About

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Program Description

The Learning Partnerships Model (LPM) is the foundation of the SAHE program. We challenge learners to engage in the complex process of knowledge construction, to integrate their personal and professional values and philosophies with existing knowledge, and to share authority and expertise to mutually construct viable perspectives.

The LPM creates a welcoming environment for students from all cultural backgrounds through the use of self-reflection and critical thinking.  The blend of challenge and support which undergirds the LPM fosters self-authorship (the internal capacity to identify one's beliefs, values, and identity) and the capacity for interdependence with diverse others, both vital capacities for successful student affairs professionals.

Philosophy

The Miami Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program operates on the assumption that student learning is a complex phenomena in which dimensions of students' intellectual, social, and interpersonal development are interdependent.   

Intellectual growth can and does occur in students' out-of-class interactions. Our view of an effective educational environment involves academic and student affairs educators working as partners to educate students. 

The Miami SAHE programs prepare Student Affairs educators to create environments that will provide for this type of diverse interaction and education to occur.

In the News

How Miami Diversifies Diversity Through Student Affairs Education

In this podcast episode, we talk about Miami University's Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program, and how its emphasis on critical self-reflection, personal transformation, and its ability to diversify even the concept of diversity itself make it one of the most unique and innovative programs of its kind.

What Our Alumni Say

Dr. Z NicolazzoDr. Z. Nicolazzo

Assistant Professor, Adult and Higher Education Program and Faculty Associate, Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality at Northern Illinois University (SAHE Ph.D. Class of 2015)

My time as a member of the SAHE Ph.D. program was nothing short of excellent. I was pushed intellectually, supported in my educational pursuits, and encouraged to find ways to align my values with my current and future practice as a critical educator. The SAHE program also set me up well to be a tenure-track faculty member, which has eased my transition to my new role. I would highly recommend this program to anyone seeking an intellectually rigorous and educationally supportive environment that prepares you for whatever future path you may choose.

Ronnie BenionRonnie Benion

Residence Director, Ithaca College

My time in SAHE helped me to develop into the professional I am today. It challenged me to think in new ways and focus on my role as not only a supervisor and educator but as a potential mentor to my students. SAHE taught me what it means to show up for my students and to be present in their challenges and successes. It taught me the value of self-care because the program made me dig up memories and experiences that I had buried to heal from them. These things have helped me in my current role as a Residence Director at Ithaca College. I show up for my students. I see my students as unique individuals with differing definitions of success. I am a small piece of their journey, but my goal is to have our time together be impactful. SAHE helped me discover the type of educator I want to be. Now that I am an alum, I am putting my best foot forward to try and be that person every single day.

Ruby MurilloRuby Murillo

Academic Advisor TRIO Student Support Services and Travelers EDGE, Inver Hills Community College (SAHE M.S. Class of 2015)

Being a part of the SAHE program at Miami challenged me in ways that I never knew were possible. The professors in the program invested in me as a student and as a professional. Not only was I able to learn about and critique the various developmental theories that are currently being talked about across the nation, but I was also able to conduct research and apply some of the knowledge that I was getting in the classroom to the research I was conducting. In addition to the academic guidance, I received a lot of support from the professors which led to self-empowerment and a stronger sense of my identity as a Latina in higher education. I can truly say that I came out as a better, stronger, more confident person and professional thanks to the support of the faculty and the friends that I made along the way.

Tanadjza Robinson-McCrayTanadjza Robinson-McCray

Student Development Specialist/Coordinator of Career Development in the Educational Opportunity Fund, Ramapo College of New Jersey (SAHE M.S. Class of 2014)

My graduate career in the SAHE program at Miami University was life changing.  My classroom and practical experiences and my interactions with faculty members, helped groom me into the person and professional that I am today.  The SAHE program empowered me to find my voice and to use my personal values to follow my passion of being a social justice educator and advocate. If it weren't for the academic challenges and tremendous support from faculty members, I wouldn't have grown intellectually or personally. My journey in the SAHE program is unforgettable and I am forever grateful for the experience.

