While a lot of colleges and universities talk about ending racism and inequality on their campuses, Carah Ong Whaley and her team at JMU dove headfirst into taking action. Carah is Associate Director of the Center for Civic Engagement, which has put together weekly virtual discussions on topics related to racism, policing, and more. She is also part of an effort to rename JMU buildings currently named for well-known racists in history. As you’ll hear, she’s active in both the #JMUchangethenames social media campaign and working behind the scenes with university leaders.
We recorded this episode on June 18. Stay tuned to the end of the show on what’s happened at JMU since then.
This week we’re rebroadcasting Lougan and Jackie’s episode with Junior Delgado, the director of the Career Center at Westfield State University. He started as the coordinator of senior programs 18 years ago and nine years later he started his current role. The center is staffed with 13 people who oversee career services for undergraduates, graduates, and alumni. Junior discusses how the university uses the platform Handshake to promote one on one connections and as a tool to host networking events. His signature lesson topic to prepare students is to have them think about life after Westfield.
This week, Lougan and new Higher Ed Social host Jenna Spinelle catch up with Jackie about what she’s been up to in her new role at UNC and how the grad school world differs from undergraduate when it comes to enrollment and recruitment. We also talk about how COVID-19 has impacted everyone’s work and non-work lives, including 100% more Animal Crossing and Tiger King than has ever been discussed on the show before.
This week, we’re rebroadcasting Lougan & Jackie’s episode with Kate Post, digital engagement lead at California State University, Chico. She has a master’s degree in Japanese and planned to go into translation work, but found a passion for communications and social media. She translates her love of Japanese culture and literature into her work every day. To Kate, communication (especially through social media) is similar to translation in that both break down a message to its essential pieces and then re-packaging it in a different way.
This week, Lougan sat down with Beth Wolfe, the executive Vice President for enrollment management at the University of Charleston in West Virginia. Beth’s 22-year career in education has ranged from teaching secondary English and chemistry to serving in a variety of higher education administrative roles. Lougan and Beth chat about how Beth got into higher education, her new role at University of Charleston and the magic of admissions visit days.
This week on the show, Lougan chats with front-end web developer Nikki Massaro Kauffman. She develops open source web components to make Penn State University’s online courses accessible, media rich, and interactive. Nikki has always been passionate about teaching, and she translates that love into mentoring. Lougan and Nikki talk about the importance of mentorship, making mistakes and failure.
This week on the show, we sat down with RJ Thompson, the associate director of student engagement in the College of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburg. RJ’s career in higher education has been in an interesting one. He’s always had a passion for teaching students, and has worked as a both an adjunct and a tenured professor. We talk about RJ’s long career as a professor and why he decided to move from faculty to staff. We also chat about Star Trek: Picard, but no worries. We don’t talk spoilers.
Jenna Spinelle is the communications specialist for the McCourtney Institute for Democracy at Penn State. She describes herself as a team of one, where she handles digital content and media outreach. She is also host of the Institute’s Democracy Works podcast which is produced in partnership with WPSU Penn State, Pennsylvania’s NPR station. Lougan and Jenna have a great chat about working her work hosting Democracy Works, podcasting and listening to audio books. Also, apologies for Lougan’s audio quality. We’ve had some issues with his microphone and are working to fix it.
This week we discuss the barriers faced by low-income students with Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart, president of the Amarillo College. In his time as president, he’s overseen significant increases in student retention and graduation rates while also working to make his institution an economic driver for the community and region. On the show, Dr. Lowery-Hart shares how Amarillo College made such radical change happen and the many opportunities for higher education to break tradition and adapt to a changing world.