Monday, June 23, 2014

[GUEST POST] Seven Ways to Incorporate Technology & Social Media in Student Affairs Grad Programs

Hello again!

Here is another guest post I wrote!
This time I wrote for the NASPA Technology Knowledge community blog.

I have a lot of feelings and ideas about how Student Affairs Graduate Programs can incorporate social media, technology, and blogging into their execution and preparation for fellow graduate students. So here is that post!

I will write my culminating paper/integrative thesis on a topic like this during the next year and I am eager to get into that research.

Click here to access this blog post in its entirety!

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Here is a taste of the blog post!

"In order for us to keep up with our students, who are undoubtedly very well-versed in social media and technology, we need to do the same by incorporating social media outlets and certain forms of technology into our classroom discussions now. This way we can engage in conversations and maintain meaningful interactions with our students beyond simple face to face communication."

"1. Acknowledge Social media as a form of professional development

In order to continue with this list, we must create a lens of viewing some social media outlets as viable forms of professional development. Because the wonderful thing about utilizing social media outlets like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and blogs is that they are essentially free professional development...."

"5. Course blogs

One way of facilitating classroom discussion is through blogging. Instead of discussion boards, which I feel are a bit antiquated, students and faculty should be encouraged to maintain a course blog. These don’t necessarily need to be public, but consistent posts can realistically replace paper assignments for many courses. I look forward to my independent study this fall where my course will be explicitly done through blog posts and a final research paper...."

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I will be back shortly with another post to share with the world!

Stay tuned!


Friday, June 13, 2014

#MusicWorship (Part One)

A Reflection on the Healing Power of Music

[Note: This is another collaborative post!

This time I am joined by my #SABestie, Katy Hamm—a recent Higher Education Administration Masters graduate from St. Cloud State University in St. Cloud, Minnesota. HIRE HER!

This is also PART ONE of a TWO-PART series. We wrote a lot.]

Pianos Become the Teeth's LP for Lack Long After.

Disclaimer: As most people know, I like music. A lot.

*          *          *

Every night when I get home, I put on a record and either lay on my floor or my bed. In that moment, I can be alone with myself and some relaxing tunes. I often unsheathe Caspian’s Waking Season LP, or Explosions in the Sky’s The Earth is Not a Cold Dead Place LP, or even Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago LP. I just choose something that will help me chill out after a long day of class and/or serving students.

Music is a way for me to cope with whatever is going on around me.
Or within me.
Whether I am in good or somber spirits, I can rely on music to accompany my heart. So, I want to share some thoughts about the power of music!

In order to do so, I do not want to be the only voice in this conversation, so I have enlisted some support—

[Note: Katy Hamm’s words will be in italics.]

Hello! As Craig briefly introduced me, my name is Katy Hamm. I am an alumna of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, and recently received my master’s in Higher Education Administration from St. Cloud State University.

Music has been extremely important in shaping my path into student affairs. I joined Reeve Union Board (RUB) at UWO to help plan the music events that came to campus. In my final year, I became the Music & Variety Chair of RUB. Connecting with my advisor and mentor, Chelsea Redger, through our similar music interests guided me down the path of awesome that is working in student activities.

This is the first coincidental connection Katy and I have established through music—we both were heavily involved in the music scenes at our undergrad institutions. I was the president of the Oregon State Musicians Guild, which allowed me to essentially live as a booking agent for about 20 musical acts in Corvallis, Oregon over the span of two and a half years. My buddy, Charley, and I booked and managed over 100 concerts during that time and became synonymous with the on-campus music scene.

I used to scream in a metal band called, Of Saints and Shadows.
Made many incredible friends during this experience.
Metal didn't necessarily thrive in our college town.

Our second coincidental connection is that we grew up supporting struggling music scenes. I was amid the once-thriving music scene of Salem, Oregon—where I remember seeing a young (more stripped-down) Typhoon take the stage. Katy Hamm grew up supporting music in the mean streets of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Well, I grew up in a town directly in between Milwaukee and Chicago, and I went to pretty much any show I could. When I was 16, I started going to see a band called The Killer Apathy. After a few years, and a handful of new members, TKA has now become The Color Morale.

Through many TKA/TCM shows and conversations, I have formed a great respect for their vocalist Garret Rapp. He has been incredibly impactful on fans of their music, especially with their new album, Know Hope. It has been an absolute pleasure to see the way The Color Morale has been able to make a difference in the lives of so many young individuals.

I know I was in complete shock the first time I saw The Color Morale live—Garret gave so much love to the crowd and the reciprocation from the crowd was absolutely inspiring.

Garret has been an inspiration to me in my work with students, and gives me confidence in my ability to use my story to positively impact others.

Anthony grabbed my hand many times during this set.
People in the crowd told us we were electric that night.

A man that has been an inspiration to me—and those close to me know how much admiration I have for this man—is Anthony Green.

