Showing posts with label Millennial Research. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Millennial Research. Show all posts

Monday, December 19, 2016

Searching for a Long-Term Academic Relationship (LTAR)

Relationships change, friendships evolve, and values are reaffirmed. The past sentence defines my life for the past six years. When I began my academic career, I had a core group  of academic friends at the institution. However, when lives changed and mindsets evolved, our academic lives drifted apart.

Thinking Back to the Sorority Days

I have to remember that this was a similar experience that I encountered with some of my sorority sisters after college. We had a lot in common when we saw each other each day and were completing college together, but when we began our career paths we discovered how different we truly were.

Focusing on Today

So, the differences. Yes, they are definitely evident now. I am no longer on the tenure track, I am almost an associate professor and my academic value systems changed from a faculty research focus to a student research focus. Everything that I do now focuses on helping our students navigate college while integrating high impact educational practices from their first-year to their senior year. 

Thinking Beyond Your Department

Just because you share an academic discipline and work on project together does not guarantee a long-term academic relationship (LTAR). A LTAR is strengthened when we participate in those high-impact relationship building activities like study abroad, text messages sent to encourage one another, a spontaneous coffee/tea invitation for a 30 minute walk around campus, and a telephone call just to let the other academic know that you are thinking of them.

Encourage Others by Thinking Positively

My past academic relationships have been VERY transactional and research and project-based. Now, I can say that these relationships are based on common experiences (away from the university) and shared (encouraging) conversations. We also encourage one another by discouraging any negative conversations about other people. These conversations can taint your views of others and the time that you spend gossiping can be allocated to conversations about family or classroom innovation ideas.

I am much happier since I realized that relationships in my 30s need to be long-lasting and based on common experiences and common mindsets, not purely transactional. Sometimes you just have to let friendships wither away, this can make you open to new (and better friendships).

Have a great day and keep thinking positively! Thanks for visiting the Millennial Professor Blog!


Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

ACRL Presentation: Millennials and Beyond - Student and Faculty Voices


Thanks for bearing with me! Here's my presentation from the ACRL conference:


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.
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Monday, June 27, 2011

ALA/ACRL Conference Recap/Thank You EBSS!!!


Today, I just arrived back from the ACRL/ALA conference in New Orleans, LA and I am THANKFUL to the Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (especially Dr. Vanessa Earp) for inviting me to speak for one of their sessions! I had a great time delivering the presentation and I received a wealth of questions and great feedback after the presentation. Click here for my presentation: LINK

Not surprisingly, my presentation and my millennial approach was very different from my counterpart, Dr. Gene Roche, Director of Academic Information from  College of William and Mary. He presented an alternate perspective of the millennial college student and he incorporated research focused on the mental processes of college students. Then he posed a question focused on whether or not colleges and universities should appeal to millennial college students' wants, needs, and learning styles OR should millennials adapt to the college environment.

Here's my perspective, every organization changes at least one aspect of their policies, procedures, or processes to attract future members/employees and to retain current members/employees. Higher education institutions are no different, they have to adapt as well. New recruitment methods, new services and programs, and new (revised) teaching methods are essential if these organizations wish to remain relevant for the current and future student/faculty/staff populations.

As a result, Dr. Roche and I complemented each other's presentations by presenting a vastly different point of view focused on millennial college students. Thank you ACRL Education and Behavioral Sciences Section (especially Dr. Vanessa Earp) for this wonderful opportunity!


Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards
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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Life on the Tenure Track - I Was Invited to Attend the Division J Emerging Scholar Preconference!!!


Today, I am attending the AERA Division J - Emerging Scholars Workshop in New Orleans, LA. It is very exciting! The attendees are from a variety of different univeristies from across the nation! The attendees are from a various universities and I think this is a great opportunity for new and emerging faculty in the field!

Yesterday, I worked for most of the day and night responding to student emails and grading student papers. When I finished my communication for the evening, I visited the concierge lounge. To my suprise, I discovered that they served a FREE meal! Okay, I have to tell you about a wonderful meal - sun dried tomato pasta, turkey tetrazini, salad with balsamic vingerette, french onion soup, and mini cheese cakes! Yum! I am going to have to watch my waistline here. :)

Everyone just finished their introductions and I am so excited to network with such amazing people! They also have a panel discussion focused on higher education research and the tenure track.


