Reverend J. Cody Nielsen
March 2, 2017
The beginning of a new year always brings about feelings of excitement and anticipation for me. I’m always making a list of things I’m looking forward to or pushing myself to achieve in the new year. One of the things I’m most looking forward is a chance to gather at the UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center, May 22-24, 2017, for the 2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities Convergence. #RSSIConvergence is a gathering designed for professionals and students working in higher education, featuring amazing conversations and specialists who are leading the discussion on what is means to support the religious and non-religious identities of students in higher education. We want you to be there, to engage in the conversation that is so needed in higher education and to bring about your unique experiences so that we can all learn from one another.
With many more speakers to come, we are excited that Dr. Jamie Washington, president and founder of the Washington Consulting Group and well-known diversity speaker and professional will be among the keynote speakers alongside Dr. Mamta Accadadi, vice president for student affairs at Rollins College, and John Hoffman, associate professor of educational leadership, director of the doctor of educational leadership program and the chair of the Department of Educational Leadership at California State University, Fullerton. Dr. Peter Laurence, a well-known interfaith activist, and organizer for over 30 years will host a preconference session on the history of the movement since Education as Transformation, a historic 1998 conference held at Wellesley College, to the present.
Now you may be asking, how can I get more involved? Well, of course, you should come, and you will find all the information you need on registration here. But beyond that, this gathering is designed to help you showcase your work on campus.
If you are in the LA area, or if you are simply a very enthusiastic volunteer, NASPA is also seeking to have a number of individuals who would help as an On-Site Conference Volunteer.
As an on-site volunteer, you would with assist with the opening of the 2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities Convergence conference in Los Angeles, CA. You would assist the Executive Planning Committee and NASPA with on-site logistics and conference check-in. We ask for you to be within close driving distance of the conference location, UCLA Meyer and Renee Luskin Conference Center, Los Angeles, California. Various shifts will be available between May 22-24, 2017.
There are many organizations as well who might benefit from participation in the convergence. Expected participants will include chaplains, campus ministers, student affairs professionals, students, and others who all are seeking to enhance the campus climate to support these identities. If your organization works or could potentially work with these individuals, the convergence might be an invaluable opportunity to help your organization further itself. We thus encourage and welcome those who might wish to become a Conference Sponsor
If you would like to exhibit at or sponsor the 2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities Convergence, fill out the exhibitor and sponsor application form.
I’m personally very excited for this gathering, and you should be too! At such an important time in higher education and in the life of this country, the work of supporting religious, secular, and spiritual identities on campus is clear and ever present. For those already engaged in this work, the opportunity to offer your expertise awaits. For those new in the field or navigating the challenges of this work, this is your moment to come together to what will be an important and timely gathering. A convergence of ideas, thoughts, and work is just over four months away!
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