Beth Jones was a recipient of a PACADA Professional Development Grant for the 2017 year. Beth is an academic advisor in Exploratory Studies and used her funds to attend the NACADA regional conference!
Article by: Beth Jones
We’ve all had those experiences—the ones where it feels like you are having one conversation and your student is having an entirely different conversation. Something just isn’t clicking. You feel like your message is clear, but how is it being received? And, are you accurately interpreting the message you are receiving?
For anyone who has worked with students or has had a conversation with anyone EVER (so all of us!), these aren’t uncommon experiences, but they are more common when two people come from different cultures. Did you pick the right word? Did you read their body language correctly? Did you use an obscure idiomatic expression like when pigs fly that made no sense to the other person? Intercultural conversation is a minefield of potential misinterpretation. In his book The Art of Crossing Cultures, intercultural communications consultant Craig Storti defines an unsuccessful “cross-cultural encounter” as “whenever one or more of the parties is confused, offended, frustrated, or otherwise put off by the behavior of any of the other parties” (26). Sound familiar?
This is exactly why intercultural competence is such an important skill to cultivate. But, what is it exactly? Intercultural Development Inventory, LLC defines intercultural competence as “the capability to shift cultural perspective and appropriately adapt behavior to cultural differences and commonalities.” Study after study has clearly proven the importance of developing intercultural competence for learning, working, and beyond. According to research by IDI, LLC founder Dr. Mitchell R. Hammer, students who study abroad gain many benefits from greater intercultural competence including an increased interest in other cultures, more intercultural friendships, less anxiety about other cultures, and higher overall satisfaction with their study abroad experience. In fact, many Purdue courses and programs use the IDI as their primary assessment tool to measure intercultural competence among their students. Some programs even require students to complete the assessment to participate in study abroad programs. But, the assessment is not just for students. The IDI is available to all faculty, staff, and students through Purdue’s Center for Intercultural Learning, Mentorship, Assessment, and Research (CILMAR).
Purdue’s academic advising web page on advising competencies lists cultural competency as one of the core skills advisors need to master to have successful interactions with students. This particular competency, as explained on the Purdue web page, suggests that advisors should “engage in self-reflection, be aware that cultural identities influence thinking and behavior,” and “exhibit the relational skills to advise effectively across differences.” It is important to note that these skills do not just extend to interactions with international students, however, but to any interaction where there is difference.
There are, of course, many ways to improve your intercultural competence skills such as through traveling abroad and getting to know people from other cultures, but there is a catch when we attempt to freestyle how we gain these skills. Human nature means we are pretty terrible at actually assessing just how refined our intercultural competence skills are—a notion the IDI supports. In other words, we most likely have a mindset that doesn’t align with our actual skillset—a gap, if you will. We may see ourselves one way but interact with the world differently. According to IDI, LLC, it is a myth that we can gain deep intercultural competence through experience alone—as if it is as easy as getting a tan while soaking up the sun’s rays. The truth is we often enter those experiences from our own cultural perspective thus limiting what we may actually gain in intercultural awareness. In the words of CILMAR Intercultural Learning Specialist (and my husband) Dr. Daniel Jones, the formula for intercultural development is “intentional interactions + time + reflection.”
So how can you lessen or close the mindset/skillset gap so that your heart and mind are more in sync? This is where the Intercultural Development Inventory assessment comes in. According to the IDI, LLC web article “Why Should You Consider Using the Intercultural Development Inventory?”, the IDI is the “only theory-based assessment of intercultural competence [that] allows you to see an individual’s or group’s progression along a continuum of cross-cultural competence.” It is a highly researched instrument that can help individuals and groups “make sense of cultural differences and also how they respond to cultural differences.”
Once you have taken the 50-question assessment, an Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator (just over 100 at Purdue including me) holds a debriefing session with you to review your results and make a plan for further development along the IDI continuum. You receive an individualized developmental plan that “guides the person through a series of activities and self-reflections” to help you intentionally move forward on the IDI continuum and to better understand and notice “patterns of difference” (“The Individual Development Plan”). These activities can include brief writing exercises and suggestions for continued learning and reflection such as attending training programs, traveling, and reading journals and books. The goal is that you complete these activities using the intentional skills that make them meaningful intercultural development opportunities rather than passive experiences informed by the limited worldview we all start out with.
