Heather Shea’s career in student affairs spans nearly two decades and five different campuses, and involves work experience in many different functional areas including sustainability programs, residence life, multicultural affairs, women’s centers, student activities, leadership development, and commuter/nontraditional student services.
She is currently a doctoral student in the Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education (HALE) PhD Program at Michigan State University where her research interests involve studying student activists, organizational change, and transformational student experiences. Heather also works full-time as the the assistant director of RISE (Residential Initiative on the Study of the Environment), a living-learning community at Michigan State University, where she oversees academic success, student learning outcomes assessment, and recruitment and retention activities. Having recently served as the director of the Women’s Center and worked closely with the LGBTQA Office at the University of Idaho for over five years, Heather’s areas of content knowledge include intersectionality, feminist leadership, social change, student activism, and social justice education.
Heather is a co-host of the online live-streamed show, Student Affairs Live, which broadcasts on the HigherEdLive.com network each month. HigherEdLive is a learning community for student affairs educators. Episodes provide viewers with opportunities to learn from and engage with practitioners and educators from across the field around a broad range of topics in student affairs.
Heather is extensively involved in ACPA – College Student Educators International. She is the recent past Director of Membership Development on the Governing Board and also recently served as the Program Chair for the 2014 Convention in Indianapolis, an experience that reaffirmed her commitment to the association and offered many opportunities for connection and creativity.
Heather graduated from Colorado State University with a double major in graphic design and marketing. After working as first a resident assistant and then a hall director as an undergrad, she was inspired to pursue a career in student affairs. She received her master’s degree in education from Colorado State University’s SAHE (Student Affairs in Higher Education) program in 2000.
Heather is available for speaking and consultation on a number of different topics:
Sample Speaking Topics:
- Advising & Helping: Advising Student Organizations for Social Change, Gender and Communication Strategies among Student Leaders
- Assessment, Evaluation & Research: Assessing the Impact of Student Involvement, Assessing Women’s Centers (External Program Review), Using CAS Standards to Write Program Learning Outcomes and Assessment Plans
- Equity, Diversity & Inclusion: Developing a Socially Just Organization; Women, Power and Sexism; LGBTQ Equity in Society; Sexual Assault Awareness and Training
- Leadership: Characteristics of Feminist Leadership, Developing Feminist Organizational Structures
- Personal Foundations: Using Strengths Based Approaches to Build Engaged Teams, Positive Psychology and Student Affairs Leadership
- Student Learning & Development: Using Strengths-Based Approaches to Guide Peer Mentoring
Connect with Heather on Twitter @Heather_Shea_!
Purpose Statement for this Blog
I began my previous blog, “Beyond WCenter” as a personal project to provide a reflective space to process my experiences as the director of a university women’s center. Working in a women’s center is a unique and rich opportunity that fundamentally changed me as a student affairs professional, as an educator, as a feminist, and as a person. And, when I left my position and moved across the country in the summer of 2013 to join my partner in Michigan and start a PhD program, I was left needing a space to deconstruct, share, and collectively analyze the vast personal transformation that had taken place within my life as a result of working in a job that was so enriching. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t all “feminist fantasy land”… I faced challenges, too (some more successfully than others). My hope was that this blog would help me articulate (for myself and perhaps for others) how challenges within a feminist space may look different than those in other administrative or student affairs offices. Opinions and recollections of the events that transpired within the women’s center are my own.