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Virginia Carter Smith: Her Career and Contributions to Advancement in Higher Education

Description: Most research studies of women in the college and university advancement profession measure the number of women in advancement positions, report their corresponding salaries and reflect on the differences between male and female employees in the same position. Little research explores how women achieve high ranking advancement positions and very few provide an analysis of the characteristics, influences and careers of successful female advancement professionals. This dissertation describes the life and work of Virginia Carter Smith, founding editor of the Council for Advancement and Support of Education's award winning publication CURRENTS. The career and contributions of Virginia Carter Smith are relevant and helpful to advancement professionals in colleges, universities and K-12 institutions. This study explores Smith's formative years as a child, describes her educational and extra-curricular preparation and identifies individuals who influenced her life and provided direction for her future. It also examines Smith's role in the formation and direction of CASE and CURRENTS. Smith successfully launched CURRENTS in 1975 when few women held senior-level positions in advancement-related fields. With Smith's contributions, CASE became the dominate professional organization for advancement professionals working in educational institutions, and CURRENTS continues to be an exemplary professional development periodical for individuals working in advancement. This study also examines how Smith promoted qualified individuals, particularly women, to senior-level positions in colleges and university advancement offices. Hundreds of women and men in the profession claim that Smith's served as a role model or mentor to them. Smith contributed to the increase of women in advancement offices nationally over the last twenty years. Her high standards for herself and for other development officers helped professionalize the field for everyone.
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Date: May 2000
Creator: Russell, Kimberly A.
Partner: UNT Libraries

Wellness in student affairs: An exploration of the profession and its practitioners.

Description: This mixed design study surveyed members of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) to determine the baseline for wellness among student affairs administrators and within the profession. In addition to describing the wellness levels of the administrators and comparing them to the wellness of the general population, the study explored how wellness is represented within the student affairs profession, as reflected in the literature and practice. Student affairs administrators' wellness was assessed utilizing the Five Factor Wel Wellness Inventory (Myers & Sweeney, 2004). Collectively, the administrators posted "well" scores on the six factors utilized in the study and scored higher than the norms reported for the 5F-Wel general population. However, there was a broad range of actual scores across individuals indicating that not everyone can be considered to be maintaining a well-balanced lifestyle. The administrators' wellness was not affected by their length of time in the student affairs profession but was negatively associated with the number of hours they worked per week. The administrators possessed a holistic view of wellness and could articulate the behaviors and conditions associated with achieving, and failing to achieve, balance. However, reported engagement in certain wellness behaviors (e.g., physical activity and healthy eating) was not always reflected in the 5F-Wel scores. Additionally, the administrators noted a lack of focus on wellness issues in the student affairs literature, professional organizations, and most pointedly, in graduate preparation programs. The study creates a context for individual exploration of balance given the "norms" of the profession and instigates dialog focused on building healthy workplaces that facilitate positive role modeling experiences for students and staff. Recommendations for practitioners, graduate program faculty, and the profession aim to maximize personal wellness, create balanced professionals, and facilitate congruence between the student affairs profession's espoused values and wellness philosophy and the enculturation ...
Date: May 2006
Creator: Marling, Janet L. Trepka
Partner: UNT Libraries

Writing Proficiency Among Graduate Students in Higher Education Programs

Description: This study explored the extent to which graduate students enrolled in Higher Education courses were proficient at writing. While writing proficiency has been extensively studied in elementary students, high school students, and undergraduates, little attention has been paid to formally evaluating graduate student proficiency. Despite the relatively new idea of assessing graduate student writing, it is a concern for graduate faculty and a valid area for study. This study was based on a sample of graduate students enrolled in at least one course in Higher Education at public institutions of higher education in the United States. A total sample size of 97 students was obtained. Two instruments were administered to the participants: A General Information and Writing Experience Questionnaire (G-WEQ) and the SAT II: Writing Test, Part B. The G-WEQ was designed to capture demographic information about the participants, as well as allow participants to provide a self-assessment of writing and describe the writing experiences they are currently encountering in graduate school. To assess writing proficiency for the participants, the SAT II: Writing Test, Part B was used. The purpose of the test is to "measure [test takers'] ability to...recognize faults in usage and structure, and to use language with sensitivity to meaning" (Educational Testing Service, 1999-2000, p.7). The z-Statistic for a Single Sample Mean significance test was used to determine whether the sample mean scored significantly higher than the population mean on the SAT II: Writing Test. This was not the case (z=0.295, p<0.38). The graduate students in this sample did not score significantly higher on the SAT II: Writing Test, Part B than the typical high school senior whose scores enter into the norm group.
Date: May 2003
Creator: Singleton-Jackson, Jill A.
Partner: UNT Libraries