A year of accomplishments, scatterplots, new resolutions

Poor, sad, little neglected blog. I used to think that I did not have time for writing while I finished my dissertation. This year demonstrated that a preoccupied mind prevents reflection as well. I have been working on this draft for many days and struggling to verbalize the happy and not so happy of it all. Americans are supposed to be the outlier on the happy scale, more upbeat about their days than most people. When we are not in that place, it can be hard.


At the end of last year, I was not selected for a promotion that I fiercely wanted and had stringently prepared. It was a position I had strived for in the past, only to be discouraged from applying due to lack of a terminal degree. This “job” was not the driving force behind completing my Ph.D., but the degree was one of a series of steps that I took to prepare for a “next step” in my career. Side note, being rejected from a dream job five days before holiday vacation is not ideal for one’s self-esteem and seasonal jocularity. I recommend against it all costs.
This year began with a new boss (not getting the “job” meant working for the person who did) and the adjustments that come with a change in leadership. It also began with a new opportunity.
A position with an education non-profit came on the horizon and a new job search began. For those of us who lament the prodigious time required for campus employment, this process reached new heights. Non-profits include a scaffolding of decision makers. Whether in discussion with a screening committee, organization leaders, elected board, and the membership; each audience sought a different answer and a different set of skills. The job posted in January and concluded with a hire announcement in late September (more on this later). A colleague termed it as the job search that rivaled a pregnancy.
Meanwhile, real life work this year included financial shortfalls, intense budget negotiations, staff reorganization to address financial shortfalls, a staff member on family leave, and a staff member following a partner to new employment. Even knowing in advance, it is difficult to prepare for the transition of a dedicated colleague. Rewriting position descriptions, preparing a search committee, waiting on HR approvals, the calendar was inching along. And all of this while attending to the needs of smart and amazing students (who sometimes have tragic days) and doing my best to be a good leader and mentor for the amazing student staff and graduate assistants that I am lucky to employ. The wiser than her years, Stacy Oliver-Sikorski, recently opined “There are really awful days amidst the really great days, and we need to be more honest with ourselves and others about that.”
Facing those “awful” days and separating work from family needs was complicated this year. I am enormously grateful for a loving and supportive partner who keeps me grounded. I am happy and proud to be mom to an amazing teen and tween who are high achieving and in search of their strengths. They are my most important work every day.
I will be embarking on a new adventure in the not so distant future. Despite every obstacle, 2014 will be remembered on the happy scale as the year that I resolved to get my dream job. And succeeded.
More soon. Happy 2015!

Making Meaning with Type in College Student Affairs

Screen Shot 2014-01-03 at 10.58.25 PM

If you enjoyed my post on the MBTI Type preference of student affairs practitioners, you may be interested in this expanded article recently published in the Bulletin of Psychological Type, a publication of the Association for Psychological Type, International.
Link to article: Making Meaning with Type in College Student Affairs

Intro to Twitter and Tweeting (+ handouts)

Puzzling that Twitter has been around for seven years, I have been a fan since 2008, and I still do not have a handy Twitter 101 reference guide. A quick Google search and appeal to my network found many presentation slides, but no handouts related to the art of Twitter. So I made my own. Twitter has great resources, so I was able to edit content and remove links to pull something together. Nothing fancy as of yet, but if you need something in a pinch to introduce a new colleague to Twitter, enjoy!

Twitter 101 info

Twitter 101 glossary

Useful guide to using Twitter during events from high school journalism teacher, Sarah Nichols.

Twitter for event coverage

Twitter Help Center. (2013, October). Twitter 101: Getting started with Twitter. Retrieved from https://support.twitter.com/groups/50-welcome-to-twitter/

What is your 5-year plan?

Screen Shot 2013-10-27 at 6.19.17 PMHappy 5th Anniversary to the eighteen and life blog! Thank you for popping in now and again to see what is on my mind and for offering words of encouragement. As I think back over the last half decade, I smile to think of the new friends in my life and the completion of major projects.

For your reading pleasure, I have gathered a few articles that you may have missed over the last week.

University of Kentucky using student data analytics to improve retention rates.

SMU created this video on why to consider a grad program in higher ed. 

Interesting piece on class-sourcing as a teaching strategy.

A study showing that college faculty are increasingly using social media.

Brutalist architecture style on college campuses.

Twitter becoming more popular with teenagers.

PS. Also, wishing Happy 1/2 Birthday to my dear daughter!

And the Survey Says: Results of “What’s Your #SAmbti?”

A few weeks back, as the #SAmbti hashtag became a Twitter discussion point, I surveyed the folks of the #SAchat community regarding their Myers-Briggs preferences. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®) is the most common instrument for determining psychological type preferences utilized in business, personal coaching and higher education. It asks a series of self-report forced-choice questions to define opposing preferences for personal energy, acquiring information, making decisions, and organizing one’s world.

The survey produced the type preferences of 129 student affairs colleagues. More than half of those responding were female. Residence Life was the most common area of employment in student affairs. The most frequent type preferences were ENFJ (n = 21), INFJ (n = 16) and ENTJ (n = 14).