Millennial Professor - Dr. Jennifer T. Edwards

Monday, March 21, 2011

Traveling With Undergraduate Students - Preparing for the Southern States Communication Association Conference


This week I am very excited about the Southern States Communication Association Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas! This year's conference is going to be amazing because I am presenting two papers, serving on a panels, and chairing a paper session. Aside from my busy schedule, I am also bringing seven undergraduate students who have been invited to present their research as part of the Undergraduate Honors Conference. 

As a result of the conference later this week, I have to prepare my online and face-to-face classes for their virtual assignments on Wednesday and Friday. My interpersonal and organizational communication courses are working on their research papers by distributing their survey and fine tuning their data analysis section via Google Docs. My two online speech courses are working on their informative speeches and updating their outlines on Google Docs. Google Docs enables me to view their progress on their assignment and to help the students along the way via my netbook or iPad. is not just the subject that I teach, but it is the daily life that I live!

Have a great week!


Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

SoTL Mentors to the World


If any of you are interested in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (a national movement), please check out this list of SoTL Mentors to the World. This is an amazing resource from the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning.

This resource is like a "pick your own" mentor! :) What a great idea from the IJ-SoTL!

Here's the link - SoTL Mentors to the World

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

IJ-SoTL: Current Issue: Volumn 5, Number 1 - January 2011


I am excited to announce that the International Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning just released their FIRST issue for 2011! This issue is their fifth anniversary issue! Congratulations on such a great issue IJ-SoTL - LINK!

Here is a list of the articles featured in this issue:

*Thanks IJ-SoTL!

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Feature Essays
Getting There: An Integrative Vision of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning
Pat Hutchings (Carnegie Foundation), Mary Taylor Huber (Carnegie Foundation) & Tony Ciccone (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) 
Invited Essays on SoTL
Current Perspectives on SoTL
Lorraine Stefani (University of Auckland)
Improving Group Functioning in Solving Realistic Problems
Sassan Asgari & Gloria Dall'Alba (University of Queensland)
What's Stalling Learning? Using a Formative Assessment Tool to Address Critical Incidents in Class
H. Brooke Hessler (Oklahoma City University) & Amy Rupiper Taggart (North Dakota State University)
Inquiry Learning: Level, Discipline, Class Size, What Matters?
Susan Vajoczki, Susan Watt & Michelle M. Vine (McMaster University), Xueqing (Rose) Liao (University of Toronto)
Developing a Statistically Valid AND Practically Useful Student Evaluation Instrument
Jeff Skowronek, Bruce Friesen, & Heather Masonjones (University of Tampa)
The Influence of Tech-Savvyness and Clicker Use on Student Learning
Jennifer A. Zapf & Adolfo J. Garcia (University of Wisconsin-Green Bay)

Exploring the Variation in First Year Undergraduates' Induction into Their Academic Disciplines
Min Yang, Beverley Joyce & Michael Prosser (University of Hong Kong)

The Potential for Teaching Quantitative Reasoning across the Curriculum
Nathan Grawe (Carleton College)
Business as Usual: Business Students' Conceptions of Ethics
Anna Reid (University of Sydney), Paul Taylor & Peter Petocz (Macquarie University)
The Power of Fiction: Reading Stories in Abnormal Psychology
Adrian S. Janit, Georgina S. Hammock & Deborah S. Richardson (Augusta State University)
What Really Matters: Assessing Individual Problem-Solving Performance in the Context of Biological Sciences
William L. Anderson, Cheryl A. Sensibaugh, Marcy P. Osgood & Steven M. Mitchell (University of New Mexico)

Essays About SoTL
Which Way to SoTL Utopia?
John Draeger (Buffalo State College) & Linda Price (Open University, UK)
Going to the Balcony: Two Professors Reflect and Examine Their Pedagogy
Linda J. Searby (University of Alabama at Birmingham) & Jenny S. Tripses (Bradley University)
Mapping the Field of Statistics Education Research in Search of Scholarship
Linda van der Merwe & Annette Wilkinson (University of the Free state)

IJ-SoTL Reviewers: Getting SoTL Articles Published
On Publishing SoTL Articles
Trent Maurer (Georgia Southern University)
What Makes a Great Article for IJ-SoTL
Patricia Rogers (Bemidji State University)
Exemplary Dissemination: Sowing Seed in IJ-SoTL
Nicola Simmons (University of Waterloo)
What Makes for a High Quality IJ-SoTL Research Article?
Lorraine Stefani (University of Auckland)
Identifying High Quality SoTL Research
Jeffrey L. Bernstein (Eastern Michigan University)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

My REAL Experience: Training 90 Undergraduate Students How to Use Google Docs!


