Follow Friday

By Rachel Luna

#FollowFriday is one of my favorite social media traditions because I’m always looking for ways to learn new things.  As Abigail Adams said, “Learning is not attained by chance, it must be sought for with ardor and attended to with diligence.”  In this spirit, I look for accounts to ensure my Twitter timeline will keep me connected with the goings-on in the world, pique my interest, and enhance my awareness around issues of social justice.  For this #FF post, I’m sharing a trio of such accounts:


NPR’s Code Switch, @NPRCodeSwitch

Twitter Bio:

“We tweet about race, ethnicity and culture, how these things play out in our lives, and how all of that is shifting. We did @TodayIn1963. Hang with us.”

Sample Tweets:

My Take:

Fans of intersectionality will enjoy this account, which features a series of bloggers who tackle race, ethnicity, and culture.  On any given week, posts can touch on music, research, literature, language, etc., all through the lens of race and ethnicity.  I particularly appreciate the way they engage with their followers, often posing open-ended questions, retweeting responses, and inviting suggestions for future stories. One “don’t miss” project from these folks is the innovative, robust history project @Todayin1963, which simulated live-tweet coverage of that dynamic year in US history.


Teaching Tolerance, @Tolerance_org

Twitter Bio:

“Founded in 1991 by the Southern Poverty Law Center [@splcenter], Teaching Tolerance provides educators with free educational materials.”

Sample Tweets:

My Take:

This account helps me remember that I am both an educator in my role as an #SAPro, and a student in my role as an engaged global citizen.  From their historical #OnThisDay tweets to suggested curricula for current events, Teaching Tolerance focuses on applied learning about diversity and inclusion. Although their materials are generally aimed at the K-12 classroom crowd, I find it a fun exercise to consider adapting and applying their resources to higher education and student affairs settings.


Race Forward, @RaceForward

Twitter Bio:

“We advance racial justice through research, media and practice. We publish @colorlines and present Facing Race. Formerly the Applied Research Center.”

Sample Tweets:

My Take:

This is a “challenge and support” account for me in that keeps me informed and also keeps me thinking.  In addition to providing useful news updates via their outlet @Colorlines (described as a “daily news site where race matters”), this account also hosts provocative Twitter chats like #LivesOfBlackMen and promotes social change initiatives like the “Drop the I-Word” campaign. These are also the people behind the Facing Race conference (described as “the country’s largest multiracial conference on racial justice”), which you can attend in person or lurk on the backchannel (#FacingRace14).

Your Turn

What accounts do you follow to stay up on current events, culture trends, and perspectives on social justice?  Share in the comments or tweet @RachelHLuna so others can follow, too!


Follow Friday

My desk. During Welcome Week.

By Jennifer Keegin

These types of posts are usually about what’s on our desktop..and or desk. However, my desktop is boring except for my super awesome desktop background which is in itself an organizational tool. But today I’m in the mood to cover the other half of this challenge. My desk. The literal top of my desk.

Last year the entire Dean of Students area was facing a transition and it was asked of all staff to consider moving around rethinking our spaces. Long story short, I gave up a perfectly good office with windows for a space with no windows and concrete walls. Folks on video conference calls said I looked like I was in jail.

However, there was a silver lining to the whole thing. I was given the chance to buy new furniture of my choosing since the room was empty to start with. This was a great compromise and I moved immediately.

This picture will tell you the rest of the story.

JK desktop

1. My desk is the bomb.
2. My chairs are the most awesome and I’ve decided they are in the shade of my new favorite color.
3. Staples came out with a line of products in the same shade and I was ecstatic.
4. You’ll see remote controls since I’m in charge of the 13 televisions downstairs from my office in the food court.
5. I told you my desktop is boring. Its actually a new computer and I don’t have a good screensaver loaded.
6. The rest of the mess are maps, binders and related items all for this week’s events. I have outdoor movies tonight, an outdoor concert with Ferris Wheel tomorrow night, and an all day University Fest event Saturday. WHOO Wee.

Seriously though, as I look at this picture, it really does tell you so much about me. Especially me in an incredibly busy time at work.

For those of you who have already jumped the Welcome Week hurdle – Congrats. For those entering the fray – LET’S DO THIS.

My desk. During Welcome Week.

Regarding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

By Kathryn Magura

If you’re like me, your social media feeds have been inundated with videos of people dumping buckets of ice water over their head. Maybe you’re one of the many who has also dumped ice water on your head. Perhaps you are some of the daring few who chose not to dump water on your head. And finally, it’s possible you’re one of the rare few like myself who have yet to be nominated. In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, take a few minutes to read about the ALS ice bucket challenge.

