Follow Friday: #YesAllWomen

by Kristen Abell

Earlier this week, Valerie blogged about the #YesAllWomen hashtag movement on Twitter. I’m writing about it again because I think it’s that important for you to follow it. I’ve considered adding a few tweets to it myself, but as usual, I have more to say about this topic than 140 characters can contain. For this many women to be able to name their experiences with misogyny in a public forum is a huge deal – whether you realize it or not. Even claiming these experiences can feel shaming, and this hashtag has turned it into a moment for women to redefine that shame and direct it where it belongs.

I truly hope that this is a hashtag that speaks to all genders – not just women. Much of what is mentioned in the tweets is a result of stereotypical gendered socialization that doesn’t benefit any of us. I also hope that the sentiments behind this hashtag carry on for much longer than a few days, as Twitter hashtag movements are wont to do. There is so much we can all learn from this.

If you feel so inclined, use the comments below to share your #YesAllWomen tweets, comments and stories – 140 characters or more. Then go check out the hashtag on Twitter and learn what women face on a daily basis – or learn that you are not alone.

In more than 140 characters, here is my story:

Because when I was going to middle school for an education, I was made to feel shameful about the changes my body was going through. Because I was repeatedly harassed in the hallways at school. Because I was groped and touched in all the places I had been taught never to let a stranger touch me, and because they were not strangers but supposedly my friends. Because when I reported them, no one protected me from the retaliation. Because I was afraid to tell my mother any of this until I was much older because I thought it was my fault. Yes me. Yes all women.

Follow Friday: #YesAllWomen


By Valerie Heruska

I often try to stay disconnected from social media on the weekends, particularly those with the extra day, just so I can enjoy time away from the online world. This weekend was no different, but on Sunday morning, I read about the unfortunate event that took place outside the University of California Santa Barbara.

As my CNN notifications popped up on my iPhone throughout the day, I didn’t fully grasp the impact that this killing rampage had on people until I read the #yesallwomen hashtag and the story behind how this happened.

Once I was done hanging out with my friends on Memorial Day, I sat down and read the #yesallwomen stream. For me, reading about all the women and men who shared their thoughts on Twitter, was simply amazing. I appreciated the activism and a place where people came together to fight the bitter and hateful words of  Elliot Rodger. While none of us can undo what Elliot did, I am happy that we can show our solidarity and hopefully put an end to rape and harassment and advocate for our rights as women.

What are your thoughts on the #yesallwomen hashtag?



Follow Friday: A Few Twitter Higher Ed. Shout Outs

By Kathryn Magura

Hello everyone! Before I get to my list for “Follow Friday,” I wanted to congratulate you on making it through another week. If you live in the U.S., why don’t you go ahead and take Monday off? Don’t say I never gave you anything. 😉

As I sat down to put this “Follow Friday” post together, I was initially stuck in trying to figure out who/what to post. Then, in a moment of sheer dumbstruck inspiration, I looked through my list of people I consider “friends” in a Tweetdeck feed, and was immediately inspired. I decided to shine the spotlight onto 3 people I consider friends who don’t usually seek out the spotlight for themselves:

  1. Kate McGartland: Kate is one of my favorite Canadians ever, and is quite proud of her Canadian roots. I first got to know Kate through our ACUHO-I experiences, but what started as a friendly acquaintance soon became a strong friendship. Kate can be found tweeting about everything from Canadian sports to higher education to pop culture. When I get caught up on my feed throughout the day, I typically find myself reflecting on a question Kate posted; one that will usually make me a better higher education professional.
  2. Erica Thompson: Erica is also another higher education all-star whom I have the pleasure of calling a friend in real life. Erica is a staunch advocate for social justice, and is also someone who champions other professionals. Erica is a talented photographer, runner, and can often be found posting about living a happier and healthier life. Furthermore, if you like big dogs, you will love how often Erica’s great dane Laney makes an appearance in her feed.
  3. Chris Stone-Sewalish: I actually met Chris about 8 years ago when he was interviewing on my campus for a graduate school position. Fast forward to the fall of 2013, and I’m at the ACUHO-I Business Operations Conference being asked to give a high-five to Chris from a mutual friend, Clare Cady. Always one to oblige a reasonable request, the following ensued:

Tweet from Kathryn Magura

Since that conference, Chris and I have gotten to bond over operational issues in on-campus housing. Chris makes me think and laugh, which is a welcome conversation. Furthermore, Chris and I are hoping to present together at the next ACUHO-I Business Operations Conference, which is fitting considering how we first really got to know each other.