Before becoming an administrator, I had to take the assessment and be debriefed. The experience was deeply meaningful—almost therapeutic. It forced me to reflect on aspects of my past and how they inform my outlook and actions and how to grow beyond my limitations. The entire experience is designed to be objective and developmental.
Taking the IDI and being debriefed can help those of us who work in higher education become better at what we do most—serve students. I have found that my experience with the IDI has not just broadly improved my intercultural competence but has also given me better language for how to engage with others wherever there is difference.
If you would like to learn more about the IDI, visit https://idiinventory.com where you can read more about the assessment as well as view some short introductory videos. Additionally, you can contact an intercultural learning specialist with CILMAR by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. The assessment is $15 for staff/faculty and $11 for students. CILMAR also offers training to become a qualified administrator of the IDI as well as ideas about mitigating costs of the assessment.
If we are going to talk to students about the importance of study abroad and developing skills for an increasingly global workplace, we have to do our part by seeking out opportunities to develop these skills for ourselves. Knowing where we are on the IDI continuum and how we can grow can help us all better navigate the often tricky, culturally ambiguous situations we sometimes find ourselves in and that can only make us better advisors, instructors, or whatever it is we may be to our students and each other.
Suggested readings and resources:
- The Art of Crossing Cultures, Craig Storti
- Cross-Cultural Dialogues: 74 Brief Encounters with Cultural Difference, Craig Storti
- Students Learning Abroad: What Our Students Are Learning, What They’re Not, and What We Can Do About It, Michael Vande Berg, R. Michael Paige, Kris Hemming Lou
Pat George was a recipient of a PACADA Professional Development Grant for the 2017 year. He used his funds to attend the NACADA Annual Conference in St. Louis, MO. See below for more information about his experience!
Article By: Pat George
There are many familiar words associated with St. Louis. Three that come to mind are gateway, arch, and Cardinals (sorry Cubs fans). However, during October 11-14, 2017, NACADA was all the buzz at America’s Center in downtown St. Louis.
I was fortunate to receive a PACADA professional development grant to attend this conference, and I was equally privileged to attend with some of my office colleagues who I believe are some of the most dedicated and caring advisors on this campus. Our Senior Associate Dean, Dr. Holly Mason, supports our Office of Student Services in the College of Pharmacy in numerous ways, and my colleagues and I benefit tremendously from his confidence and conviction.
Speaking of conviction, I am reporting on what I thought was one of the most intriguing and bold sessions at this conference, “The Problems and Promise of Big Data in Advising.” Kudos to NACADA and the selection committee for allowing this proposal to become a reality. It could have easily been passed over due to its subject matter and outcomes that challenge a service retailed by one of the main sponsors of the conference.
Adrienne Sewell, Director of Advising for Retention and Sophomore Initiatives at Indiana University Bloomington provoked thought and insight regarding the academe’s infatuation with big data. “When it comes to data, we aren’t always sure what we are looking at,” stated Sewell. She continued, “Expectations are that we will be able to search like Google® and make recommendations like Netflix®. Big Data can solve anything!”
Sewell stated, “Predictive analytics, data mining, and pattern recognition are now common terms in our digital world, and they promise to practically solve any problem. Looking back at our past Presidential election, it appears Big Data missed the mark as some of the most sophisticated predictive analytics tools in the world were all but certain of the outcome of the election.”
I was fascinated by her explanation of the evolution of computer programming. She explained that initially, computers were programmed by people. Programmers looked at data and made a hypothesis. Today, we are teaching computers the ability to learn without being programmed – to not only have the logic to answer questions, but to create the questions. A couple of examples are Netflix® which predicts what you would like to watch and our smart phones learning about us through typos, voice recognition, routes on GPS, etc.
How does this impact advising? Sewell referenced an article from the Chronicle of Higher Education as saying old- school advising is about who appears in front of you – it’s very limited. New-school advising is using predictive analytics to target a specific group. But is this true?
