Graduates should be able to:

Define professional development needs and interests for continued growth including opportunities for future contributions to the body of knowledge

Deciding to launch a blog, a professional blog at that, has been a long process, containing lots of changes in style, format and direction. All in all, I personally am satisfied, because I will now be able to continue to refine the content on this website, leading me to continually grow as a professional creative working in higher education.


Identify one’s professional values and ethics

Professional Values and Goals - James A. Thomas
(June 19,  2017)

The following are values I aspire to maintain in my personal
and professional life.

Honesty - being open, even when difficult.

Connection - finding true connections to people, places,
and ideas!

Love - learning to love more each day.

Respect - treat others how you would want to be treated. 

Creativity - always taking time to nurture my creative side.

Flexibility - remember to enjoy serendipity and take breaks,
different routes, etc.

Balance - look at life's tasks, goals, relationships,
commitments & spiritual, physical, and mental health
through a wholistic lens.

Hope - Stay motivated, and inspired for a world bigger
than myself. 

Spirituality - continue to build on my own faith in God
and spirituality, leading to a more peaceful
and virtuous life.

Drive - stay driven, especially when motivation is low
or "the going gets tough"

The reason I’ve included the above values with the date that I originally wrote them, is first, because it was suggested for me to check in with values before and after transitions, by my CSSA mentor and advisor, Dr. Larry Roper.

Graduation (June 2018!) can’t come soon enough for me, as I have encountered many transitions along the way, some planned, some unplanned, but all got me to where I’m at today! Overall my values at the time of writing this post (February 2018), are still grounded in the above. I’m trying to take balance more seriously, as time is the one thing we can’t have back, so I try to stay present and “in the moment” as much as possible. I would also like to add music or creativity (maybe both) to this list, as I started playing the jazz + fusion drums again in May of 2017, and have not stopped since.


Describe how one’s own world view impacts values and assumptions when working with others

This has quite honestly been one of the most rewarding, and challenging, aspects of the CSSA program for me — as I continue to grow older, gaining more work experience, I’m learning again and again just how many people are forgotten about, silenced, or worse — the last few years has been a very volatile experience in terms of the nationwide news, protests, shootings, sexual misconduct, and institutional failures, something that I doubt will stop — as we work to find solutions and peace, I’m well aware that the workplace is not immune to the awkward, yet necessary conversations of white privilege, male privilege, or truth(s) and Truth.

Establish a commitment to engage in ongoing inquiry throughout one’s career or articulate the value / appreciation of ongoing inquiry and engagement

DCF72E06-FFF4-47DB-8A43-35DF894E4E77I still am planning to pursue a PhD, with a research interest in media studies (the internet + society); and digital geopolitics. I also enjoy being a professional creative, building websites, taking photos, exploring new media analytics and coordinating digital communication endeavors. One thing is for certain, I would love to work for a large research university, either at the faculty / staff level or as a graduate student. Wherever the path may lead, I look forward to being a part of the inspiration, innovation, infrastructure and imagination that colleges and universities provide.


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