Yakaboski, Tamara

Committee Member

Ortis, LD

Committee Member

Tucker, Gardiner

Committee Member

Pugh, Kevin


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences; Department of Leadership, Policy, and Development: Higher Education and P–12 Education


University of Northern Colorado

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Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



185 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


The purpose of this study was to explore how emotions and identity development create pathways for White deans of students to understand their responsibility in fostering a campus community that is equitable for all. From the frameworks of emotional intelligence and White identity development, I illustrated the nature of the varying, often emotion-driven, work of deans of students on ever-increasingly diverse college campuses. Within a poststructuralist paradigm and narrative inquiry methodology, ten participants engaged in three scaffolded critical reflection methods confronting areas of privilege and cognitive dissonance. Narratives fostered a culmination of powerful metaphors and lived experiences of White deans of students, centering on where they need to continue growing and how to remain steadfast in achieving equity. For a campus to become truly equitable, not only do White deans of students need to develop the emotional capacity to uphold equity long-term as a critical part of the campus community as a whole’s effort in tangible actions rooted in critical consciousness to make positive change. Results took on four themes ranging from taking responsibility for change within their spheres of influence and prioritizing emotional management using critical reflection as a tool. The implications provided examples of ways to undergo one’s own transformative experience, including personal and institutional practices to take a positive position of equity and critical consciousness.

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Copyright is held by the author.