Over the past few years, fall has become my most wonderful time of the year. Whereas I once loved the summer months - during which I celebrated my birthday, spent hours in the pool, and relished not having school - I am now much more appreciative of sweater weather and hoodie season, not to mention the vibrancy of a campus in full swing.
While this fall semester is one unlike any other, something that we can still count on is being able to introduce our students to the world of student affairs through the NUFP program. As a NUFP alum and the current IV-W NUFP Regional Coordinator, I am not ashamed to say that I am biased in my belief that being a NUFP Fellow is a transformative experience. While my path to working in student affairs was not linear by any stretch of the imagination, the connections that I made while I was a NUFP Fellow at the University of Arkansas were invaluable during my return to the field a couple of years ago.
In fact, those connections - along with the amazing experiences that I had at regional and annual conferences and the Summer (now Dungy) Leadership Institute - are one of the most valuable aspects of participating in the NUFP Fellowship program. Even during a time when it is nearly impossible to connect with folx in person, I have been able to virtually connect with Fellows across the country, both within and outside of our region, and that has kept me both energized and engaged in my position as the Regional Coordinator.
Speaking of engagement, you may have noticed that our summer application round has ended, and I hope you will all join me in welcoming both our new and returning NUFP Fellows to the IV-W Family! However, if you or your students are still interested in becoming a NUFP Fellow, our fall application is now live, and can be found at https://www.naspa.org/division/naspa-undergraduate-fellows-program-nufp
As the weather changes (or changes back again, as is often the case in Arkansas) and the semester progresses, I hope that the new season finds you ready to embrace connection in whatever form you are safely able to do so. If you would like to connect with me to talk all things NUFP in IV-W, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to the connections to come!
Lauren D. Wilson