For CSA 567: The Role of Diversity in Student Affairs Practice, we were asked to create a workshop focused on a student group different than our own. I chose to study first generation students and their experience as undergraduate students. Based on the literature and research found, we designed a program and service that would meet the needs of this particular students group. The workshop and presentation was based upon an article “Student Affairs Core Competencies: Integrating multicultural awareness, knowledge, and skills” (Pope & Reynolds, 1997).  Based on these three competencies, the presentation demonstrates my ability to use a combination of research, assessment, and skill in working with student groups from a culture other than my own. It includes a statement of commitment to the area of multicultural affairs with the framework of these competencies. 

First Generation Students - Workshop Overview

As an ACUHO-I intern at Southern Methodist University, I sat on a committee titled Diversity Action Team (DAT). The committee was made up of representatives from Residence Life and Student Housing, Chaplain’s Office, and Multicultural Center. This committee represents a unique partnership in student life and was instrumental in bringing strategic change to the university. The team was focused on developing training material for their resident assistants and professional staff as well as developing a leadership position for an undergraduate resident adviser. This particular position would be an advocate for diversity, be responsible to create inclusive environments and be trained in conflict resolution. They also assessed their biased incident reporting protocol. The experience on the committee gave me an opportunity to see theory applied to practice. Professionals in the field exemplified best practice in knowledge of practice and theory, awareness of their campus environment and skill sets needed to support student development and bring change to their institution.


In my work as I encounter students and become aware of systemic problems around issues of gender, race, culture and class, I continue to grow in my understanding of ally development. As a student affair professional, I see my role as being an ally for students and an advocate for their voice. In CSA 562: Today’s College Students, we were given two articles “Exploring Religious Pluralism in Higher Education: Non-Majority Religious Perspectives among Entering First-Year College Students” (Bryant, 2006) and “The Development of Social Justice Allies During College: A Phenomenological Investigation” (Broido, 2000) to reflect upon our own understanding of becoming a social justice ally as well as how to encourage this in our students.  The articles examine white and Christian privilege in the context of the university setting and the implications of this in our practice with college students. Furthermore it challenges professionals to continuously engage in the tensions and struggles our students may experience. In the article reflection I have examined my own sense of social justice and racial ally development in the context of spiritual development. The understanding of my role with students in their racial and social justice ally development is integrated with my own understanding of faith development. 

Link to articles: Bryant, 2006   Broido, 2000

Ally Development Reflection

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