Katie's Capstone

Philosophy of
Student Affairs
Culmination Paper
My Strengths




Legal and Ethical Issues

Budgeting and Fiscal Management

Counseling/Personal Development

Educational Mission and Process

Evaluation and Assessment

Moral, Ethical, and Spiritual Issues

Quality Programming

Visionary Leadership

Multicultural Awareness


Campus/Community Relationships

Managing Conflict and Crisis

Multicultural Awareness

As a Student Affairs professional, it is crucial to have an understanding of personal values, world views, beliefs, assumptions, and biases.  It is also necessary for Student Affairs professionals to have knowledge about how gender, class, race, ethnicity, language, nationality, sexual orientation, age, religion, disability, and institutional power affect individuals and their experiences.  Apart from simply having knowledge and information regarding diversity issues, Student Affairs professionals should have the ability to effectively support and challenge students as they develop and struggle through their own understanding of these issues and how they affect them as individuals.

Museum of Tolerance

Presentation at USC: Affirmative Action

Diversity Action Plan: Homosexuality

CA Staff and Residents at Cal Poly Pomona, Foundation Housing Service

Cross-Cultural Retreat

Ally Training/Safe Zone

Museum of Tolerance:

For my diversity class, we spent one of our class sessions at the Museum of Tolerance learning about racism and prejudice in America as well as the history of the Holocaust.  We went on a guided tour through the museum and were able to see exhibits on racism and prejudice that have occurred in America including the struggle for civil rights, the exploitation of women and children, and hate speech.  We also took a tour through an exhibit about the Holocaust.  At the beginning of this exhibit, I was given a picture of a child who either survived or died in the Holocaust; at the end of the exhibit, I was able to read a brief story about the child and learn if they survived or died.  I learned a lot by visiting this museum and hope to go back in the future and explore a little more on my own.

Museum of Tolerance

Presentation at USC - Affirmative Action:

One of the assignments for my Foundations in Higher Education class was to attend a lecture in the Pullias Lecture Series at USC titled "And the Last Shall Be First: Racial Diversity, Distributive Justice and Affirmative Action" by Dr. Walter Allen.  This presentation walked the listeners through history leading up to affirmative action.  Dr. Allen also noted the need for programs to help the disabled, women, and minorities.  Overall, I enjoyed this presentation, though I did not fully agree with the way Dr. Allen presented his views.  Affirmative action is a topic that I wrestle with; I agree with it's importance, but struggle with how to make fields level for all people.  I know my views and opinions surrounding affirmative action will continue to grow and change as I learn more and am exposed to more, especially in higher education. 

Reaction Paper to Dr. Allen's Presentation

Diversity Action Plan: Homosexuality

One of the projects for the diversity class was to create an action plan that would help me learn more about a group of people with which I was not too familiar.  For this project, I chose to research Christian homosexuals.  To start, I read a book titled Stranger at the Gate by Mel White.  The book details the struggles of Mel White as he came to accept his homosexuality as part of who God had created him to be.  Mel's story also expresses his deep love for Christ.  This book challenged my views of homosexuality and at least opened my eyes to varying viewpoints of other believers.  As a second part of this project, I visited Metropolitan Community Church located in North Hollywood.  This church caters to gay, lesbian, and transgender people.  They believe that homosexuality is not a sin, and therefore ordain gays and lesbians as ministers.  Attending this church was a completely new experience for me.  I actually really enjoyed it!  The people were so friendly and inviting, unlike many of the more traditional Christian churches in today's society.  Though I do not necessarily agree with the church’s stance and theology on homosexuality, their faith and belief in God were clearly shown through the service and how they care for broken and hurting people.  For the third step in this process, I met with a closeted gay man working in a Christian institution.  We talked about his experience as a Christian and how he came to terms with his sexuality.  I loved simply being able to listen to his story, ask questions, and get to know him.  My worldview was challenged through every step of this project.  It shook some of my beliefs about homosexuality and made me question my own values.  Probably the biggest lesson that I took away from this project is that Christians need to do a better job at truly loving the homosexual community, whether they agree with their lifestyles or not.   

Diversity Action Plan

CA Staff and Residents at Cal Poly Pomona, Foundation Housing Service:

My Community Advisor (CA) staff and the residents at Cal Poly Pomona are among the most diverse groups that I have ever had the privilege of working with.   The diversity consisted of students from a variety of backgrounds including racial, socioeconomic, religious, and sexual orientation.  I learned a lot by working both individually with these students as well as helping them work together as a group.  I believe we were all challenged to understand one another's viewpoints, regardless of how we personally felt about certain issues.  I worked closely with my CA staff, challenging myself to learn about their race, cultures, religion, and sexual orientation.  I grew a lot in my leadership through working as a Resident Director at Cal Poly Pomona.  For instance, the need to meet people where they are was never as clear to me as it was while I worked with students at Cal Poly.  My influence increased great amounts when I let myself ask questions, get to know students, and value what they believed and how they felt in situations. 

This experience was not always easy, though.  There was one resident in our living area that felt he was mistreated because of his race.  He became very vocal about his thoughts, and it was hard for those of us working in the office.  He told us that he thought we were racist and were treating him unfairly.  Though I did not agree with him, his words really made me evaluate how I treat the students and people I work with.  I want to make sure that I respect all people and treat them fairly regardless of their race, culture, religion, or sexual orientation.  It was a challenge to deal with this student, but I treasure the lessons that I learned as a result.   

See "Pictures" for photos of CA Staff

Cross Cultural Retreat:

I had the opportunity to attend the Cross Cultural Retreat with my Community Advisor staff when I worked at Cal Poly Pomona.  This is an annual retreat for students, faculty, and staff.  During the retreat, issues of race, ethnicity, gender, and sexual orientation are discussed.  It is a time where open dialogue is encouraged, and people are asked to learn from others of a background different than their own.  This was also a time in which I was able to talk openly with my staff about my own beliefs and values because many of the exercises and sessions were set up in a way that people shared in smaller groups their personal opinions.  The conversations were real, and I was stretched to truly understand the feelings and emotions that people have about their own identity; I was also stretched to be completely open about my identity with people who had very different views than my own.  I really enjoyed this retreat, and felt that I came away with a better understanding of feelings of the students and staff that I work with on a daily basis.

Cross Cultural Retreat at CPP

Cross Cultural Schedule/Handouts from 2003

Ally Training/Safe Zone:

A training seminar that I participated in while working at Cal Poly Pomona was titled "Allies and Advocates Training".  This training focused on learning how to create a safe environment for members of the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual, and Transgender) community.  We discussed the meaning behind terminology, the rainbow, what it means to be an "ally", suggestions for working with GLBT students, and our personal feelings regarding many aspects of GLBT lifestyles.  As a result of this training, I am a recognized "ally" for students.  This means that I will not tolerate hate against the GLBT community.  I truly benefited from this training; I learned a lot by hearing from students who are an active part of the GLBT community.

Ally Training Information

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