Media Review: Maybe I should . . . Case Studies on Ethics for Student Affairs Professionals Hamrick, F.A. & Benjamin, M. (Eds.) (2009). Maybe I should . . . Case studies on ethics for student affairs professionals. Lanham, MD: University Press of America. 384 pp. ISBN-10: 0-7879-7874-4, ISBN-13: 9780-7879-7874-7 ($25.00 paperback). Reviewed by Reuban B. Rodriguez, Associate Vice Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, Virginia Commonwealth University Many student affairs professionals probably have considered at several points in their careers that graduate school training did not prepare them for incidents that challenged their established ethical perspectives. Florence A. Hamrick and Mimi Benjamin, the editors of Maybe I Should . . . Case Studies on Ethics for Student Affairs Professionals, examined the processes by which practitioners could utilize reflection and reassessment in confronting and solving ethical quandaries likely to occur early in a professional’s career. As a comprehensive guide and teaching tool, this ambitious text provides more than 70 different and difficult scenarios, based on real-life experiences, for instructional faculty who design and students who matriculate in student affairs programs. Despite some shortcomings, ultimately, the book succeeds in its main goal of providing a straightforward and useful academic product. The primary editors, along with the numerous collegial authors, reflect the depth of experiences needed to publish a textbook. Hamrick served as the editor of the Journal of College Student Development, authored or coauthored numerous books chapters, articles, conference presentations, and addresses, received noteworthy ACPA recognition and focused her research on the areas of
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Media Review: Maybe I Should . . . Case Studies on Ethics for Student Affairs Professionals
ethics and professionalism. Benjamin received NASPA award recognition and focused her research on ethics and learning communities, among other areas. The knowledge possessed and presented by these highly qualified professionals melds seamlessly in voice and style in creating an applicable and comprehensive paradigm. Whereas previous student services writings addressed ethics and ethical decision making thoroughly, Case studies stands out for the breadth of recent knowledge accumulated from more than 50 graduate students and new and mid-level professionals. The editors do not make any pretention that the text is anything but a compilation of potential in-class–based group discussion formulas based on case studies. In that regard, the first two chapters are fairly broad and direct: Chapter One provides a general overview of professional student affairs ethics within the rubric of professional development and identity. Adequate, but not extensive, attention is paid to a cursory literature review. The foundation of Chapter One entails an explanation of an ethical rubric that relies on an individual’s resources of “background beliefs, character or beliefs, and virtue” (Hamrick & Benjamin, 2009, p. 8). The use of these resources in combination, according to Hamrick and Benjamin, leads to greater understanding within a particular institutional culture and the overall profession. The chapter, therefore, provides a sound basis for setting the stage for the main focus of the remainder of the book. Chapter Two identifies specific strategies and approaches for analyzing the presented ethical case studies and provides a sample case study with the applied approach explicated by the editors. The framework includes...