On November 5, Michelle Czarnecki and Ellie Hail, second year graduate students in the Post Secondary Education: Student Affairs programs, won the case study competition at the 2013 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) IV-East Regional Conference. The case study competition strives to cultivate the ability of graduate students to apply theory to practice, while also giving students the chance to showcase their skills and receive feedback from professionals in higher education.
Michelle’s and Ellie’s case study focused on the transition of a student back to a small liberal arts college following a tour of duty for military service. The case addressed issues such as racial identity, gender identity, military/veteran status, and mental health. Michelle and Ellie’s case resolution incorporated the use of Schlossberg's (1984) Transition Theory to address the immediate needs of the student, identify policies and procedures that limit inclusion of military and veteran students, and finally to address campus culture and attitudes toward these students. Michelle and Ellie were awarded based on their ability to connect theory to practice, field and respond to questions, exhibit clear organization of their thoughts, and present a realistic response to the situation. Congratulations, Michelle and Ellie, on your success!