Curricular Approaches to Student Learning Beyond the Classroom​

Student affairs staff members are well versed in the rich opportunities for learning beyond the classroom. However, typical efforts to foster that learning through program models often fall short in design, staff buy-in, student learning, and measurable outcomes. Keith and colleagues work to help individual campuses shift to a curricular approach. This process is often through a two day retreat that helps the staff make the paradigm shift, establish their educational priority and learning goals unique to their institution, and create concrete plans for strategically moving forward including on-going design, implementation, and assessment.

“It was really helpful having Dr. Keith Edwards come to campus to help us understand and implement the curricular approach.  The Plenary and workshop sessions provided the staff with the foundations and tools they needed to feel more comfortable and approach this new direction with more focus and enthusiasm.”

-Mylon J. Kirksy, Ed.D., Director of Residence Life, University of Texas at Austin


“Keith was a fantastic facilitator and guide as we began our journey toward a curricular approach to our work.  He empowered us to discover learning goals and outcomes unique to our campus and left us well-equipped for our journey toward this new approach.”

-Karen Lange, Ed.D., Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of St. Thomas


Creating a Culture of Consent: Addressing the Roots of Sexual Violence

This presentation defines and explores the realities of sexual assault, critiques traditional approaches on campus and in society in general, and reframes how we can can approach sexual violence prevention proactively. Participants will be able to clearly define informed consent to others as well as recognize our mis-education from cultural messages at the roots of sexual violence. This session empowers individuals of all genders to recognize and intervene not just when sexual violence is imminent but at the roots of sexual violence around us in our daily lives. Participants will leave the session with a vivid understanding of the issues and tangible ways to make change happen.

“There was a presenter to the students that my daughter raved about. She wanted to give him a standing ovation at the end, and wished that she had. She said that he presented a difficult subject in a clear and non-accusatory way. Thank you very much for making the campus a safer place through such a fine job.”

-Parent of first-year student

Toward Thriving: Applying the Science of What Works

This session or series will share concepts and principles from the latest science of what works from positive psychology and neuroscience. Participants will apply these concepts through a series of interactive activities to gain clarity, set goals, determine priorities, identify actions steps, and make commitments toward thriving in their current professional and personal lives.

Keith’s Toward Thriving Series can be offered as keynotes, interactive workshops, or full-day retreats. Keith shares research based content on neuroscience, positive psychology, mindful leadership, and emotional intelligence.

Each Toward Thriving Series keynote, workshop, or retreat is upbeat, high energy, future focused, and full of information on how we can all be at our best. In workshop and retreat formats, participants will apply these concepts through a series of interactive activities to gain clarity, set goals, determine priorities, identify actions steps, and make commitments toward thriving in their current professional and personal lives.

I can honestly say that I have never had so many people make a point of calling or finding me to say how much they really appreciated the program. I’ve heard stories about how they have applied lessons they learned or took a moment to think differently about a situation.  I’ve been coordinating professional development for our division for a number of years and I’ve brought some wonderful speakers over time but this is truly the most positive response I’ve ever seen.

-Suzanne Sullivan McGillicuddy, Assistant Dean of Students, Fashion Institute of New York

“Putting My Man Face On”: College Men’s Gender Identity Development

Keith shares an empirically based theory of college men’s gender identity development grounded in poignant video stories from research participants to engage the audience. Participants will explore how college men learn, conform to, and perhaps begin to transcend traditional masculinity. The theory that emerged from this constructivist grounded theory study of 10 college men’s experiences depicts their gender identity as developed through constant interaction with society’s expectations of them as men.  In order to try to meet these perceived expectations, participants described putting on a performance that was like wearing a mask or “putting my man face on.” They described a process of learning societal expectations, putting on a mask to conform to these expectations, wearing the mask, and struggling to begin taking off the mask. For student audiences, Keith focuses on how college men can begin to transcend these rigid gender norms individually and collectively. For faculty and staff offices, Keith focuses on strategies for reaching, educating, and helping men foster their gender identity development.

“Keith was wonderful to work with on our campus. He did a presentation for staff, a keynote for students, and met with some of the leaders of our Interfraternity Council. Our men seemed to really connect with Keith’s work and I think it was a great start to the conversation on men and masculinity on our campus.”

– St. Norbert College

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Beyond Good Intentions: Aspiring Social Justice Ally Identity Development

This session will discuss an aspiring ally identity development model as a possible framework of developing more effective allies. Individuals who are supportive of social justice efforts are not always effective in their anti-oppression efforts. Some who genuinely aspire to act as social justice allies are harmful, ultimately, despite their best intentions, perpetuating the system of oppression they seek to change. Different underlying motivations of those who aspire to be allies can lead to differences in effectiveness, consistency, outcome, and sustainability. His work on aspiring allyship is widely recognized and referenced the Southern Poverty Law Center and Teaching Tolerance and has been integrated as a cornerstone for the leadership and diversity training programs implemented by corporations including Microsoft and Price Waterhouse Cooper. This session should particularly benefit individuals seeking to develop their own ally behavior and those seeking a conceptual model to help inform the development of potential allies into true allies for social justice. Click here for slides, handouts, article, webinar video, and more.

Keith did a great job working with our professional residential life team. He provided a very different way to think about social justice ally development that left us talking and thinking for weeks. Over two months later his presentation would still come up in conversations. Keith provides a rare combination of outstanding presentation skills and an astute awareness of social justice issues.

-Grant Anderson, Coordinator of Residence Life Staff, Education, and Research, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities

Mindful Leadership

Mindful leadership is grounded in the wisdom across spiritual traditions and affirmed by the latest neuroscience and psychological research. Mindfulness can help leaders let go of the past, worry less about the future, and more fully bring all of themselves to the present. This session will explore mindful leadership and discuss concrete approaches to mindful leadership to be happier, healthier, and more effective in work and life.

From Anti-Oppression to Liberation Approaches to Social Justice: Strategies and Approaches

A clear understanding of oppression, privilege, and power illuminates inequities and unfairness in the social structure all around us. Often those who care most deeply about working toward more justice and equity can find themselves engaging in practices that undermine our goals. This session will challenge participants to look deeply at their social justice work. Strategies like shaming and self-righteousness are understandable (and so tempting) but counter-productive. How do we create greater awareness so that our approaches invite greater accountability, self-reflection, and transformational learning toward more justice and equity in the world.

Appreciated the focus of how to change your thinking and moving forward.”
“Best program: Really helps with the “now what” question.”
“Keith has a gift for connecting”
“This was an incredible presentation. I look forward to seeing more of Keith’s work.”

-MCPA Conference Attendees – 4.96/5 overall rating from 20 attendees

Foundations of Social Justice Education

This workshop provides an overview of the foundational elements of social justice. This session includes social group identities, systems of oppression, and explores ways that educators can be effective in educating others to create greater equity and justice. This can be a two hour workshop or a full day faculty and staff development opportunity.

Comprehensive Sexual Violence Prevention & Title IX Compliance

Campuses are seeking assistance in responding to and preventing sexual violence. Keith offers clear information grounded in the latest research on perpetrators of sexual violence and a variety of strategies for individual, departments, and institutional wide response. This two hour to two day session moves committed individuals from frustration to ideas to action. This surprisingly engaging, fast paced, and highly productive approach can be the first step in transforming your campuses approach to sexual violence prevention.

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