Sewell argued, “Our responsibility as advisors is to make sure we monitor how well the system is working. Keep good records of any errors (screen shots are ideal) and when systems are developed or enhanced, make sure we are advocates for advisor input/testing. Recognize that not all predictions have equal accuracy. Big data makes predictions for all students which leads to false-positives because it must select an answer.” She quoted Baer and Norris (2013) asserting analytics is only one piece in a student success system. It requires commitment to persistent, personalized actions, and interventions to improve student success guided by analytics-based insights.
Sewell concluded by asking us to ponder these questions: When do our data points become ethical issues? What about economic background, financial need, race, etc.? Can assessing risk become a self-fulfilling prophecy? She followed with acknowledging that data can help answer questions, describe/discover a pattern, figure out students to reach out to, but we must continually adjust and use data wisely because approaches matter and data alone won’t save us.
Article by: Audrey Cowling & Sanjana Dey
At the September 19th PACADA Retreat, we will welcome Dr. Tim Elmore as our Keynote Speaker. Dr. Elmore is the Founder and President of Growing Leaders, a non-profit organization dedicated to developing young leaders. He is passionate about understanding the emerging generation and helping adults teach them how to succeed.
In particular, his organization provides public schools, state universities, and corporations with the tools they need to develop individuals who can impact and transform society. The Growing Leaders team also equips young adults to take on real-life opportunities and challenges in the classroom, in their careers, and in the community.
Dr. Elmore has spoken to more than 500,000 students, faculty, and business leaders on campuses across the country. His expertise on the emerging generation and generational diversity in the workplace has garnered a wealth of positive media coverage. He is also the author of more than 30 books, including the best-selling Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future, Habitudes®: Images that Form Leadership Habits and Attitudes, Life Giving Mentors, and 12 Huge Mistakes Parents Can Avoid: Leading Your Kids to Succeed in Life.
Among his notable work, Dr. Elmore’s Habitudes allow for a new and refreshing outlook on the concept of leadership as it applies to the current generation of undergraduate students, one he refers to as Generation Z. Dr. Elmore’s concept of Habitudes recognizes the value of visual imagery, especially within today’s technologically savvy society, and emphasizes the importance of these images with respect to informing leadership pedagogies. To learn more about how we can best work with the college students of today to create better leaders for tomorrow, please join us at the PACADA retreat on September 19th.
**Click here for retreat and membership registration details**
**Click here for tentative Fall Retreat 2017 Schedule**
**Additionally, Raid your Closets! On-site at the Beck Agricultural Center the CCO will accept professional attire donations for the Career Closet! Attendees can drop-off items during check-in/registration in the morning and during the lunch hour.**
**Schedule Subject to Change**
|8:00am-8:30am||Check-In||Registration Check-in, Light Breakfast (Coffee, Donuts, Bagels, etc.)|
|8:30am-8:45am||Opening – 30th Anniversary Kickoff||Welcome, Intro 30th Anniversary Items, News Reels, Recognizing Membership Activity|
|8:45am-9:15am||Family Feud||Fun Activity For All!|
|9:20am-9:50am||Founders Panel||30th Anniversary Founding Members Panel|
|10:00am-10:50am||Block #1||See Below|
|11:00am-11:30am||PACADA Recruiting/Business Reports||30th Anniversary Edition; State of the Association & Committee Reports|
|11:30am-1:00pm||Lunch and Social Activities||Honey Baked Ham Lunches, Outside Games, Board Game Room,|
|Tour of Phenotyping Facility, Yoga/Zumba|
|1:00pm-1:50pm||Block #2||See Below|
|2:00pm-2:50pm||Block #3||See Below|
|3:00pm-4:00pm||Keynote||Dr. Tim Elmore|
|4:00pm-4:30pm||Closing||Celebration Cake, Door Prizes, Final Remarks|
**These topics are tentative and are subject to change**
|Break Out Session Topics|
|Habitudes – Students|
|Habitudes – Advisors|
You’ve taken the StrengthsFinder, right? Did you know there is a 1 in 33 million chance to find someone who has the exact same talent themes in the exact same order as you? Holly Englert, Associate Director of Advising in Mechanical Engineering, shared this interesting fact during an interview about Strengths Finder. In addition, both Cher Yazvac, Associate Director for Career Development in the CCO, and Matt Davenport, Assistant Director of Residential Life for Legacy Lane & Engagement, were interviewed about their insights regarding this topic. All three of these Purdue professionals are Certified Strengths Coaches!
