May 22, 2014
The Alberta Services for Students Conference (ASSC) was hosted this year by the Northern Alberta Institute for Technology (NAIT) in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Over 250 student services professionals from 21 different institutions arrived at the NAIT campus to participate in this year’s conference held May 6th - 9th. With almost 40 program sessions offered, there was something for everyone. From Housing to Admissions, Counselling to International, Recruiting to Advising and all professionals in between - everyone was given ample opportunities for personal and professional development, to network with colleagues, and participate in fun activities including sushi making, carpentry, and Zumba lessons.
The conference kicked off with opening keynote Wayne Lee who offered up a highly entertaining morning. As a hypnotist and speaker, Wayne gave delegates a demonstration of the power of suggestion and imagination, encouraging them to not let fear restrict their potential and to be positive minded so they could be successful in whatever they choose to do.
The next two days were filled with a variety of programs and sessions for delegates to choose from. Following day one, ASSC hosted its annual awards night complete with a red carpet theme as they recognized the efforts and hard work of their outstanding professionals. Those recognized included, Liz O’Shea (Bow Valley College)- Dean Stetson Award for Long-Term Service (10+ years) and Outstanding Excellence in Student Services, Mirjam Knapik (Mount Royal University)- Marion Voshalo Award for Outstanding New Professional, and Dawn Dayman (NAIT) - Russ Guthrie Award for Contribution to Student Services. Congratulations to all award winners for their dedication to enriching the lives of their students and making the campus experience the best it could be.
After the final full day of presentations and programs the conference let loose with a sock-hop theme dance and social. Costumes were in full force and the night ended as ASSC awarded the annual Spirit Award for Outstanding Conference Spirit to Athabasca University. As they say, all good things must come to an end and, but ASSC did it with a bang as the conference concluded Friday morning with closing keynote Cliff Kuh - the Laugh Doctor. Through the generous sponsorship of the NASPA V Regional Advisory Board, ASSC was able to secure the Laugh Doctor who provided a thoughtful, engaging, and entertaining perspective on the power of humour and its use in our everyday lives.
A huge congratulations and thank you to the conference hosts Andrea Taylor (NAIT) and Jennifer Ross (NAIT) the local arrangements committee, and the Provincial Planning Committee for putting on a fantastic conference!! Looking forward to ASSC next year in Calgary, Alberta as Bow Valley invites delegates to join them on their campus and celebrate their institution’s 50th anniversary. It already sounds like it will be a great time!
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