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Higher ed. administration graduate candidates present at state conference

Graduate student Jasmine Brown

Five graduate students represented Georgia Southern University’s College of Education (COE) at the Georgia College Personnel Association (GCPA) and Georgia Housing Officers (GHO) Joint Conference hosted at Armstrong State University on Nov. 9-10.

Presenters included: M.Ed. Higher Education Administration candidates Jasmine Brown and Katie Green; and Ed.D. Educational Leadership candidates John Banter, Tiffany Davis and John Egan.

The theme of this year’s joint conference was, “Chart Your Course Towards Best Practices.” A practitioner-based event, presentations centered on professional development and organizational techniques for both the higher education and housing arenas.

Brown, a graduate assistant in the First Year Experience office at Georgia Southern, presented “Being *Blank* Isn’t a Risk Factor.” She discussed and encouraged attendees to brainstorm ideas about ways to empower students with marginalized identities on college campuses. Brown also presented current research that examined external influences, such as the media, and the impact they have on these populations.

Green presented, “Breaking Barriers: Accommodating Learning Obstacles in the Digital Age.” The presentation examined the continued lack of accessibility in instruction despite advances in technology. Green serves as an academic degree programs coordinator at Emory University. Using her experiences as both a professional in the higher education field and current graduate student, she examined ways to adequately accommodate the needs of students, ensuring that students with disabilities have the same access, opportunities and privileges as their peers.

Tier I candidate in the doctorate of educational leadership program, Davis shared discoveries made within her position as associate director of residence life and housing at College of Coastal Georgia (CCGA) to help formulate her presentation. “How to Deconstruct Silos: Managing Growth and Supporting Student Success” discussed the separation that is often present in higher education institutions where departments, offices and divisions do not collaborate within a campus. Davis and co-presenter Allison Lyon offered solutions they have used at CCGA to deconstruct and formulate growth within the institution.

Ed.D. Educational Leadership Candidates John Banter (left) and John Egan

Banter and Egan, both tier II candidates in the doctorate of educational leadership program, co-presented, “The Collaboratory: Designing a Leadership Living-Learning Community to Tackle Wicked Social Injustices.” Their presentation offered suggestions for engaging students in the design thinking process of problem-solving through results shown in a leadership living learning community hosted on Georgia Southern’s campus called the “The Collaboratory.” This initiative was crafted to teach students how to creatively tackle challenges facing our global community and have them engage in social work. Banter and Egan are both employees of the Office of Leadership and Community Engagement at the University. The presentation also included undergraduate student Zachary Lemons, a community leader at Georgia Southern University.

“It was so exciting to see so many of our higher education leadership students representing the COE and Georgia Southern at this conference,” said Dan Calhoun, Ph.D., associate professor and coordinator of the M.Ed. Higher Education Administration program at Georgia Southern. “I think it says a lot about their leadership abilities to have been selected to present such high quality programs at a professional conference where student affairs professionals representing 32 institutions from the state of Georgia were present.”

GCPA is a state affiliate of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA) and serves as an advocate and professional support network for high education professionals and the development of students.

Since forming in 1989, GHO seeks to serve as an association of college housing officers advancing the professionals as a resource for collaboration, networking and communication within Georgia. For more information on GHO, visit

To learn more about the higher education administration graduate degrees offered at Georgia Southern, visit


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