Advisors are expected to know how they can aid the struggling student in achieving better results academically, and it makes me wonder how to best handle a multicultural student's concern when their struggle is not learning-based. I believe there is a connection between the struggle of students and that of actors, and when rooted in Shame Resilience Theory, advisors can learn powerful ways to encourage engagement, performance, and persistence. If there is any merit to this parallel, then advisors aren't only challenging and supporting the academic progress of multicultural students. Advisors are also helping students seek out resources needed to manage their vulnerabilities.
In high school, I found an interest that tethered me to learning. That interest followed me into college and beyond. As a performer, I trained on the "Uncomfortable Stage", and I call it that because any actor would agree that life onstage is inherently uncomfortable. To help audiences believe in a character requires physical, mental, and emotional devotion. Life as an actor can be exciting, but let me tell you, that excitement casts a shadow. I think back to what college acting studio classes were like. The expectations placed upon me by others and myself, the criticism, and lest we forget, heaps of rejection. Over the last semester I began to recognize how actors' needs and fears are mirrored in advisees' lives. Consider the courage, vulnerability, authenticity, and personal shame stories performers have to reach into to effectively give their characters three-dimensionality. I wondered how multicultural college students fare wading in similar waters as their personal and professional identities take shape.
My informal theory suggested that there is something here worth looking at closely, and it led me to propose the following presentation for NACADA's 2018 Annual Conference. I knew the proposal would not be selected, but I submitted it anyway because I try to follow where inspiration leads. The proposal was in fact rejected, and the feedback very helpful. My plan is to develop the idea into an article for submission to a NACADA publication.
Creative reflections on academic advising and learning
Cultivating dual resilience: Teaching shame recovery and image rebuilding through academic advising.
Unless noted otherwise, all content copyright 2017-2020 by Tanya Wineland.