The Repository @ St. Cloud State

Open Access Knowledge and Scholarship

Date of Award


Culminating Project Type


Degree Name

Higher Education Administration: Ed.D.


Educational Administration and Higher Education


School of Education

First Advisor

Christine M. Imbra

Second Advisor

Michael Mills

Third Advisor

Steven McCullar

Fourth Advisor

Tracy Ore

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Keywords and Subject Headings

student affairs, higher education, resilience, LGBT, postsecondary


Existing literature provides an insufficient understanding of the lived experiences of LGBTQ Student Affairs Mid-Level Administrators and particularly from a strengths-based approach. This study applied a life story interview approach to the exploration of the support and resilience experiences of mid-level Student Affairs administrators who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, two spirit and/or queer (LGTBTTQ) and a person of color or indigenous (POCI), using a theoretical framework comprised of the ecological systems approach (Bronfenbrenner, 1979), queer theory (Jagose, 1996; Plummer, 2005; Watson, 2005) and intersectionality (Collins, 1998; Crenshaw, 1991; McCall, 2005). Findings of this study include a wide range of resilience strategies experienced by LGBTQ mid-level administrators of color, and multiple sources and degrees of support supplemented, buffered, and countered experiences within higher education environments. Implications for practice include the following areas: hiring, advancement and promotion opportunities, creating opportunities to share their stories, the role of professional associations, and examining institutional culture as sources of violence or support.



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