“there were various levels of crisis. These levels included: (a) disasters, (b) crises, and (c) critical incidents. The first level, disaster, comprised events such as hurricanes, terrorist attacks, and tornadoes. A disaster has the ability to drain campus resources as well as the resources in the surrounding community. A crisis is an event that only affects institutions and not the surrounding community. A critical incident is a localized event on campus that has the potential to turn into a disaster if not handled in a timely manner. For instance, this may be an incident in the residence halls, a specific department, or a campus building.  According to research in the field, the way a crisis is handled may influence the level that a crisis will reach and the impact that a crisis may have on the future of an institution” (Catullo, Walker & Floyd, 2009).

As an ACUHO-I Guest Housing Intern at Southern Methodist University I served as the on-call intern at various three-day intervals. Being the on-call intern, I was the first to receive any news from our undergraduate guest housing assistants and then would continue the line of communication to the necessary command: facility management, cleaning services, conference intern, or professional residence life staff.  During one particular incident, I responded to a facility mechanical issue. We had approximately 300 guests in the three-story dormitory. I responded to a call from one of the undergraduate interns that the first floor was flooding and water was continuing to overflow out of a toilet. I was not at the site of the incident and so remained on the telephone with my student until I arrived. I remained calm and in control of the situation, addressing the safety of my assistants and then the guests. Once arriving at the sight, the next step was to take inventory of the situation. I was able to instruct them to the appropriate location of water vacuums in a specific location with a locked key. I then focused my attention on contacting the facility manager via phone. After confirming that a plumber was on the way, I focused on removing my guests from the location and assigning new room locations with new key assignments.  The midnight emergency phone call turned into a complex issue that if handled poorly may have been detrimental to our student assistants and guests.  


In CSA 583: Counseling Issues and Practice, I was assigned to research crisis and emergency interventions at a number of different colleges, and choose a university that represented best practice.  I used an article published from a NASPA journal, Status of Crisis Management at NASPA institutions, (Catullo, Walker & Floyd, 2009) as a framework in which to compare and contrast intervention practices.  As a professional it is imperative to become familiar with the plan and know your role in a crisis. Some best practices that I found in research was a clearly defined chain of command, a process to report concern for suspicious behavior, and a clear plan for post crisis and emergency.  For example, The Office of Student Life at Texas A & M has identified certain crisis in the community as teachable moments for their students. The attached link will direct you to a paper describing the crisis intervention plan at Texas A & M University, College Station TX.    

Best Practice in Crisis Paper


As a graduate assistant in the Women’s Resource Center, I was responsible for the supervision of undergraduate interns. In this role I provided leadership in staff development, which included interpersonal conflict resolution. Attached is a document I wrote for CSA 553: Administration in Student Affairs. The assignment asked that we resolve a problem in our assistantship using a leadership framework from Bolman and Deal (2008).  I examined a conflict present between the two interns. Using the leadership frames paper I better understood the conflict and how to respond in practice. In the paper I offered suggestions and applications in resolving conflict. (see attached pdf link)

Frames Paper

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