Good morning! Yesterday was the SECOND day of classes (MWF) and I trained over 90 students to use Google Documents. A colleague and I received a "Real-Word Experiences Applied to Learning" institution grant for our upper-level communication courses and our learning outcomes include collaborative research for undergraduate students. The students will conduct research on diversity and communication to write a paper and to present the results at the Tarleton State University - Communication Studies Department's "Diversity and Communication - Research Symposium" (which will also include papers and panels from faculty and staff)! 

Not surprisingly (if you know me), we decided to use Google Documents for each of the student research groups. At the beginning of the workshop, the training was chaotic. Some students have a Google Documents account and other students do not have an account. This means that I had to help the students create an account for Google Documents. Many of the students actually used their university e-mail to create their Google account.

Before class, I created fifteen research documents (one document per group) and I added each of the students to the research groups at the end of the class period.

Then, I exposed the students to several "neat" aspects of the new Google Documents software. Here are items the students really liked:

a. Each of you can type on the document simultaneously! In fact, you can see each other's comments by their colored cursor.

b. You can CHAT with your group members while you type your sections of the document.

c. You can double-check the document to verify that your group members edited the document at a certain time.

d. If you EVER need to view a prior version of the document, you can! In fact, you can revert to a prior version.

e. You can send e-mail to your group members through the document!

f. The new version has MARGINS and COMMENTS you can create in the side bar (instead of comments directly on the document).

g. The document saves your data AUTOMATICALLY!

Overall, the students were REALLY impressed with this cloud computing software and I cannot wait to see them edit their document! :)

One unrelated comment - My training sessions were in the morning and my colleague's class (and training sessions) was held in the afternoon. So, I stood up for almost four hours! :) If you conduct a similar training, please make sure you wear comfortable shoes!

Millennial Professor - Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thank You Dissertation Chairs! - Someone Quoted My Dissertation!

Today, I wrote this e-mail to my dissertation chairs...

I am writing my weekly blog entry for the TACUSPA blog ( and I always include recent dissertations published from Texas institutions focused on the monthly topic. So, I am searching for HBCUs and HSIs in Texas and I discovered on ProQuest that someone quoted my dissertation back in 2008!

The Dissertation:
Muldrow, A.. Achievement motivation in African American college students. Psy.D. dissertation, Old Dominion University, United States -- Virginia. Retrieved April 17, 2010, from Dissertations & Theses: Full Text.(Publication No. AAT 3338396).

The Citation:

However researchers have noted that, for African
American college students, it is their relationship with faculty members, (esp. African American)
which is key in improving their ability to cope with these experiences to succeed academically
(Edwards, 2007; Smith 2003).

Her Reference Citation:
Edwards, J. (2007). Supports for and barriers to on-time graduation as perceived by
african american undergraduate students at historically black colleges and
universities and historically white colleges and universities. Doctoral
Dissertation, Sam Houston State University, Huntsville, Texas.

Yay! This just made my day! You should be proud! 


Millennial Professor
Jennifer T. Edwards, Ed.D.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Millennials and Their Digital Dirt

Today, I am exhausted. I think that it has something to do with the time change (this is my first week back after spring break). Besides my exhaustion, we had three wonderful "Digital Dirt" presentations in class today. Career services always sponsors these presentations and I think they are very informative for our students.

The following topics always emerge in the discussion portion of the presentation:
a) employers do not have to right to look at our facebook profiles
b) what we do in our private lives is our business

These topics emerged today, but one student commented, "If we put it [the content] up there [on facebook], we should take responsibility for it [the content]." The career services representative was floored by the student's comment and I was excited that this freshman student had such a strong professional stance at this point of her academic career.

I administer a pre-test and post-test to gauge the students attitudes/perceptions of their facebook/myspace profiles. At this point, I think we have over 500 surveys. I cannot wait to run the stats!

Millennial Professor

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Millennials are ENTITLED!

