The Changing Faces of Higher Education

From Boomers to Millennials

Mitchell B. Mackinem, Lacey J. Ritter, Anisah Bagasra (Eds.)

by Samantha F. Quinn (Park University), Lacey J. Ritter (Mount Mercy University), Andrea Malek Ash (University of Iowa), Amy Tondreau (Austin Peay State University), Zachary T. Barnes (Austin Peay State University), Matt Hiatt (Claflin University), Jason DeHart (Appalachian State University), Meagan Albrant (San Diego College of Continuing Education), Anisah Bagasra (Kennesaw State University), M. Blair Thomas (Florida State University), Jonathan Wesley (Certified Pastoral Counselor), Terra Rasmussen Lenox (Lake Michigan College), Marni E. Fisher (English Department, Saddleback College), Kimiya Sohrab Maghzi (College of Education, University of Redlands), Erin L. Wisniewski (Regis College), Candace Lapan (Wingate University), Paige Rawson (Wingate University), Edward L. Case (Wingate University), Sha Huang (Kennesaw State University), Catherine Lammert (Texas Tech University)

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In a time of rapid change and arising challenges, Millennials are the latest generation to enter high education institutions as junior faculty, administrators, researchers, and scholars. As with each generation they bring new values, perspectives, technological expertise, and expectations. Higher education is facing potentially overwhelming challenges in finances, student debt, relevance, non-traditional hiring, with some institutions facing closure. Academic leaders, often Baby Boomers, attempt to meet these challenges while still tied to traditions from a bygone time. The Changing Faces of Higher Education gives voice to Millennial academics and their perspective of higher education. This thought-provoking volume provides the insights and lessons from Millennials working in higher education across various subfields. The contributing authors speak from divergent institutions including small mid-western private colleges to larger East coast public institutions and many locations in-between. The contributing authors are not limited to faculty but covers a range of professionals working in higher education. While diverse, all the authors focus on the challenges in teaching, mentorship, and leadership, challenges related to diversity, and improving technology and research. The thirteen chapters in this book address ongoing challenges faced by Millennials working in higher education, offers advice and best practices, and addresses the ways that Millennials serve as a bridge between their “Boomer” colleagues and Gen Z who make up the majority of currently enrolled college students. Each chapter presents the experiences of the author(s) and the strategies utilized to navigate the increasingly fast changing landscape of higher education.

Foreword. Bridging Generational Gaps in Higher Education: Perspectives from an “Old Millennial”
Alexandra “Xan” C. H. Nowakowski
Florida State University College of Medicine

Preface. When Baby Boomers Ruled the World…

Part 1. Career Pathways

Chapter 1 A Tenure-Track Destiny Deferred: How to Find Your Academic Home When Your Current Job Title Says “Visiting”
M. Blair Thomas
Florida State University

Chapter 2 “So, When Do I Begin?” Critical Incidents of Successes (Plus a Few Mishaps) In Boomers’ Mentorship of Millennials
Catherine Lammert
Texas Tech University
Andrea Malek Ash
University of Iowa

Chapter 3 Mentoring and Being Mentored in an Age of Social Media Connection and Instant Gratification
Amy Tondreau
Austin Peay State University
Zachary T. Barnes
Austin Peay State University

Part 2. Teaching & Research

Chapter 4 Technology in the Academic Workplace: Bridging Gaps with Generational Colleagues
Matt Hiatt
Claflin University

Chapter 5 Digital Transformations: A Digital Autoethnography of Developing Multimodal Teacher Education Practices
Jason DeHart
Appalachian State University

Chapter 6 Millennials Teaching the Non-Traditional Student: How Millennials and Baby Boomers Learn Together
Meagan Albrant
San Diego College of Continuing Education

Chapter 7 Teaching Old Dogs New Tricks: Tips and Strategies for Researching Gen-Z Students in and Out of the Classroom
Anisah Bagasra
Kennesaw State University
Lacey J. Ritter
Mount Mercy University

Chapter 8 From the Front Line to the Front Row: Millennials Teaching Military Affiliated Learners
Samantha F. Quinn
Park University
Terra Rasmussen Lenox
Lake Michigan College

Chapter 9 Millennials, Technology, and Teaching: Leading the Way for Active Engagement with a Community
Marni E. Fisher
English Department, Saddleback College
Kimiya Sohrab Maghzi
College of Education, University of Redlands

Part 3. Diversifying Higher Education

Chapter 10 Avocado Toast and Other Perceptions
Erin L. Wisniewski
Regis College

Chapter 11 “Wear Long Sleeves and Say Bless You:” Working as an “Other” in Conservative Academia
Lacey J. Ritter
Mount Mercy University
Candace Lapan, Paige Rawson, and Edward L. Case
Wingate University

Chapter 12 Asian Women in Higher Education: Voices, Challenges, and Strategies
Sha Huang
Kennesaw State University

Chapter 13 Black, Queer, Millennial Males in Academia: Tales of Three to Consider
Jonathan Wesley
Certified Pastoral Counselor

Epilogue. Making Room for Millennials

About the Authors


Mitchell Mackinem is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Wingate University. He has taught sociology courses for over twenty years and has published widely in the academic community. Dr. Mackinem has coauthored or edited five books including one with Dr. Bagasra on "Working with Muslim Clients in the Helping Professions".

Lacey J. Ritter is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Mount Mercy University. After receiving her Ph.D. from Florida State University in 2017, she worked as an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Wingate University prior to her current position. Her research interests include various issues related to health and health care access; gerontology; dying and death; and sexuality. You can find her work in various journals, including Sexuality & Culture and Symbolic Interaction. Recently, she co-authored the book "Sexual Deviance in Health and Aging: Uncovering Later Life Intimacy".

Anisah Bagasra is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Kennesaw State University who specializes in behavioral health research in the Muslim American and African American faith communities. Her experience building traditional and online undergraduate curriculum led to the creation of a Psychology major at Claflin University, where she also spearheaded the launch of online degree programs prior to joining KSU. She and Dr. Mackinem have published on perceptions of the quality of online courses and faculty diversity at HBCUs.

Bibliographic Information

Book Title
The Changing Faces of Higher Education
Book Subtitle
From Boomers to Millennials
Number of pages
Physical size
Publication date
May 2022