Spotlight This Week: Dr. Raphael D. Coleman

What experiences did you gain from CSAA-D and what does it mean for you post graduation?

As a public health trained student affairs scholar-practitioner, UGA’s College Student Affairs Administration Doctoral (CSAA-D) program uniquely prepared me for my current professional role and future career aspirations. Throughout the program, I had the opportunity to engage and learn with faculty who unapologetically centered critical approaches to their research and pedagogy. With an interest in implementing equity-minded health promotion practices in higher education contexts, learning student and organizational development theories through critical lenses equipped me to identify opportunities to propose and advocate for institutional changes that mitigate barriers to students accessing health and well-being related resources. To this end, as the Director of Columbia Health Alice! Health Promotion at Columbia University, I serve as a campus lead for our institution’s partnership with the Jed Foundation (JED) which focuses on enhancing individual and community well-being among undergraduate students. I currently lead the initiative’s efforts to engage and mobilize institutional stakeholders around the development of a community framework for well-being utilizing a community-based participatory action research process.

My dissertation’s focus on resiliency among Black queer men in higher education ignited my scholarly interest in mental and emotional well-being among university students, with an emphasis on cultivating individual and organizational resilience.  I have been able to offer insights from my research to a pending scholarly publication and college health textbook chapter. Additionally, I had the privilege of developing and implementing a 2-day workshop entitled Resilience in the trenches of social change: Building capacity for individual and community resilience as change agents for the inaugural class of the Obama Foundation Scholars Program at Columbia University.

As I continue my professional journey toward university presidency (1-Day, Dreaming Big), the lasting relationships that I developed with faculty (especially my major professor, Dr. Means) and my colleagues will continue to contribute to my professional and personal growth.

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