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Getting digital in higher education is required

Sometimes you just need to say "hello." From Apple to Adele, hello is oftentimes a reintroduction. Lately, it's been an interesting professional exercise. When work takes you to multiple countries, colleges, universities, departments, disciplines, topics, etc., the act of saying "hello" and filling in the blanks of "what is it that you do?" takes a bit more time/effort than it did when titles were familiar and employment wasn't the "self."

I've never been an avid creator of "listicles." Although, as words and genres go, it can be a useful structure for a post. So here's my "hello" post for 2015 and beyond.

  • What the Heck is Student Affairs? My first student affairs job was at the University of Illinois at Chicago. In 2002, I was primarily focused on traditional marketing and communications for the division of student affairs. As my first student affairs job, I initially had no idea that student affairs was something that you could do as a career. UIC Student Affairs gave me a terrific "generalist" experience in the field.
  • Where Did You Go To Grad School? I was asked this question quite a bit when I was working at UIC. The short answer: I hadn't gone anywhere. Eventually, I would find the CSSA program at Oregon State University and that's when I learned a whole lot more about the field/profession as well as the importance of getting digital.
  • Old Time Blogger I've been blogging since 2004. Inside Higher Ed asked me to write for them (thanks, Scott!) in 2010. 5 years ago there weren't a lot of blogs about student affairs and technology. Today, a lot of people are blogging...and that's a very good thing. If you're new to blogging, head over to WordPress, LinkedIn, or Medium and carve out your niche. Remember opinions matter and arguments will be critiqued.
  • Tweet, Tweet, Tweet When I joined Twitter in March of 2007, it was a quiet place. Nowadays, it's the place to be for all sorts of engagement, learning, and networking. Tweeting is a daily occurrence.
  • I Quit the Best Job I've Ever Had When I resigned from Oregon State University in 2010 as an academic advisor / web coordinator, I left the best job that I'd ever order to create / make up the best job that I've ever known.
  • Two Nations and Twice the Learning It's fascinating to be a consultant in a new country (United Kingdom) while simultaneously maintaining existing projects/work in the United States. We speak English, but words often have different meanings. Plus, my passport is getting a lot of stamps these days.
  • It's Always Going to Be the Next Big Thing Trust me, LinkedIn is important. If you have a job, get on LinkedIn, and then teach your students about the value of everything that they can do on the site.
  • Emerging Communities Reddit can be ugly. However, there's a good chance that some of the stuff that's being shared and talked about on reddit is new to you.
  • Slide Design Matters I've been sharing my slide decks for as long as I can remember. My advice: keep your slides simple and focus on your content/delivery.
  • Are We Getting There? I still don't think we're radical enough...even after 62 comments and one simple question.
  • Sometimes a Journal Article Happens If you're interested in a less-bloggy piece from me, I'd recommend checking out "Our Shared Future: Social Media, Leadership, Vulnerability, and Digital Identity."
  • What Do You Do? My "job" is made up a variety pack of writing, speaking, and consulting. I'm often brought in to help an institution with their social media efforts or to talk to students about their digital presence. Sometimes my communications consulting blends into organizational change/development. I've worked with units, departments, divisions, entire institutions, and corporations. To distill it down to a single sentence: I teach organizations and individuals how to be better at using digital channels for communication and engagement.
  • Coming Up on the Calendar... NASPA's Expert in Residence: - webinar host and blogger...technically NASPA is an international association so being in the UK means I'm still "in residence," AMOSSHE: the UK's Student Services Org - kickstarting their first-ever webinar series on social media and the student experience, University of Warwick - a full day of consulting on social media and strategic communications, Princeton University - speaking at their Social Media Day event, and finishing the year as the keynote for the Social Media for Learning in Higher Education Conference at Sheffield Hallam University.

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