Campus Auxiliary Services Social Media Marketing Short Course


The campus auxiliary services social media and marketing short course that I created and presented for NACAS is now available for sale.

Are you or your staff tasked with managing or leveraging your organization’s social media / marketing ventures?

Social media is no longer an add-on for campus auxiliary marketers. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are now part of the traditional marketing mix. This two-part short course will teach you how to successfully leverage social media tools, mobile apps, and location-based services for sustainable auxiliary services marketing.

You’ll learn the latest strategies for creating a social media listening station and will learn how to effectively utilize: Facebook Places, Twitter Fast Follow, Foursquare, YouTube, SCVNGR, and QR Codes.

There were 64 institutions that signed up for the live webinar and over 500 total attendees. Feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. The questions that I received from participants were tremendous. The short course is 2 hours of strategy combined with auxiliary services specific social media and marketing information.

#NASPA11 + #SAchat Tweetup

NASPA 2011 and SACHAT tweetup - Philadelphia

This year’s NASPA Annual Conference will be a social media student affairs extravaganza.

Have you signed up for the #NASPA11 #SAchat tweetup?

#NASPA11 Tweetup Sign Up Sheet
Monday, March 14 | 8:30 PM
Philadelphia Marriott Downtown, Hotel Lobby
1201 Market Street

Meet, greet, and network with student affairs professionals from all over the world. The Philadelphia tweetup is going to be a major event. Don’t tweet? Never used Twitter? That’s okay, there will be plenty of folks to help get you into the Twittersphere. If you want to get a head start on learning how to use Twitter, I would highly recommend that you read this Twitter 101.

I’m guessing that a major topic of conversation will be the upcoming consolidation vote which begins on Tuesday, March 15th.

Under the radar – #sachat needs to follow @tsand

One of my most favorite student affairs professionals is also one of the most unique SA pros in the biz. His name is Todd Sanders. As the Student Affairs “Web Guy” for the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay, Todd is a prominent figure in the higher education web sphere. While I’ve never actually met Todd, I have virtually known him for several years. Having been a commenter on the higher education blogging circuit, I’ve run into Todd’s insightful comments for quite some time.

Follow Todd Sanders please
He’s also one of the funniest people that I “know” on Twitter. If you’re in student affairs and you don’t know Todd, it’s probably because there aren’t that many student affairs web devs in the SA-universe. The #SAtech crowd has had to regularly find communities that are outside of the usual student affairs associations. For example, I know that Todd has been a prominent member of the HighEdWeb crowd. It makes sense. Web Devs/Multimedia Producers/Marketers/Designers/etc. need to hang out with folks who share similar interests, challenges, and opportunities.

So why am I blogging about Todd this evening? Great question! The cool thing about Todd is that he is currently on the cusp of being a veritable student affairs celebrity for his overall amount of awesomeness.

Todd submitted the video at the top of this post for the Mercedes-Benz Tweet Race. His video was selected out of thousands of submissions. I mean, how could anyone resist the Mercedes-Benz logo made out of carrots! In all seriousness, Todd’s videography skills are top notch. I’ve never known anyone else in the student affairs community that can do what Todd does. I am thrilled that his video was chosen for this philanthropic contest.

“The Twitter-fueled campaign ( will put four two-person driving teams behind the wheels of specially equipped 2011 Mercedes-Benz vehicles – each embarking separately from Chicago, Los Angeles and New York and Tampa — on February 2 and converging on February 4 at Cowboys Stadium outside Dallas, Texas.

Mercedes-Benz is donating $25,000 to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at the start of the race AND another donation of $20,000 if #MBteamS gets to Dallas with the most social points! However, if they can raise $5000 here, the grand total going to St. Jude will be $50,000!

Once the race starts on February 2, the driving teams will depart from their respective locations and attempt to generate as much Twitter activity, or “Tweet Fuel” as possible for their journey to Dallas. Over a three-day period, they will earn points not only for collecting Tweet Fuel, but for their performance on a series of social media-related challenges they will face along the way.”

Mercedes-Benz Tweet RaceSo how do you help Todd, Team S, and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital?
It’s simple:

  1. Like the MB Team S Facebook page
  2. Follow @tsand on Twitter
  3. Spread the word about Team S (Short for “StudentAffairs”) and be ready to provide copious amounts of tweet fuel for #MBteamS between February 2nd and February 4th.

Campus Auxiliary Services Marketing in 2011: Social Media, Mobile Apps, and Sustainable Strategies for Success


I’m pleased to announce that I will once again be teaming up with NACAS to present information/strategies for campus auxiliary services marketers:

Are you or your staff tasked with managing or leveraging your organization’s social media / marketing ventures?

Social media is no longer an add-on for campus auxiliary marketers. Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are now part of the traditional marketing mix. This two-part short course will teach you how to successfully leverage social media tools, mobile apps, and location-based services for sustainable auxiliary services marketing.

