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Meet the Pillars: Daniel Maxwell and Salvador Mena

Supporting the Profession
May 7, 2020

Each year, the NASPA Foundation recognizes a series of distinguished individuals who have served as leaders, teachers, and scholars in student affairs and higher education. The Pillar of the Profession Award honors members of the profession who have provided significant service to NASPA through regional and/or national leadership role, created a lasting impact on the institutions and organizations at which they have worked, leaving a legacy of extraordinary service recognized by a cross-section of stakeholders, and demonstrated sustained, lifetime professional distinction in the field of student affairs and/or higher education. Each individual is nominated and supported for designation as a Pillar by colleagues, students, friends, or others who find them deserving of this honor.

Dan MaxwellDaniel Maxwell

Associate Vice Chancellor/Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Houston

“Time and again I have seen Dan Maxwell be an innovative leader, tireless volunteer, passionate advocate for the role of Student Affairs in higher education, and supportive colleague. I have greatly valued working with him on several endeavors through NASPA and I appreciate all of the energy he has put into expanding professional development opportunities for AVPs.”
– Art Munin, Associate Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh 


“In his role at the University of Houston, Dan has been at the forefront of creating a campus environment that promotes student learning and personal development.” 
– Richard Walker, Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, University of Houston System and Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, University of Houston


Salvador Mena

Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

“In my professional experience, Sal is the most active scholar, researcher, and student affairs leader and is a ‘Leader of Leaders’ in NASPA and higher education. He is the role model that other vice presidents and the next generation follow and try to emulate. The most amazing part of Sal is that he has remained humble in his leadership roles and remains very active inside and outside of the profession.”
 – Terry C. Mena, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, Lamar University


“Dr. Mena has established himself as a visionary and role model for many professionals who have benefitted from his mentorship and from the programs he has created for the betterment of all Student Affairs professionals, especially those from diverse identities who were trying to find their place in the field and at NASPA. He has also worked at several higher education institutions where his work provided students with a voice and a sense of caring that provides an environment where students thrive.”
 – Sofia B. Pertuz, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, The Jed Foundation


If selected as a Pillar, the nominator and an assigned Foundation Board member will raise $3,500 in the name of the individual being nominated to further research and scholarship in student affairs. If you are in a position to consider, a gift to the NASPA Foundation in honor of a 2020 Pillar of the Profession will empower new outreach and expanded opportunities to support the field as we navigate unprecedented times in higher ed.