Date of Award

January 2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Teaching & Learning

First Advisor

Kathy Smart


Prior studies found that audiences can become more empathic and form a positive view of a character as a result of Narrative Transportation (NT). Thus, the purpose of this quantitative study was to investigate the effects of NT on Student Affairs (SA) professionals. 78 SA professionals were randomly assigned to one of two narrative groups (text or video). The results of this study indicated that participants in the video group show greater transportation than those in the text group. Furthermore, SA professionals showed that being familiar with the student experience was more important than sharing an identity with the student in the story. This study also measured compassion toward students and self-compassion (SC), where overall, the participants scored high. An important finding was the association found between NT and the SC subscale of common humanity. This ultimately, indicated that becoming transported into the student's story can have an association with wanting to reflect on how the SA professional can alleviate the suffering and become part of the student’s story. Most importantly, the results of this study provide evidence of the impact of a student story as a tool for SA professional development and wellbeing. Moreover, this study proposed how a student’s narratives can be used to enhance institutional data, and the need for SA professionals to strengthen their digital identities via narrative.