I had the honor of serving as a featured speaker at the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Mid-America Conference on November 11, 2011 in Covington, KY with over 700 student and student affairs professionals in attendance. The people who participated in the discussion, and questions helped to inspire me to finish up my dissertation. I am grateful for every moment I shared with the 60-75 people who attended my 90 minute presentation.
Abstract: Exploring the effect of addressing social injustices as a student affairs professional
Exploring the effect of addressing social injustices as a student affairs professional Student affairs professionals are held accountable for supporting the current policies, procedures and programs, while adapting to the myriad new demands on campus with continually decreasing resources. The balance between following campus protocols and being supportive employees, while maintaining a healthy working relationship with students, is difficult. Maintaining this balance may create stress within the personal and professional lives of some student affairs practitioners.
You may listen to my presentation:
Bestler Presentation on November 11, 2011 at NACA Mid-America Conference (Click link to play audio recording)
Download notes from my presentation:
NACA Presentation: Exploring the effect of addressing social injustices as a student affairs professional [PDF]
Or view my presentation:
Bio from the NACA Mid-America Program:
Laura Bestler is working as an instructional support specialist at Iowa State University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching. Previously, she served as the assistant director for the Iowa State Memorial Union at Iowa State University from 1997-2006, and the director of Student Life at William Penn College (IA). In NACA, she served on the Board of Directors from 2001-2003. She has volunteered as the National Convention Educational Programs Coordinator, National Cooperative Buying Coordinator, in addition to having served in that capacity for the former Upper Midwest Region. She also served as the Upper Midwest Regional Coordinator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in broad area art from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls and a master’s degree in educational leadership from Grand Valley State University (MI). She is currently completing her PhD in educational leadership policy studies at Iowa State University with her dissertation topic, “Exploring the effect of addressing social injustices as a student affairs professional.”
“The intention of this study is to share my personal journey as a student affairs staff member, and my personal and professional transformation resulting from advocating for social justice within the field of higher education. I explored the potential relationships among empathic distress, compassion fatigue, and my work as a student affairs professional. The telling of my story may offer insights for others about taking care of oneself while handling difficult situations in student affairs that result in emotional strain.”