Book By: Randy Mitchell
Review By: Jeannine Kranzow
Director of Academic Advising
Saint Leo University
In Flying Through Clouds, Randy Mitchell uses metaphors and essays to guide readers through personal and professional self-reflection. Mitchell, a long-time academic and student affairs professional, presents samples of his experiences and examines them in light of professional development. Each chapter offers readers an opportunity to ask questions about their own work environments, educational experiences, professional experiences, and/or campus situations.
The book looks frankly at difficult questions (with often uncertain answers) posed to today’s campus professionals. Those new to student or academic affairs work will find that the book offers a nice look at the important roles they can play on campus. However, those more experienced may lament that few specific suggestions are offered for dealing with the topics presented. One exception is a brief, but useful, chapter dealing with student choices and consequences; those seeking to improve their work with students in this arena will find the chapter a welcome resource.
This book is not an instruction manual; as such it does not provide quick answers to tough questions. However, it is an enjoyable book and may be just what is needed by professionals seeking renewal. This book would make a good summer read to help advisors reflect before facing another academic year filled with new challenges.
Flying Through Clouds: Navigating Uncertainty and Change in the Student Affairs Profession
. (2004). Book by Mitchell, Randy. Review by Jeannine Kranzow. Madison: Atwood Publishing. 218 pp., $24.95. ISBN 1-891859-53-6