or backyard or looking out a giant window. I have the cutest golden retrievers and it is glorious being able to take them for a walk in the middle of the day or have them curl up at my feet when I’m “in the zone.” I’m not one of those who want to work around the globe; being at home is fantastic.

AND working from home / working independently is a lot of work. You are not only doing the work but you have to work at least as hard at getting the work. It’s no fun at all. Entrepreneur Christie Mims said that “if you aren’t as interested in the business side of the business” as the work itself, you shouldn’t go solo. She is right. It is just me. For marketing, sales, accounting, IT, legal, purchasing, travel arrangements, administrative assistance and housekeeping – just look in the mirror.

I desperately miss colleagues with whom I can “think things through” or share ideas. I miss supervision and watching those young staff members of mine flourish. I miss having a wizard administrative assistant who could turn my pencil drawing into a chart or my notes into a presentation. I am truly worried about not knowing if I am going to have health insurance next month.

But for now, I am doing what I feel like I am supposed to be doing. Would I ever go back? I think not. Definitely not to a VP for Enrollment job where it’s all about what-have-you-done-for-me-lately and where the pressure on the department is disproportionate to the ability the area has to impact change. If the right job came along – within higher education or a nonprofit – that allowed me to develop young staff and impact lives that way – well, maybe. It would have to find me though as I don’t foresee seeking out anything else anytime soon.

My bottom line advice: save money. Save as much as you can. The options that open up to you when you are not bound so tightly to a paycheck are immense. If you have a bit of a back up, you can buy yourself flexibility to find what makes your heart sing – whether inside higher education or beyond.

One other observation: I started my career in student activities then became dean of students. When I chaired a retention task force that resulted in reorganization and was offered my first vp for enrollment job, I considered that my first “defection”. It took a lot of soul searching for me to leave the daily student contact and move to the “administration building” where I wore a suit every day. Some people thought that I had crossed over to the “dark side” by leaving student affairs and going to a role where I embraced numbers and talked about the impact students had on revenue. While many of my positions allowed me to combine supervision of both student affairs and enrollment, the change in focus and tangible outcomes of the enrollment world were monumental. Higher education is a $475-billion industry. Maybe you can get a taste of what defection is like by moving to another area in the behemoth instead of (or before) departing all together.

dr. beth triplett is currently the chief connector at leadership dots where she helps those new to supervision gain the confidence and skills necessary to become a STAR supervisor. She previously was vice president for enrollment management and held similar vice president positions for 23 years. Now she laughs when she reads her Argyle Sweater page-a-day calendar, when she sees her dogs try to catch a fly, and when people ask her if the Affordable Care Act should be repealed.

Contact her at beth@leadershipdots.com and subscribe to her daily leadership dot at http://www.leadershipdots.com/blog.

 


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!

 

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)


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!

 

Coming Soon: The Defectors, Series 2

We back, baby.

After a successful series of dispatches from higher education practitioners who have taken their talents to new venues, we’ll be back next month with another set- this time during Careers in Student Affairs Month.

It was imperative this year for me to portray these “higher education-adjacent” roles as equally viable options to those seeking careers in student affairs or higher education. So rather than placing the series in August, as was the case last year, it’ll be running all through October with the tales of professionals working for educational partner organizations, nonprofits, and for themselves. There’s more than one way to do this work, to serve students, to make a difference- and it is my sincere hope that this second group of folx will open your eyes to the possibilities.

Stay tuned for new stories all October, and catch up with last year’s edition here!

[PODCAST] “Your Office Is Built for Extroverts” on Hubspot’s The Growth Show

Today, I am so pleased to share the recent episode of Hubspot’s The Growth Show that I recorded, ahead of my session at their INBOUND conference later this month.

I can’t believe I got to do this show, one that can also count Basecamp’s David Hansson, The Muse’s Kathryn Minshew, and Alec Baldwin among its guests. I mean, really? Me? But I overcame the nerves (I think) to chat with host Meghan Keaney Anderson about how temperament shows up at work, what we can do to level the playing field, and how creativity fits into that conversation. I share a few stories from my family and online…and I manage, as always, to bring up Hamilton 🙂

Thanks to Meghan, Kierran, and Matt of The Growth Show team for having me- enjoy the listen!

(And if you’re headed to INBOUND and want to talk more about this, I hope you’ll come see me Tuesday the 26th at 4:15!)

Program Preview: AFA Annual Meeting Advance Program

2017 is ending with a big first for me- the chance to travel to Atlanta, GA for the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting! Along with my friend and frequent collaborator Dr. Josie Ahlquist, we’ll be speaking with advance program attendees about how to bring more creativity and innovation to the Greek experience in Frameworks for Innovation in the Greek Experience.

Frameworks for Innovation v1

Josie and I are each deeply committed to helping students and professionals look at their college experiences with an eye toward leadership and change management, and I’m excited to be teaming up with her to combine the lessons of digital leadership and competence in creativity.

From our program description:

At a campus steeped in tradition, it can be difficult to make a case for change in fraternity and sorority life. However, as the landscape these traditions exist in changes, organizations and their professionals must adapt. 

We’ll seek to facilitate the start of that adaptation in our three hour program, addressing the following objectives:

  • Participants (you won’t just be attendees, you’ll be part of it!) will experiment with ten (10) digital/mobile tools, and learn three ways each can be applied to your success in Greek life.
  • Participants will engage in active discussion on conflicts between tradition and innovation.

A trio of frameworks we’ll be addressing – Design Thinking, Finding Creative Voice, and Cultivating Creativity – will help you to rethink your campus’ capacity for innovation, while still honoring and maintaining tradition. These frameworks help determine how innovation might go over on your campus, offer strategies to overcome resistance to change, and address systemic but hard-to-act on issues in a methodical way.

The AFA Annual Meeting Advance Programs take place ahead of the Meeting, on Wednesday, November 29th, 2017. Ours will be taking place in the afternoon, from 1pm to 4:30pm. Registration for the program is $55, and can be completed through the online meeting registration process.

Learn more about our program on AFA’s site, and we look forward to seeing you in Atlanta!