Book by Fred A. Bonner, II, Aretha F. Marbley, & Mary F. Howard- Hamilton (Eds.).
Review by Jennifer Papadakis
College of Science and Mathematics
Wright State University
In her article Advising the Millennial Generation, Sarah Keeling warns: “[advisors] must strive to understand how members of a unique generation develop, think and feel “(p. 35). Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implication for Faculty and Student Affairs is a bountiful resource for the advisor who wants to learn more about millennials as a generational whole and gain deeper insight in to the diverse cultural groups that compromise this generation.
It can be dangerous to assume that millennial students are a uniform group that share similar traits, belief systems and characteristics as each learner is influenced by their unique cultural and world experiences. This varied text surveys a wide range of diverse millennial subsets so that student affairs professionals may gain a more developed understanding of the students that currently occupy their campuses. The text presents statistics on the generation as a whole, in many ways confirming our stereotype of this group of students, and then systematically interprets the experience of specific groups of millennial students through research and student testimony.
With over thirty two well-versed contributors from various fields of higher education, this text is thorough and offers unique insights in to the characteristics of diverse millennial students and how these generational traits affect these students as learners and campus leaders. Each chapter presents innovative ideas and questions in response to the information it presents, such as Corey’s Story on page 42, which highlights one rural African American student’s experience with culture shock in college. The voices merge to create a comprehensive picture of the challenges and opportunities diverse millennial students currently face in academe.
While the expansive contributions strengthen the credibility and depth of this text, it also impedes the reading experience. Information, especially statistical, is sometimes repeated. While each author brings a unique and thorough perspective to his or her chapter, such insight does not always lend to a smooth read. Academic advisors can benefit greatly from the testimonies and real world examples presented in various chapters, though parts of the text are tailored specifically to classroom-based learning experiences. In those cases, advisors should look to the terse conclusions ending each chapter for main points and summaries.
This text is an informative tool for the modern advisor and is deserving of a spot on any resource shelf. Diverse millennial students should not be assumed to be identical and any one hoping to educate and guide these students would benefit from the in depth exploration the scholars provide in this text, which furthers Strauss and Howe’s work on defining and understanding millennials in higher education.
Diverse Millennial Students in College: Implication for Faculty and Student Affairs. (2011). Book by Fred A. Bonner, II, Aretha F. Marbley, & Mary F. Howard- Hamilton (Eds.). Review by Jennifer Papadakis. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing. 300pp., $29.95, (paperback), ISBN # 978-1-57922-447-9.