Alyssa Wendel, Kansas Membership Coordindator
November 30, 2018
Here we are another semester has flown by and we’re looking into a new year. I am never sure if it is good or bad when the semester seems like it flew by as quickly as it did! As one of your Region IV-West Membership Coordinators, I hope you were able to connect with your state membership coordinator at the regional conference in October, but if you didn’t, I would encourage you to reach out to your state membership coordinator to connect. Each state has a designated Facebook page to connect to for example, NASPA Kansas. As a membership coordinator one of our duties is to create meaningful involvement opportunities for members and I thought what better time than now to share my experience with NASPA and how I got involved in the organization itself but more specifically how I got involved with our region through volunteering.
We talk about Region IV-West being a family and it truly is. This past conference was my fourth regional conference and every year my “family” grows because of all the amazing professionals, graduate students, and undergraduate students I have the opportunity to meet and connect with while at the conference. I always love getting to meet first time attendees and/or new members to the region at our regional conferences every fall. Some of our conversations in October led to knowing more about my position within NASPA IV-West, so I thought I would share a little about my position but other volunteer opportunities as well! In March, I will roll off as the Kansas Membership Coordinator. I have served in this role for two years and it has allowed me to connect with so many individuals in the state and throughout the region. This position has allowed me to attend state conferences and represent NASPA IV-West as well as communicate with institutions in the state who have higher education programs to connect the students to NASPA. Being a part of the advisory board we meet in person 2-3 times a year, at the summer meeting, regional conference, and if possible the annual conference. The membership coordinators meet every month via Zoom to share what is going on in our state, what we are doing to engage with our state members, and other items that come up throughout the year. At the regional conference we had the opportunity to discuss the strategic plan NASPA is currently working on to create the most comprehensive and inclusive plan they can. As membership coordinators we had the time to sit down together and discuss any issues/concerns we saw within the strategic plan and how our positions fit the strategic plan overall. I always find our meetings to be a great learning experience because the variety of professionals who sit on the advisory board who bring so much knowledge and experience to the table. No matter what, you have a voice within the advisory board, we have graduate students to vice president of student affairs who sit together and discuss their goals and aspirations with each other. While all of our positions on the board and in our full-time job vary, we all have the same focus in mind, our students.
Volunteering is one of the easiest ways to get involved. I know as a graduate student I was always hesitant to volunteer because it was something different, I didn’t know what it would entail, or it was just another thing you had to do. I have learned so much from volunteering and it has given me a ton of opportunities to get involved. You might ask yourself, why should I get involved? You get to meet colleagues with similar interests, expand your experience and expertise, gain new perspectives, network and make connections, contribute to your profession, but most importantly be a part of the IV-West Family! Instead of asking why should I get involved, ask yourself how can I get involved? Are you an introvert? How about an extravert? Maybe a little of both? We have something for everyone. You can volunteer in an active role or something behind the scenes, whatever fits your needs/wants.
As I mentioned earlier, my position as Kansas Membership Coordinator comes to an end in March and I would love to see someone fill the position sooner, rather than later! I would be happy to speak with you more about the position or any of the volunteer opportunities, if you are interested in learning more about them. Good luck to you all as we finish another fall semester and we’ll see you in 2019!
NASPA Region IV-West Kansas Membership Coordinator
Kansas State Polytechnic
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