melik khoury & a passion for change

Dr. Melik KhouryThere’s a big stir in central Maine this fall, and Dr. Melik Peter Khoury is in the middle of it. As President of Unity College, he recently announced a plan to move fully to distance and hybrid learning — a move that included layoffs and furloughs for dozens of faculty and staff and the potential sale of the physical campus.

Dr. Khoury describes these changes as not only essential to keeping the college open during COVID-19, but also as part of a bigger vision he has for what education should look like. He sees a world in which students can break free of the traditional campus model and get the information they need to solve society’s greatest problems right away, without waiting four years or more to graduate.

Sound ambitious? It is, but Khoury stands by it and joins us this week to discuss. You might not agree with everything he says about higher ed, but it’s hard to deny that he has a vision and is passionate about making it a reality.

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ron alexander & doing the work

Ron AlexanderRon started a new job as the Assistant Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct at Northwestern in May — in the midst of a pandemic and just before protests against racial violence began across the U.S. Both of these events directly impact Ron’s work both now and in the fall. Despite all the turmoil, he remains collected and more motivated than ever to create an inclusive environment for Northwestern’s students. 

Ron and Lougan worked together at Belmont, but Lougan was not able to join this interview so Jenna caught up with him to talk about his history as a campus organizer and whether it’s possible to address public health and racial justice at the same time. We also discuss Ron’s work as a tour guide and organizer for Black travelers and where he wants to go once travel resumes.

Ron holds a master’s in college student affairs from the University of West Georgia and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. in student affairs leadership at the University of Georgia.

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eric stoller & the lunch episode

Photo of Eric StollerEric Stoller is the vice president of digital strategy at GeckoEngage. You may know him from his articles on Inside Higher Ed, his speaking engagements and his consulting work around digital engagement. He’s always loved doing marketing and public relations, but never wanted to work for an agency. Eric’s experiences in student development services at University of Illinois Chicago and enrollment management at Oregon State University really cemented interest in the intersection of technology and student success. He’s had an incredible and unique journey through the world of higher education. 

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melissa mae cheater & the power of maple syrup

For our second international episode, we sat down with Melissa Mae Cheater, the digital content manager at Western University in London, Ontario, Canada. Melissa is also the founder of #PSEWEB (Post Secondary Education Web), a Canadian offshoot of the Higher Education Web Professionals Association here in the US. During the show, we chat about the differences between student life in the US and Canada. Melissa also shares her thoughts on how departments across campus can better work with their communications teams to celebrate success. 

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thea zunick & the feeling of not doing anything


Talk about a higher ed superhero, Thea Zunick serves as the director of student life at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. On top of that, she is an adjunct professor University of the Sciences and Montclair State University while volunteering for AFA, NASPA, and greek organizations. She talks about the platforms that online classes can use to create engagement. The group talks about how meetings can be unproductive at times. 

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