News from your Regional Director

Shana Warkentine Meyer, Regional Director

November 30, 2018

“As a new NASPA person, I would never think that Leadership Positions would fall under “Volunteer Opportunities” – and maybe that is just me. There was some conversations by some of us new folks in Wichita that the selection of leadership doesn’t seem to be very transparent –– it seems kinda like “if you know people you get asked” but that we don’t really make a “Leadership Call” very obvious.”

Enter explicative here.  The concept of ‘Mentoring, Connections, and Involvement’ was one of the key components of my Regional Director (RD) platform, and it doesn’t sound like all of our regional members feel that sense of belonging.  I value collaboration, open and honest communication, and continued learning. I don’t think I would be a very effective RD if I didn’t hear this feedback and do something about it!

My 2019 NASPA Regional Director resolution will be to focus on ensuring members of the region know about opportunities for mentoring, connections, and involvement. I will commit to ensuring our leadership opportunities are listed on Volunteer Central, highlighted in my monthly blog, and posted on social media. We additionally have volunteer and other professional development opportunities that will be posted, as well.

As I make this commitment, I’d ask you to also consider a resolution of involvement, even if you’ve never really considered it before (I mean, you’ve read this far!). I have listed some ideas below that may help our members get engaged. If you have additional thoughts how we can let members know what’s going on & how to interact, I’d love to hear them.

How to Get Involved:

  • Reach out.  While you don’t have to know a Board member, they are often the first to know about potential leadership opportunities on the Board.  We rely on our Board members to help share news of open seats and recruit new Board members. Even if your preferred position is not open now, reach out to the person currently in that role! They may have opportunities available in which you can assist, or you can simply pick their brain about what the job entails.  Yikes! I don’t know a board member!  That’s okay…reach out anyway! We publicize our Board members’ names and contact information because we WANT to hear from you. 

  • Check Volunteer Central. So…’s called “volunteer,” because we’re all volunteering in our roles. But those roles can range from a conference volunteer, assisting a few hours at registration to a Knowledge Community rep who sits on our Regional Board, attending our summer board meeting, fall board meeting and conference, and the national conference. Regional cabinet-level positions (those reporting directly to the Regional Director) are also posted on Volunteer Central.  If you want to volunteer—check Volunteer Central. If you want to apply to volunteer for a leadership role on the Board—check Volunteer Central. Postings go up any time we have an opening, so please check regularly.

  • Read and Get Social! Take some time to browse through the IV-West website. We have a rich history! Make sure you are getting all the NASPA news by checking your newsletter preferences (login at, then click on “my NASPA” in the top right corner. Click the ‘edit profile’ link, and scroll down to the NASPA engagement details section). Then make sure you scan your emails from the Region—that’s where we post ALL the opportunities! Connect with us online…. IV-W has all of the socials: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. Find us there, and engage!     

  • Attend Regional-sponsored professional development opportunities. You probably know we host a fall regional conference. You might not know that we follow a rotation and will hit all of the states in our region over a 10-year period. Next year’s conference is already being planned and will occur in Fargo, North Dakota in late October. Conference chair Cassie Gerhardt and chair-elect Thomas Lane are looking for members to serve on the conference committee! These positions have a term that ends at the conclusion of the fall conference.

Once the conference hits, we look for volunteers to help with things like registration, introducing presenters, and more. Undergrads, graduate students, and new professionals can get involved in the annual case study at the fall regional conference as well. It’s free and a way to get to know others in the field.

Don’t go to the conference? You can still be part of the conference by volunteering to review program proposals; volunteering to review awards nominations; and nominating your colleagues and programs for awards! Calls for these types of opportunities typically go out in regional newsletters and on social media.

  • Conduct Research. You don’t have to be all up in our business (or us in yours) to get involved. Did you know the Region sponsors a Research Award? We’d love to see your proposal for funding and hear about your research as a program session at our fall conference!

  • But Wait, there’s more!  We want you to get the most bang out of your membership buck, so there is more more more! IV-W co-sponsors a spring drive-in event, and we host webinars on Critical Conversations in the field.  Look for our announcements to get involved in these opportunities as well. When we see you attending events, we get to know your name, you get to know ours, and it makes other involvement / volunteer / leadership opportunities that much easier to learn about!

  • Reach out, part two.  Ask questions!  You can start with me: Shana Meyer, [email protected], or call / text me at 816-273-4838.

If you want to get involved, we will find a role for you—our strengths are in your new ideas, and the diversity and the skills of our members!

Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NASPA. If you agree or disagree with the content of this post, we encourage you to dialogue in the comment section below. NASPA reserves the right to remove any blog that is inaccurate or offensive.

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