The purpose of this study was to provide more insight into the skills and support systems needed to encourage scholarship among student affairs practitioners. We used topical life history to examine the scholarly lives of eight student affairs practitioners. To guide that examination, we leveraged the questions posed by Jablonski et al. (2006) as our research questions: “What skills and knowledge [did] practitioners need to develop a scholarship agenda?" and "What support, coaching, and job modifications create[d] environments for practitioners to be successful” (p. 197). Participant life histories revealed a variety of direct and indirect influences, such as institutional context, mentorship, personal characteristics, and significant others on the participants' work as student affairs practitioners. The findings highlighted the following as major influences on the professionals’ decision to engage and sustain scholarship: community, intrinsic motivation, and cultural change. What these findings also suggest is practitioners are willing and desirous to make an impact on the broader field through scholarly engagement; they just need support and compelling reasons to do so.

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