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Addressing Workplace Bullying in Student Affairs– with Heidi Yoder

We all want to work in an environment that somehow feeds our souls. What happens when we encounter a workplace that does the exact opposite? Heidi Yoder began researching workplace bullying within student affairs in the Fall of 2018. Now, she’s sharing some of her insights on preventing toxic workplace environments and handling instances of abusive leadership.

Heidi Yoder is the Assistant Director of Residence Life at Edgewood Commons on the campus of Frostburg State University. She has dedicated 14 years to working with students and is currently working towards a Doctor of Education in Administration and Leadership Studies at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As part of her research there, Heidi is taking an in-depth look at workplace bullying within student affairs. She hopes to use her research to encourage people to have conversations around the topic. Heidi recently published an article in About Campus titled, When the compassionate are abusive: workplace bullying and student affairs.

On this episode of Student Housing Matters, Heidi joins me to talk about why she chose to take a closer look at workplace dynamics within student affairs. She shares how her research has progressed since she started her doctoral degree, sharing some particular instances of workplace bullying she uncovered through a qualitative survey of colleagues in the field. Listen in for Heidi’s advice on how individuals and their managers can take steps to prevent problematic workplace environments.

If today’s podcast raised some questions for you about workplace bullying, email them to [email protected]. We hope to have Heidi back on the podcast to answer your questions soon.



Topics Covered

  • Heidi’s career in student housing and residence life
  • What constitutes workplace bullying and abusive leadership
  • How Heidi gathered responses for a qualitative survey on workplace bullying
  • How lived experience informs Heidi’s research
  • How residence life and student affairs differ from other workplaces
  • Why managerial training is essential for new supervisors
  • Understanding your employee handbook and finding people to confide in

Connect with Heidi

Heidi’s Article in About Campus

Connect with Leigh Anne


Leigh Anne is the Director of Creative and Brand Marketing at COCM. In her role, she supports the development and implementation of the annual corporate marketing plan. She is responsible for overall brand strategy, content marketing, social media, video production, COCM’s website, marketing materials design and production, as well as serving as our liaison for COCM's sponsorships.