If you don’t already follow these three on Twitter, what are you waiting for?

Follow Friday: A Few Twitter Higher Ed. Shout Outs

Highlight an App – Easy Chirp

by Rachel Luna

There are myriad Twitter applications out there (e.g., TweetCaster, Echofon, HootSuite,etc.), and each has it’s own spin on how social media is consumed.  For today’s Highlight An App post, I’m turning the spotlight on Easy Chirp, a Twitter application focused on accessibility for people with disabilities.

Formerly known as Accessible Twitter, Easy Chirp is described as “web-accessible alternative to the website.”  The look, feel, and function of this app is optimized for compatibility with assistive technology, such as keyboard-only navigation and screen readers.  In a nod to universal design principles, these structures and systems are not only helpful to folks with disabilities; they also make Twitter more accessible to people using older web browsers, slower Internet connection speeds, and those who do not use JavaScript.  At first glance, it may seem to lack the bells and whistles of Twitter, such as favoriting a tweet or viewing replies as conversations, but rest assured all the functions are there.

In honor of Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD), which just passed on May 15, the folks at Easy Chirp unveiled a new feature that I think is a potential game-changer: the ability to add accessible images to tweets by including alternative text.  Alt text is particularly helpful for people who have visual disabilities or are otherwise unable to view the image you’ve uploaded.


I tried out the new feature and found the process simple and intuitive (check out my tweet about yummy cupcakes).  The accessible image is presented on a clean page with my image and chosen description.  To be fair, there are some limitations to posting images with this method, some of which are described on the Easy Chirp image help page.  The biggest issue for me is that the image is not uploaded to Twitter directly, which means it shows up in tweets as a link instead of an image.  This also means images don’t preview in tweets nor do they become part of Twitter media feeds.  Despite these drawbacks, this is a cool feature and an important step toward more web accessibility for all users.

I encourage you to explore the Easy Chirp app and try creating your own tweet with an accessible image.  Here’s the process, as described by WebAxe:

  1. Log in to Easy Chirp with your Twitter account.
  2. Select Write Tweet.
  3. Select Add Image.
  4. Select an image from your device.
  5. Enter a title of the image (short description).
  6. If necessary, enter a long description of the image.
  7. Click the Upload Image button. A URL will be inserted in the tweet input (text area).
  8. Finish writing the tweet and click the Post button.
  9. Happiness!

Share your adventures in accessibility by posting your tweets in the comments or tweeting at me @RachelHLuna.  I’m excited to see (and read) your accessible images!

Highlight an App – Easy Chirp

Is Zero Inbox Achievable? With Mailbox App it is!

by Jess Samuels

Screen shot 2014-05-18 at 11.13.04 PM
No matter how hard we try, at some point we all end up using our email inbox as a to do list.  Of course, the folly in this system is that our “list” keeps getting longer and longer every day, making it harder to manage.

Enter the Mailbox App.  A new mail management app from Dropbox that allows you to manage your email from your phone or tablet.

Mailbox works by linking your gmail accounts (up to 10), icloud, and google apps.  To manage your inbox you will swipe to label, snooze, archive or delete.

By setting up messages to “snooze” you are able to get them out of your inbox and have them come back to you at a time or date that you are better able to manage them.

With a bit of ongoing dedication, this quick organization method allows you to get zero inbox (and stay there!) by allowing you to quickly label messages or bring them back later.

While I wouldn’t personally use mailbox as a day to day option for responding to all of my emails (regular gmail is too rich with tools to not use), it is great for it’s primary function – getting you on top of your overwhelming inbox.

So give it a try and see if you can achieve everyone’s dream goal: zero inbox!

Currently available for ios and Android.

Is Zero Inbox Achievable? With Mailbox App it is!

How I Work — Brenda Bethman

By Brenda Bethman

With a hefty nod to the folks at for the idea and questions, we’ve decided to share a little bit about how the bloggers at SA Women Talk Tech work.

