People. That’s Why.
Frank Shushok, Jr.
“…Whenever a prepared, empowered “we” mobilizes a passionate, productive “why,” the result is game-changing, life-altering, people-centric work that has the potential to change the course of history. Wherever there are these kinds of initiatives, you’ll find folks making great sacrifices to get in on, rather than get out of, this work. Most of us already have a ‘we’ and a ‘why’ available. We simply must make courageous and altruistic choices to lead from wherever we sit and flee from the narrative that someone else controls our destinies.“
Challenging Our Assumptions: Executive Editor, Frank Shushok Jr., and Simon Sinek Talk About Educational Practices Affecting Student Life and Student Learning on American College Campuses
Frank Shushok, Jr., and Simon Sinek
Simon Sinek identiﬁes the problem of leadership in higher education today as a ﬁxation on ﬁnances at the highest levels. He recognizes that money is important but notes that being “lean” has its own costs—costs in terms of the student experience (historic rates of depression leading to leaves of absence, for example). Since those of us in “the trenches” cannot change our leaders directly, Sinek challenges us to become the leaders we wish we had. He suggests that leadership is a choice one can make, regardless of rank, for those of us willing to take on the challenge and risk.
Andrews recognized himself in Carol Dweck’s “ﬁxed mindset” and used her ideas about ﬁxed and growth mindsets to motivate himself just to take the next step and focus on progress rather than outcome. He comes to see that a “growth mind-set” can be much more useful in managing his attitude. He shares how this insight supported him as he restudied for and passed his exams and how we as educators should bring this perspective with us to our interactions with our students.
Nicole Caridad Ralston, Z Nicolazzo, and Jessica C. Harris
These three educators share counter-stories of their experiences as betwixt-and-between racialized and gendered identities. Their counter-stories capture the constant self-questioning they experience just from moving through the world and the whiplash experience of being hypervisible as “different” while at the same time invisible to those who make assumptions about their identities. They argue that we all need to interrogate and disrupt the dominant monoracial paradigm and the gender binary by engaging in deep reﬂection about how we are implicated in these social constructions. They remind us that students need educators who create space and understanding for them to explore the intersectionality of their multiple identities.
Taking the Pulse
Instead of passively supporting the status quo that the value of a college education is limited to careers and paychecks, Tucker suggests that we base our alumni survey questions on our institutional mission statements and learning outcomes, many of which include important skills such as critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and intercultural awareness, among many other valuable skills.