Anthony Green is the lead singer of Circa Survive, Saosin, Sound of Animals Fighting, is one of my favorite vocalists and he is a great person to follow on social media because he shares so much of his family life and makes an effort to give an insight into his creative space. I appreciate this level of transparency in how he lives his life and I seek to keep up with his messages, as well as his weekly projects for fans to enrich the lives of others.

He started this #musicworship hashtag and I have become quite fond of it because music is one of those rare elements in life that truly gives people a reason to worship personally with song.

To me, music worship is all about discovering what music will help you feel whatever emotion you seek at the given moment. It can also be taken quite literally—what music do you worship?

What music truly speaks to you? What music heals you?

Emotional power of Music

This quote stems from the song "Andria," by La Dispute.
Also, the flower in the middle has become their trademark.

A band that heals me is La Dispute.
I have their flower tattooed on my wrist.

The first time I heard La Dispute, I knew I had found a band that spoke to me. As a recovering English major, I am drawn to stories. I am drawn to imagery. I am drawn to tone and emotion. With this, La Dispute is an uncannily ethereal band. Jordan Dreyer is a lyricist that truly understands storytelling.

Dreyer has the ability to weave elegant tapestries of stories laced with song.
There are guitars—sure.
There are drums—yes.
There is bass—definitely.
But what resonates with me most are the words.

Dreyer gives a shit about the words he uses.
His vulnerability is inspiring.
The songs only truly take shape when he starts yelling and/or screaming his words because he is so taken by the emotional build of the song. I can’t get enough of it.

Any band do this for you, Katy Hamm?

I guess since it is the way we met, it is only fitting that we talk about the same band.

Makes sense to me! It's our THIRD coincidental connection. Go for it!

The first time I heard La Dispute was in my partner Jon's car. I fell in love with their passion and Jordan's lyricism immediately. It wasn’t long before they made the list of my top five favorite bands.

On April 4th, 2011, Jon was murdered.

The last words he posted on Facebook were, "Heads Up, Hearts Up, Hopes Up," lyrics from "The Last Lost Continent" by La Dispute. Because of this, La Dispute became even more of an emotionally charged band for me. Jon and I owned a clothing company together called Home Sweet Home Clothing, and in his memory I designed shirts with this phrase with an image of him in the background.

These shirts became a way for his family in friends to feel supported in their time of need, and along with donations helped to create college scholarships in his name. To this day, I still see people wearing those shirts that I don’t know, and it reminds me that I need to put a smile on my face and keep moving forward.

Note: Information on the Jonathan Kwiatkowski
Memorial Fund and 2014 Scholarships
can be found at http://www/

It took me over two years to be able to listen to La Dispute again. I saw them for the first time on April 4th of this year at The Garage in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

They were playing nearest to me on the anniversary of Jon’s death.

I would be lying if I said my eyes were dry for any portion of their set. Having the connection I do with this band has allowed me to heal myself in ways I never could have imagined without it, and for that I owe thanks to Jordan Dreyer and La Dispute.

I don’t know if I can follow that.
Thank you so much for sharing that experience, Katy.

Connections of music
There is no denying that music has the ability to create connections.
Connections with people.
Connections with emotions.
Connections with moments in our life.
Connections with people from specific moments in our life.
Connections with emotions attached to people from specific moments in our life.
Music is connective.

Hell, anytime I listen to John Legend’s “Get Lifted” album, all I think of Chuck Palahniuk’s book, “Choke,” because I listened to that CD almost nonstop as I read through that book. These connections stick with us.

I would not have met my skister (don’t worry—I will explain what that is in a second) Amanda if it hadn’t been for her sister, and my best friend in high school, Emily, and I constantly going to local shows together.

My Skister and I love adventuring in cities and trying new things.
This time we were trying out Ed Debevic's diner in Chicago.

Emily was killed by a drunk driver in July of 2008, and since then, Amanda and I have adopted each other as sisters. We call each other Skister, because that is what she and Emily called each other growing up. Amanda has been one of my biggest role models since she has come into my life, and I can’t imagine her being anything but my sister.

Music has an uncanny ability to bring people together with the common purpose of creating an escape and a form of healing for those in need.

I would not have met my best friend Sam if I hadn’t gone to see The Almost at UWO. I wouldn’t have met my roommate and close friend Ashley Andersen (who is also an #SAgrad at St. Cloud State) if we had not had a mutual friend in a local Milwaukee band called Mechanical Kids that led me to sending her a really weird Facebook message asking her joining Reeve Union Board.

If it wasn’t for the metal band I was in, I wouldn’t have one of my best friends, Dylan.
If it wasn’t for concert planning, I wouldn’t have my best friend, Charley!
If it wasn’t for Twitter, I wouldn’t have met fellow Circa Survive family member, Mark Delaney!

My buddy, Charley, and I have been through so much
music together--planning shows, playing shows, booking bands,
stage managing. Everything. We were even elected to run the OSU
Memorial Union Program Council together. He now drums in a
Pop Rock band in Portland, OR called, Blue Ember. Check them out!

I wouldn’t have succeeded in college without my love for music.
I don’t even know if I would have made it to college without it.