  • Location: Kansas City, MO
  • Current Gig: Director, UMKC Women’s Center / Director, Women’s & Gender Studies Program / Affiliated Faculty in German at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. On the side, I blog for SAWTT, write occasionally for Inside Higher Ed, and am a co-founder/consultant at Alt Academix
  • One word that best describes how you work: Interrupted
  • Current mobile device: iPhone 5S, iPad Air
  • Current computer:  iMac @ the office / retina MacBook Pro @ home / MacBook Air (11″) on the road (yes, I know it’s excessive)

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without? Why? 

  • Facebook & Facebook Messenger: Yes, I have a problem 🙂 But seriously, I love keeping in touch with family, colleagues, friends, former students, and find Facebook works for me. I share a mix of personal (workouts, cat pictures, food & cocktails) and professional (Women’s Center events, feminist news, etc.). I have actually had folks tell me they really enjoy my Facebook feed and look forward to my posts. Others probably can’t unfollow me fast enough. I use Messenger to chat with friends and went back to using the separate app after I realized how much I dislike the chat heads.
  • MyFitnessPal/Fitbit/Pact/Digifit: Last August, I decided to get serious about getting in better shape and eating healthier and use these four apps to track workouts, food, sleep, and for motivation. I’ve previously described my setup and how tracking works for me. If you are interested, check out this post (or this one, which describes an earlier version of my system).
  • Reeder: I read a LOT of blogs and find the Reeder app (on both my iOS devices and my Mac) to be the best way to keep them organized and keep up with them.

Workflow. My workflow varies tremendously depending on what I have going on that day (teaching, meetings, student appointments, etc.). That said, here are a few things I can count on consistently happening:

  • I get up between 6 and 6:30 every weekday (weekends I might get to “sleep in” until 7:30 — depending on how hungry the cats are).
  • Despite all the articles saying not to, I start my day by catching up on email and social media while I make and drink my coffee.
  • I make a daily to-do list, listing the goals for the day.
  • At some point on most days, I will workout. I work out at the campus recreation center, which makes it easy to squeeze in. I’ve found that lunchtime workouts are a great way to have more energy for the rest of the day, so I do that fairly often.
  • I will be interrupted by a student/worker/crisis/whatever, so I just go with the flow as much as possible and re-prioritize the to-do list as needed.
  • Depending on the day, I head home between 5:30 and 7:30 (or later if we have an event). I try not to take too much work home, but will use the evening to catch up on reading and/or emails as needed. Most nights, I am in bed by 10 p.m.

What’s your workspace setup like? 

My campus office (where I do most of my work) has an L-shaped desk. One part of the L houses my iMac and is where I sit to do work. The other part has a standing desk with my laptop. I switch between sitting and standing throughout the day. I also use an app called BreakTime to remind myself to periodically get up and walk around. The desk is covered with photos, cards, and other fun things. And I have a TON of books in both my campus office and study at home. At home, I have a study that I use to work, but if the weather is nice, you will most likely find me on the porch with my laptop or iPad.

What’s your best time-saving shortcut/life hack?

Self-care. Too often, we let that go in favor of working more. It took a while, but I have finally learned that I work better when I make time to rest and rejuvenate, so I am careful to take at least one day per week completely off. It keeps me sane and helps me get more done when I am working.

Besides your phone and computer, what gadget can’t you live without and why?

My Fitbit.

What do you listen to while you work?

Usually, nothing. I am one of the only people I know who almost never listens to music while working.

What are you currently reading? 

I just finished Paper Towns by John Green. Not sure what I am going to read next.

Are you more of an introvert or an extrovert?

Extrovert. Ask anyone.

What’s your sleep routine like?

As I mentioned above, I am usually in bed by 10 and up by 6 or so. Once I go to bed, I read for about an hour, so usually get around 7 hours of sleep per night. When I’ve had an especially long or hard week, I will sometimes skip the reading so I can get the 8 hours. And I love napping on the weekends whenever I can.

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _________ answer these same questions.

All my fellow SAWTT bloggers.

How I Work — Brenda Bethman

My FitBit Force Fail. My Pebble Watch Win.

By Jennifer Keegin.

So have you noticed all the tech companies scrambling to make wearable devices? Things we used to call watches? Now they’re “smart watches” or “health monitors” etc? It makes sense. These puppies do a lot more than tell you the time. If you don’t know what I’m going on about, you can see what I’m talking about here.

I myself had noticed the Pebble smartwatch at some point, most likely on Pinterest when it was a Kickstarter project. Sounded like a tech dork’s kind of fun. Watch. Connected to my phone. Lets me check emails and texts without looking at my phone. But at the time, it seemed a neat idea but not something I had money to put into. It was the first of any kind of smart watch I had seen.

