Identity in Supervision

Understanding Who Works for You and Who You Work for in Higher Education

Edited by:
Roger 'Mitch' Nasser Jr., Lindenwood University

A volume in the series: Identity & Practice in Higher Education-Student Affairs. Editor(s): Pietro A. Sasso, Delaware State University. Shelley Price-Williams, University of Northern Iowa.

Published 2023

This book will discuss the intersection of personal identity, professional identity, and positionality with supervision techniques. The structure of the text will outline historical contexts to supervision, development of models, connection to identity, and impact of position while providing a framework for self-reflection. Various populations including new professionals, middle managers, senior administrators, faculty, and graduate students will connect to the themes of the text. Readers will benefit from self-reflection, review, and understanding.

Identity in Supervision: Understanding Who Works for You and Who You Work for in Higher Education, will introduce faculty, staff, administrators, and graduate students in higher education to the intersection of identity and positionality to the supervision experience. Specifically, this publication centers on understanding the people behind the positions and how best to support them. The text is constructed in four sections. Section 1: Understanding Supervision in Higher Education contains chapters, which provide an overview of supervision. This overview is essential as later chapters examine specific populations and positions. Section 2: The Impact of Identity on Supervision in Higher Education includes chapters, which ask readers to reflect on how their own identities impact their supervision experience and the experience of their colleagues. Section 3: The Impact of Professional Experience on supervision reviews the specific needs of professionals at different experience levels. Readers will improve their understanding of both those they supervise and their supervisors. Finally, Section 4: The Impact of Functional Area on Supervision contains chapters reviewing the specific needs of professionals in positions in residence life, academic advising, judicial affairs, etc. Supervisors will find this section useful in understanding and supporting these professionals. Each chapter will conclude with two or three reflection questions supporting application. As a result of engaging with this text, readers will be better equipped to understand the impact of identity, experience, and functional area on supervision. They will learn techniques to improve their current practice, reflect on their own needs, and combine ideas from chapters to provide a better experience for all employees.


"Higher education and student affairs professionals deserve skilled supervisors. Our organizations rely on excellence from professionals and yet, the preparation of supervisors has been sorely lacking in this field. Roger 'Mitch' Nasser, and the contributors of this text, weave together a compelling set of resources and insights that help supervisors and those who report to them to think through how to best build a good relationship. This text can and should be used by professionals at all levels to inform our practice. This resource balances theory, practice, story, and inspiration to progress the field into a new way of honoring the identities that inform the critical relationship between staff and supervisor." — Molly A. Schaller, Saint Louis University

"Believe me, this book from the intro on was 'the truth' . I wish I had this before I started supervising. This book is a tool for all of us." — Jerome Holland, Jr , Regis University

"Dr. Nasser has gathered a thoughtful mix of quality emerging and seasoned professionals, practitioners and scholars, as well as authors representing a myriad of social identities and functional areas who offer deep insights into one of the most important competencies in higher education practice. This will be the one book I use to teach about supervision." — Tracy Davis , Western Illinois University

"This book is long overdue, I only wish I had it sooner! From the sharing of personal narrative, to the deep review of theories on supervision, this book brings the perfect blend of theory and practice to the forefront of our work. It is a “must have” on your shelf for reference and use." — Laura L. Arroyo, University of Colorado Boulder

Introduction, Roger “Mitch” Nasser Jr. PART I: UNDERSTANDING SUPERVISION IN HIGHER EDUCATION. Senior Administrators Reflect on the Importance of Supervision, Shane Williamson and Daniel Maxwell. Models of Supervision, Katherine M. Bender and Amanda Barudin-Carreiro. How Is Supervision Learned? The Profession’s Responsibility for Learning and Teaching Supervision, Steven Tolman and Daniel W. Calhoun. PART II: THE IMPACT OF IDENTITY ON SUPERVISION IN HIGHER EDUCATION. Considering Race and Ethnicity in Supervision, Maurice Shirley, Leah J. Lattimore, and Jimmy F. Suarez. Gender Identity and Supervision: Meditations and Reflections, Zachary Brown, Sy Simms, and Z Nicolazzo. Considering Sexual Identity in Supervision, Meg E. Evans and Jason K. Wallace. Considering Disability in Supervision, Adam R. Lalor and Kelly O’Ryan. PART III: THE IMPACT OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE ON SUPERVISION. Supervising Student Staff in Higher Education, Jamie L. Workman and Gary Ballinger. Supervising Graduate Students in Higher Education, Roger “Mitch” Nasser Jr. and Melodie Carr-Winston. Supervision of New Professionals, Shanna E. Smith, Dena R. Kniess, Tony W. Cawthon, and Cassidy Nelson. Supervising Middle Managers in Student Affairs, Shauna Harris and Hassel A. Morrison. PART IV: THE IMPACT OF FUNCTIONAL AREA ON SUPERVISION. Supervising Professionals in High Contact Areas, Brandin L. Howard and Alex Pitner. Supervising Professionals in Accountability Areas, Jill Zambito. Supervising Professionals in Academic Areas, Sharon A. Aiken-Wisniewski, Natalie Brown, Tammy Nguyen, and Leslie Park.