A Renewed Invite to the Gathering Table

A Renewed Invite to the Gathering Table

It’s been a year since the SAAL Blog was launched. We’ve had 33 posts in total and helped increase website traffic and unique visitors by more than 250%! The posts have spurred and responded to topics discussed on the listserv, as well as in the field at large. With a diverse range of topics covered, we’re proud of our first year of content. There are some people we’d like to recognize:

@courtneyhedger via Unsplash


Blog Team

These five individuals served as our debuting Blog Team, providing regular and diverse content to the SAAL Blog all year long. They signed on with an expectation to contribute multiple posts, give feedback on draft posts, and collaborate to discuss timing and nature of blog content being published for the year. Please join us in thanking the following people for their contributions and making the first year of the SAAL Blog a success:

  • Eric Walsh

  • Melinda Stoops

  • Daniel Kaczmarek

  • Daniel Newhart

  • Daniel Doerr

Blog Management

We owe an immense amount of gratitude and appreciation to the people who got it all started: Whitney Brown, Amy Corron, and Ciji Heiser. These three individuals not only brought an idea to life, but nurtured its development and coordinated its growth via dedicated bloggers and guest perspectives. They recruited and supported the Blog team, coordinated overall blog logistics, and ensured the content and site were executed as smoothly as possible. Not working entirely behind the scenes, they even contributed blog posts of their own! SAAL and the field are greater for their creative and constructive contributions.

Benefitting from such a strong foundation of activity, ideas, and practice, we are poised to continue the conversation. We’re excited to share more about this year, so pull up a chair.

@dawidliberadzki via Unsplash

About the Blog

Whether a returning reader or new to this space, the SAAL Blog is a place for diverse voices and perspectives offering continuous, varied, and educational content that informs student affairs assessment practice in a creative and approachable manner. The SAAL Blog is an engaging digital space that provides sustained dialogue towards advancing SAAL’s values of curiosity, equity, justice, and intentionality.

The SAAL Blog is maintained by the Professional Development Committee (PDC), with a select group of volunteers managing interest in submissions, feedback on drafts, and the blog posting process. PDC and these volunteers help keep the blog moving forward and may post on behalf of SAAL with announcements or updates for readership.


2019 Blog Team

Operating more as the face and voice of the blog, these five individuals were selected from a strong pool of diverse applicants. While you will be hearing much more from them soon enough, we wanted to introduce you to the team:

Renee Delgado-Riley, Ph.D.

Renee is the Director of Student Life Assessment & Research, Division of Student Life at the University of Oregon. Top areas of interest include: (1) taking information learned from the assessment process and using it in a meaningful way; (2) making assessment and research meaningful and fun for our colleagues through community building; and (3) culturally-responsive assessment in practice.

Eulena Jonsson, Ph.D.

Eulena is the Associate Director of Assessment for Campus Life at Duke University. Top areas of interest include: (1) assessment as storytelling with data; (2) building assessment infrastructure; and (3) building departmental assessment bridges.

Nanette Smith, Ed.D.

Nanette is the Director of Assessment & Quality Improvement at Rhodes State College. Top areas of interest include: (1) linking assessment with accreditation; (2) assessment collaboration across the university; and (3) jumpstarting co-curricular assessment.

Bethany Williams

Bethany is the Assistant Director of Health and Wellness at Liberty University. Top areas of interest include: (1) data-driven decision making; (2) evaluation; and (3) empirical data.

Desiree Zerquera, Ph.D.

Desiree is an Assistant Professor in the School of Education’s Department of Leadership Studies at the University of San Francisco. Top areas of interest include: (1) social justice and assessment; (2) asset-based framing of students; and (3) marginalized students as impacted through assessment practice.

With just a preview of interests from this team, it’s easy to see SAAL’s values of curiosity, equity, justice, and intentionality at play. In addition to some unique topics, there is considerable overlap in interests, leaving ample opportunity for some collaborative conversations to develop, as well as dialog with differing perspectives. We look forward to continuing the conversation with you all and drawing in new faces and voices to the discussion.


@roblaughter via Unsplash

Looking Ahead

In addition to fresh faces, we hope to expand our format a bit this year. We have already engaged in planning themed posts or series of related posts. We hope to utilize the blog as an accessible platform to introduce related scholarship, hearing from authors and affording space for response posts to recent publications. With additions and enhancements, we hope to continue encouraging interaction and invited extended discussions exploring all things assessment.


If you like what you are hearing, we want to hear from you! Like last year, we plan to include guest blog posts throughout the year. Click here to engage and submit your ideas. The PDC will then be in touch with you regarding your submission.


And don’t be a stranger! As new blogs go live on our site, they are announced via the SAAL listserv. Blogs are also shared via our social media channels, so feel free to subscribe and follow in order to get the latest content. As we share our stories and perspectives, we look forward to hearing your thoughts and contributions to the conversation.


Joe Levy, Professional Development Committee Chair


Go Back


Blog Search