Highlighting a Woman in Tech and Student Affairs: Debra Sanborn

By Jennifer Keegin

This week I’ve decided to highlight Debra Sanborn, Program Director in the Dean of Students Office at Iowa State University. Debra Sanborn has a Ph.D in Education from Iowa State University and holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in communication studies from the University of Northern Iowa. Developer of student programming, first-year experience, retention initiatives, admissions and marketing, Debra is also a facilitator of student community collaboration for collegiate success. She directs selection and enrollment of 100 new students to scholarship programs annually and provides first-year to graduation learning, academic advising, and programs blending resources and networking to enhance student success.

Current research is focused on factors of psychological type pertaining to student success which is what I wanted to highlight today. I first met Debra in real life at the very first #NASPAtech in Newport, RI a few years ago. I had been following her online and it was great to meet her for real. She has a great sense of humor and is a fun person.

In April, this tweet started a whole strand of discussion on Twitter:

After many retweets and replies and etc. Debra decided to poll the Student Affairs folks on Twitter about their MTBI identities.

The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is the most common instrument for determining psychological type preferences utilized in business, personal coaching and higher education. It asks a series of self-report forced-choice questions to define opposing preferences for personal energy, acquiring information, making decisions, and organizing one’s world.

The survey produced the type preferences of 129 student affairs colleagues. More than half of those responding were female. Residence Life was the most common area of employment in student affairs. The most frequent type preferences were ENFJ (n = 21), INFJ (n = 16) and ENTJ (n = 14).

Utilizing social media, Debra was able to find a connecting point for many professionals in the field. If you’d like to read her entire blog post, please check it out here. Make sure to read the comments for more discussion that followed.

If you’d like to follow Debra on Twitter her handle is @DebraSanborn.



Highlighting a Woman in Tech and Student Affairs: Debra Sanborn