in Higher Ed


Teaching is an act of love. After thinking about this with recent guests and faculty Rand Park, Sidneyeve Matrix, and Stephanie Cawthon, I’ve come to wonder if we don’t expect far too much of our educators and far too little from our leaders. Teaching requires emotion: compassion, empathy, affection. Even love. These are necessary for […]

Teaching is an act of love. So is leadership.

In a college library, four students are sitting at a table. Their professor stands behind them, high-fiving one of the students.

In honor of Juneteenth I explore its history, including The Emancipation Proclamation, General Order #3, and Biden’s proclaiming today a federal holiday.  If you’ve never read The Emancipation Proclamation and/or want to hear some beautiful words from the poet Ross Gay, this episode is for you.  Readings & Resources The Emancipation Proclamation.  Heather Cox Richardson: Letters […]


In today’s episode I thread together what we’ve heard and learned from Jayne and Renee, along with some things I’ve learned from books on my bookshelf, and distill that into a few key ways to think and behave with a focus on inclusion, building trust, leaving space for other’s agency, and reducing harm.

51: On Humility: Retreating From The Center

a stack of four books, from bottom to top: inclusion uncomplicated by nika white; dei deconstructed by lily zheng; white feminism by koa beck; and radical humility, edited by rebekah modrak and jamie vander broek. a guitar and skateboard hang on the wall behind the books.

Today I talk with Renee Wells about what it means to educate for equity through the lens of restorative justice. Renee is an educator and consultant with a grounding in the work of bell hooks and Paolo Freire, and I love how open and frank she is about all the things that we sometimes find hard to deal with…or to talk about…or to change…in our work on campuses. 

#50: White Women’s Nonsense

Renee Wells, with short dark hair wearing dark glasses and an olive green top, with Carole Chabries, with short hair, glasses, and an orange sweater. Both white women are looking straight into the camera.

Understanding what parts of your brain are activated in conversations, why they’re activated, and the stories you’re telling yourself about your physiological reactions (your racing heart and churning stomach) all give insight into the neuroscience of conversations — and how you can harness that to turn difficult conversations grounded in fear into conversations that build trust.

#45 Using Neuroscience to Turn Fear to Trust in Conversations

Psychological safety permits people to feel safe enough to experiment and make mistakes. You know how to do this as a teacher. You can use those same skills in your leadership practice.

#38: Excellent Teaching, Excellent Leading

In this episode you’ll hear… [0:08] I want you to Love Your Job Again! And I want you to help your teams love theirs. Come learn how to love your job by uncovering the secret to joy at work. Join me for the final version of Love Your Job Again this Wednesday, February 1, at […]

#35 The Secret to Joy At Work

we see the torso of a woman wearing a professional white shirt, standing facing us with her right hand outstretched and her index finger pointing at something. Her fingertip is touching what looks like a green smiley-face button.

Listen to A Budget is a Moral Document Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Podcasts : In This Episode, You’ll Hear: A Budget is a Moral Document This idea has pervaded my life since childhood, but I hadn’t heard (or remembered) the phrase until I saw it last summer, painted starkly on a building mural near […]

#33 A Budget is a Moral Document

Listen to Lessons from my Year of Yes on Spotify, Apple Podcasts , and Google Podcasts: In this episode, you’ll hear… My Year of Yes This week I reflect on lessons from my “Year of Yes.” Shonda Rhimes coined this phrase in her 2016 book Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In […]

#32 Lessons from my Year of Yes

In this episode I welcome special guest Dr. Jade Singleton, co-founder of Johnson Squared Consulting and DEI consultant at NASA’s Science Mission Directorate, to discuss transformational DEI at work: what we’re getting wrong, what we’re doing right, and how we can do better. This episode at a glance: Jade shares a lot of personal history, […]

#32: Transformational DEI