While I had the amazing opportunity to present my work four times at the 2012 ASHE (Association of the Study of Higher Education) Conference, I was also able to attend some incredible sessions as well. I strive to live tweet at every conference I attend as a form of note-talking but also to ensure broader audiences have access to the experience. I decided to reflect on this conference through several tweets I wrote while engaging in sessions and meetings.
One of the best keynote addresses I have witnessed was from Dr. Christine Stanley during the Council on Ethnic Participation Pre-Conference. I appreciated how candid she was regarding the state of diversity in postsecondary education as well as the academy. I was most moved by the sensitivity and urgency she declared regarding graduate students. I am thankful she utilized her time to state the need for graduate students, particularly those of color, to receive adequate mentorship during often challenging and discriminatory doctoral experiences. I have experienced already what she has discussed and I am thankful for numerous mentors who care about my personal and professional well-being as I navigate this terrain.
This question from Dr. Leticia Oseguera is timely.
During the Council on Ethnic Participation, Dr. Terrell Strayhorn received the CEP Founders Service Award. His words, reflected in this tweet, echo a need for service connected to the constituencies we care about and to be authentically engaged rather than distant. I was thankful to be able to serve on the mentoring committee for the Council on Ethnic Participation this year and remain diligent in serving an academic community I care deeply about.
Anyone who knows me knows that I am full of ideas. As I navigated through sessions I thought it appropriate to have a conference theme one day that addressed how just access is no longer enough. I appreciated that many presenters who addressed their scholarship through the lens of access but also persistence, and success.
While this tweet became the top tweet for ASHE that day and perhaps the entire conference, it is sadly indicative of many of the unjust structures I have already seen in the academy. I was thankful to attend Dr. Natasha Croom’s session where she revealed the tumultuous trajectories of black women full professors in her sample. It further strengthened my resolve to continue studying my own research area, for-profit higher education, in new and necessary ways and also to stay committed to supporting a diverse professoriate.
As these tweets show, what happens in conferences cannot be kept within those spaces. I personally witnessed a great deal of scholarship ripe for further empirical and theoretical expansion as well as research necessary for connection to people and practice. Please be sure to follow me on twitter where I chronicle my reflections on higher education, link my followers to provocative articles, and document my journey as an emerging scholar in the field of education.