Among the many ways in which this university is staying on the cutting edge of innovation, Purdue recently became a Strengths Campus and is working cross-departmentally to develop this novel model! Considering the national popularity and credibility of this tool, three members of the Communications and Connections Committee (C3) investigated trends, interactions, and resources by interviewing a variety of campus professionals who would know best!
Being a newly established Strengths Campus has several implications across the University, and each of the Coaches were able to touch upon what this means. In Residence Life, Matt Davenport shared that they “are implementing the philosophy of the Strengths into the curriculum.” Cher Yazvac highlighted that there isn’t just “one way for it to be integrated” and “the focus of what Purdue will look like could be different than other campuses.” It seems that there is an opportunity for campus branding so our institution can have a unique feel in how we create our identity as a Strengths Campus. Holly Englert also noted that this allows us to “go deeper with students and help them discover what their Strengths are and help them apply that in a way that can help them be successful in the classroom and in their career development.”
While some may think the assessment points people in a certain career direction, the truth is that it is designed to help you figure out how you do something, rather than what you should do. Instead of adopting this tool as a diagnostic for career paths, users should be aware the assessment is going to focus on helping them understand which approach they typically take in a given situation. These approaches (or Strengths) are not good or bad – they are neutral until a person puts an intention behind it.
Yazvac cautions people to remember that the bite-sized Top 5 Strengths are not the complete picture. Many people can operate out of their top 10 on a day-to-day basis. This is good news for those of us that feel as though we have a Strength that was not listed in the Top 5 of the StrengthsFinder assessment. It does not mean it is not used; it just means that some other Strengths may come even more naturally than the ones you previously thought.
Along similar lines, try not to think of your bottom Strengths as weaknesses. The 34 Strengths all have potential for you to use, but your bottom strengths may not come as naturally as other strengths do, and that is okay. This holds true even if you truly enjoy a Strength found at the bottom of your list. Davenport illustrates this occurrence by using singing as a supposed Strength: “Some people love to sing and even though they aren’t good at it, they do it anyway. Some people don’t particularly love singing but they are good at it. This is not too dissimilar to Strengths. Some things you may be good at but don’t love. Some things you may be bad at but love anyway. It’s tapping into an awareness of these personal tools and learning how to best harness them.”
The Strengths Coaches have utilized Strengths in a variety of ways. Conversations around Strengths are happening with students in groups, through classes and workshops, and in one-on-one settings, like career counseling. Englert has led Strengths workshops in ME 290. The CCO staff have gone into classrooms and residence halls, incorporating Strengths into career exploration workshops. Lessons on Strengths are also utilized in EDPS 105 and in workshops for fraternities, sororities, cooperative houses, and other student groups. In addition to using Strengths with students, staff in at the CCO, housing and dining, and other offices use Strengths for teambuilding and professional development. The opportunities abound to incorporate Strengths into work in student affairs.
A wide variety of resources exist for both advisors and students, which the three Coaches shared liberally! They include the following, many of which both advisors and students can use:
- Strengths 2.0 Book (Downloadable e-Version access when Logged In on Gallup website)
- Online Gallup Resources (Access when Logged In)
- Purdue myStrengths Web Portal (4 Career Assessments under the “Resources” Folder and within the “View Additional Resources” Tab among many additional links and resources)
- Strengths Facebook Groups
- Strengths YouTube Channel including Themed Thursday Podcasts
- Access Purdue’s Certified Gallup Strengths Coaches for Individual or Group Interactions
We asked the interviewees what their Top 5 Strengths are and which ones resonated with them the most. Davenport said his are: Activator, Maximizer, Communication, Competition, and Positivity. Interestingly, he felt as though his 6th Strength, Woo, was the one that resonated the most with him. While Woo might be conceived as a manipulative or negative trait because it consists of “winning people over” (Gallup, 2017), it really comes back to the intention of the user. Provided the person employing Woo is operating from the “Balcony” and not the “Basement”, the Strength is a great asset to the person and employer.