Over the weekend, I had the pleasure of reading an older edition of Spectra, a newsletter from the National Communication Association. This issue focused on millennial undergraduate students, who comprise a majority of our college student population.

This article stated, "Today's college students (the Me generation) are more self-confident, assertive, open and direct than previous generations. They are much less concerned about privacy (perhaps they recognize the impossibility of it in such an intrusive age)." I completely agree with the prior statement. Many students do not understand the potential repercussions their online comments or images may have on their job search, career, or political ventures.

The author also contributed, "[Millennials] value and appreciate genuine self presentation and disdain blatant impression management. They don't appreciate that some topics might be taboo and they have little patience for explanations that hide information in service to cultural politeness norms. They are not very audience centered but instead value individual expression." This last statement could be debated, it seems that most of my students focus on their peers' opinions more than their own (clothing, conversation topics, etc.).

I strongly agree with this statement:
"On the need for social approval scale, the average college student in 2001 scored lower than 62% of college students in 1958. Sixth graders were even more pronounced in the declining need in that they came in at the 24% percentile. By the mid-90's college members from generation Me registered higher self esteem than 86% of 1968 peers." The millennials have higher self-esteem than the hippies? Interesting!

Lastly, the author refers to the assertiveness of this generation. She states:
This is a generation that appreciates directness. They don't do well in abstractions so we will be more successful if we find ways to make information concrete, relevant, and active. They were raised on the internet and don't sit still very long for passive learning encounters."

It seems millennial students value hands-on learning (or service learning) experiences in high school and college. "[Millennials] believe in experiential learning and they value their own uninformed opinion. They will question test items and their interpretations in ways that may feel disrespectful because Generation Me has zero tolerance for role governed authority."

Overall, I believe this author's article addresses the "millennial generation" issue effectively. I wonder how professors reacted to this article. How did YOU react to this article?

Andersen, J. (2008, September). Entitled generation. National Communication Association: Spectra. 12-13.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Millennial Conference Highlights!

On Friday, I attended a conference that was focused on teaching millennial students. As a millennial and as a researcher on millennial issues, I was very pleased with the content that was presented in the workshops and the keynote speech.

During the conference, the following topics were addressed:

  • Virtual Textbooks

  • Social Networking Websites

  • Instant Messenger & Virtual Office Hours (My Workshop)

  • Usage of Wikipedia in Student Research

  • Usage of YouTube in the Classroom

  • Blackboard

  • Usage of U.S. Census Website in the Classroom

  • Why College Students Do Not Read Textbooks

  • Podcasting Lectures

  • Text Messenging in the Classroom

  • Academic Integrity of Millennial Students

  • The Millennial Mindset List (Beloit)

  • Twitter and Skype in the Classroom

Overall, the conference was very interesting and I hope that the university continues to offer such informative and intriguing information to the faculty and staff.

As a millennial professor, I was inspired to continue my research and to spread knowledge to other professors about my interesting generation.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Communicating with Students via Yahoo Instant Messenger

Communicating with Millennial Students by Using the Yahoo Instant Messenger Program:
A Forthcoming Study

In the fall, I started using Yahoo Instant Messenger to communicate with my students during office hours. My office hours are in the morning and afternoon. I try to make office hours convenient for both me and my students, but sometimes both cannot be accomplished for all parties involved.

Therefore, I incorporated the use of Yahoo Instant Messenger to communicate with my students. Most of my students are millennials and they are excited about an additional way to communicate with me during office hours and outside of the workday. However, I use the "invisible" feature very frequently to avoid the "24 hour professor" syndrome.

The Future Study
I am writing a paper about my experiences, but I wanted to share then with the blog readers. Last fall, only five students from my 100+ students joined my instant messaging program. In addition, most of the students communicated with me through This spring, over 20 students have joined my instant messaging program and midterms have not occurred yet. Who knows what the number will be by the end of the semester.

Implications for Further Research
After the semester ends, the students do not delete my name from their Yahoo Instant Messenger list and I am able to maintain communication with them. This may serve as a longitudinal qualitative assessment mechanism for my virtual communication research.

My Instant Messaging Background
I have used instant messaging programs since 1998 when I was still in high school. Back then we had ICQ and I thought that program was the best thing since sliced bread. During college I made the switch to AOL instant messenger to keep in contact with my sorority sisters. In graduate school, I started using Yahoo IM,, and recently