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

#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

#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

#FF Follow Friday #FF 3 VPs of Student Affairs

by Jennifer Keegin

Josie Alquist did an amazing job putting together a list of Higher Education Presidents to follow on Twitter and due to a recent addition to my job duties, I immediately asked for her next project to be VPs. I decided for today I’d highlight just a few that I’ve followed and enjoyed.

I have a personal interest in this because I managed to convince my VP of Student Affairs to start tweeting. He’s been at it now for two weeks straight (with some help from me) and I am really proud of what has been posted already.

Twitter   Search   brian t rose

His areas of interest: Student Affairs Law (he’s a former lawyer), Urban Planning (especially around public transport), Career Centers and their development, and #Gratitude – working to improve recognition within the Division. You can check him out at @BrianTRose. He’s also got his own Flipbook magazine.

Other VPs for Student Affairs:

@warkent Shana Meyer

Shana Meyer  warkent  on Twitter

Very down to earth person. I mean the first two words in her bio are “Shana Banana”. She’s the VP for Student Affairs, Missouri Western State University.


@LevesterJohnson Levester Johnson

Twitter   Search   vice president for student affairs

Also known as a past-president of NASPA, Levester is the VP for Student Affairs at Butler University. I always enjoy his positivity.


If you have other VPSA’s that you’d like to recommend – please do so!


#FF Follow Friday #FF 3 VPs of Student Affairs

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

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

Follow Friday: SSAO’s on Twitter

By Josie Ahlquist

As part of our ongoing series of Follow Friday, I share four women who are in senior level administrator positions in student affairs that you should be following on Twitter.  I could have listed dozens of Deans and Senior Vice Presidents, but selected four with various styles, backgrounds and length of time since joining the twitter community.  Some of whom I haven’t even met before, but see their leadership clearly through how they use Twitter in their leadership roles.

Mamta Accapadi is the Vice President of Student Affairs at Rollins College.  I encourage you to follow her because she gets that twitter is a tool in her position and provides accessibility to students.  She shares news, inspiration and is intentional of joining, supporting and amplifying conversations by other tweets of interest by Re-Tweeting.  She also is living a blended life, sharing family pictures and is part of the student affairs Scandal TV fan base.

Gage Paine is the Vice President of Student Affairs at University of Texas Austin.  Just looking at her feed, you know she is a VP woven into campus life and truly cares about students.  She is also very active in NASPA, adding to the learning process for other professionals during conferences.  She adds a dose of humor, like when she tweeted about being starstruck when meeting George Takei.

Donna Lee is the Dean of Students at Agness College.  She is actually quite new to twitter, but I already see great things for this leader (and hoping this post will encourage her further).  Active in leadership with ACPA, she celebrates the student affairs community and finds connections to share quickly.  I was sold on her potential presence on twitter as her second-ever twitter post read, “I am in the rhythm and flow of an ever-changing life…”

Jayne Brownell is the new VPSA at Miami University.  I knew Jayne acts out her authenticity through twitter when I saw her promoting her previous AVP position with glowing endorsements.  She celebrates Miami university students at events, as well as ensures accurate information/news gets to them quickly such as a school closure.  You can also see her sharing personal life adventures, like going to Billy Joel concerts.

If I was to summarize the qualities of twitter use I see all of these women in leadership acting out would be:

  1. Sharing both personal and professional content
  2. Celebrating their campus communities
  3. Active NASPA or ACPA involvement and intentional content sharing at conferences
  4. Elements of humor and not taking themselves too seriously

I challenge you to think about your own twitter use and how it may or may not fall into these categories.  As you move into higher levels of leadership, incorporating twitter into your practices, what will your presence be like?  

There are various curated twitter lists out there, specifically that pull together upper level administrators in Student Affairs.  While extremely beneficial to quickly find upper administrators, I do give warning.

Do not assume just because a professional is at that level that they will be active nor will add to your personal learning network, at least in twitter form.  Before going and adding every Senior Vice President out there, go into their feed to explore the types of knowledge they are sharing and example they set using twitter on their campus and within the field.

I will also give you a heads up, don’t be surprised to see many listed that signed up for an account and are no longer active.  I call this a twitter graveyard.  Sure they may be active again one day, or maybe just when conference season comes back around.  But what message is that sending?  That SSAO’s only have to sign up for an account, not really use the tool properly or to its’ full potential, and still get tons of followers?  Or you could argue strength in numbers.

Either way, here are a few of those lists to explore.

Happy Follow Friday!

Follow Friday: SSAO’s on Twitter

Follow Friday: Personality Edition

by Kristen Abell

What the heck does “personality edition” mean? Well, it was the best way I could think to describe the following collection of folks who tweet and blog about introversion and extroversion or MBTI information.

First up is the fabulous Amma Marfo, who you may have heard just published a book on introversion in student affairs. She’s pretty awesome like that. Amma has been tweeting and blogging about introversion and extroversion – both in student affairs and beyond – for quite some time now. She’s a fab follow if you ask me.

Next up is Chris Conzen – who I also recommend following for his general content curation skillz. If there’s an article about introversion – especially in the workplace – he will have tweeted it, Facebooked it, and/or posted it on Google+ or LinkedIn. He even has the occasional witty quip to add to his posts. He also blogs, and I’d highly recommend giving his thoughts a read.

