NASPA NOW Professionals 2018 Cohort

Russell C Aivazian, M.Ed.

January 29, 2018

When our committee began gathering ideas and drafting proposal documents two years ago, this day was nothing short of a dream.  When I attended the NASPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis in 2016, I was a new KC leader and approached by Nathan Victoria from the NASPA office and my KC Chairs to begin the process of developing a recognition platform for the rising stars within NASPA.

After many conference calls, meetings, and late hours in the office, we finally settled on our idea for the NASPA NOW Professionals recognition.  Similar to a “30 under 30”-type recognition, NASPA NOW recognizes the incredible work of our New Professionals and Graduate students (Masters and Doctoral) within our profession.  Many thanks have to be given to Nathan Victoria from NASPA, Dustin Grabsch and Sharee Myricks (NPGS KC Chairs), as well as my committee of dedicated professionals: Berengere Phillips (VCU), Laura Gentner (University of Dayton), Noelle Pease (Texas A&M), and Jessica Shapiro (Ithaca College).

With a lot of guidance from the NASPA office and the leadership of the New Professionals and Graduate Students KC Awards Committee, I am pleased and honored to present our FIRST group of NASPA NOW Professionals.  In our first year, we received a large number of competitive applications and selected a group of 25 highly qualified New Professionals and Graduate Students with a diverse range of backgrounds, experiences, and expertise. 

Additionally, this recognition program could not be possible without the help of the financial sponsors of NASPA NOW Professionals: Spelman Jonson and Treanor HL.  With their support, we were able to provide scholarships to the NASPA Annual Conference to all NOW recipients as well as pins and certificates to recognize their achievements.

For more information about the NASPA NOW Professionals recognition and for the biographies of each recipient, please visit the NASPA NOW website.  All NASPA NOW recipients will be honored at the NPGS KC Coffee Social at the NASPA Annual Conference on March 7th!

Please join me in congratulating the NASPA NOW Professionals for 2018:

  • Impact

    Janna Bernstein

    Assistant Director of Leadership and Scholar Development

    University of Nevada - Las Vegas

    Abigail Brumfield

    Coordinator, Office of the Dean of Students

    University of Tennessee - Knoxville

    Queena Hoang

    Assistant Center Director of Asian Pacific American Student Services

    University of Southern California

    Michael Lemus

    First Year Academic Counselor

    University of California – Davis

    Isabella Villacampa

    Assistant Director for International Student Engagement

    New York University
  • Inclusion

    Dr. Ufuoma C. Abiola

    Associate Director, Academic Affairs and Advising

    University of Pennsylvania

    Laura Bohórquez

    Undocumented Student Program Coordinator

    University of Maryland

    Jaelyn Coates

    Graduate Assistant, Parent and Family Programs

    Colorado State University

    Brian Richardson, Jr.

    Assistant Director for Diversity and Inclusion

    Indiana University

    Diana Valdivia

    Undocumented Student Services Coordinator

    University of California – Santa Barbara

  • Innovation

    Michael Drucker

    House Advisor and Assistant Director for Residential Life

    Vassar College

    Lauren Oliver

    Assistant Director, Residential Education

    Dartmouth College

    Lucia Pfizenmaier

    Student Success Coordinator

    Binghamton University

    Amy Schlichting

    Health Educator

    Doane University

    Lea Staedtler

    Senior Career Coach for Humanities

    Earlham College

  • Inquiry

    Brenda Anderson Wadley

    Coordinator, Student Assistance

    University of Arizona

    Missy Dominguez

    Program Manager for Student Engagement and Activities

    University of Washington – Bothell

    Chris Hoppe

    Associate Director of Campus Recreation and Outdoor Programs

    Eastern Washington University

    Norma López

    Doctoral Student and Research Assistant

    Loyola University Chicago

    Ricky Urgo

    Graduate Student

    Mississippi State University

  • Integrity

    Brandon Brideau

    Graduate Assistant

    Fitchburg State University

    Samantha España

    Academic Advisor

    University of Nevada – Reno

    Ashley Pryor

    Director, Social Change

    The Ohio State University

    Michelle Scali

    Assistant Director of Student Involvement

    Southern New Hampshire University

    Heather Stevens

    Student Advocacy Coordinator

    University of Miami

We look forward to continuing this recognition program and continuing to recognize the amazing work being done by New Professionals and Graduate students within NASPA.  If you have any questions or are interested in assisting with the coordination of this recognition, please email me at [email protected].


Russell C Aivazian, M.Ed. (He, Him, His)

Nominations and Awards Coordinator | NPGS KC

Resident Director | University of Kentucky

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