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Archive for March, 2023

Understanding the Needs and Wants of Your Students: A Must for Administrators

How can we effectively provide service to those we serve without spending time with them and understanding their world?

I’ve been a staff advisor for student organizations for the last two decades and learned a very important lesson a few years ago. There was a year when I assumed I could maintain my relationship with the organizations I advise and the incoming student leaders and their needs and wants because I’d been their advisor for many years before that. I was caught off guard when I sensed a shift in attitude; explaining was challenging, but I felt it. I had to ask my colleagues if they were experiencing a change in student attitudes, and they confirmed my observation. It was neither bad nor good; it was just different. Another time, students started talking about “clickers,” and I had no clue what they were talking about.

One time, I was playing Pokémon with some students, and my supervisor, the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, happened to see us. The students thought I would be in trouble, but it’s quite the opposite. She was glad I spent time with students and pleased I played Pokémon walking around on campus so “I can experience paths where students go that I miss otherwise.” One of the most enduring pieces of advice she gave me is that as an administrator,” one of the most important insights we have to represent our students are the one-on-one conversations we have with them.” It’s also important to note that administrators probably spend time with student leaders and those already engaged. But the students we need to reach out to feel marginalized and suffer in silence because they either don’t know the services offered or don’t trust the campus.

Some communities require trust for staff/faculty/administrators to be genuinely invited into their communities. Often, it may take me more than a couple of years, even getting the urging of their peers comfortable with me, for younger students to meet with me. When I meet with them, they regret not accepting my offer for lunch sooner after finding out that I’m not as intimidating as they had presumed. I asked them why they didn’t meet with me sooner. They tell me they are trying to figure out how to respond to staff/faculty asking them to meet for casual lunch or coffee because they haven’t experienced that offer.

There’s a saying in the student affairs world to “meet students where they are,” which means making ourselves available at their events or just perusing what’s going on in social media to get a pulse of what’s going on. I follow the Facebook parents page, TikTok, and Twitter and am also alerted to Reddit posts on an unofficial campus subreddit. Even today, I’ve heard some colleagues reticent to using social media, but as my supervisor said, “You’re missing half the conversation if you don’t engage online.”

When we make decisions based not on students’ input or lack of understanding about their current world, not what we experienced as undergrads many decades ago, even with the best intentions, they can harm our students.

The Case Against Generative AI in Higher Education: 100 Arguments

The debate around incorporating generative AI in higher education is a hot topic among educators, scholars, practitioners, and other interested parties. It’s essential to explore why generative AI may not be the ideal end-all solution for higher education. While there are opportunities and potential advantages of AI-driven learning, such as enhanced efficiency, personalization, and accessibility, we must also consider the possible risks and unintended consequences that come with it.

Below are 100 arguments that reveal the intricate nature of the issue, touching upon ethical dilemmas, pedagogical impacts, the erosion of human agency, and threats to academic freedom. By sharing these insights I hope to encourage a more balanced and informed discussion on the role of Generative AI in shaping the future of higher education. These are generated by ChatGPT, so please offer your critique to the 100 items below.

The Case Against Generative AI in Higher Education: 100 Arguments

Turning Pain into Purpose: Using Your Story to Empower and Connect with Others

Let me tell you the story of a person who has gone through many painful experiences throughout their life but has used these experiences to serve others. This person was mocked and made fun of as a young kid when they immigrated to the United States at the age of 11. This traumatic taunting led them to stuttering and a paralyzing fear of public speaking for half their life.

However, decades later, this person was able to overcome their fear of public speaking and stuttering. They decided to share their painful experiences and vulnerabilities with others, specifically with first-generation and marginalized students. They have had the privilege of being a keynote speaker for First-Generation Graduation, speaking at high school conferences, and Pilipino Graduation ceremonies. They have even conducted public speaking workshops for students who share their background as an immigrant.

This person’s story doesn’t end there. During their undergraduate years, they experienced painful moments as a student leader. As an inexperienced student leader, they made many mistakes and felt shunned by the community they cared about. These painful memories stayed with them for decades. But instead of letting these experiences defeat them, this person used them to provide guidance to the students they advised in the last two decades.

Recently, a group of student leaders this person advised found themselves in a difficult situation that led them to question themselves and their ability to lead. The situation even impacted their mental health, relationships, and academics. This person could relate to their struggles and offered them the perspective of someone who had faced similar challenges. They shared with the students that the moments of struggle and failure contributed to their growth and the lessons they still use today in their leadership position at their university.

This person’s story is a testament to the fact that our painful experiences and weaknesses can be used to serve others. By sharing our vulnerabilities, we can offer guidance and support to those who are going through similar struggles. This person’s journey shows that our struggles can contribute to our growth and help us become better versions of ourselves.

That person is me.

In the Line of Fire: Four Cybersecurity Tabletop Exercises for Campus Emergency Preparedness

created by Bing AI

As a member of our campus’ emergency operations center teams and cybersecurity stakeholders (hint: everyone on campus), we need to recognize the importance of being prepared for a wide range of disruptions and disasters that can affect higher education institutions. In recent years, my campus has experienced various natural and man-made incidents, including floods, fires, technology disruptions, and power outages. In addition to these challenges, the increasing prevalence of cybersecurity threats, such as ransomware, distributed denial of service (DDoS), and other forms of attacks, has heightened concerns within higher education. This is primarily due to the valuable student, research, medical, employee, and financial data that higher education systems possess. To enhance our preparedness and response capabilities, we regularly conduct tabletop exercises that focus on various scenarios.

