What the Center for Women Does:
- Serves as an information, networking, and funding resource to support women in producing scholarship and research in the field
- Offers a professional home in NASPA for women, including leaders in women's centers
- Partners with other organizations who are looking at various issues affecting the education and advancement of women
- Works with graduate faculty witnessing the feminization of the field of student affairs
- Publishes an annual journal for scholarship and research on women
- Provides mentoring possibilities for women through the Candid Conversations program
- Collaborates with other organizations that focus on professional development for women
In 2001, then NASPA Executive Director, Gwen Dungy drafted a proposal to create a Center for Scholarship, Research, and Professional Development for Women to honor the legacy of the National Association of Women in Education (NAWE).
NAWE was founded in 1915 as a professional association for deans of women (NADW) and evolved into an association addressing issues in higher education focused on the interests of women educators and students. As professional opportunities for women in education expanded, organizations for women began to lose ground. Such was the case with NAWE. In 2000, the association disbanded, transferring some of its programs to NASPA.
The NASPA Center for Women proposed to advance NAWE's work by addressing educational issues relevant to women in higher education. The mission for the Center was to "examine issues of concern to women in education, matters of policy development, and the design and implementation of relevant programs and services for women students." The Center was also envisioned as a professional home for women who are leaders in women's centers.
NASPA President Shannon Ellis championed the Center for Women proposal, and under her presidency, it was approved by the NASPA Board for implementation in 2001.
The NASPA Center for Scholarship, Research and Professional Development for Women examines issues of concern to women in education and matters of public policy; it designs and implements relevant programs, services, advocacy and mentoring opportunities for women professionals and students. The Center encourages, in particular, research by women, for women, and about women in student affairs and about women students.