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News from your Regional Director

Region IV-W Region IV-W
November 5, 2018 Shana Warkentine Meyer

After 5 days of meetings, sessions, awards, and events at the Region IV-W Fall Conference, my mind is swimming with new ideas, possibilities, friendships, and energy. I am grateful for all the inspiration and knowledge shared over the course of the conference. I am thankful for the Advisory Board members, who, with their 572+ combined years of Student Affairs expertise, contributed thoughtful discussion on the initiatives and projects of the Region. 

A secondary highlight from the Board meetings was the sharing of Laffy Taffy jokes.  Top two: What is a pumpkin’s circumference divided by a pumpkin’s diameter? Pumpkin Pi! And….Where does a penguin keep his money? A snow bank! Jokes & laughter are good for the soul. Thanks to all who laugh along with me & who share their best (worst) jokes along the way as we conduct serious business.

Thanks to all of the attendees, exhibitors, presenters, advisory board members, and conference committee members, for attending the conference! I am grateful to you all. We come together to learn & be inspired, and we go away, refreshed with new & renewed friendships & spirits. Conference chair Ryan Gove, and chair-elect, Cassie Gerhardt deserve all the praise for putting together a phenomenal conference that showcased Wichita, Kansas, and energized with a look back at the past 100 years while refocusing for the next 100. Thank you for sharing your talents and passion with us all!

While I am sharing my appreciation, I’d like to remind you to share your acknowledgement and appreciation of the person who brought you into the NASPA family.  The NASPA Family Tree will help recognize mentors in your life. We are all brought into NASPA by someone. Share the name of your NASPA connection - the person(s) who introduced you to NASPA or boosted you into a greater role with NASPA throughout your career, on NASPA’s history page (https://history.naspa.org/share-your-story). Our collective relationships will be used to build a visual display of the many roots and branches of the NASPA family tree—and I know your mentor will appreciate the recognition, as well.

NASPA Board Chair Penny Rue joined us in Wichita for a discussion with members of the Regional Advisory Board and an open town hall for conference attendees. During the town hall, the strategic plan 2019-2022 goals, as approved by the NASPA Board, were shared, along with the Draft Mission, Draft Vision, and Draft Objectives.  The approved goals are:

Goal 1:  Advocacy for Student Success:  Advocate to support student learning & success

Goal 2:  Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice:  Invest in and advocate for equitable and inclusive practices that promote socially just communities

Goal 3:  Research & Scholarship:  Generate research and scholarship that advance evidence-based, emergent, and equitable practices

Goal 4: Professional Development & Engagement: Provide exceptional education and volunteer engagement that prepare members to lead on current and future issues in higher education

Moving forward, members of the Region will have an opportunity to participate in an online survey (http://bit.ly/NASPAPlan  ) and online focus groups. The survey will be open until Monday, November 19, 2018. We’d like to get you involved in the objectives needed for the next three years. As you review the information, think about your position on campus; your department; your Division; your institution; any NASPA constituent groups you may be involved in; and our NASPA region. When looking at the strategic plan through each of these lenses, do you see the various positions and entities represented?

The NASPA Board will meet at the end of November and will use the feedback received at the Regional Board meeting and town hall to develop and approve the Association Objectives.  From there, each Region and constituent group will build tactics that will be unique to each group—whether it is a Region, Division, or other NASPA entity.  Finally, the new strategic plan will be announced in March of 2019 at the NASPA Annual Conference in Los Angeles, California!

As we wrap up our first 100 years, it is time to look ahead to our next 100. Mark your calendars for October 29-31 in Fargo, North Dakota for “Forward Thinking, Forward Leading.”  I hope to see you in the Peace Garden State!