Coming up with engaging and realistic tabletop scenarios can be a challenge at times. This is where ChatGPT, an AI language model, can provide value by suggesting scenarios and guiding questions to consider. As a principle, cybersecurity professionals and others who design and coordinate these tabletop exercises should use ChatGPT as an initial attempt or as an idea generator to stimulate creative thinking and ensure a comprehensive approach to their exercises.

Below are four tabletop exercises designed to address different aspects of campus preparedness and cybersecurity concerns. These exercises, generated by ChatGPT, include detailed scenarios and guiding questions to help participants better understand the potential risks and challenges and facilitate discussions on effective response strategies:

Exercise: Multi-Vector Cyber Attack
Exercise: Unauthorized Access to Sensitive Data
Exercise: Social Engineering Attack on Physical Security
Exercise: Supply Chain Compromise

By engaging in these tabletop exercises, campus’ emergency operations center team and cybersecurity stakeholders can proactively identify gaps in our preparedness and response plans, refine our strategies, and strengthen our ability to protect the campus community and its valuable data assets. These exercises, whether generated by ChatGPT or other means, encourage collaboration, foster communication among departments, and promote a culture of continuous improvement in our emergency response and cybersecurity efforts. Using ChatGPT as a tool to generate initial ideas for tabletop scenarios can significantly streamline the process and provide valuable insights for enhancing campus preparedness.

Applying ChatGPT in Student Affairs Education: AI-Generated Case Studies for Realistic Learning

This blog post is about the value of using case studies and Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI), including ChatGPT, for practical and effective learning for student affairs professionals, student leaders, and programs for undergraduate and graduate programs.

Over the past few years, I have been a judge for a national virtual student affairs-focused case study competition. I recently completed this year’s competition, which inspired me to explore new ways of generating case studies for student affairs professionals. Additionally, I have been a mentor for the NASPA Undergraduate Fellowship Program (NUFP) for the past eight years, working with undergraduate students from underrepresented communities who are interested in pursuing student affairs as a career. As a staff advisor for student organizations for the last two decades, I have advised student leaders in navigating challenging scenarios; these scenarios are expected as they consistently appear every year, but some scenarios are unique for that particular year.

These experiences, coupled with my interest in the potential of ChatGPT in higher education, led me to consider how Generative AI, like ChatGPT, can be used to create student affairs-focused case studies for undergraduate fellows, graduate programs, student leaders, advisors, and student affairs professionals.

The Value of a Well-Designed Case Study

A well-designed case study is an invaluable learning tool, especially in student affairs. It provides students and professionals with a realistic scenario that allows them to apply their knowledge, skills, and critical thinking abilities to real-life situations. This kind of experiential learning fosters a deeper understanding of theories and concepts, encourages reflection, and promotes the development of problem-solving skills.

Using ChatGPT to Generate Student Affairs Case Studies

ChatGPT, developed by OpenAI, is a powerful language model demonstrating its capacity to generate human-like text based on given inputs. By leveraging the capabilities of ChatGPT, we can generate a wide range of student affairs-focused case studies tailored to specific learning objectives and outcomes. These case studies can be used in various educational settings, such as classrooms, workshops, and professional development programs.

Below are some ways ChatGPT-generated case studies can benefit student affairs professionals and students:

  1. Customization: ChatGPT allows educators and professionals to customize case studies based on their needs, goals, and contexts. This means that case studies can be tailored to address the unique challenges and situations most relevant to a particular group of learners or professionals.
  2.  Variety: With ChatGPT, we can generate various case studies to expose learners to various issues and scenarios. This variety provides learners with new scenarios instead of those presented with the same problems and contexts that may need to be updated or relevant today.
  3.  Time and Cost Efficiency: Creating case studies can be time-consuming and costly. ChatGPT streamlines the process by generating case studies quickly and efficiently, allowing educators and professionals to focus on other essential aspects of their work. It is important to note that the generated case studies may need to be modified for accuracy and more details.
  4.  Adaptability: As the field of student affairs continues to evolve, ChatGPT-generated case studies can be easily adapted and updated to reflect new trends, challenges, and best practices, ensuring that learners are constantly engaged with the most current and relevant material.

Here are examples of case studies generated by ChatGPT:

Case study 1: Balancing Academic and Extracurricular Involvement
Case study 2: Supporting Students’ Mental Health
Case Study 3: Enhancing Diversity and Inclusion in Student Organizations
Case Study 4: Addressing Student Food Insecurity
Case Study 5: Building a Comprehensive Campus Wellness Program


As the needs of our students and the nature of our work as student affairs professionals evolve, we must continue to explore and embrace new technologies and methodologies that enhance our ability to educate and prepare the next generation of student affairs professionals. The integration of ChatGPT in generating student affairs-focused case studies holds the potential to enrich the learning experiences of students and professionals alike.

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