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Student Life launches ‘Reimagining Student Culture’ speaker series

Each generation of students presents new and emerging challenges to developing authentic and meaningful lives. In an effort to more fully understand and appreciate these changes in student culture, the Division of Student Life is sponsoring a series of conversations with noted professionals and scholars who have explored the issues facing higher education in addressing the needs of this new generation.

Speakers for “Reimagining Student Culture” have been chosen to awaken interest in GenY characteristics and stimulate conversations about ways in which this group is both similar to and different from the professors, administrators and staff who are part of their college experience.

“To educate the whole person, we have to learn to be better mentors, coaches and teachers,” said Ken Zick, vice president and dean of student affairs. “It’s not about labeling students but rather creating a backdrop for better understanding the culture.”

Though many professors might expect their students to be more socially connected, Zick says they often feel isolated. “This digital generation likes to work in teams, but they appreciate one-on-one coaching,” said Zick. They also often need help learning how to disconnect from technologies that demand immediate response and make time to dive deeply into ideas. “To be true to our goals of a liberal arts education, we need to learn how to engage this generation in personal reflection and the art of building purposeful connections.”

The first “Reimaging Student Culture” talk will be held Fri., Nov. 2, in Pugh Auditorium. Gwen Dungy, executive director emeritus of NASPA — Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, will address issues related to what students expect from higher education and what college administrators, faculty and staff should expect from students.

With the retirement of several founding leaders in the Division of Student Life, Zick says the timing is right to be thinking about student development programs under new leadership. “Going forward, we want to grow in our ability to more purposely educate our students both inside and outside the classroom.

For more information on “Reimagining Student Culture,” visit the website. All presentations will be held in Pugh Auditorium from 2-3:30 p.m.

Fri., Nov. 2

Gwen Dungy: In her capacity as a national advocate for students and the primary spokesperson for student affairs administrators and practitioners, Dungy draws on more than 40 years of experience in higher education. She initiated the oft-cited “Learning Reconsidered: A Campus-Wide Focus on the Student Experience”

Wed., Dec. 5

Peter Lake: A teacher and writer in the areas of torts, higher education law and policy, insurance and jurisprudence, Lake will discuss the structure and purpose of higher education and propose a new emphasis on mentorship for today’s students.

Fri., Feb. 15

Tim Elmore: Elmore is the founder and president of Growing Leaders. He and his team provide public schools, state universities, civic organizations and corporations with the tools they need to help develop young leaders who can impact and transform society.

Fri., March 22

Jean Twenge: Twenge, a professor of psychology at San Diego State University and the author of more than 80 scientific publications and several books offers talks and seminars on teaching and working with today’s young generation.

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