I wouldn’t have found my calling as a Student Affairs professional if I hadn’t pursued concert planning for student organizations. Music brought me to Student Affairs.

I wouldn’t be going into student affairs, and I wouldn’t know the incredible human being I am writing this blog with. I owe everything important in my life to music.

And I actually feel I owe my life to music.

Specifically, “Gravity,” by A Perfect Circle, which is a beautiful song that I clung to shortly after I survived a suicide attempt. The song repeats the line, “I choose to live.” This line has stuck with me throughout my life and it most definitely helped me through one of the most difficult moments of my life. I will soon add these words to one of my tattoo sleeves and it will serve as a reminder that music truly can save lives. And that the opportunity to live is a beautiful thing.

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That’s the end of part one of our two-part Music Worship blog series!
Make sure to check back next week as we discuss the healing power of live music.

And to tide you over, here is the first of two playlists we will release for this blog series!

Let’s save the goodbyes for tomorrow at lunch.

(Click to load the Spotify Playlist!)

1. “The Last Lost Continent” – La Dispute
2. “Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today” – Fall Out Boy
3.  “I Won’t Say the Lord’s Prayer” – The Wonder Years
4. “Strange Comfort” – The Color Morale
5. “Floorboards” – Real Friends
6. “Diva” - Beyonce
7. “Ebolorama” – Every Time I Die
8. “Why It Scares Me” – La Dispute
9. “Youth” - Daughter
10. “Don’t Let Her Pull You Down” – New Found Glory
11. “Swords and Pens” The Story So Far
12. “Level Head” – Have Mercy
13. “Bad Girls”  M.I.A.
14. “We Still Believe” – Stick to Your Guns
15. “Head Up, Kid!” – Major League
16. “Wobble” – V.I.C.
17. “Play Crack the Sky” – Brand New
18. “Shake It Out” – Manchester Orchestra
19. “Siberian Kiss” - Glassjaw                                                                
20. “Heartbreaker” – Pat Benatar
21. “GINASFS” – Fall Out Boy
22. “Snake Eyes” – Sworn In
23. “Criminal” – Fiona Apple
24. “Understatement” – New Found Glory

Monday, June 9, 2014

[GUEST POST] Three Simple Steps for Men to Engage Resistant Men in Feminist Dialogue


I know, I know... I wrote another guest post.

I haven't published a piece for my personal blog in a few weeks, but it's been nice contributing to a few other blogs lately! I love sharing my voice and hope it allows for others to come forward with theirs as well.

I was asked by the #SAFeminist folks at the Student Affairs Feminist blog to write a post from the male perspective, so I did!

I decided to discuss how men can discuss feminism with resistant men. I've already received a lot of great feedback from this post and I am so glad it is helping further this very important dialogue.

Click the photo to access the FULL article!

Here are a few previews for you!
"Feminism is an interesting topic in the masculinities realm because I have found that some men are quite resistant to identify as a feminist.
Feminism—simply put—is advocating for gender equity. For all.
And men—simply put—are not good at sharing. At all."

"Men will always have privilege. Men do not need to apologize or feel guilty for their privilege—however, what we do with this privilege is what determines the future of our culture. So, in order to complete this step, make that point clear to men." 

"[in] order for true gender equity to occur, men need to learn to just step aside and be comfortable with women—and anyone who doesn’t identify as cis-male—being bad asses."

"Gender equity isn’t about losing your man card. It’s about recognizing that we all should be considered equal in this country, regardless of gender."

I will be back later in the week with PART ONE of a TWO-PART blog post collaboration with my #SABestie, Katy Hamm, on the healing power of music.

Be prepared!
Be well.


Sunday, June 1, 2014

[GUEST POST] 10 ways to survive your first year of #SAGrad

I have started blogging for the Student Affairs collective!

This collective is amass with some of the brightest minds in Student Affairs and I am eager to continue writing with and for them!

My first article was posted last week and I have loved the response it has received.
Just giving some of my tips on how to survive the first year of #SAGrad!

Here are a few snippets of the piece:

"4. Be a Devil’s Advocate.
Diversity of thought is important both in work and in the classroom setting with your cohort. Ask questions. Ask for clarifications. Be curious. You don’t need to agree with everything everyone says. That’s totally okay. An essential part of the learning process is seeing the other side of the coin.

Being constructive with your learning begins with being comfortable enough to question. I feel some of the biggest learning moments this year came when people in my cohort challenged each other. We never took things personally because we understand that we are all here to learn. Challenging each other is necessary for growth."

"9. GET OUT!
Getting your work done is important.
Getting some fresh air is also important. So get out!
This doesn’t only apply to going outside—which you obviously should do—but go on adventures. Concerts, hikes, sporting events—anything! Even if for only a day or night.
Explore—this especially applies to anyone going to grad school away from their home.
Leave your campus and be active.
Sometimes you need to just get your mind off your work and enjoy yourself for a few hours!"

Click here for the rest of the piece!

I will be back this week with a brand new blog post!

Be well!