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Becki Elkins

Pronouns: she | her | hers
Associate Professor
Student Affairs Administration
University of Wisconsin-La Crosse

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Becki Elkins Pronouns: she | her | hers

Associate Professor

Student Affairs Administration

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 eighth 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. Current publications and projects include:

Queer Crip Enrollments: 2SLGBTQ Mad, Mentally Ill, Neurodivergent, and/or Disabled (QMMIND) College Students (co-authored with Dr. Andrew Ives, Director of the ACCESS Center, UWL) [in press] This article elevates the voices of ten QMMIND students to dream about the possibility of creating an accessible university.

Pandemic Promises: Interrogating Espoused Data-Informed Decision Making (2021; 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.

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.



Quortne Hutchings, Northern Illinois University; Andrew Ives, ACCESS Center; and Becki Elkins, Student Affairs Administration; presented "Living Mosaics: Student Affairs Professionals in Recovery from Substance Use Disorders" at annual convention of ACPA College Student Educators International on March 19 in Chicago, Illinois. Building on personal stories and research, this session explored how student affairs professionals in recovery re-build lives. Presenters and participants considered how these stories offered rich images of hope, beauty, strength, and sustainability, building a larger mosaic of substance use recovery among student affairs professionals.

Submitted on: Mar. 24


Becki Elkins, Student Affairs Administration, was interviewed by Raechelle Pope of Student Affairs NOW on March 13. The episode focused on the history, present, and future of LGBTQ+ people and issues in higher education. Panelists Jonathan Poullard, Becki Elkins, and Quortne Hutchings reflected specifically on the role of ACPA-College Student Educators, International in making higher education a more queer-friendly environment for students and practitioners alike.

Submitted on: Mar. 14


Andrew Ives, ACCESS Center and Becki Elkins, Student Affairs Administration, co-authored the article "Queer crip enrollments: 2SLGBTQ mad, mentally ill, neurodivergent, and/or disabled college students" in Journal of LGBT Youth and was accepted for publication by Taylor & Francis, Inc.. Queer crip enrollment patterns describe the unique ways Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer/questioning and disabled college students enter and persist in higher education.

Submitted on: Feb. 9


Becki Elkins, Student Affairs Administration, presented "What Pursuing a Master's Degree in Student Affairs Can Do for You!" at the annual conference of the Wisconsin College Personnel Association on Oct. 6 online.

Submitted on: Oct. 11, 2023


James Bresline, Bellarmine University; Dana Malone, Berry College; Mollie Monahan, Social Justice Kids; and Becki Elkins, Student Affairs Administration; presented "Transcending "Traditional" Roles: Independent Scholars, Contractors, and Academic Entrepreneurs" at the annual convention of ACPA College Student Educators International on March 29 in New Orleans, LA, USA. This panel discussion highlighted the experiences of those who have forged or (co-)constructed new ways to conduct the work of higher education and student affairs in consideration of the myriad opportunities that exist.

Submitted on: April 10, 2023