Date of Award

Spring 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Higher Education Policy and Student Affairs

Committee Chairperson

Matthew J. Kruger-Ross, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Kaitlyn Crouse-Machcinski, M.A.


This thesis addresses the need for student affairs professionals to effectively support student activists. More specifically, entry and mid-level professionals need to develop and cultivate skills that will allow sustainable and meaningful support for student activists of color. Using a critical action research framework I analyzed the ways in which hierarchy affects the ability of student affairs professionals to provide effective advocacy and support. I propose a student led summer professional development series that shifts power dynamics from the student affairs professional to the student activist. An effective leader of this intervention would be someone who is immersed in activism on and off campus, and I propose an evaluation that involves the completion of a survey for the student affairs professionals as well as the intervention leader. This is an important topic to consider student activism is a staple of higher education institutions, society at large, will continue to occur and be relevant, and largely affect future generations. Student affairs educators should feel more responsible than ever to support and develop student activists on their campuses.