Womxn in Student Affairs

Supporting the Profession Womxn in Student Affairs

The purpose of the WISA Knowledge Community is to give voice to the needs of womxn in student affairs and to provide professional development opportunities through both regional and national activities designed to address gender equity and prompt personal growth.



Message from the Co-Chairs

As the 2023-2025 Co-Chairs of the WISA KC, we are immensely excited and humbled to be leading this amazing Knowledge Community. We recognize we stand on the shoulders of many impactful student affairs professionals who have established a firm foundation and example of effective work towards advocating for, and supporting womxn in higher education.

Our Philosophy: As WISA Co-Chairs, we strongly support womxn in student affairs and higher education. As womxn leading our respective departments, we believe that ALL womxn deserve to be heard, to have a seat at the table, to be considered for advancement, to have equal pay, to have fair expectations set for them, and to have their needs valued and considered. We actively work to create a workforce for future womxn leaders that is vastly differently from our own professional experience. As the great Audre Lorde once stated, “when I dare to be powerful – to use my strength in the service of my vision – then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid.”  

Our Purpose: To support professional womxn working in student affairs and higher education through WISA KC initiatives and in collaboration with larger NASPA priorities and events. To provide an affinity space where womxn can gather in community to grow personally and professionally and enrich the profession with their knowledge and expertise.

Our Vision and Goals: To further cultivate settings where womxn are welcomed, valued, and respected, we plan to continue building on the rich foundation and legacy of WISA; elevating and celebrating the varying identities of WISA (SJI centered); maintaining and establishing partnerships; and lifting up and supporting the WISA Leadership Team. We look to achieve this by combining our expertise to lead WISA in achieving this P.A.I.N.T acronym.

  • Partner: Cultivate partnerships with NASPA constituent groups to create a flagship initiative that promotes leadership development and highlights the multifaceted lived experiences of our membership.
  • Assess: Listen to our constituents by launching a WISA membership survey to understand the needs and expectations of our members.
  • