Profile for Becki Elkins

Becki Elkins profile photo

Contact me

Becki Elkins

Associate Professor
Student Affairs Administration
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

FirstGeneration badge, First person in my family to go to college.
FriendlyFace badge, I identify as queer.
EquityLiaison badge,

Specialty area(s)

Higher education organization and governance; higher education history; student affairs law and policy; assessment of student learning and program efficiency; social class identity; and college students in recovery.

Current courses at UWL

SAA 705 Values, Philosophy, and History of Higher Education

SAA 730 Law, Policy, and Governance

SAA 760 Administration of Human and Organizational Resources

SAA 805 Organization and Governance in Higher Education

SAA 870 Policy and Regulatory Compliance

SAA 950 Dissertation Seminar


Ph.D. in Student Affairs Administration and Research - The University of Iowa
M.S. in Professional Studies in Education (Higher Education) - Iowa State University
B.S. in Journalism (Public Relations) - The University of Kansas


Teaching history

I'm in my sixth year at UWL. Since joining the faculty, I've taught in our master's and doctoral programs in on-campus, online, and blended instructional formats. Topics I've taught include organization and governance,  administration, legal issues, history of higher ed, assessment, enrollment management, university finance, and capstone. Prior to joining the UWL faculty, I taught for a number of years as an adjunct faculty member in the Higher Education and Student Affairs program at The University of Iowa. I also taught at New England College and Kirkwood Community College (regional education center). The courses I taught at these programs included student affairs administration; cognitive and moral development; and contemporary issues in higher education.

Professional history

I've worked in student affairs/higher education administration for roughly 25 years. My work has been located at several public research institutions and a private, residential liberal arts college. I began my career in residence life at Iowa State University and Texas A&M University. My professional experiences include overseeing the Gender Issues Education Services (GIES) office at Texas A&M. GIES served the role of a women's center and an LGBT resource center. After earning my doctorate, I served as the director of Institutional Research and Assessment at Cornell College. Eventually, I also became the Registrar at Cornell. During this time, I served as an adjunct faculty member at The University of Iowa and at New England College.

Research and publishing

I currently am working on several projects related to students in recovery from substance use disorders (particularly alcohol use disorders) as well as a project on social class identity. These projects include:

Pandemic Promises: Interrogating Espoused Data-Informed Decision Making (co-authored with James Breslin and Tara Lawson-Harris, both from Bellarmine University, and Beck Hawkins, UWL)
This article for New Directions in Institutional Research examined COVID-19-related Fall 2020 re-opening statements from 100 public and private, 2- and 4-year institutions across the U.S. The research explored the purported use of data-informed decision-making by institutional leaders. (To be published Fall 2021)

Swimming in Shark-Infested Waters? A Study of the Experiences of Being in Recovery from Alcohol Dependence While Attending a College without a Recognized Collegiate Recovery Program (primary investigator)
This research was funded by a Faculty Research Grant from UWL. It entails an in-depth interpretative phenomenological analysis of the experiences of thirteen college students in recovery at three different institutions.

College Students in Recovery: Creating Space for Success (New Directions in Student Services monograph, co-edited with Penny J. Rosenthal)
Published in 2020, this monograph highlights the experiences of college students in recovery from substance use disorders, delineates the associated problems and barriers to sobriety and academic success, and identifies and explores strategies for creating and maintaining campus recovery programs and environments that support students in recovery.

Social Class Identity in Student Affairs (co-editor with Georgianna L. Martin)
This New Directions for Student Services monograph was published in 2018. The volume critically examines the discourse, research, and practice related to social class identity in higher education and student affairs.

Code-Switching to Navigate Social Class in Higher Education and Student Affairs (co-authored with Eran Hanke)
This monograph chapter outlines the concepts of social class privilege, highlights the experiences of students navigating social class, and examines the role of code-switching as a strategy to traverse higher education.

I Couldn't Just Sit There: Leadership Learning through Activism (co-authored with Jackson Elkins)

This monograph chapter explored the meaning one high school student and one parent/educator made of the concepts of leadership, activism, and identity.



James Breslin, Bellarmine University; Dana Malone, The Academic Life podcast; and Becki Elkins, Student Affairs Administration; presented "More Than Titles and Job Grades: Centering People, Rejecting Neoliberalism" at the annual convention of ACPA College Student Educators International on March 6 in St. Louis, MO.

Submitted on: Mar. 28



Ting Wang, MSEd Student Affairs Administration and Becki Elkins, Student Affairs Administration, presented "Does 'Sober' Mean 'White?' Collegiate Recovery, Racial Justice, and Decolonization" at Higher Education Center for Alcohol and Other Drugs Webinar Series on Feb. 24 online. Representation in collegiate recovery programs tends to be overwhelmingly white, highlighting racial disparity in access to and use of such programs. Wang and Elkins discussed the history of the recovery movement and explored ACPA’s Strategic Imperative for Racial Justice and Decolonization as a means to ground collegiate recovery work with students in critical consciousness, radical democracy, and humanization.

Submitted on: Feb. 28



Becki Elkins and Krista Soria, both Student Affairs Administration, presented "Social Class Identity in Higher Education" at the Third Annual Equity and Inclusion Conference at Eastern Tennessee State University on Sept. 21 online.

Submitted on: Sept. 25, 2021



Becki Elkins, Student Affairs Administration, presented "Second Chances and New Pathways: Opening Doors and Creating Possibilities for College Students in Recovery" at Accelerate 2021 on Sept. 20 online. Elkins' presentation was one of several "featured speaker" events at the Online Learning Consortium's international conference.

Submitted on: Sept. 25, 2021



Becki Elkins, Student Affairs Administration, was interviewed by Heather Shea of the Student Affairs NOW podcast on June 9. The guest panel included Dr. Penny Rosenthal, Riverland Community College (MN), and Dr. Eran Hanke, University of Northern Iowa. The podcast focused on supporting college students in recovery from substance use disorders and highlighted the panelists' recently published New Directions for Student Affairs monograph on the same topic. The podcast can be located at Student Affairs NOW:

Submitted on: June 14, 2021