Center for Women

Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Center for Women

The NASPA Center for Women examines issues relevant to women in higher education and hosts a variety of professional development opportunities. While encouraging research from all in student affairs, the Center also encourages, in particular, research by women, for women, and about women in student affairs and female students.

Message from the Chair

For the past 20 years, the Center for Women Board has worked diligently to provide resources and a voice for women across the academy. Through our celebration of faculty, staff, and students with the Ruth Strang and Zenobia Hikes awards; collaboration with Journal for Women and Gender in Higher Education; our facilitation of mentorship through Candid Conversations and Candid Conversation 365; our support of professional development opportunities like Women’s Leadership Institute and Alice Manicur Symposium for women who aspire to be VPSAs; and through the hard work and good will of our board members who create opportunities for development, discourse, and diversity – it is my esteemed honor to represent the women of NASPA and beyond as the Chair of the Center for Women Board! I look forward to connecting in genuine ways throughout this year of service.

-Sandra Miles, PhD – Board Chair


What the Center for Women Does:

  • Serves as an information, networking, and funding resource to support women in producing scholarship and research in the field
  • Offers a professional home in NASPA for women, including leaders in women's centers
  • Partners with other organizations who are looking at various issues affecting the education and advancement of women
  • Works with graduate faculty witnessing the feminization of the field of student affairs
  • Publishes an annual journal for scholarship and research on women
  • Provides mentoring possibilities for women through the Candid Conversations program
  • Collaborates with other organizations that focus on professional development for women


In 2001, then NASPA Executive Director, Gwen Dungy drafted a proposal to create a Center for Scholarship, Research, and Professional Development for Women to honor the legacy of the National Association of Women in Education (NAWE).

NAWE was founded in 1915 as a professional association for deans of women (NADW) and evolved into an association addressing issues in higher education focused on the interests of women educators and students. As professional opportunities for women in education expanded, organizations for women began to lose ground. Such was the case with NAWE. In 2000, the association disbanded, transferring some of its programs to NASPA.

The NASPA Center for Women proposed to advance NAWE's work by addressing educational issues relevant to women in higher education. The mission for the Center was to "examine issues of concern to women in education, matters of policy development, and the design and implementation of relevant programs and services for women students." The Center was also envisioned as a professional home for women who are leaders in women's centers.

NASPA President Shannon Ellis championed the Center for Women proposal, and under her presidency, it was approved by the NASPA Board for implementation in 2001.

Mission Statement

The NASPA Center for Scholarship, Research and Professional Development for Women examines issues of concern to women in education and matters of public policy; it designs and implements relevant programs, services, advocacy and mentoring opportunities for women professionals and students. The Center encourages, in particular, research by women, for women, and about women in student affairs and about women students.


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Professional Development

The Center for Women is consistently creating new programmatic opportunities to meet the needs of our community. In the past, we have hosted women focused online briefings, lunch and learn chat with the Journal for Gender and Sexuality, a yearlong mentoring program known as Candid Conversations 365 and the Candid Conversations program held at the NASPA Annual Conference. We encourage you to continually check back for exciting new offerings.


One of the best resources available to you is the wide range of professional development opportunities. This list contains both our “Hosted Events,” workshops and webinars that we plan and manage, and some “Related Events,” hosted by the NASPA Central Office or other NASPA Constituent Groups. To see a full listing of NASPA events, please see the Events page.