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Running head: AREAS FOR GROWTH 1

Areas for Growth: Logistics in Transition


Katie Gast
Seattle University












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Areas for Growth: Logistics in Transition
The integrative theme that encapsulates my areas for growth in the SDA program is
logistics in transition. Logistics in transition can be better understood through the lens of the
following dimensions: a) governance for equity, diversity and inclusion, b) staff supervision and
C) political navigation. Each of these dimensions is explored and illuminated by key SDA
learning outcomes, pertinent course work, experiences (past, present, and future) and relevant
portfolio artifacts.
Learning Outcome Dimensions: Past, Present and Future
Governance for equity, diversity and inclusion
[Past] I have not always understood the degree to which systems impact the success of
groups and individuals within the United States. [Present] Through self-exploration, learning
and dialogue I now see the ways that some groups are privileged and others are oppressed based
on identity. I am continuously moving toward becoming multiculturally competentthis will be
a life-long journey. As I seek to develop and enhance my abilities as a professional, paying close
attention to issues of governance, equity, diversity and inclusion within different institutional
contexts, especially in times of transition, is critical.
Learning Outcome #9, understanding issues surrounding law, policy, finance and
governance, is inherently linked to the governance dimension along with three key themes:
ethical professional practice, law and policy development, and governance. Through my work in
Social Justice (EDUC 520), my understanding has expanded. I now have a social justice
framework (particularly Critical Race Theory and Campus Climate Theory) through which to
view the challenges of systematic privilege and oppression that our educational system harbors
[Artifact E] (Delgado & Stefancic, 2001; Hurtado, Milem, Clayton-Pedersen, & Allen 1998). I
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have challenged myself to grow and learn about others salient identities and strive to bring
awareness of my own biases to my work [Artifact B2]. However, I must work to transition this
experience into policy and governance work.
Understanding issues surrounding law, policy, finance and governance, and the ways I
can influence and impact them, is an area for development. [Future] In the future, I hope to sit
on a campus crisis team as way to expand my understanding of policy, law, and governance in a
very practical sense. Additionally, I hope to engage in committee work for students of concern
in order to learn more about the ways such systems support or hinder students. Finding mentors
and professional staff who are adept at praxis to support this growth, is another important goal as
I transition into a new professional role.
Informed Staff Supervision
[Past] Throughout my life I have valued good leadership but I have not always
understood fully what it takes to be a good leader. [Present] I see now that tightly connected to
strong supervisory roles is Learning Outcome #4, understanding and fostering diversity, justice
and a sustainable world formed by a global perspective and Jesuit Catholic tradition. One cannot
lead or supervise in a developmental way without taking into consideration diversity and justice.
To unpack this perspective through the lens of transition, the following three key dimensions are
important: leadership through history, personal/professional philosophy and connection.
Through my experience in Internship in Student Development (SDAD 564-566) at Green
River Community College, I had the opportunity to work with 19 incredible women from Central
Asia. We explored topics of marginalization (particularly of women) and how history strongly
impacts our understanding and frame of the issues. Through many difficult discussions I learned
a great deal about my own privileged philosophy and values about gender equality and about
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managing my emotions and what I choose to share [Artifact C2]. These are highly relative and
translatable skills for staff supervision and (although it is challenging) it is my hope to keep this
in mind as I navigate and transition into new environments and positions.
I had the opportunity to truly connect with these women and I believe that it is through
authentic connection that one can invite and foster diversity and justice and to engender the
Jesuit paradigm of care and holistic support which has so greatly touched my own life and
education. I understand now that history, ones personal/professional philosophy and ones
ability to connect are all important to sustaining this Jesuit ethic. [Future] I look forward to
seeking out leadership opportunities to hone my supervisory skills and to incorporating the Jesuit
pedagogy into my practice.
Political Navigation
[Past] Historically my opinion and view of political navigation has not been a positive
one. For example, during my undergraduate experience I was not interested in understanding the
political foundations of the student affairs professionthe organization that was in large part
responsible to my success as a studentand chose to ignore it. [Present] I now see clearly that
understanding the organizational framework that one is a part of is highly valuable especially
when transitioning into new environments.
Learning Outcome #1, understanding the foundations and emerging nature of the
Student Affairs profession and higher education is highly relative to this dimension. Three key
themes illuminate the topic: human and organizational resources, leadership, and values. I
believe strongly in building and supporting peoplethey are our greatest organizational resource
and are deserving of time and development. In Leadership in Education 1 (SDAD 570), I
learned about the human resources leadership framework. This perspective values open
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communication, empowerment, collective action, support, and people and is the frame that
speaks to me (Bolman & Gallos, 2011). I know my values and believe strongly in collaboration
and leading from strengths. I have a working knowledge of the various leadership frameworks
and this, paired with my reflective nature and clearly articulated values, will help me to navigate
many different environments and to help others do the same.
Operating from this leadership paradigm is important, and not always easy, especially in
times of crisis. In Leadership and Governance in Post-Secondary Education (SDAD 576) we
studied the various ways institutions handle crisis. I explored the mass shooting Virginia
Polytechnic Institute (Virginia Tech) in 2007 [Artifact C3]. The strengths of the Virginia Tech
community and its president aided in the overall success and resilience of the campus as the
institution transitioned from crisis response to an important period of grieving and support.
President Steger became mourner-in-chief (Dubois, 2006, p. 47) and through his response of
care, especially through the facilitation of grieving processes this community began to heal. This
value of care through leadership, impacted the organization and its people especially during a
time of transition from crisis response to recovery and grieving.
[Future] Understanding the foundations and emerging nature of the Student Affairs
profession and the human and organizational resources that support it is paramount. Knowing
the leadership and values at play within institutions is also critical. In the future, as I transition
into new working environments, it is a goal to enter that space with an eye for organizational
structure. I will actively seek to understand the framework of leadership and governance and
build upon my existing skills


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References
Delgado, R. & Stefancic, J. (2001). Critical race theory: An introduction. New York: New York
University Press.
Dubois, P.L. (2006). Presidential leadership in time of crisis. In D.G. Brown (Ed.), University
presidents as moral leaders (pp. 29-53). Westport, CT: Praeger Publishers.
Goodman, J., Schlossberg, N.K., & Anderson, M.L. (2006). Schlossbergs Transition Theory. In
Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., & Guido, F. (2010). Student development in college: Theory,
research, and practice (2
nd
edition) (pp. 296-304). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Hurtado, S., Milem, J.F., Clayton-Pedersen, A.R., & Allen, W.R. (1998). Enhancing campus
climate for racial/ethnic diversity: Educational policy and practice. Review of Higher
Education, 21.3, 279-302. Retrieved from http://muse.jhu.edu.proxy.seattleu.edu/
journals/review_of_higher_education/v021/21.3hurtado.html
Schlossberg, N.K., Waters, E.B., & Goodman, J. (1995). In Evans, N. J., Forney, D. S., & Guido,
F. (2010). Student development in college: Theory, research, and practice (2
nd
edition)
(pp. 296-304). San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.