— UMiami Orientation (@UM_Orientation) October 10, 2014
People often ask me what I do for a living. Realizing that I probably don’t tell that part of my story very well, I’ve decided to post every now and then about what I’m up to as it relates to my work. Most of my speaking and consulting endeavors are the result of grass roots “promotion.” Whenever I speak in front of a large group of students, staff, faculty, family members (not my family, however, that would be pretty interesting), and/or industry leaders, I’m effectively showcasing my ability to educate and inform. This usually leads to future invitations to speak at events/schools/businesses.
Last week, I had the opportunity to speak at Family Weekend at the University of Miami as their keynote speaker. With a room full of parents and family members (and a few students), I gave a talk on social media, digital identity, career development, and thinking before you post/share/tweet/snap/etc.
— DrPatWhitely (@drpatwhitely) October 11, 2014
My talk at the University of Miami included references to / examples of items from Twitter, reddit, Snapchat, Yik Yak, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, Google Plus, Tumblr, and LinkedIn.
My next gigs include consulting visits to the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and a keynote address at the NODA Annual Conference.
Update: I’m giving a webinar on Wednesday, February 18th, at 2PM Eastern Time on Yik Yak on Campus: What You Need to Know About the Latest Anonymous Social Scene.
I’ll show you how Yik Yak works, provide examples of cyber-bullying AND positivity in actual mobile posts, and outline a strategy for anonymous-mobile discourse at your campus.
Students are quickly flocking to this application, posting anonymous “yaks” and engaging in good, bad, and ugly communication. A number of institutions have seen high-profile incidents involving the app in recent weeks including sharing of sex tapes, hate speech and harassment and threatening to commit a violent crime on campus.
Colleges and universities from across the United States are struggling with how to respond and whether or not there is value in being present on the platform.
What you will learn:
- The history of Yik Yak and why it was geo-fenced at high schools.
- Strategies for engaging your students via Yik Yak in a positive way to encourage positive change on campus.
- Examples of troubling, real campus crises triggered by “Yaks” across North America and discover the practical ways to respond if similar “Yaks” appear on your campus.
- Social media guidelines — for applications even beyond Yik Yak — that you can successfully adapt, construct and engage the campus community through your own social media standards.
- How you can use Yik Yak as a social listening channel to explore your own campus themes and learning opportunities.
Once again, I’ll be partnering with PaperClip Communications for this webinar. Check out their site for more information and to register.
More info about Yik Yak: A recent post that I wrote about Yik Yak and why it is causing so many issues at campuses in the United States.
Every time I make it “around the horn” to celebrate another successful year of consulting, speaking, and writing, I get a bit reflective about the journey. As if on cue, Dustin Ramsdell from the The Student Affairs Spectacular Podcast, invited me to do an interview about my endeavors.
Here’s the full audio interview where I go into detail about my journey as a student affairs professional / higher education consultant. I manage to throw in some thoughts on work/life balance as well as some insight into what my typical day is all about.
Spoiler alert: life is great, work and life aren’t a dichotomy, and it’s been 4 years since I started doing this work full-time. Thanks Dustin for giving me some time on your show.
My latest post for Inside Higher Ed gives you a bit of info about the “hot mess” that is the anonymous app – Yik Yak.
— Eric Stoller (@EricStoller) September 19, 2014
This month has been jam-packed with speaking and consulting engagements. One of my favorite moments on this month-long set of trips was when the Chancellor of Indiana University Southeast took a picture of one of my slides during my social media / digital identity presentation.
According to Facebook, I joined “The Facebook” on December 4th, 2004. Who knows…it’s probably just a fad…right? I wonder if Facebook will still exist in 10 more years?
Update: Kind of ironic that a change in my privacy settings on Facebook made the embedded video no longer accessible.
When I reach the third mile of a run, that’s when it happens. My body hits another gear. Thoughts are clearer and emotions are muted. Time clicks away with serenity. Running becomes something more than just exercise. It’s a space for reflection, dreams, and determination.
