Eric Stoller’s College Student Services Administration (CSSA) Portfolio

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College Student Services Administration (CSSA)
Portfolio: Eric Stoller

An experiment in blogging that turned into a portfolio about Social Justice, Retention, and Technology.
(Area of Specialization: Social Justice and Organizational Change) [September 2004 — June 2006: Oregon State University]

About my portfolio: This site functions like a website but with a twist. It’s also a blog. This means that there are comments from people all over the globe. Some comments are personal, others are professional in nature. It’s a mix of content which is ideally what a blog is supposed to be.

It is my hope that you will feel comfortable to leave comments on either pages or posts. This site has been a public piece ever since its inception. (I have been building it live – people have been able to refresh their browsers and watch the site’s growth.) Feel free to leave comments. I will moderate your comments so the first comment will not post until I have approved it and then any comments after that will post immediately.

I have coded a search function into the site, so please feel free to search for keywords. The site is divided into “categories” which should also aid navigation.

In addition to the categories, posts, pages, etc., I have created a Graduate Coursework page: which contains the catalog description of the classes that I have taken.

Personal Statement:
It was by accident that I became a student affairs professional. My undergraduate experiences started in the sciences and ended in public relations, communications, and marketing. The first professional experience of my life was an internship at the UNI Wellness and Recreation Center. I was always drawn to experiences that were holistically oriented. My life emphasis on wellness would continue at the UIC Wellness Center. Incorporating my public relations and marketing skills, I was able to “get the word out” to an urban, commuter population. It was at UIC that I realized that I was truly enjoying life as a student affairs practitioner. The decision to attend a graduate program seemed like a logical step in the right career direction. When I came to OSU, I was focused on technology and students. After all, the hallmark of my career had always been my ability to translate highly technical technologies to students, staff, and faculty. My graduate assistantship was in technology and I had the opportunity to incorporate my knowledge of blogs, accessibility, usability, web statistics, and student centered projects into the OSU Enrollment Management IT plan.

Eventually my abilities with technology and my passion for student success, led to a professional dilemma. I could sit in front of a computer or I could work with students. The field of student affairs has not yet found a way to constructively mesh student contact with technological proficiency. I decided to expand the range of my graduate assistantship. I found my involvement with the Student Orientation and Retention Office, Dean of Student Life (which included OSU Student Conduct), and the Academic Success Center to be some of the most rewarding experiences of my graduate career. This does not mean that I did not find value in my technology related experiences. I merely needed to find a balance that suited my own personal wellness needs.

Throughout my experiences at OSU, I have been able to work on my area of specialization: Social Justice and Organizational Change. In my technology related projects I have focused my energies on ensuring that web sites are accessible and user-friendly. The OSU Student Conduct office has afforded me the opportunity to work towards creating a holistic environment that supports students via restorative justice efforts. I have been able to take classes on feminism and diversity which have expanded my self-awareness and worldview. The focus of my area of specialization is unique in that it is not merely the expansion of my own knowledge base. I feel that social justice and organizational change involve action. This provides me with a strong foundation of both knowledge and action.

For my next endeavor, I hope to continue my student affairs journey by working in a student conduct and/or dean of students department. At UIC, we developed a model of wellness that incorporated 8 dimensions. I am a student affairs generalist and I hope to be able to use all of the dimensions of my experiences in learning in my next position.

My original statement of objectives: “I hope to complete a Masters of Education graduate program with an emphasis in Higher Education at Oregon State University. I plan on continuing a career in collegiate student affairs with an emphasis in technology and customer service initiatives. I believe my 2 years of practical student affairs experience will enhance my abilities as a graduate student.” January 2004


Site Index

  • The site index for my portfolio contains every post and page from the blog. Multiple category posts are represented in each category that they are listed for your convenience.


  • Naoko

    Let me introduce myself first. I am Naoko living in Japan.
    I currently work at the international university in Japan. I studied abroad in the U.S. majoring in computer science. While studing computer science, I worked at the international program office as a student worker. I have had learned so many thinigs from my professors but I got scrumptious experiences by working with students from all over the world.
    That experience led me to work at the current position in the international university in Japan.

    It is my third year to work at my university here but I started to think that I want to learn more about student services. So I start look for Masters program and I find OSU seems provides a good program in Student Services. As I surfin the internet to find out more about OSU CSSA program, I accidentlay hit your blog. I realy enjoy learning about more CSSA program.

    That is exactly what I want to learn now to pursue my career in the students affairs field.

    I just wanted to say that your blog is really meaningful and helpful for me because even I live in Japan now and do not have a chance to go over to OSU to find out more about CSSA program, I could learn many things from your blog. I actually will go to Tokyo next week to meet staff members from OSU. I am really looking for studing in OSU.

    But at first I need to be accepted by OSU. Ok, now it is time to go back to work on the admission application.

    I wish you the best of luck for your career goal to be the student of dean!

    I usually do not feel comfortable to leave a message to someone’s blog, but I was soo excited to find your blog to know about CSSA program.

    Thank you very much.

  • Sam Prater

    Eric,…accidentally came across your blog, and I must say that it is quite impressive. I am currently on the interview circuit for a new career in Higher Education/Student Personnel, and it is extremely refreshing to know that the field has great people like yourself. I enjoy your perspective and your quality of thought. Thanks for the educationally enlightening posts dude!…Keep up the GREAT work!!

  • Sam – good luck with your job search. I’ll be in attendance at the NASPA / ACPA Joint Meeting. Are you participating in the interview process at the conference?

    I’ll be at the Technology Knowledge Community meeting if you want to stop by and say hello…

    Thank you for your kind words :-)

  • Eriko


    Accidentally came across your blog, too.
    I am doing my research paper about multicultural competence. I am a grad student in Counselor Education (Higher Education track). I am originally from Japan, and would like to know more about Multicultural Counseling. I hope to get a position in Higher Education. I REALLY enjoyed your blog!


  • Lauren


    You have no idea how excited I was to find your blog. Initially, I was grateful to hear a critique of the “best careers of 2009” article from someone in the higher ed world. Then the more I read, the more I felt compelled to leave you a message. From an outsider’s perspective, I am doing well for myself – 26, working as a marcom specialist after graduating in ’05 from SDSU where I studied IMC, and surviving layoffs at my company in response to the state of the economy. But I have been searching for a new gameplan for quite some time now. INFP personality type sums me up. For the sake of brevity…I just wanted to reach out to you as I am now determined to pursue a career in higher education administration. The similarities I saw: undergraduate study, the relocations (I hope to head back out to the west this year, funny enough to OR or WA), your motivations/self-awareness/continual learning/personality traits – of course you have no idea who I am! – you’ll have to take my word for it:) I’d love to talk with you, of course you may be bombarded with questions! Thanks!

  • Melanie

    I was initially doing a search to fill a box in an online form, and came across this blog… I must say, it is more impressive and more interesting than I would have imagined. Fascinating.

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