Hon LamBrandon Cash

Residential College Director, Washington University in St. Louis

 

SAHE was truly a transformative experience. Both personally and professionally, I grew in understanding, character, confidence, and overall ability to serve collegiate students and the world we all inhabit. My time is SAHE certainly was not always smooth with challenging course work, a high-touch assistantship, and an intensive exploration of the self, however, I know that the time and energy that my faculty, my cohort, and my students invested in me, accompanied with my desire for personal growth, have resulted in me being a more prepared, cognizant, and active educator in the field of student affairs. From serving the students of Ellingson and Collins halls, to co-instructing a course I helped create, to presenting at regional, national, and international conferences, SAHE afforded me incredible experience that I will never forget. The greatest take-aways from my Miami SAHE experience, however, are not the research projects or skills developed working in Residence Life. They are the relationships with dear friends I have been fortunate to foster, as well as the passion to be a life-long learner that will continue to fuel my desire to inspire integrity in my students and serve the world around me.

Buffy Stoll TurtonBuffy Stoll Turton

Director of New Student Programs, Miami University (Ph.D. Class of 2015) 

I worked in student affairs for seven years post-masters before making the decision to pursue my doctorate degree. I wanted to be sure I was taking that big step for the right reasons. For me, those reasons included becoming a better educator, engaging more deeply with literature and scholarship on student development and marginalized student populations, and contributing to existing scholarship in these areas with my own research. I spent six years on my SAHE doctoral journey while continuing to work full time, and balancing family life (I got married and became a step-mom in the midst of my studies) as well as school and work. Each aspect of SAHE - faculty, classmates, and program expectations - encouraged me to pursue learning and intellectual growth in ways that involved my whole self, and integrated my academic life with my professional and personal contexts. The work was rigorous yet stimulating and exceptionally relevant, and faculty provided crucial support, challenge, opportunity, and encouragement along the way. I finished coursework with a draft of my dissertation proposal, received valuable feedback from multiple faculty perspectives, and continued learning throughout the process of dissertation-writing. The SAHE program never felt like jumping through hoops to fulfill senseless requirements; on the contrary, the experience facilitated my personal, professional and scholarly growth in very meaningful ways.

Meet Our Faculty

Elisa AbesDr. Elisa Abes

Elisa Abes has been teaching in the SAHE program since 2005. She primarily teaches courses related to student development theory. In doing so, she uses a critical theoretical approach to re-imagine student development theory to work against systems of inequality such as racism, heterosexism, and ableism. Her research also centers on critical approaches to student development theory, including intersectionality and critical disability theory. Elisa’s current research focuses on the experiences and identities of college students with physical and intellectual disabilities. Elisa is the co-author (with Dr. Susan R. Jones) of Identity Development of College Students: Advancing Frameworks for Multiple Dimensions of Identity (Jossey Bass, 2013); editor of Critical Perspectives on Student Development Theory (Jossey Bass, 2016); and co-editor (with Dr. Susan R. Jones and Dr. D-L Stewart) of Rethinking College Student Development Theory Using Critical Frameworks (Stylus, forthcoming). Prior to teaching at Miami, Elisa taught for two years at the University of South Florida. Elisa also practiced law as a litigator in a large law firm for four years prior to starting her career as a student affairs faculty member. Student development theory explains much of Elisa’s career transition. Elisa graduated from The Ohio State University with her bachelor’s degree (1992) and doctorate (2003). She received her law degree from Harvard Law School (1995). Elisa and her partner, Amber, are the mothers of two kind children, Shoshana and Benjamin, ages 10 and 7, who like to remind her that playing with them is “more important” than always getting her work done. Indeed, Elisa loves to be outside as much as possible, running, hiking, biking, gardening, and of course, any game her children want to play with her.