Zoom ahead to December of 2013 (just six months ago). I was extremely in love with my FitBit Force. Watch. Counts steps. Knows how many flights of stairs I took. Calculates how many hours I sleep at night. I had gotten the Force with Christmas money and it was such a great purchase. I needed a watch because I had recently found out that I had a nickel allergy and couldn’t wear just any old watch. When I saw that a new version of the FitBit was out and it was a watch – I knew it was for me. I wanted to improve my health and my healthy lifestyle so this was going to be perfect. Except when it wasn’t. I was in heaven for almost two months. I had charged my Force twice – and then the rash showed up. This second charge is something many folks who dealt with the “Force Rash” had in common. I thought it was a nickel allergy again – I had gone two months without any issues.

Fit bit

Who knows what’s really going on with those Force units. Many many people started to get “The Rash” and so now they don’t even sell the Force anymore. The company gave anyone who had issues their money back. I got my money back and immediately started looking for a replacement watch. That’s when I realized the Pebble was for sale. On Amazon. In Best Buy. I knew my next move.


The Pebble is a smartwatch developed by Pebble Technology and released in 2013 that was funded via the crowd funding platform Kickstarter. It features a black and white e-paper display, a vibrating motor, a magnetometer, ambient light sensors and an accelerometer, enabling its use as an activity tracker. The Pebble is compatible with Android and iOS devices. When connected to a phone, it can receive a vibrating alert to text messages, emails, incoming calls, and notifications from social media accounts. It can also act as a remote controller for the phone, or for cameras such as the GoPro. As of February 2014, the Pebble app store had over 1000 applications.

The Pebble raised $10.3 million for Kickstarter, making it the most successful product funded through that company up until then. Best Buy, an American consumer electronics corporation, began selling Pebble smartwatches in July of 2013, and sold out within five days. –  Wikipedia

Let me say right of the gate, there aren’t many ladies rockin’ the Pebble at this point. They are fairly large. I am a fan of chunky watches, so I don’t mind. However, it’s not for everyone. My favorite part of the Pebble? Customization. Hands down, thumbs up. I can add apps, new watch faces etc. for anything. I made a watch face for my ACUI Conference. I got a Elsa from Frozen watch face to make my daughter happy.

But here’s the thing. You must be prepared to work with the device. Here’s what I mean. First you download the Pebble app so the phone can communicate with the watch. Then you download apps within that app to then go on your phone. You can only have 8 apps at any one time and watch faces count. Then if you download an app for the watch, you may also need to download an actual app on your phone. Confused yet?

It takes some time to learn how to maneuver everything and you can’t get frustrated. Okay, so you added a pedometer type app on the watch. Great, but it won’t work if you don’t have a matching app (that might not be free) on your phone. This isn’t always the case, hence you have to make sure you read up on each app.

There’s a second app (for your phone) that helps you find cool watch faces. There’s a program (online) that will help you create your own watch face. But again, you need to be a little savvy in order to make it all work. But there’s big benefits. I can play Spotify (not just iTunes!) on my phone while exercising and then control the songs via my watch. I can see who is texting me on the sly in a meeting. I can see who is calling me during an event to see if I need to pull out my phone. Some watch faces will help me monitor the battery life (which is up to a week on one charge!) and some will tell me the current weather readout.

Which leads me to another point. If you want to be connected to your phone and get these snazzy notifications, your phone cannot be too far away. I can’t make it down the hall before the device buzzes to let me know I’m out of range. (It has actually helped me once or twice to realize I’ve left my phone behind which was handy).

I really like my Pebble although sometimes it’s glitchy. The team running the show seems to be slow to respond to customer tweets and etc which is disappointing and they still seem to be a starter company at heart. However, the ideas are sound and the new steel versions are hot.

Let me know if you have any questions about either device. Or experiences you’ve had.

Oh, and after a year away – it’s good to be back!


My FitBit Force Fail. My Pebble Watch Win.