I have seen a lot of people post thoughts about the ALS ice bucket challenge; people either love the philanthropy, or they hate it. In California, people are even receiving fines for wasting water during a terrible drought for participating in the challenge. Love it, hate it, or pay a fine for it, you cannot argue with how this viral fundraising campaign has raised millions of dollars for a great cause. As of this past weekend, the ice bucket challenge has raised over $62.5 million dollars for research, which is incredible!

So here are my thoughts on the ice bucket challenge: I love to see people donating money to a deplorable disease (I encourage you to watch the video below to get a better understanding for what this fundraiser means to those who are suffering from ALS).  I appreciate when people choose not to dump ice on their head and just donate money to ALS research. I also respect those who opt to give to another charity instead of ALS. Basically, I enjoy seeing people take time to think about others beyond themselves and donate to a cause.

As someone who has a parent with a debilitating disease, I appreciate when awareness and donations are raised to fund research. These research efforts will hopefully lead us to cure these terrible conditions that rob people of their humanity before eventually killing them. Once this ice bucket challenge craze ends, I hope people will see it in their hearts to continue to give to these causes. Please don’t get mad at those who started this ALS challenge, because I think what they have done is true genius. Also, don’t try to copy their success. The ice bucket challenge worked because it was an organic endeavor to raise money and awareness for an underfunded disease. Their efforts should be lauded.

One request though, if you do decide to participate in the ice bucket challenge, please don’t end up like these people: 

Regarding the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

#StayWoke: A Ferguson-centered Follow Friday

by Niki Messmore

This #FF post is being written on Sunday, August 18th. My timeline is full of #staywoke, #HandsUpDontShoot, and #Ferguson. There are photos of men, women, and children who have been tear gassed. Reports of peaceful protests hijacked by police wearing military gear. Residents and journalists being threatened by riot police to “Get back! Or next time you’re going to be the one maced” or “Get out of here or I will shoot you.”

This is all the result of a police officer shooting an unarmed black teenager.  And really, it’s all about systemic racism.

What can I do? I feel helpless and angry as I read the young man’s autopsy report and scroll through tweets. There are some things I can do (especially as a white woman). One of them is to educate (myself and others).

The following is a list of folks who have been reporting & tweeting on the events in Ferguson (mostly thanks to Black Twitter). I know there’s a chance that by Friday that issues in Ferguson may have calmed down, but I guarantee we are still going to need to keep talking about this. As professionals in higher education we MUST acknowledge that systemic racism is a thing and that our society does not value the lives of people of color.

  • @Awkward_Duck: Black feminist activist, she has been organizing in the Ferguson community, including stopping looters
  • Mikki Kendall: Writer for, her commentary is on it at all times, and she RTs all the key Ferguson things
  • zellie: Activist in the black community, he runs and flew to Ferguson to participate in the protests.
  • Antonio French: Alderman for St. Louis’ 21st ward, this man has been on the ground since Day 1
  • Maria Chappelle-Nadal: MO State Senator representing parts of Ferguson, she was tear gassed during a peaceful protest
  • Robert Cohen: Photojournalist for the St. Louis Dispatch, and photos like this and this make me question America
  • Jesse Williams: More than just an actor on Grey’s Anatomy, his tweets will get you reflecting on race in America
  • Christopher Hayes: MSNBC host who has been reporting a lot on site, including police run-ins
  • Wesley Lowery: Washington Post reporter who was arrested w/o cause by Ferguson police alongside Ryan O’Reilly and has been reporting on site
  • Imani: Senior Legal Analyst for @RHRealityCheck, her commentary and RTs are a must


Also, I put together a Twitter list of folks who are on the ground in Ferguson – both journalists and verified community leaders and activists. Get your info from the source.

At this point, there are probably new voices out there reporting on Ferguson. Who have you been following? Leave your suggestions in the comments or tweet them out to @NikiMessmore so I can follow them also.

And remember…we sometimes forget ourselves, locked in the Ivory Tower of Academia and focusing on our campuses. We need to continue our education, create discussions, and take action. But mostly? We need to wake up.


#StayWoke: A Ferguson-centered Follow Friday

On My Desk

by Kristen Abell

As a nod to the “how do you work” posts so many of us enjoyed writing before the summer, we created a new type of post – on your desk/desktop – for our bloggers to share with our readers. You may have seen Josie Ahlquist’s post on this same topic last week. Today I get to share mine.

Desk with computer, pictures, Wonder Woman accessories
My desk tends to serve two purposes – it’s a place for work, obviously, but it’s also a place for me to share my personality. For those of you that know me, it will be a real shock to find out that I’m a – gasp! – introvert in the workplace. Using my desk to share my Wonder Woman collection and my photos allows me to share a bit of my personality without having to tell everyone about myself (torture for this introvert). You might also see a couple #Suedles in this shot – some of my favorite things to show off!

