My experience as a Dungy Leadership Institute faculty member

When I think back to my time as a Dungy Leadership Institute faculty member, the word that immediately pops into my mind is gratitude.

This may be a somewhat cheesy response prompted by the holiday season but, I’ve been trying to think of another word, and nothing else comes close.

I am grateful for the time I spent with the students and faculty members at DLI. I knew the DLI students would be amazing, because NUFPs are amazing (and yes, I am biased as a NUFP alum). And, I knew from the planning and preparation process that the faculty team was filled with fantastic professionals in the field. Yet, I was still surprised at how quickly bonds were formed. Every interaction - from laughing with my cluster group about messing up a team building activity, to having thoughtful conversations about life as a student of color at a Predominantly White Institution, to fostering my own professional development by learning from fierce and dedicated mid-level professionals of color - was nothing short of meaningful.

During the last day, each cluster group has an opportunity to present on a case study related to a hot topic in the field. I remember having a moment during this session. It was a feeling of pride for the students’ showcase of hard work (especially for my cluster, because TeamWerk represented!), but it was also something else. Watching the students reawakened my love for student affairs. It made me excited for the future of our field, and excited for the college students that, in a few years, will be positively impacted by the DLI alums.

Being a faculty member is being a part of a vibrant, chosen family that is dedicated both to the future of our field and the wellbeing of the student affairs profession. It’s being able to talk with your cluster group a month after DLI and to observe their growth over phone chats and messages. It’s about being a part of a GroupMe of student affairs professionals, and receiving the opportunity to celebrate in their joys and check in during difficult times. It’s seeing both students and other faculty members post the most socially just statuses, articles, and thoughts via social media, and smiling, because you know you’ve formed unbreakable ties with amazing professionals who are set on changing student affairs for the better.

And when I think of all of this, the fact that I’ve been invited into the DLI 2016 family, it’s no wonder I feel gratitude.

Applications for NASPA’s Dungy Leadership Institute Faculty are due Monday, January 2, 2017.

For questions about the application, please contact Jasmine Scott at [email protected] .