WISA Mission

The purpose of the WISA Knowledge Community is to give voice to the needs of women in student affairs and to provide professional development opportunities through both regional and national activities designed to address gender equity and prompt personal growth. WISA initiatives work to center the experiences of marginalized people and focuses on the intersections of race, class, sexuality, disability and gender identity with gender and sex. WISA provides a home for student affairs professionals who work in women's and gender centers or with gender-related concerns on college campuses, creating networking opportunities for those professionals.

WISA’s goals were developed to address NASPA organizational goals;

  • Build the capacity to create knowledge and use data to provide evidence that will support excellence in practice (Goals 1 and2).
  • Lead advocacy efforts that shape the changing landscape of higher education (Goals 1, 3 and 4).
  • Launch an Initiative to collaborate with student affairs worldwide.
  • Strengthen NASPA by making it a more responsive, vital, and sustainable organization (Goal 1 and 3).
  • Identify and articulate to the Association those issues and concerns which are central to women in student affairs.
  • Provide opportunities for members to give and post feedback on website. Serve as a safe space for inclusive conversations related to gender identity and gender expression.
  • Assess our progress via a survey that helps us identify what our membership issues are and how we are (or could) better accomplish our mission and goals.
  • Create and disseminate knowledge related to women and gender in student affairs, and collaborate with the Center for Women, Research and professional development in their effort to encourage and promote research on issues relevant to women in student affairs and support the Journal about Women in Higher Education. Specifically, work to center the experiences of marginalized populations in higher education.
  • Continue to produce our current research annotated bibliography. Identify ways to broaden outreach of document.
  • Develop an educational program that encourages research on issues relevant to women and provides support and resources to those conducting/considering such research.
  • Benchmark organizations that have established best practices in advancing women and creating a healthy work environment for women.
  • Collaborate with the NASPA Center for Public Policy to develop an educational program (possibly webinar) that highlights legislation and policy that has impacted women in higher education over the last 30 years as well as issues that will be relevant for the next 10 years.
  • Provide professional development activities centered on gender within the regions and at the national level.
  • Assist, support and advertise WISA Drive In conference.
  • Recruit and support the membership in applying for the Alice Manicur Symposium, James Scott Academy, Stevens Institute, NPI, MMI, Multicultural Institute etc.
  • Develop a forum for Women’s Center staff to network and engage in professional development.
  • Provide opportunities for members to be involved in the leadership of WISA via committees, workgroups, projects and forums.
  • Collaborate with other identity-based KC's and women or gender-centered organizations to educate our membership regarding issues related to gender and the intersection of identities and create professional development opportunities for our members.
  • Work closely with other identity based KCs to stay abreast of offerings, collaborate to develop offerings, and ensure members are not forced to “choose” between identities.
  • Work with Center for Women to facilitate the Panel of Listeners program at regional and national conferences.
About the Logo:

(Women in Student Affairs Knowledge Community secondary logo approved February 2018.)

Abstract Nature: this abstract, non-representational image intentionally avoids outside references or other meanings that may not be intended

Triangles: triangles are used to signify change, growth, and evolution over time through the use of the Delta symbol

Intersection of Triangles: the triangles intersect in multiple spots to represent the intersection of identities

Letter “W”: there are multiple ways that the triangles make a “W” for women/womyn/womxn/etc. , which represents the intersectionality of women’s/womyn’s/womxn’s/etc identities.

Colors: the colors are a modern take on the traditional primary colors (red, blue, yellow) to signify disruption of the norm and fresh perspectives on tradition

Butterfly: although abstract, the the form created by the shapes could be seen as a butterfly, which implies transformation or a bird, taking flight, soaring, and rising above freely

Upward Orientation: the abstract butterfly/bird-like form is oriented upward, connoting rising and soaring in an overall uplifting gesture