2019-01-31

Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs

Katie L. Treadwell, Marijo Russell O'Grady, and Associates

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When a traumatic event occurs, student affairs professionals must be ready to respond and lead. Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs provides student affairs professionals of all levels with strategies and advice for creating a mindset to navigate the complexity that results from encountering crises both large and small.

Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs focuses on the personal lived experiences of student affairs professionals who frequently encounter crisis situations and disasters on college and university campuses. The book explores how to apply triage practices—doing what matters most in the moment during a crisis event—to support the holistic well-being of students and staff through both institutional crises as well as daily critical incidents.

This edited volume features wide-ranging perspectives from seasoned student affairs leaders who have encountered unthinkable tragedies and high-profile incidents including active shooters, intentional violence, citywide terrorism, natural disasters, transportation accidents, student suicide and death, campus activism, and more. They share essential steps for responding to and managing crisis events and emergencies, as well as advice for maintaining personal well-being and achieving healing when the work demands 24/7/365 dedication.

Chapters also discuss responding to smaller-scale incidents, recognizing that leading student affairs efforts can be a daunting juggling task even on an average day. Readers will benefit from guidance on applying frameworks, developing training and protocols, learning through reflection, and supporting staff well-being.

When a traumatic event occurs, student affairs professionals must be ready to respond and lead. Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs provides student affairs professionals of all levels with strategies and advice for creating a mindset to navigate the complexity that results from encountering crises both large and small.

Praise for Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs

Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs offers insight into the often unspoken need for grit, perseverance, and self-care. The authors demonstrate how compassionate leadership in student affairs includes granting one's self grace in the midst of grief, tragedy, and uncertainty. ” —Brian O. Hemphill, President, Radford University

Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs centers hope and honors our noble profession, offering a path for embracing unprecedented challenges and opportunities. Our colleagues urge us to prioritize oxygen for ourselves in order to provide the compassionate leadership our students, staff, and communities need. My own journey through institutional crises and daily triage was accurately reflected; all student affairs professionals would benefit from the powerful affirmation, guide, and reminder of the import of our work.” —Wendy Endress, Vice Provost for Student and Academic Life, The Evergreen State College

“Whether it is the daily critical incidents that arise, or the inevitable career-defining campus disaster, student affairs staff are consistently called upon in times of crisis. Through vivid and heartfelt accounts of campus events, Crisis Compassion and Resiliency in Student Affairs demonstrates the tremendous impact crisis events can have on both students and staff. The authors provide fresh insights and new perspectives on understanding traumatic events, with emphasis on how to use triage and other trauma-informed practices to support students, staff, and ourselves.” —Eugene L. Zdziarski II, Vice President for Student Affairs, DePaul University

“In Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs, the process of ‘triage,’ doing what matters most in the moment during a major campus crisis, is presented from professional and personal perspectives.  The authors share their own challenges and advice on attending to the things that matter most.  The book explores how to prepare for a major crisis by developing methods, training, and protocols; how to learn through reflection; and how to lead through dedication to students and staff and loyalty to the institution.” —Kristin S. Harper, Executive Director, Office for Student Success, Texas A&M University

“This is one of those books that you pick up and cannot put down until you finish it.  The indelible reflections and timeless wisdom shared by the authors make this an essential read for all student affairs professionals. The stories clearly illustrate the complexity of emotion we experience when responding to a wide range of campus crises and the self-care strategies offered will help us sustain a healthier career in student affairs.” —Scott Peska, Assistant Vice President of Student Services, Waubonsee Community College

“As student affairs professionals, we find ourselves called to action when there is a campus crisis. Treadwell, Russell O’Grady, and associates share their experiences with campus crises and remind us that crisis response is one of the most difficult things student affairs professionals will ever do, yet one of the most rewarding. Everyone in student affairs should read Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs.—Brent Paterson, Assistant to the President/Chief of Staff, Illinois State University

“Only those who have truly experienced life’s hard spaces with others can speak honestly about the puzzling treasure it is to serve well through crises. With compelling stories and practical wisdom, Treadwell, Russell O’Grady, and their associates invite us to re-imagine the gifts of presence in hardship. Crisis, Compassion, and Resiliency in Student Affairs beckons our profession to ‘seize the hard day,’ as it may be the most important opportunity we are given.” —Frank Shushok Jr., Senior Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Associate Professor of Higher Education, Virginia Tech; Executive Editor, About Campus

“Thank you for calling out my struggles with sadness as a way to find meaning and life in this work. These reflections gave me permission to tussle with my personal healing and to prioritize the listening my communities—colleagues and students—need from me. I came away from these reflections refreshed with tears and new perspectives on care for and love of my communities. I came away more human.” —Kenn Elmore, Associate Provost and Dean of Students, Boston University

Paperback | 2019 | 288 pages

ISBN: 978-1-948213-04-2

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