By Melissa Johnson
So I’m a little late to the game, but many thanks to Kristen and Brenda for letting me join in the tech blogging fun. I’ve been at the University of Florida for a decade now, starting with New Student Programs, and for the past six years with the University Honors Program. Although I’m no longer technically working in student affairs, you could say that I run my own little student affairs division within Honors. Academic advising, career development, student organization advising, leadership, program planning, first year experience, housing, you name it – I’m somehow involved with it in this position. My passion, however, remains with first year experience courses, an area of interest since I was an undergraduate peer leader for UNS 101 at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro back in 1998. I’m very proud of our professional development program for first-year honors students.
Although we did not get a computer at home until I was a senior in high school, I had spent a lot of time on computers starting in elementary school where I was a champion at blasting alien spaceships by solving math problems. And when I was in the 3rd grade (we’re talking mid-1980’s here), my mom sent me off to computer camp at East Carolina University. I’m pretty sure my bio in the camp newsletter we created included something about singing and dancing to the Monkees. Clearly, I was a very cool kid in elementary school.
Fast forward to now, and I’m usually the go-to person in the office for technology initiatives. I manage our office social media accounts and incorporate technology as appropriate with other daily tasks and teaching. I’m pursuing my PhD in educational technology at UF, with a specific interest in instructional design and pedagogical uses of technology. I have been blogging off and on since about 2005, and I’ve been incorporating blogs into my teaching for just as long. Our latest classroom adventure in blogging is the Swamp Survival Blog where my sophomore professional development students blog about first-year student success.
I’m looking forward to sharing my thoughts on technology and student affairs! You can find me on Twitter.