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Marci K Walton
Jun 1, 2017

JASPA Monthly Update: June 2017

Jun 1, 2017 by Marci K Walton

June - "Humor"

  • President’s Post

  • Grant Opportunity

  • JASPA Book Review

  • JASPA 2020 Leadership

  • June Blog: Mike Freyaldenhoven, Spring Hill College

  • National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference 2017

president's post



Dear JASPA Colleagues,


Our newsletter theme this month is HUMOR, so it seems fitting to share two quotes from our friend James Martin, S.J.


“When things go awry, if they are mostly an inconvenience to you or a threat to your ego, instead of getting furious, can you laugh? Sometimes the even the best-laid plans, the most carefully planned events can turn out quite differently than planned.”


“Joy, humor, and laughter should be part of everyone’s spiritual life.  They are gifts from God and help us enjoy creation.”


~ Between Heaven and Mirth: Why Joy, Humor, and Laughter Are at the Heart of the Spiritual Life


As I mentioned last month, the JASPA Executive Board is planning its summer meeting in conjunction with the 21st NJSLC at Georgetown University in July.  The preliminary list of discussion topics includes:


2015-18 JASPA Strategic Plan:  Review suggested revisions to the 2015-18 JASPA Strategic Plan that were received during the March leadership meeting.


JASPA Technology Review:  The Executive Committee will discuss implications and options for sustaining appropriate technology resources for JASPA members, in light of the recent announcement from Campus Labs about their new product, ENGAGE.


Member Services:  Review first year accomplishments related to Member Services and suggest priorities for the coming year.


Succession Planning:  Prepare for leadership transition that will occur in 2017-18 year.


2020 Summer Institute:  Receive an update from the 2020 Summer Institute Co-Chairs


AJCU:  Discuss request from AJCU to consider revisions to the Some Characteristics of Jesuit Colleges and Universities document


Strategic Fundraising:  Reviewing plans for on-going fundraising in support of JASPA signature programs


As you head into summer, take time to reflect on our important work and find time to laugh often.


I leave you with a quote from Langston Hughes, poet, social activist, novelist and playwright:


“Like a welcome summer rain, humor may suddenly cleanse and cool the earth, the air and you.”


I look forward to working with you to advance the important work of JASPA, the leading Student Affairs voice in Catholic Higher Education.


Jeanne Rosenberger

President, JASPA

Vice Provost for Student Life, Santa Clara University


Grant Opportunity

The Interfaith Diversity Experiences and Attitudes Longitudinal Survey (IDEALS) Research Team is pleased to announce research awards of $7,500 to support innovative, interdisciplinary scholarship based on the IDEALS data. IDEALS is a national, longitudinal research project that seeks to understand undergraduate encounters with religious and worldview diversity. Designed in partnership with Matthew Mayhew (The Ohio State University), Alyssa Rockenbach (North Carolina State University), and the Interfaith Youth Core (IFYC), IDEALS focuses on students’ perceptions of and engagement with worldview diversity and how collegiate experiences shape students’ pluralism orientation and attitudes toward others.


Awardees will have access to a longitudinal dataset that reflects undergraduate experiences measured at the beginning of the first year of college and one year thereafter. These awards are made possible thanks to the generous support of the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.


Faculty, scholars, and graduate students with an interest in examining first-year students’ religious and worldview diversity experiences in relation to a variety of behavioral and attitudinal outcomes are invited to submit proposals. We encourage creative, interdisciplinary research partnerships that will illuminate groundbreaking findings to shape research, theory, and practice.

The deadline for proposals is Tuesday, August 1st, 2017. Visit for more information and to download the request for proposals.

book review

Title: Graduating with Honor: Best Practices to Promote Ethics Development in College Students

Author(s): Thomas G. Plante and Lori G. Plante

Publisher: Praeger

Date: 2017




The book summarizes major families of ethical theories and major theories of student identity development and connects the two to argue that the college years are particularly relevant for the development of ethical decision-making because of the combination of maturation and freedom. The authors argue that colleges and universities cannot expect all students to be able to act ethically and must be intentional in teaching ethical decision-making.  They proceed to provide their readers with a framework for doing this.


The authors propose the RRICC model: respect, responsibility, integrity, competence, and concern. After outlining the RRICC model, the authors demonstrate how it can be applied in courses (including first year experience courses and capstone seminars), in orientation, in service learning opportunities, and throughout the co-curriculum. They discuss how the model can be utilized with student organizations, in athletics, residence halls, Greek life, and judicial processes. The authors discuss the role of faculty, administrators, coaches, parents, and alumni in assisting students to develop ethical decision-making.


How You Might Use This Book:


The organization of this book makes it a good resource for student affairs professionals. First, the RRICC model itself can be adapted for use on any campus. Second, the authors provide concrete examples from their own experience at Santa Clara University that can be adapted by other institutions that are interested in adopting the RRICC framework for a more integrated approach to ethics education. Third, the authors also provide many scenarios and ethical questions that professionals can use as they develop their own programs. These questions and scenarios can be used without adopting the RRICC model.


Review Submitted by:  Dr. Sandra Estanek, Canisius College



In the May newsletter, there was a small error in leadership titles. We are happy to welcome Tedd Vanadilok as a member of the Planning Committee and Jessica Graf as an ex-officio member of the Five Year Planning Committee in her role as the Chair of the Spiritual Enrichment Committee. Welcome Tedd and Jessica!

June JASPA Blog

Prayer for impact.

Guide the words I speak, Lord. Spice them with Your love and concern. Make my speech a joy to others, not a burden.

