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JCC Connexions, Vol. 9 No. 1

February 1, 2023

February 2023, Vol. 9, No. 1

Why Is Good Character Formation Important to Our Democratic Future? Critical Conversations #32

Colm Fitzgerald, University College Dublin

In "Character Development in Higher Education Using Classical Archetypes" and "A Theoretical Foundation for Classical Character Archetypes" (Journal of College & Character, vol. 24, no. 1, February 2023), Colm Fizgerald offers readers a modern reimagining of a classical archetypal character construction as a novel method for character development as well as a theoretical foundation for these archetypes. He responds to questions by Jon Dalton, JCC co-editor, about his work. Read More.

Questions Relating to Moral Development: JCC, February 2023

Pamela C. Crosby, Co-Editor, Journal of College and Character

Here are some important questions that relate to moral development that are explored in articles in the February 2023 issue (vol. 24, no. 1) of the Journal of College and Character. Read more.

New Spaces & Roles for Student Affairs Educators

Student Voices: How the Pandemic Impacted Career Meaning-Making

Michael J. Stebleton, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Higher education and student affairs leaders play critical roles in supporting students for career longevity in an era marked by profound uncertainty. It is difficult to predict the future; yet, change is inevitable, and many individuals struggle with managing ambiguity. Inevitably, there will be periods of time when all of us are more engaged in paid work (e.g., traditional employment, gig work) as compared to non-paid work (e.g., caregiving, volunteer work). Based on these predictions, a holistic planning approach will work best. Read more.

Lessons in Moral Development Learned From a Sabbatical Adventure

Embracing Invisibility

Peter Mather, Ohio University

Nearly 20 years ago, I had the opportunity to travel with President Jimmy Carter and an election observation team to Indonesia. At the time, I was serving as the director of educational programs at the Carter Center, the headquarters of President and Mrs. Carter’s global humanitarian work. The journey I took to Southeast Asia was designed to support a free and fair election in the largest Muslim country in the world; it was the country’s first-ever democratic election of a president. In the aftermath of 9-11, this symbol of democracy was a significant global event, and I felt honored to be part of it, and proud of my connection with the Carter Center. Read more.

Critical Religious Studies in Higher Education

Simran Kaur-Colbert, Earlham College

Having served as a student affairs professional at both public and private U.S. higher education institutions, spirituality has been important to my identity and communities of belonging and motivational for my work. Like many colleagues of faith, I volunteered with student retreats and interfaith experiences and supported students’ religious, secular, and spiritual (RSS) development by ensuring access to religious and spiritual resources, support, and spaces. A relationship between religion and culture became apparent as I began to understand how identity and community are connected; for many students, religion is much more about practice and belonging than about beliefs. Read more.

Engaging Civic Religious Pluralism

Becca Hartman-Pickerill, Interfaith America

As we prepare for another momentous year, this is an invitation to expect relationships and connection, expect difference and disagreement, and invest in the time needed to cultivate bridgebuilding skills. While the instances of conflict and disagreement hold our attention (see Ripley’s book to learn more), one of the skills of bridgebuilding is developing a radar screen for stories of engagement, connection and collaboration across difference. Listen to, read, repeat those stories too. Many religious traditions call their adherents to be careful about what crosses their eyes, what they take into their hearts, and what they give their attention to; academics share a similar commitment, though differently framed, to pay attention to the best thinking and argument that you disagree with (not the most outlandish).  Whatever the motivation, my hope for our campuses and broader community is to live into these expectations and aspirations. Read more.

Fostering Moral Development

Alan Acosta, University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School 

Higher education professionals must take every single opportunity to provide clear and consistent ethical character development for students. Doing so reinforces the idea moral and ethical behavior is important, necessary, and essential. And it emphasizes the social behaviors our culture will and will not tolerate. While this education is not always going to match what happens publicly, it sets a tone for what broader society will accept. Higher education must continue to be the proverbial North Star for the direction we want our society to go. Read more.