The Brown Bag Lunch series sponsored by the Women’s Resource Center was a partnership with faculty to create a co-curricular experience for students. According to Keeling (2004) it is important that student affairs professionals foster collaboration with offices on campus and consider the learning environments that best meet our learning objectives.  Successful learning occurs in strategic relationships (p 14).  Undergraduate students had often expressed a gap in the curriculum and the ability to discuss certain issues within student life in the campus environment.  The hope was to facilitate informal discussion around issues of gender in specific academic disciplines. Many faculty are experts or have done research on gender issues. The staff at the Women’s Resource Center thought it was a great opportunity to work with faculty to foster an investigative culture around issues of gender.  This lunch series hopefully promoted intellectual thought outside the classroom and helped students gain experience in a productive dialogue. The Brown Bag Lunch series is an example of seamless learning environments that promote the personal development of students by integrating the classroom and co-curricular educational experience (Kuh, 1996).


I was asked to present at the ACPA national conference in Boston, March 2010. The topic was Fostering Authenticity and Spirituality: From Research to Action. One portion of the presentation was to create vignettes that captured either undergraduates or professional staff and their experience with the university’s environment. Questions we asked included safety around issues of exploring faith. Did they perceive themselves to be in an environment where they were able to express their ideas, beliefs and culture around their spirituality? In the presentation we facilitated a conversation about the classroom and co-curricular environment and how to foster spiritual growth and learning. Based on research, we recognized that students demonstrate a desire to engage in spirituality in college. Attached is the PowerPoint presented at the conference. 

Fostering Authenticity and Spirituality PowerPoint


Senior Women’s Forum was a program I developed in response to the transitional period during spring semester that many students go through in preparation for the end of their college career. A pertinent developmental stage for women according to Josselson is the ability to recognize the authority and carrier of knowledge (Evans, 1998). I created the forum with three sessions, occurring once a month throughout the spring. I invited the speakers to discuss issues of post college life and skills they saw as valuable in navigating the changes. As Baxter Magolda (1999) asserts when constructing adult identities, a tension exists between reliance on external factors and the growing strength of an internal voice. My hope was that these programs would foster thought and reflection on their college experience and provide concrete tools for the transition ahead, (just as we did when they first entered college).

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