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Personal and Professional Renewal in the AVP Role

Supporting the Profession AVP or "Number Two" Mid-Level New Professional Senior Level VP for Student Affairs
May 27, 2022

In this special edition of "AVP Spotlight," we've shined the light on members of the NASPA AVP Steering Committee. We asked them, "What are you going to do this summer for personal and/or professional renewal?" We hope what they've shared prompts you to plan intentionally for a summer full of personal and professional renewal strategies.

“I plan to spend the summer renewing myself personally by reading as many "for fun" books as possible and visiting the golf course any chance I can get. Professionally, I plan to renew myself this summer as I complete a 6-week "Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Outdoors" certificate program offered through Greenfield Community College.”

- Brett Bruner, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs & Enrollment Management/Dean of Students, Missouri Western State University

“I will relax, take some time off, and read a book I purchased at NASPA this year on the business of student affairs.”

- Gloria M. Laureano, Sr. Associate Vice President for Student Affairs, Kennesaw State University

“I've built intentional reading time into my schedule, and I have a stack of books on a range of topics I'm working through - some of which I've been meaning to get to for years. It's refreshing to give myself space to read, reflect, and think broadly about what could be.”

- John Mark Day, Director of Leadership and Campus Life, Oklahoma State University

“I plan to enjoy some vacation time where the sound of the ocean can bring renewal and a fresh perspective.”

- Nicole Boulais, Associate Vice President, Rochester Institute of Technology

“Our son plays on an 8U traveling baseball team, so we'll be spending most of our weekends at the ball park enjoying baseball and whatever the Midwest weather throws at us!”

- Erin Baldwin, Associate Vice President for Student Health & Wellness, Iowa State University

“I am looking forward to taking my first ever 'me-cation' where I take a vacation alone for self-care, rejuvenation, and restoration! After such a challenging academic year, I want to lead by example and do some intentional and deep care for myself.”

- Taléa R. Drummer-Ferrell, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students, Kent State University

“Each summer I look forward to extended time with friends and family, near and in water as much as possible - freely giving my time to those I love and love to be around. Finding opportunities for pleasure reading is a summer goal as well. And I must admit, I'm excited for in-person orientation!”

- Todd Smith-Bergollo, Sr Assoc Dean for Students, Pace University

“For personal renewal, I plan to spend a lot of time with our son at the pool, in the lake, or at the beach! I look forward to fun in the sun and lots of family time! For professional renewal, I am cleaning out (stuff, emails, papers, projects, etc) to lighten the stuff and the load!”

- Vicki Dobiyanski, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs,Texas A&M University

“I will travel with my family, be at the pool as much as possible, and read (thanks to Audible) a few books each month.”

- Sam Mayhew, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Enrollment, East Tennessee State University

“I plan to spend as much time as possible with my son who just completed his freshman year of college. I have also planted a vegetable garden, and I'm looking forward to eating fresh food. On the professional renewal side, I will be creating a writing plan to publish a paper in the year ahead.”

- Jeff Orgera, Associate Vice Provost for Student Success, UNLV

“I'm going to "wooosahhh!" Personally - Aruba, family time, exploring my city, and small local trips. Professionally - I was selected for the San Diego Chamber of Commerce Advance leadership program for female executives. I am looking forward to that experience.”

- Gail Cole-Avent, Associate Vice President, Student Life California State University San Marcos

“I'm taking a solo birthday trip to Santa Fe, NM. I've always wanted to go and became even more motivated by binge watching Grace and Frankie. I plan to do some spa treatments, spend some time writing in the desert, shopping and drinking tequila.”

- Stephanie Helms Pickett, Associate Vice Provost, North Carolina State University

“I plan to take my yearly trip to Martha's Vineyard with a group of fraternity brothers and enjoy a visit to Bali, Indonesia for my delayed honeymoon!”

- Shannon Gary, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, University of San Francisco

“I started my summer off by attending the National Restaurant Show in Chicago. Takeaways for renewal: take time to marvel at the creativity and innovation coming out of disruption; explore the ways in which art and science overlap in our work; invent new recipes in both cuisine and life; take time enjoy the beauty of what is on your plate and on your campus; and most importantly, always eat dessert.”

- Danielle Miller-Schuster, Assistant Vice President, Illinois State University

“I will take advantage of a long overdue vacation (no remote working; no access to email, etc.) to relax and rejuvenate. I will also participate in several professional development opportunities to enhance my knowledge and skills in my role while gearing up for another academic year.”

- Kevin J. Wade, Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Elizabeth City State University

“I’m approaching this summer thoughtfully and intentionally. I’m listening, planning, being proactive, modeling saying yes and no (there’s a balance!). I’m providing space for my team and those around me to breathe, rejuvenate, create. There’s power in space and time, and I believe we can all use that over the next few (short!) months.”

- Nicole Mayo, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, University of Cincinnati

“My team and I will be spending time focusing on our foundations again. What is our purpose and passion and what do we do that are essential to both? We are going through so much change and have been reacting for too long. It's time for us focus again on what we know is important and let the rest go (within reason, of course).”

- Danielle McDonald, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students, University of South Florida

“I hope to get to the beach, read one or both of the books I bought at NASPA in Baltimore, and spend quality time with my kids who are with me most of the summer. With originally being from Texas and loving tasty food, I can only hope my path crosses a Whataburger, Shipley Donuts, Taco Cabana, or Pappasito's.”

- Ken Gassiot, Associate Vice President for Student Development, Georgia Southern University

“This summer, I have made it a point to concentrate on my nutrition, exercise, and self-narrative. I will also be engaged in short, fun, travel experiences while organizing the new house.”

- Ryan C. Holmes, Associate Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, University of Miami

“After a really busy and stressful couple of years, I am looking forward to a slower pace, travel, and reconnecting with family and friends this summer. I'm also hoping to establish some healthier habits and routines this summer (including cleaning out my e-mail inbox!) that I can carry into the next academic year.”

- Mindy Sutton, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Dean of Students, Southern Methodist University