David Adams, NASPA IV-W Foundation Ambassador
January 30, 2018
During the 2016 Annual Conference Business meeting; Dr. Lori White accepted the gavel as NASPA Board Chair (https://www.naspa.org/about/blog/lori-white-accepts-the-gavel-as-naspa-board-chair-2016-17) and during her inspiring acceptance speech, she listed her five priorities. One of those priorities was to be innovative, as Innovation is one of NASPA’s four guiding principles (https://www.naspa.org/about). This priority was the birth of the NASPA Innovation Grants (https://www.naspa.org/foundation/awards/innovationgrants). Innovation Grants are a partnership between NASPA and the NASPA Foundation and are intended to provide support to NASPA members to implement innovative ideas that lead to student learning and success.
One such grant was awarded to Jennifer Forry, Dean of Student Affairs at Newbury College (https://newbury.edu/news-and-events/news/2017/04/11/newbury-has-been-awarded-naspa-innovation-grant-for-empowerment-project/). Here is what Jennifer had to say about her program:
The empowerMENt retreat is an interactive day long male based program that focused on male leadership, sexual assault bystander skill development, sexual assault prevention, and male to male mentoring. A project of the Dean of Student Affairs office, empowerMENt is an excellent example of cross campus collaboration, meeting the needs of a specific population (Newbury College has 60% students of color and first generation college students.), and innovatively addressing a nationwide problem. The project was researched focused and worked towards empowering men to be leaders against sexual assault. Launched on September 8, 2017, empowerMENt had 10% of the male student population participate along with male members of the faculty, staff, and administration who served as mentors. The retreat consisted of male students being paired up with professional male mentors from the Newbury community, the uniqueness of this program is men mentoring and leading other men.
The morning session utilized a male speaker who focused on male leadership development and utilizing their strength results as leaders. Prior to the start of the retreat all participants took the Strengthsfinder 2.0 assessment. The afternoon speaker focused on men and sexual assault, and how to use their leadership skills to prevent sexual assault and violence against women. Throughout the day mentors and mentees were given time for conversations regarding the topics of the day and reflection. All participants took a pre and post assessment of the empowerMENt retreat learning outcomes and 100% of the participants stated they would recommend empowerMENt to others and want to serve on the planning committee for fall 2018. Since empowerMENt launched we have seen an increase of male leadership participation on campus and men holding each other accountable for their actions.
In addition to this program, the NASPA Foundation has supported many other programs through Innovation Grants. Innovation Grants are an excellent example of donations to the NASPA Foundation at work. If you have an idea to support student learning and success and an Innovation Grant would assist your idea, consider applying for an Innovation Grant once the applications are available again: https://www.naspa.org/foundation/awards/innovationgrants. Or, if you would like to donate to the NASPA Foundation in order to support initiatives such as the Innovation Grants, please click here: https://www.naspa.org/foundation.
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.