Mike Freyaldenhoven, Spring Hill College

When originally asked to author a blog post that details how humor shows up in my job on a Jesuit campus, my mind raced with the possibilities. This is my chance to step into the light and to make an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of my colleagues (a bit dramatic, but it works). Not only will I attempt to wax lyrical about humor in the work place, my hope and dream is that you feel it in this post. For the record, Marci Walton allowed this to happen.

As I sat down to complete this post over Memorial Day Weekend, I thought to myself, this is it. Welcome to the big show. We. Could. Go. All. The. Way. Tonight is the night. Be aggressive.  B-E aggressive. Ya’ll ready for this!?! Pump up the jam….


There are times when the words flowing through my full-ear coverage headphones make their way to the paper. Please forgive me for what happened in that last paragraph. I left it because it helps to set the tone for this post and shines a light into my bad dad joke riddled ethos. Should you need your own hype song before taking on an important task, I’ll suggest that you engage Prince Julien. He loves to move it move it.  

Back to the task at hand.

But first, context.

My career in Jesuit education began just two years ago when Amanda, Michael, (best roommates ever) and I moved a thousand miles south from the deep north (Bowling Green, OH) to the deep south (Mobile, AL). Spring Hill College took a chance on me for a student involvement position while the University of South Alabama took a chance on my partner for a housing position. That part isn’t supposed to be humorous, though a dual student affairs couple with young kids seems laughably impossible at times. Our family was growing as well and Noah (the jury is still out on this roommate) joined us in October of 2015. Since 2015, our family has experienced the loss of multiple family members, including both of my parents. Moving south was divinely inspired and allowed me to be present to celebrate the lives of those we lost, to mourn for their loss, and to connect with life lessons through storytelling and laughter.

Storytelling and humor. Herein lies the intersection of my stream-of-consciousness ramble (see above) and what I believe to be a select few a-ha, light bulb, oh snap!, eureka!, golden nugget-style moments. Upon entering Jesuit higher education, I noticed a difference in the way my institution was presented and I began to learn about the life of Ignatius. My entire orientation to this Jesuit Catholic experience has been rooted in storytelling and humor. Case and point, have you ever seen The Olive? Have you ever been to an orientation session at your institution where they showed a #JesuitEducated video created by students or learned about Ignatius of Loyola in any capacity? If the answer is yes, I can guarantee you learned about this tradition via stories, likely laced with humor. If not, give me a call. I’ll connect you with some folks in white collars who will be happy to pull on your ear for a while. That’s southern for spinning a yarn or telling a tale. My charge here is to ask that you celebrate the story, find appropriate places to make others smile/laugh, and to share the “you” with others.

Both humor and storytelling have been extremely important in my work. I believe that you only get one chance to make a good impression and the same amount of chances to notice a good (or bad) haircut. In my work with students, humor and storytelling become the vehicle in which I share my life with them, and in turn, encourage them to do the same with me and others. It breaks the ice and demonstrates investment and care. It helps to create connection and allows me to represent my institution with the warmth, approachability, and openness that students need when attempting to make the unfamiliar seem familiar. Humor and storytelling also allow me to convey cultural norms in bite-sized chunks. This is probably the point where I should tell you that I am blessed to lead our conduct efforts on campus. In this context, humor and storytelling become vital to addressing conflict. A well-placed break in the seriousness of a hearing or a story to let a student know that I too am human can create immeasurable buy-in. Just remember, humor is subjective and that using it takes practice. Reflection with a mentor is necessary when adopting any new approach.

In short, both humor and storytelling fill my cup on a regular basis. They provide me with a sense of purpose and they release endorphins like a beach vacation. I am both attracted to humor and the art of storytelling (like raccoons are attracted to shiny objects) and see it as necessary skill to be built and strengthened in myself and in my staff. In some ways, I believe it is the glue that holds us together and something that we rarely talk about as a tool to be developed in our profession. My call to action: you do you. Find your story and share it with the world. If you can put it into a meme or a bad pun, you’re ahead of the game. :-)

Mike Freyaldenhoven is the Director of Student Involvement and Interim Director of Community Standards in the Center for Student Involvement and Career Development at Spring Hill College. He enjoys living and working in Mobile with his wife, Amanda, two sons, Michael (5) and Noah (19 months), and recently-rescued Heinz 57 mutt, Sanibel. Discover more bad dad jokes and a healthy mix of family and work updates on Facebook by correctly spelling Freyaldenhoven and selecting the cute kid pic option.

NJSLC 2017

Georgetown University is excited to host the National Jesuit Student Leadership Conference (NJSLC) this summer! We invite advisors and student leaders from Jesuit Universities to attend our conference in Washington D.C. from July 19-23, 2017.


For more information about the conference and to keep up with the latest news regarding conference planning, please visit our website at:


To register a delegation from your University, please visit the Eventbrite page:


The registration dates and costs are as follows:

  • Standard (March 25 – June 2): $450 (+ processing fees)

  • Last Chance (June 3 – June 9): $495 (+ processing fees)

  • To avoid Eventbrite processing fees, there is an option to pay via check.

  • Regular registration ends June 2nd!


Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns about the conference. Our email address is:

Additionally, students and advisors are invited to fill out an application to present in a leadership session during the conference. Leadership sessions are interactive presentations centered around a variety of topics. Your proposal can reflect upon an aspect of leadership, an initiative your school has taken which you are proud of, or a project you've been working on. Applications must be submitted by Friday, June 9th. The link to apply can be found here!