If you’re following Amma and/or Chris, chances are you’re already following the artistic Sue Caulfield. Sue also tends to post about introversion, and even better, her posts tend to be illustrated. She is also the awesome illustrator of Amma’s book, so how can you not want to follow her? Seriously, check her out – I promise you’ll thank me.

If we’re talking introversion/extroversion and MBTI, there’s no better follow than Lisa Endersby. Not only is she one of my favoritest extroverts, she posts some quality info pertaining to the MBTI and has posted some especially great content about the interplay of introversion and extroversion. She’s awesome like that.

Finally, no mention of the MBTI in student affairs would be complete without mentioning Debra Sanborn, who shares not only her own research on this topic but also the most current research of others in the field. It’s good stuff, people.

Who do you recommend following for info about personality in student affairs?

Follow Friday: Personality Edition

LGBT Movement and #Sochi2014 – follow the conversation

sochiprideby Jess Samuels

You have to be living in a cave to not know that the Sochi Olympics are coming up in just a few weeks. Commercials, ads, and news programs are all creating buzz around the important international sporting event.  As much in the spotlight as the sports themselves has been the comments of conservative Russian leader Vladimir Putin and the strict anti-gay laws enacted by the government.

Traditional media channels are only one way to stay up to date with the protests of Russia’s anti-gay legislation. Social media, particularly Facebook and Twitter are ‘going for the gold’ with coverage of the politics around the games and their activist activity.  LGBT organizers are using social media to not only protest the treatment of gay athletes, Russians, and visitors, but calling out major sponsors of the Olympic games. One amazing example is the social media take over of #CheersToSochi on Twitter.  As reported by GLAAD, the hashtag was originated by Olympic sponsor McDonald’s, to create positive chatter about the games.  Instead, LGBT advocates have taken over the hashtag to report on Russia’s anti “gay-propaganda” laws and the culture of LGBT-target violence created by Russia’s stance. Similarly, LGBT advocates have recreated a 1970’s Coke ad intertwining images from the original video “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”, with images of Russian government protests.  This video adds to the strong online criticism of Coca-Cola for sponsoring the Sochi Olympics.     

This shows once again that no one controls social media, and that well organized activists can create a movement with the many free tech tools available to them.

Want to stay up to date with what is happening regarding LGBT advocacy at #Sochi2014? Check out the following twitter hashtags, handles, and websites, then join the conversation!  


#uprisingoflove @uprisingoflove

It Gets Better Project & Uprising of Love are teaming up with a number of leading LGBTI organizations to host a series of online Google hangouts during an Olympics inspired LGBTI Rights week. These hangouts will engage the larger community in discussion about the importance of acceptance in sports while also discussing LGBTI rights generally.

#p6, @allout

Principle 6, a campaign inspired by the values of the Olympic charter, is a way for athletes, spectators and global supporters to celebrate the Olympic principle of non-discrimination and call for an end to Russia’s anti-gay laws before the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.


The It Gets Better Project (IGB), just last month launched a powerful campaign called “You Are Beautiful” to connect with and support young gay people in Russia.  As Mashable reported, It Gets Better is asking ordinary people from around the world to submit videos and written messages of support to Russia’s gay teen community: “To the LGBT youth of Russia, you are beautiful inside and out.”


Outsports, is a leader in gay sports news, commentary, photos and videos. Their goal  is making sure that being a gay athlete or gay sports fan is not an oxymoron.


The Gay Games are an international sporting and cultural event held every four years. Launched in 1982, the Games invite participation from all athletes—regardless of sexual orientation, race, gender, religion, nationality, ethnic origin, political beliefs, athletic or artistic ability, age, physical challenge or health status.

LGBT Movement and #Sochi2014 – follow the conversation

Follow Friday: Financial Empowerment

by Jess (Faulk) Samuels

This time of year I am always searching the web for the best deals, the best gifts, and the ideas on how to save money during a time when expenses can skyrocket.  Between that flight home, gifts for the family, and gift exchanges in the office, you can end up spending way more than you intended to.  As student affairs professionals, you are likely on a tight budget, paying down school loans while saving for your financial goals.  Today’s follow Friday highlight two sites, run by women, and for women to help you plan for the future, and save right now.

LearnVest, @LearnVest

This website was first brought to my attention when I met the founder, Alexa von Tobel,  at Internet Week New York.  I was inspired by her focus on educating women about money.  The free version of this site offers education bootcamps on everything from “living a debt free life” to “getting hitched.”  Also, like it allows for you to set up a budget and link bank accounts so you can plan better, for big life moments, or just making sure you have enough saved for all of the Hanukkah gifts you plan on buying.

Money Saving Mom @moneysavingmom

I stumbled upon this site when I was looking for online coupons.  This site is run by an awesome, authentic mom, Crystal Paine, who prides herself on saving money and offering tips for you to as well.  In her bio, she states, that her mission “is to challenge women to wisely steward their time and resources and live life on purpose.”  I was especially impressed by the organization, with drop down menus for coupons, store deals, and freebies.

I am a sucker when it comes to beautiful design, and easy to navigate layout –  which both of these sites do very well.  Do  you have favorite sites for money saving, money planning, and empowering us to know our finances?  Share them in the comments!


Follow Friday: Financial Empowerment