You’ll learn the latest strategies for creating a social media listening station and will learn how to effectively utilize: Facebook Places, Twitter Fast Follow, Foursquare, YouTube, SCVNGR, and QR Codes.

Campus Auxiliary Services Marketing in 2011:
Social Media, Mobile Apps, and Sustainable Strategies for Success with Eric Stoller

Part 1: Feb 22, 2:00PM – 3:00PM EST
Part 2: March 1, 2:00PM – 3:00PM EST
*Includes some pre- and mid-event “homework.”

In partnership with NACAS – the largest auxiliary services support organization serving higher education.

Blogging for Inside Higher Ed

Student Affairs and Technology - IHE year 1

I’ve been blogging for Inside Higher Ed (IHE) for 6 months. The word cloud represents the most-used words in the 45 posts that I’ve written for my “Student Affairs and Technology” blog. Twitter has been one of my favorite topics to write about. It’s such a wonderfully versatile social media tool.

I’m thoroughly enjoying my ride as a blogger for IHE. I write at least 2 posts per week. As a seasoned blogger, having deadlines and a post quota has been incredibly motivating. My editor has a fantastic sense of humor. He has been a delightful boss. I can’t wait to see if I can crack 100 posts in 2011.

The only caveat of course has been that this blog has been a bit neglected. I’ve been much more active on Twitter in 2010. With a paid blogging gig and Twitter taking up more of my publishing time, I do try to put something up on this site from time to time. Stay tuned for significant site updates. I plan on incorporating more of my consulting endeavors on this blog as I continue to navigate the “Stoller Coaster.”

Poll: Which best describes technology leadership in your overall student affairs organization?

Leslie Dare is one of my favorite student affairs techies. I remember reading Leslie’s call to action regarding the NASPA Technology Knowledge Community in 2006: “Technology in Student Affairs: Seeking Knowledge, Craving Community.” Having been present for the disbanding of the original KC, I was encouraged by Leslie’s leadership and insight into student affairs technology.

Leslie has created a poll that I think asks an important question for anyone who works in student affairs. This poll indicates to me that the relationship between technology and student affairs is complicated and emerging. Leslie and I would both love to know your answer to this question:

ACPA and NASPA Consolidation update

ACPA and NASPA are the largest higher education associations for student affairs practitioners. With a total membership of almost 20,000 student affairs professionals, these two associations play a pivotal role in the future of the profession. The topic du jour for most association members has been the conversation taking place regarding the issue of consolidation. Taking two associations and turning them into one mega-student-affairs association is no small task. According to the latest consolidation proposal, unification has been an ongoing conversation topic for the past 30 years. However, this latest attempt at creating a single association has achieved a momentum that hasn’t occurred in prior years. It would appear that we are at the cusp of the creation of a brand new organization. With a tentative consolidation vote to take place in the spring of 2011, student affairs professionals are scrambling to find out information about the future of ACPA and NASPA.

Both associations have created centralized information portals for their members:

With so much information being presented on both association sites, it can be a bit overwhelming. I know that I have had a heck of a time keeping track of all of the various communication channels that have been used to disseminate information and to capture member feedback. As a friend and member of both associations, I am hesitant to critique the communication strategy of this process, but I think things need to be more streamlined. The conversation seems to be getting quite fragmented due to too many disparate channels. An upcoming webinar on consolidation (For ACPA members, Monday, December 13, 2010, 2pm–3:30pm EST, Registration is required) should hopefully clarify some of the recent proposals. I know that I will be “attending.”

Having said that, here are a few of the information pieces / feedback forums that I have found to be quite helpful as I formulate my own opinions regarding consolidation:

I think that consolidation will eventually happen. Both associations have served their members well and a newly formed association will continue the traditions and legacies of both organizations. I applaud all of the leaders involved in the process as most of them are employed at institutions throughout the country. Their service is inspiring as they help to transform the future of student affairs.

What do you think…is consolidation going to happen? Why? Why not?

Do you tweet? Let’s connect. Follow me on Twitter.

[Cross-posted from my Inside Higher Ed blog.]

Academic Advisors and Versatility

Academic Advisors are versatile

Full disclosure: I am currently an academic advisor. It’s my first full-time academic advising experience. I actually was quite pro-active about avoiding academic advising experiences when I was in graduate school. I never thought that I would be an academic advisor. I’ve been in my current advising position for 3 years. It’s been an incredible experience. Having said that, this post is not about me. It’s for anyone who has ever been an academic advisor who has dealt with the subject matter of this post.

A friend of mine is an academic advisor. She’s currently looking for a new position within student affairs. Having applied for several positions that have not yielded an offer. She came to the conclusion that having “academic advisor” at the top of her most recent experiences on her resume was resulting in her application being ignored or devalued. We chatted about how her resume could be re-worked to be more of a skills-based document. While I wasn’t happy about the apparent devaluing of academic advising that seemed to be occurring, I could empathize with both my friend and prospective hiring departments.