Kathleen GoodmanDr. Kathleen Goodman

Kathy Goodman is an assistant professor of student affairs in higher education at Miami University. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Iowa in May 2011. While at Iowa, she was a research assistant at the Center for Research on Undergraduate Education. Prior to that, she held an administrative position at the Association of American Colleges and Universities. Kathy’s research and teaching interests include the impact of college experiences on student development; diversity and equity in higher education; spirituality, life purpose, and atheist college students; and incorporating critical perspectives into quantitative research.  She has been published in the Journal of College Student Development, the Journal of Mixed Methods Research, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Diversity and Democracy, and Research in Higher Education. She has also served as a member of the board of directors for the Secular Student Alliance.

David PerezDr. David Perez II

Dr. David Pérez II is an Associate Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership at Miami University in Oxford, OH. Dr. Pérez’s research focuses on increasing Latino undergraduate men’s success at U.S. colleges and universities. In 2014, he launched The National Study on Latino Male Achievement in Higher Education to explore how undergraduates employ different forms of capital to thrive at twenty selective institutions. This study is supported by grants from the NASPA Foundation, National Resource Center for the First-Year Experience and Students in Transition, and ACPA Foundation. He is also conducting a longitudinal study based on EDL 696: Student Success in Higher Education, which explores how content from this course informs the practice of SAHE alumni. Recently, he co-authored an article with four students from EDL 696 that was published in Journal on Excellence in College Teaching. The American College Personnel Association and the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators recognized Dr. Pérez as an emerging scholar for his contributions to research. His most recent publications are featured in the Journal of College Student Development, Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, and a coedited book — Latinx/a/o in Higher Education: Exploring Identity, Pathways, and Success — which addresses the experiences of Latinx graduate students, faculty, and staff in student affairs and higher education. Prior to pursuing a career in academia, Dr. Pérez served as a student affairs practitioner at Syracuse University and New York University. During his tenure in the profession, he engaged undergraduate and graduate students in residential leadership, peer education, and social justice advocacy. Dr. Pérez was a Posse Scholar and earned his B.S. in Human & Organizational Development and M.Ed. in Educational Leadership & Administration at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Pérez is the proud husband of Gabriela Bermudez and father to Immanuel and Noemi.

Stephen John QuayeDr. Stephen John Quaye

Stephen John Quaye is a parent of a remarkable, inquisitive, kind kid named Sebastian. Stephen is also a believer in the power of personal storytelling and strongly sees how hearing and sharing our stories with others can foster connections and learning across differences. He values the power of dialogue as a vehicle to promote change in society. He teaches courses focused on student learning, dialogue as a form of communication, and issues of power, privilege, and oppression. He also loves bow ties, baking (he makes a pretty mean scone and key lime pie), reading, and writing poetry. Finally, he is an Associate Professor in the Student Affairs in Higher Education Program at Miami University, where he works with graduate students to help them find their passions and voices. His Ph.D. is from Penn State University, his master’s degree is from Miami University, and his bachelor’s degree is from James Madison University.

Natasha TurmanDr. Natasha Turman

Natasha Turman is a visiting assistant professor (VAP) in the Student Affairs in Higher Education (SAHE) program. As a VAP, Natasha supports master’s students through their practicum experiences and cultivates their critical leadership lenses through the Leadership and Organizational Theory course. As a critical scholar, Natasha’s research interests cut across two distinct, yet complementary areas: gender and diversity in higher education and critical leadership education. These targeted foci allow her to examine who is excluded from the dominant narratives of leadership and post-secondary education, what systemic processes maintain this exclusion, and how institutions of higher education can better position themselves as viable environments for healthy social identity development and sustainable leadership development for social change. Natasha actively engages these research foci through various mediums including publications, international professional conferences, and professional association engagement. Natasha has worked in the field of higher education student affairs for nine years in a variety of functional areas including leadership studies, student activities, residential life, and multicultural affairs. Most recently, for the past four years, she served as the Project Manager for the Multi-Institutional Study of Leadership (MSL) an international quantitative research study measuring socially responsible leadership. She has a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Loyola University Chicago, a M.S. Ed in Educational Leadership and Policy from Old Dominion University, and a B.S. in Chemistry from Spelman College.