Introducing – Rachel

By Rachel Luna

"My story is important not because it is mine... but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is yours.” - Frederick Buechner

“My story is important not because it is mine… but because if I tell it anything like right, the chances are you will recognize that in many ways it is yours.” – Frederick Buechner

Before discovering student affairs, I was a print newspaper journalist: I conducted interviews with a pen and notepad, consistently had ink smears on my fingers, and loved the smell of newsprint in the morning.  Nowadays, you can usually find me smartphone in hand, somewhere with wifi or 4G reception, and a battery charger (with extension cord) in my bag.

The technologies may have changed, but the connections haven’t.  By turning the pages of the newspaper, I met new people, discovered innovative ideas, and kept abreast of current trends – just like I do now by clicking through screens on my phone or computer.  Through engaging with other people’s blogs, tweets, and posts, I seek to understand who they are, and in doing so, can better understand who I am.  In this way, I most appreciate technology as a tool for community building.

Rachel typing on a smartphoneAs a new blogger, I’m honored and excited for the opportunity to learn with and from this community.  I particularly enjoy exploring tech’s relationship with accessibility, inclusion, and universal design, and am excited to engage in these conversations in this space.  I’m also interested in connecting with folks around multiraciality (shout out to ACPA’s Multiracial Network!), sports (curling, anyone?), and penguins (of all shapes and sizes).

Currently,  I spend my days at University of the Pacific’s Center for Community Involvement supporting folks in their social justice journeys, leadership development, and community engagement.  In June, I’ll be Student Services Coordinator for Samuel Merritt University – San Francisco Peninsula Learning Center.  You can follow me on Twitter @RachelHLuna.  I look forward to connecting!

Introducing – Rachel

Taking the #SACommits Conversation Offline

by Kristen Abell

Hopefully by now you’ve noticed a new hashtag in the Twitterverse – if you’re in the Twitterverse, that is – #SACommits. Or perhaps you’ve read a blog post or two in the “Committed” series on the Student Affairs Collective blog. Or maybe you’ve even seen the Pinterest board with lots of info and quotes all talking about mental health and mental illness. In fact, if you’re in the student affairs world online, I like to think it’s been a little hard for you to miss at least one of these. “Committed” is the baby of Sue Caulfield and myself – a month-long collection of posts and #Suedles (doodles by Sue) to highlight Mental Health Month in student affairs. By doing this series, we hoped to bring more than a one-shot spotlight to the issues of mental illness and mental health among not just our students but also our colleagues in student affairs.

This series has been a great example of using social media to reach out to our colleagues and rally our community around an important topic. It is the combination of the multiple forums where information is being shared with the continuous fresh content during the month that will most likely make this venture successful – online, that is.

Here is where things get tricky, though. Many of us have experienced the echo-chamber effect of Twitter. Everything sounds so loud on there, as if everyone in student affairs agrees with what we’re saying or knows who we are. In reality, there is still a relatively small percentage of student affairs folks on Twitter at all, nevertheless reading blogs or pinning. How many of us have had what seems to be a fairly self-explanatory conversation online only to go offline and discover that our colleagues are on a totally different page?

This is where it becomes so very important for us to take this conversation offline, into our offices and hallways, onto our campuses. We must engage our colleagues and our senior administrators especially in talking about mental illness and mental health in student affairs. It has to be an ongoing conversation and one we revisit often. All these things must happen in order to truly effect change in our profession – both for us and our students.

So I’ll hope you’ll join us this month talking about mental illness and mental health online with #SACommits and “Committed.” And then I hope you’ll take what you learn offline and make things happen on your campus.

Taking the #SACommits Conversation Offline

Productivity Tech Tip: Images that POP off the page!

by Jess Samuels

In the business of student affairs you wear many hats.  For those of you who sometimes find yourself making flyers for events, you are likely looking for the quickest way to get something done without sacrificing visual appeal.  As someone who regularly makes graphics for my office, non-profits, and the NEACUHO Navigator newsletter one of my most utilized tricks has been Instant Alpha.

Instant Alpha is a Mac only trick, so you PC folks can do things the long old fashioned way in photoshop (or you can buy a Mac 😉 )

Here’s how it works:

1. You find a image you want to go on your flyer that doesn’t have a transparent background.  White or black backgrounds works best, but anything without a lot of variation can work.


2. In Mac Pages, Keynote, or Preview you select “Instant Alpha” from the format menu.


3. Select the space around the object and expand the circle to to make the area transparent.


4. Voilà! You have a wonderful image that really POPS off the page.

Instant alpha 0

Productivity Tech Tip: Images that POP off the page!