The state of academic advising in higher education is that it is a field that is predominantly seen as being in academic affairs. What this means is that while academic advisors may do exactly the same kinds of work as their student affairs colleagues, they might not be recognized for this due to the “silo effect” in higher education.

Continue reading Academic Advisors and Versatility

Multiple Mentors = Lifelong Mentoring

Mentoring, mentorship, and lifelong learning

One of my mentors once told me that mentors are everywhere and that all I needed to do was to seek them out. At the time, I had been struggling with finding experienced practitioners who were as into learning / using technology within student affairs as I was. It took me a while to realize that what I had been looking for was the ultimate mentor. I was seeking someone who matched up with every nuance, every interest area, in effect, the “perfect” mentor.

When I woke up this morning, I had a realization. A thought that I had never really allowed to materialize. I currently have multiple individuals who I call “mentor.” No single person. Not a lone individual. I have multiple mentors. Some of my mentors provide professional advice. Some of my mentors assist me in the “apprenticeship of life.” This cadre of mentors provides me with an amazing breadth and depth of learning, experiences, and guidance. A community of mentors who I look to for strength, insight, humor, and caring.

My mentors come from all over the place. They have been instrumental in where I am and where I want to be. Here are a few ideas that I have been pondering about mentoring:

  • Sometimes mentors bring mentorship into your life without it being strategic or intentional. It just happens.
  • Age does not always equal wisdom. Be open to mentoring from anyone. Wisdom can surprise you.
  • If your mentors are well-known, be prepared to spend less time with them. Learn as much as you can when you have access. Maximize your time with them.
  • Social media spans the globe. Your access to mentors has just increased…be ready.
  • Sometimes mentors and mentees switch roles depending on circumstances, timing, and need. It’s okay.

Photo credit: quacktaculous

Disagreeing with Bill Gates

Bill Gates and I don’t often disagree. However, at the recent Techonomy conference, Bill was predicting the future of higher education. I took umbrage with some of his comments. Per his usual rhetoric, Bill positioned technology as the panacea for the future of higher education.

Here are some of Bill’s comments:

“The self-motivated [college] learner will be on the web and there will be far less place-based things.”
“College, except for the parties…. needs to be less place-based.”
“Place-based activity in that ‘college thing’ will be 5 times less important than it is today.”
“The room for innovation, thank God for charters, there’s no room for innovation in the standard system.”

Bill’s commentary at the conference was picked up by TechCrunch and posted as “Bill Gates: In Five Years The Best Education Will Come From The Web.”

The post quickly spread like a wildfire throughout Twitter:

“In five years, the best education will come from the web.” – @billgates than a minute ago via CoTweet

The interesting thing is that the quote that’s being passed around on Twitter as originating from Bill Gates seems to have been actually just the post title from TechCrunch. I wasn’t able to find video or text where Bill Gates actually said what is being attributed to him by a lot of folks on Twitter.

The disturbing aspects of Bill’s quotes from the video are that he seems to have a negative attitude toward the physical spaces of higher education. Bill constructs his arguments around cost and access, but fails to adequately critique his own points. “Self-motivated learners” generally do not include students from traditionally marginalized groups. Bill Gates went to an exclusive preparatory high school and attended Harvard College. His is not a story of overcoming obstacles. Access issues are pervasive in higher education. Socioeconomic status catapulted Gates to where he is today. His arguments around access fail to include awareness of the digital divide in terms of both class and disability. Simply offering more web-based opportunities for learning will not improve access issues. And don’t get me started about the bit about “parties” being the only rationale for “place-based” institutions.

Bill’s rhetoric is consistently anti-student-involvement. Gates approaches his arguments from the position that every student is coming out of an innovative charter school and where self-motivated learners roam the higher education sphere. What Bill is forgetting is that involvement is crucial to student success. Can a student be successful when there primary involvement opportunities take place via the web — absolutely. However, most of our students benefit tremendously from their involvement and interactions within the brick and mortar activities of their educational institution.

Student involvement theory is a foundational element for student affairs professionals. Research has shown that increased involvement leads to higher amounts of persistence and greater academic success.

According to Alexander Astin (1984) [pdf]:

[S]tudent involvement refers to the amount of physical and psycho- logical energy that the student devotes to the academic experience. Thus, a highly involved student is one who, for example, devotes considerable energy to studying, spends much time on campus, participates actively in student organizations, and interacts frequently with faculty members and other students.

Astin (1984) concluded that “the greater the student’s involvement in college, the greater will be the amount of student learning and personal development.”

I wish that Bill Gates would offer a blended approach. Why can’t we have both? Amazing opportunities can be created to support students in both the virtual and physical spheres.

Astin, A. (1984). Student involvement: a developmental theory for higher education. Journal of College Student Personnel, 25(4), 297-308.