I’m thrilled that student affairs practitioners are picking up Connected Teaching! I worked in student affairs for many years before moving over to a faculty track and so I know that my student affairs experience shapes my thinking and practice. I have drawn on Connected Teaching to present staff development programs for student affairs practitioners and they find resonance in this work.
I began my career as an intern in the Smith College career center and then worked as an academic advisor for the mens’ basketball team at the University of Hartford. From there I served as the first director of the career center at Bard College and then went on to work for several years at Carnegie Mellon University, first in the dean of student affairs office and then in the career center.
Relational Cultural Theory (RCT), which is at the core of my work, provides an important foundation for thinking about the heart and soul of student affairs. RCT is a human development theory centered on the idea that we are at our best when we can engage in growth-fostering relationships, that we grow through and in our relationships. Growth-fostering relationships — this is the essence of student affairs!