Desktop with photos, stacks of paper
I am also a big believer in the “piles” method of organizing. In other words, all of my papers are in piles on my desk. To you they may look like a mess, but to me, they’re organized chaos. I can usually find whatever it is I’m looking for within a few seconds.

I keep photos of my family and artwork by Aedan at my desk, too. This helps me when I need perspective – when that project feels too big or that website too impossible. I just need to look at my pictures and know that I’ll be going home to that at the end of the day, and suddenly I can breathe easier.

As far as my computer desktop goes, I tend to also use the “piles” organization method on there, as well – although less effectively, I admit. My desktop is where any small website projects I’m working on tend to live, along with tons and tons of screen shots that I use when I’m developing responsive design on a website (I may have cleaned those off for the picture above). About every 2 – 3 months, I get in an organizing mood and clean up my desk and desktop, then usually can’t find anything for the next week or so, until my piles build up again.

So what’s on your desk or desktop? How do you organize workspace (or not)? Let us know!



On My Desk

#FF: A Jersey Girl and a Jet Blue aficionado

By Valerie Heruska

For my #FF post, I want to give a fabulous shout out to two individuals who, over the past few months have survived my twitter and FB purges (I kid, I kid… but really). Actually these two individuals have been ligthing up my social media with their amazingness and so they are long overdue for a #FF. So, without further adieu, my #FF is dedicated to Courtney  O’Connell and Paul G. Brown.


I first met Courtney at the past ACPA Convention. She is an awesome person in real life and her tweets/FB posts/linkedIN posts are very useful for student affairs professionals. Courtney has the unique opportunity of working with Erik Qualman on some amazing things. I find her posts to be engaging and inspiring and yes, she’s had some “oh sh*t” moments, but haven’t we all? Be sure to watch her Pecha Kucha talk from ACPA… it’s awesome and she is a really great speaker!


Paul Brown has been hitting home runs with his recent blog posts. I love that Paul talks my reslife/LLC language and has some wonderful posts about the residential curriculum. His posts always lighten my mood, whether they are about his love affairs with jet blue, or his hilarious Tim Gunn memes/ emjoi post about #reslifethings. Paul brings a very insightful prospective into our student affairs world and I appreciate the knowledge he is constantly dropping in our community.

#FF: A Jersey Girl and a Jet Blue aficionado

On My Desk: Function and Fun

By Josie Ahlquist

I recently reclaimed my desk.

It was taken by books, random post-it’s, binders and too many picture frames.  In every office and campus I have worked, office visitors have commented on the “liveliness” to my office.  Call it busy, full or colorful.  There has always been a lot going on.

Not messy, just full.  I like to think full of life.  I want my personality into my work, which includes function and fun.

Especially working on a college campus, if I was going to spend so much time in the office I wanted to be comfortable.  Not like a couch and sleeping bag, but memento’s, books and photos.  For some I know this wouldn’t work.  Simplicity and empty shelves may bring on a sense of comfort.

Now, working from a home office it is nearly impossible to make a distinction from personal and professional.  I share my office with what serves as a guest bedroom, extra storage and an ever-present puppy ready to play.

Moving into the dissertation phase of my doctoral program my desk is going to be crucial.  From data collecting, analysis and reporting.  Nine-month countdown is on to May 15th 2015!  I recently wrote about my dissertation topic on my blog, feel free to read more about that here.

I am a visual person, color-code addicted and in love with my label maker.  This is obviously going to carry over in how I stay organized and even in how I conduct my research.

photo 2

When I reclaimed my office, I moved around my desk and the objects on it.  The one item that I added was a bulletin board that corresponds to my research participants.  It is a visual, colorful and secretly labeled object that allows it to remain in plain sight, yet completely informative and inspirational just to me.

photo 1
I love it because it is functional, yet fun.  It represents my personality.I think these ‘secret’ items are the coolest additions to have in your office space.  They can be used to break the ice with a student or have significant meaning so much that just seeing it is uplifting.  Maybe it’s a quote, a card or a weird pencil you received when you were five at Disneyland from your grandpa.

Professionalism in the office doesn’t mean leaving our whole selves back home and that includes the items we choose to lace in our work-spaces.

What is on your desk?  What does your desk/office say about you? 

What is your stance on personal items in your office?  Do you want clean lines or okay with clutter?  Do you have one item that will always be in you office, no matter where you go? 

Tell us about it in the comments below!

On My Desk: Function and Fun