Three years ago, after I quit my job at Oregon State University, I decided to go for a run. I mapped out a 3 mile course, put on my sneakers, and trotted out the door. So many of my friends had told me about how much they loved to run. I figured, how hard can it be? The first mile was extremely difficult. My lungs were on fire and my legs were already fatigued. I ended up walking the remaining 2 miles back to my apartment. I was not a runner. But I am fairly stubborn. Determined to try running again, I went out to do the same 3 mile loop after giving my legs a couple of days rest. Again, it was so hard. My lungs rebelled and my legs were sore. But I made it a little bit further before I had to start walking. There was a glimmer of progress.
Growing up in Iowa and doing a lot of manual labor instilled a work ethic inside of me that still prevails to this day. Knowing that sometimes it takes a lot of hard work for incremental gain, I attempted to rationalize that running might be hell now, but it could be good if I kept working. A month went by and I was able to slowly run for 3 miles without stopping. It was a lot of work. There was a lot of heavy breathing and self-doubt. I wasn’t a runner yet, but I was trying.
When I moved to Boston in 2011, I got into a regular groove of running. From three miles to five and then finally I made it to eight miles per run. It was something that I never expected to be able to do. No one in my family ran for exercise. In fact, my mom always told me that running was akin to a four-letter swear word. We didn’t run. And then I found myself piling on the miles. Sharing stories with other runners and actually understanding why they, why we did it. Sure, it was about fitness and exercise, but it has always been about something else.
I started 2013 off with a digital identity talk at Curry College for their Career Services Conference for Seniors. They were an awesome group! I’ve included the video of my talk and a Storify from the event:
I’ve lived in Boston since the summer of 2011. It’s been my home for almost two years. Boston is an awesome city. I love its people, places, sights, and sounds.
When news broke (via Twitter) that bombs had gone off at the Boston Marathon, my heart sank. I was sitting in a coffee shop. Out of state, but not out of touch. I felt an adrenaline rush go through my body. The kind of rush that happens when you first find out that something awful has happened and you want to help, to assist, to be there for those in need.
Knowing that several of my friends were most-likely going to be watching the race, I immediately started checking Facebook and Twitter for posts/tweets. Several of my friends had already checked-in to let people know that they were okay.
This past Monday in Boston was a horrible day for so many people. Lives were lost. Lives will be forever affected.
Boston is a great city. Its people are resilient. It’s a city that is made stronger by the acts of caring and courage that took place on Monday. I’m still out of town for another week or so and my heart is heavy. I’m still processing. Still working my way through intense emotion. Empathy reigns.
The people of Boston are showing the best parts of their spirit this week: hope, love, kindness, and strength.
Dear Boston, you are in my thoughts.
Part of the experience of being a keynote speaker at the Jon C. Dalton Institute on College Student Values is that you get to do an interview with the Character Clearinghouse at Florida State University. The questions from Pamela Crosby, the editor of the site (as well as the Journal of College and Character), were stellar. Here’s an excerpt:
Why should students care about their digital identity?
Students should care about their digital identity for a variety of reasons. As members of a campus community, it is important for students to know that their online actions can have impact. Student Conduct offices are no longer just concerned with what happens in the brick-and-mortar campus spaces. Additionally, most students are pursuing future careers, and higher education is their launch pad. Social media posts can show up in search engine queries. Companies are no longer just looking at your resume. They want to know what you are doing (and saying) online too. Now, that’s more of the punitive side of things. Digital identity is about much more than just worrying about its effects on future employment or conduct violations. Students with a fluent grasp of social media can accelerate their learning, develop meaningful connections with peers, and grow their professional network. What we do online can affect our face-to-face interactions…and vice versa.
Why should higher education be concerned about students’ digital identity?
I think that when the original work on “digital natives” and “digital immigrants” first became popular, it caused an educational disconnect. Administrators and staff at institutions seemingly (without a lot of critical discourse) bought the rhetoric that students were digitally savvy. In fact, students are no better at creating and cultivating their digital identity than anyone else. We’re all digital students in the sense that we are constantly learning how to use the social tools while they are constantly evolving. Schools need to be intentional about how they incorporate digital identity development into their educational constructs. Social media are not a trend or a fad that are going to someday evaporate. We need to be proactive with teaching our students how to build their digital identity versus being reactive whenever they post something that we wish hadn’t made it onto the web. Like anything in education, critical conversations about digital identity are essential. It’s like that movie, “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly,” we have to jump in, create our own digital identity, and educate our students too.
Read the rest of the interview at the Character Clearinghouse site.