Englert stated her Strengths are: Empathy, Developer, Positivity, Communication, and Input and that Empathy resonates most with her. She believes it drives who she is as an individual and is highly relatable to her other Strengths. The genuine connection she feels through Empathy gives her an edge within advising because she can understand when to push a student and when to back off.
For Yazvac, her Top 5 strengths are: Communication, Connectedness, Empathy, Strategic, and Maximizer. She feels as though all of these resonate with her. However, she has intentionally focused more of her attention to the Strategic strength. She believes by developing this strength, it will help her with her other strength, Maximizer.
We should remember that implementing StrengthsFinder is a learning process for the students, faculty, and staff at Purdue so there are going to be some questions along the way. Thankfully, Purdue has provided a solid foundation to our advising and student services community to help navigate this new tool. For those finding the process to be a bit overwhelming or a bit lost as to how to get started with Strengths, we recommend that you start with yourself. By learning your own strengths and how they affect your work, you can better help your students tap into their Strengths within their academics and future careers.
Keep in mind that Gallup and Purdue have additional tools for you to use that we previously mentioned in this article. Reach out to the Strengths coaches here on campus if you want to continue your education or have them assist in your curriculum. You can find them by visiting here: https://www.purdue.edu/vpsl/leadership/About/myStrengths.html.
We would love to hear how you are implementing Strengths in your work with students! Please feel free to reach out to the contacts listed below to let us know. We may contact you on future articles regarding Strengths methodology!
Jessica Knerr (email@example.com)
Veronica Rahim (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Chrystal Randler (email@example.com)
Written By: Christine J. Hofmeyer
The criteria for the PACADA Outstanding New Professional Award includes effective interpersonal skills, availability to advisees, demonstration of a professional attitude toward advisees, evidence of active involvement in helping students achieve career and academic goals, use of information resources and referral agencies, and evidence of professional development. This year’s recipient has exceeded all of these criteria.
She joined her department in June 2015, hitting the ground running during the first week of STAR, and due to the need to learn Purdue advising procedures and work to establish new relationships with her advisees; she broke the sound barrier with her speed of action and this rate of speed continues.
What does movement at the speed of sound look like?
In addition to serving as an exceptional academic advisor and viewed by her department as one of the most “approachable” Purdue advisors, our award recipient has led the development of a formal professional communication internship to help students achieve their career goals. The focus of the program is to help document the learning and growth of student interns for the development of stronger professional relationships in the agricultural communication industry, which will help assist in academic preparation and employment placement. As a point of success, the academic program enjoys nearly 100 percent job placement “in the field” within three months of graduation. Our recipient is actively involved in multiple initiatives, some of which she has helped to create in her short time in the department. She manages multiple social media accounts that enhance departmental communication efforts, writes a monthly department newsletter and biannual alumni newsletter, and authors three different monthly features for the website. She serves as a leadership coach for the College of Agriculture Leadership Development Certificate Program, advisor and mentor for student Ambassadors, the Agricultural Communication Program’s student organization, and the Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow (ACT). She co-advises the Purdue Dairy Club, and extends her advising and disciplinary expertise throughout the College of Agriculture.
Ongoing professional development is a key component of her professional life. She is an active member of the Purdue Career Advising Council and PACADA. She is a member of two PACADA subcommittees: Communications and Connections Committee and Professional Development Committee — having served as the secretary for the Professional Development Committee. She is a member of the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA). Earlier this year, she attended the Agricultural Careers Conference in Des Moines, Iowa.
She will increase her momentum by serving as chaperone for the upcoming Haiti Study Abroad course offered through YDAE. Whoosh! She is truly an amazing and accomplished person! BREATHE!
2017 PACADA Outstanding New Professional Award recipient is Elizabeth Byers-Doten, Youth Development and Agricultural Education (YDAE) Student Services Specialist. Congratulations on receiving this well-deserved award!
Creative Directors: Taylor Weast, Veronica Rahim, & Mia Giron
We have made it to the end of another semester! Hopefully, work is slowing down for many of us and we are finding some time to relax. Still, there are some stressors that are associated with the end of the semester. Therefore, we put together an end of the semester survival guide plus some tips for thriving in the new year – Enjoy!