The primary method for analyzing type preferences is the self-selection ratio type table or SRTT (McCaulley, 1985). The SRTT is used to measure the frequency of type in a collected sample against the frequency of that type in a base population. SRTT determines the over- or under-representation of a research sample in comparison to a national base type preference sample. The ratio numerator represents the percentage of that type in the research sample while the denominator is the type percentage in the base population. The ratio is exactly 1.00 when the type percentage presented in a group is exactly the same as the proportion in the base population. It will be greater than 1.00 if the type is overrepresented and less than 1.00 when the type is underrepresented.

Each block in the 16 code type table contains the name of the type, the percentage of the base population or expected frequency for this type, and the percentage of the #SAmbti sample with preferences for this type. The SRTT index, or observed to expected frequency ratio for this type, is also included.

What do you see as you view this type table? As a type practitioner, I immediately note the weight on the right side of the type table. Of this survey of student affairs respondents, 75% prefer Intuition (N) as their perception function (second letter of MBTI type code), compared with 26.7% in the national sample population. Seven of the eight types preferring Intuition are over-represented in this survey sample. That is a lot of Intuition!

Intuition (N) as the perception function can be described as how one takes in information. It is similar to the sudden discovery of a pattern in unrelated events. People who prefer Intuition are comfortable with the big picture, brainstorming, and looking to the future. Intuitors are imaginative, abstract, original, and creative. They can also become so intent on possibilities that they overlook the details.

Do you prefer Intuition (N)? How is it useful to you in Student Affairs?

Screen Shot 2013-06-08 at 9.21.58 PM

McCaulley, M. H. (1985). The selection ratio type table: A research strategy for comparing type distributions. Journal of Psychological Type, 10, 46-56.

Myers, I. B., McCaulley, M. H. Quenk, N. L., & Hammer, A. L. (1998). MBTI manual: A guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

What’s your #SAmbti?

A new hashtag, #SAmbti, recently evolved in the Student Affairs Twitter community to promote the discussion of psychological type preferences. The MBTI is a frequent badge of honor and topic of conversation among the #SACHAT collective on Twitter. I have noted the preferences of more than 100 student affairs colleagues during these conversations and will add this information to a newly created #SAmbti doc and invite you to join the fun.

Add your own preferences and follow #SAmbti for the type conversation.

Don’t know your MBTI? Drop me a line and I will  connect you with a certified MBTI type practitioner for your own facilitation.

MBTI in Student Affairs #SAmbti

A new hashtag, #SAmbti, was created in the Student Affairs Twitter community this week promoting the discussion of psychological type preferences. Understanding differences of psychological type and how type pertains to personal style and interactions is useful in a variety of work and social situations, but particularly in student affairs, a field that has a strategic service function. The assessment of psychological type is based on the theory that human behavior is not random and that patterns of mental functions exist in the population (Jung, 1971). Put simply, individuals have different motivations and processes for getting through the day, but will follow certain configurations.

The 93-item Form M Myers-Briggs Type Indicator® (MBTI®)  is the most common instrument for determining psychological type preferences utilized in business, personal coaching and higher education. It asks a series of self-report forced-choice questions to define opposing preferences for personal energy, acquiring information, making decisions, and organizing one’s world (read more on the preferences here). Based upon responses to these questions, an individual is assigned a type preference for each pair of opposites which when combined become one of 16  four-letter type codes.

For the stats geeks among us, this type table shows the national sample distribution of type preferences and also male and female percentages of the population. As an ENTJ female, it was reassuring to find that I really do think differently than the rest of the world.

Screen shot 2013-04-17 at 8.53.38 PM

Jung, C. G. (1971). Psychological Types. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

Myers, I. B., McCaulley, M. H. Quenk, N. L., & Hammer, A. L. (1998). MBTI manual: A guide to the development and use of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.

99 bottles…

Fear not. I am certain that I will not post my entire dissertation countdown, but I really like this sign as Highway 99 runs through the city of my birth, Sacramento, California. In a small way, it signifies how far I have traveled on this journey. Whatever journey it may be, or become.

Ninety-nine could be the number of ways that I have found to avoid working on statistical analyses, reading articles, or writing chapter drafts. I loathe many (most) of these tasks but will frequently find them more appealing than working on my dissertation.

99. Clean kitchen junk drawer.

98. Clean craft closet.

97. Empty cat box.

96. Bake cookies. (No loathing.)

95. Clean computer screen.

94. Eat chips and dip. (No loathing, but not a healthy food choice.)

93. Fold laundry.

92. Sort ponytail elastics.

91. Pinterest.

90. Facebook.

89. Twitter.

88. Twitter.

87. Did I say Twitter?

86. Soccer practice shuttle driver.

85. Soccer tournament shuttle driver.

84. More soccer.

83. Parent-Teacher Conferences.

82. Shopping. (No loathing, just guilt.)

81. Shopping for soccer cleats. (Borderline loathing.)

80. Prepare a meal. (No loathing, but it’s a good thing we have cereal.)

More soon…

Keep the Ball Rolling

There are those occasional days when perhaps it is raining buckets and you are in back to back meetings making your head spin and you finally make it home and just need something to make you smile. And as today was one of those days, what made me smile was this post on the zen wisdom found in a video of a little horse chasing a giant ball. Thanks to Jennifer Blackwell for sharing.

Read more about Einstein and be sure to check out the video and his Twitter. You’ll smile too.