SLL Readings

Designing Readings Blog

McCarthy, M. M., & Mangione, T. (2000). How undergraduate students identify and utilize informal mentors. NACADA Journal, 20(2), 31-37.


This article focuses on the importance of informal mentorships with college students. For the purpose of our design challenge, we want to create a sense of community between professional staff, graduate student staff, and undergraduate students in Student Life and Learning. The concept of informal mentorship is important because, as the article tells us, mentorship leads to greater gains and retention for college students.

Torres, V., Howard-Hamilton, M., Cooper, D., (2003) Dominant Cultures, Oppression, and Other Societal Issues Affecting Identity Development of Diverse Populations. Identity Development of Diverse Populations: Implications for Teaching and Administration in Higher Education. ASHE-ERIC Higher Education Report. (29)6.


We chose to use this piece by Torres, Howard-Hamilton, and Cooper to help us understand the issues that may arise from dynamics in our system regarding underrepresented students and majority culture. We specifically wanted to create a sense of community across difference within Student Life and Learning because that is something that is important to the staff members there. It is also important to retain students of color and other underrepresented populations, and mentorship can help that. However, we needed to be sure that mentorship was sensitive to the dynamics of power, privilege, and oppression.

Kafai, Y. B., Desai, S., Peppler, K., Chiu, G., & Moya, J. (2008). Mentoring partnerships in a community technology center: A constructionist approach for fostering equitable service learning. Mentoring & Tutoring, 16(2), pp. 194-201.

Nash, P. (2012, April 25). Distributed Mentoring: Scaffolding Learning in Educational Video Games. Teahers College-Columbia University. Retrieved from:


Sorry for the double-posts

So this is a really random thought, but I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to truly create “human-centered” designs that are for people other than ourselves. Especially within the context our project, we are balancing the needs of several different groups of people with unique needs within a space and a system. Has anyone else been reflecting on navigating the balance between multiple different stakeholders while keeping their designs centered on our clients and negotiating meeting competing needs? What have you all been thinking about?



Schon and Band-Aids


As I look at my band-aid, immediately what comes to mind is the jingle in the Band-Aid ads…”I am stuck on band-aid brand ‘cuz band aids help heal me.” Which also leads me to think of the expression “putting a band aid on a bullet hole.” These things cause me to think about the sticky, unyielding properties of band aids which I also thought about as I read Schon. What happens when practioners are stuck in their ways and do not come to a point of be self-reflective? What happens when some practioners are only self-reflective because that’s the culture of their environment but not because they truly want to be? What happens when not all practioners are self reflective so those that are have to hold extra?

Scratch Project

Scratch Project

Hopefully this works….