Dr. Joan Collier
My doctoral experience in CSAA-D transformed my understanding and navigation of higher education and student affairs administration. I was able to filter/juxtapose content, ideas, and theories with the five years of full-time professional experience I brought with me to the program.
I traveled to Ghana, West Africa with two program faculty and a fellow sista-doc program member as part of a larger study abroad experience under the direction of Dr. Cynthia Dillard, Mary Frances Early Professor of Teacher Education in the Department of Educational Theory and Practice. Our preparation for and experiences during the stay in Ghana required me to (re)consider and (re)imagine my way(s) of knowing, being, and practice in an endarkened and scholarly way. The shift in thinking continues to inform how I make sense of and navigate the classroom in my faculty capacity and administrative education in my role as an assessment and evaluation professional.
Faculty strongly encouraged our (continued) engagement with professional organization. I had fallen away from involvement with national organizations prior to returning to school for my PhD. My first ASHE conference was at the behest of Dr. Darris Means, who welcomed me onto his research team for a roundtable session. Dr. Chris Linder (now at the University of Utah) encouraged my participation with ACPA. I have remained an active member of both organizations, building connections to colleagues across roles within university settings (administrator, faculty, etc.) and (re)investing into my industry through presentation giving.
In the end, my time in CSAA-D connected me to dynamic faculty, program colleagues, and transformational experiences that continue to advance my career, academic service, and professional ethic.