It all started when Brian LeDuc, a Graduate Hall Director at Texas A&M University, put out a call on his blog for student affairs graduate students to participate in a new twitter hashtag: #sagrad. The concept was simple. Modeled after the #sachat hashtag, the "grad" group would form a Twitter-based digital cohort of student affairs graduate students. The #sagrad hashtag has been tremendously active. Students have been including the hashtag in their student affairs-related tweets and a weekly chat (moderated by @SAGradMOD) has been taking place on Monday nights at 7PM EST. Topics for the chat have included: professionalism, national job search tips, summer internships, and professional development opportunities. LeDuc has been instrumental in getting the hashtag and chat up and running. LeDuc "built the logistics around making the chat successful: creating polls, recruiting moderators for our discussions, and posting transcripts." Throughout the entire process, LeDuc has been excited by the response to #sagrad: "We're all the voice; without a collaborative vision and purpose behind it, it's just any other hashtag."
On November 2nd, Ed Cabellon, a mainstay in the student affairs social media community, asked a terrific question: "It would be interesting to see if any #sachat pros would be interested in mentoring #sagrad's." Cabellon's tweet was answered by Tina Horvath: "Creating mentoring connections for #sagrad with willing #sachat pros has limitless possibilities." Cabellon created separate sign-up forms within Google Docs for #sachat members (mentors) and for #sagrad students (mentees). Participants in the newly minted "#SAgrow" community were matched up by Cabellon in an effort to "grow" the profession of student affairs. At present, 62 student affairs professionals have been matched up with 62 graduate students.
I had my first conversation with my #SAgrow mentee today...via the luck of the draw, I get to be Brian LeDuc's #SAgrow mentor. We spoke for an hour and I am thoroughly excited to get to know Brian and to support his endeavors as an up-and-coming student affairs professional.
Twitter has proven to be an amazing communications tool for connecting groups of people. I love how student affairs professionals have used Twitter to create community and expand opportunities for mentoring.