We have tough conversations with students at this point in the semester but remember, there’s always room to grow and improve! For example, you may find yourself having the following conversation: “Linda, honey, listen unfortunately, your current GPA isn’t meeting this program’s requirement. Let’s discuss options in moving forward…”
Remember, no matter how thankless your role may seem at times, many students are apt to share their gratitude with you. Don’t forget to share your gratitude with those in your life that you are thankful for, too!
So let’s talk about thriving in the new year. Take some of that free time and get organized! No one wants to come back to a desk full of papers and folders and an inbox full of email from last year. As Mary Poppins says, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun, and – SNAP – the job’s a game!”
New year’s resolutions…they always sound so great at the beginning of the year. Never mind that life got busy and exercise took a backseat. Join a walking group, visit the gym, do a Zumba class with friends. The possibilities are endless!
Another great way to start the New Year off right is by joining the PACADA Professional Mentoring Program (shameless plug, we know). Seriously, how great would it be to make a new connection on campus?! More information and the sign up links can be found here: https://www.purdue.edu/pacada/mentoring-program
While we’re shamelessly plugging PACADA activities, have you considered joining a committee? Join this duck on the Research Committee (help them with the IRB approved research project they are working on)! Or perhaps the Communications and Connections Committee (C3) is more your thing? We also have a great Membership Committee (responsible for those cool gifts you get every year), the Campus Affairs Committee (who organized the outstanding Student Affairs update last week!) and last, but certainly not least, the Professional Development Committee (who sponsors the annual PACADA Retreat every year). Are you convinced yet?
Speaking of retreats…have you considered professional development? Conferences can be a great way to rejuvenate yourself and advance your knowledge in your specific functional area, plus they are fun! Consider attending the Regional and National NACADA Conference (or a conference specific to your functional area), on-campus professional development opportunities (such as the Webinar sponsored by Sandy and the folks at Undergraduate Academic Advising on Dec. 14th), or off-campus professional development opportunities.
We wish you all the best through the end of the semester and we hope you thrive in the new year!
*Note: All memes, gifs, and images in this article were captured from Google images searches and TheAwkwardYeti.com. These are not our original creations nor do we take credit for their creation.
By Audrey Cowling
Purdue President Mitch Daniels, an honorary PACADA member, observed an advising appointment in the College of Science on October 18. Jamie Linville, former Academic Advisor in Computer Science, brought up the idea of President Daniels shadowing an advising appointment during the fall 2016 PACADA Retreat in September.
The appointment that President Daniels observed was a spring 2017 registration meeting between Jamie and one of her advisees, Paul Krivacka, who was told before the appointment that President Daniels would be there. Paul is a freshman at Purdue studying Computer Science. He is also a Presidential Scholar and member of the Honors College. During the appointment, Jamie and Paul discussed a number of topics, including spring course selection, degree requirements, experiential learning opportunities, study abroad, and graduate school. At the end of the appointment, President Daniels asked Jamie about the advising role and what it entails and also took the time to learn more about Paul. Upon asking where Paul is from, he found out that they are both from Tennessee.
Paul had positive things to say about President Daniels’ visit: “I thought it was very cool of him to come to my appointment; it really shows that he wants to be involved in the college at every level.” He stated that he is a fan of how President Daniels “goes outside and gets to know the campus and people firsthand rather than only reading about it in reports at his desk.” Paul said that President Daniels was genuinely interested in student life, asking Paul about living in the new Honors Residence, his study abroad plans, classes he is taking, and the registration process as a whole. Paul stated that President Daniels “seemed to care about students as individuals…wanting to know what could be improved upon and if I personally had any problems or issues.”
President Daniels said in a statement that he found the experience “enjoyable and illuminating” and that he “came away reassured that, regardless of heavy caseloads, our students are getting individual and personalized attention.” He added that “despite what seemed an overly complex set of requirements and options, Jamie and her advisee still managed to build an academically engaging schedule that will also keep the student on track to graduate in four years.”
The PACADA Communications & Connections Committee would like to thank President Daniels for taking the time to learn more about the role of advisors. We would also like to thank Jamie for initiating this important dialogue, and Paul for sharing his experience.