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The Vermont Connection

Abstract

What is hope? In an effort to break cycles and transform higher education, I propose that we, student affairs professionals, engage in the practice of hope. Drawing from the work of thinkers like Gustavo Esteva (2003), Paulo Freire (1974), and Vaclav Havel (1991), this reflective essay proposes a hope that is impact-conscious of societal expectations. First, I will define hope and explore the inherent expectations. Next, I will suggest a hope that is humble, moving, and alive. From this intervention, I will call for the regeneration of our relations, understanding, and practices of hope as they relate to educational practice. I will conclude with a summary of what hope implies for higher education and student affairs professionals.