Editor’s Note

Pay Attention to the Frog
Frank Shushok, Jr.

Ever since my first visit over a decade ago, Southwestern Montana is my self-identified “God spot. The mountains, trout streams, wildlife, rugged terrain and night skies, for whatever reason, help me see my place in the universe. While there, I feel simultaneously big and small, significant and insignificant…”

Feature Articles

Brene Brown Encourages Educators to Normalize the Discomfort of Learning and Reframe Failure as Learning

Brene Brown and Frank Shushok, Jr.

Instead of getting caught up in the blame game that these stories usu-ally represent, Brown cautions us to persevere to the next step, which is to hold our emotions in check and consider what we really know about the situation: this is the story that tells the truth.

Engaging Religious Diversity on Campus: The Role of Student Affairs
Eboo Patel and Mary Ellen Giess

Though higher education in the United States has historically been secular, Eboo Patel and Mary Ellen Giess challenge us to engage posi-tively with religious and nonreli-gious identity. Though they realize the challenges to student affairs pro-fessionals, such as the lack of knowl-edge, personal discomfort, the fear of backlash, and possible tension between religious identities, they present a persuasive call to action.

“Spirituality” and “Religiousness” among American College Students
Alexander W. Astin

Alexander Astin reports interesting fi ndings from Cultivating the Spirit about the importance of spiritual identity among U.S. undergrads. He, Helen Astin, and Jennifer Lindholm surveyed almost 15,000 fi rst-year students through the UCLA CIRP survey and again at the end of their third year, focusing on issues of spirituality and religiosity. This arti-cle explores the 20 percent who are “spiritual, but not religious” (SNR). Views from Campus

Friendship Work

Trey Guinn

Trey Guinn reminds us how important it is for students to connect with others for a suc-cessful transition to college. The relationships they make (or fail to make) during this time are crucial in student satisfaction, reten-tion, and success. The good news, according to Guinn, is that the skills to develop friendships—such as extending invitations, engaging in appropriate self-disclosure, and providing supportive communica-tion—can be taught.

Sharing Stories: Using Student Voices to Expand Assessment Reporting

Vicki L. Wise and Lisa J. Hatfield

Student affairs practitioners transform students’ lives. How-ever, annual reports of lists and numbers do not effectively convey the impact of this work. Vicki L. Wise and Lisa J. Hatfi eld explain the value of including student and staff narratives in assessment as a powerful tool for reaching stakeholders.

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