Amelia Parnell joins NASPA as the Vice President for Research and Policy and functional director of the Research and Policy Institute (RPI). Amelia was previously the Director of Research Initiatives for the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), where she recently managed the Association’s involvement in a two-year study of the relationship between system and campus institutional research offices.
“Working at AIR gave me a solid understanding of the institutional research function and how colleges and universities collect and analyze data to help their leaders make informed decisions. I’m looking forward to bringing that knowledge to NASPA and contributing to the growing research regarding college students’ experiences.”
Parnell is intrigued with how colleges’ data use is progressing beyond mandatory federal reporting. She expects that national data discussions will continue expanding and explore students’ engagement and behavior outside of the classroom. Parnell understands the integral role of student affairs professionals and she believes NASPA is well positioned to provide guidance through publications and educational offerings.
Prior to her arrival at AIR, Parnell worked for seven years as an education policy analyst for the Florida Legislature, where she wrote reports and memoranda concerning higher education issues that included state tuition models, transfer student graduation rates, and mandatory health insurance. In her spare time, Parnell is pursuing research related to the preparation of college presidents and students’ participation in service-learning activities. She is excited about the opportunity to be involved in student affairs work at NASPA.
“I believe this is an exciting time to be a practitioner and researcher in student affairs,” she says. “We are seeing all sorts of new legislation that impacts how students matriculate through college. NASPA’s Research and Policy Institute has a great opportunity to provide timely resources and I am happy to be leading those efforts.”
Amelia received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Florida A&M University and a Ph.D. in higher education from Florida State University (FSU). She was also an adjunct faculty member at FSU and taught the Student Development Theories for College Student Personnel Work and The American College Student courses for the Higher Education program.