Maximilian T. Schuster - Presentations

Schuster, M. T. (2019, March). Democratic dialogues: How political context shapes campus climates for minoritized students. Scholarly paper at National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Annual Conference. Los Angeles, CA.

This qualitative study reports the experiences of 27 undergraduate students at an urban university in a battleground state during the 2016 presidential election. Guided by a constructivist theoretical perspective and utilizing interpretative thematic data analysis, several key findings emerged. This study finds that students of color and LGBTQ+ students experienced increased hostilities that were largely induced by the divisive political context. To contend with this climate, minoritized students leveraged their identities to claim empowerment and rebuff hostilities.

Schuster, M. T., & Stalker, R. (2019, March). Understanding and supporting student activism: Translating new research into practice. Presentation at American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Annual Convention. Boston, MA.

Since 2015, student involvement in activism has seen a significant rise (Pedris, 2018). Student affairs educators are well positioned to support students as they engage in activism for democratic causes. This session reports original research from three studies drawn from a multi-institutional dataset of 52 qualitative interviews. Rich themes generated from these studies provide a better understanding of the role of activism among Dreamers, student leaders in cultural organizations, and first-year students of color.

Schuster, M. T. (2018, November). "An experience unlike any other": Exploring first-year student experiences during the 2016 presidential election. Research paper at Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Conference. Tampa, FL.

This qualitative study reports the experiences of 17 first-year students at an urban university in a battleground state during the 2016 Presidential Election. Through thematic data analysis, three salient themes emerged that texturize the paths that participants navigated to make sense of this unique presidential election.

Schuster, M. T. (2018, October). Learning a new world: Variation in students' transitions. Presentation at Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education (NODA) Annual Conference. San Diego, CA.

The purpose of this session is to explore the variation in first-year student transition through the lens of institutional culture in order to offer new conceptual knowledge about undergraduate student experiences with institutional culture. Implications address ways to revitalize frameworks that displace the status quo, rejuvenate institutional culture’s role in understanding and critiquing higher education, and widen student success.

Schuster, M. T. (2018, July). Infusing equity: Centralizing minoritized students' experiences as RAs. Presentation at the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I) Annual Conference and Expo. Denver, CO.

There is a need in higher education research to better understand the experiences of students who are minoritized due to their race, class, gender, and sexual orientation. This need extends to the experiences of student leaders, such as resident assistants, on college campuses. This session reviews a study that employed a cultural constructivist methodology informed by a constructivist theoretical perspective to explore the ways in which minoritized students serving as resident assistants experience, perceive, and make sense of their roles as resident assistants.

Schuster, M. T. (2018, March). Shifting paradigms: Understanding variation in students' transitions to college. Presentation at American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Annual Convention. Houston, TX.

Broadening success for populations of undergraduate students from traditionally underrepresented and marginalized backgrounds serves as a critical charge for student affairs. Reimagining the frameworks utilized to understand student transition remains essential to achieving this end. This session reviewed the findings from a qualitative study that examined the experiences of first-year students making the transition from high school to college.

Schuster, M. T. (2018, March). Summer jobs, student affairs, and the unwritten curriculum. Presentation at American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Annual Convention. Houston, TX.

The unwritten curriculum plays a pivotal role in daily life and serves as a powerful way that complex skills are communicated. Drawing on a decade of professional experience and research interviews from 62 college students, this presentation explores the intricacies of how the unwritten curriculum affects student affairs work and how it can be leveraged to produce equitable outcomes. This presentation highlights relevant theories of development and equips participants with a conceptual vehicle to interact with students in new ways.

Maximilian T. Schuster


University of Pittsburgh
5907 Wesley W. Posvar Hall
230 South Bouquet Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15260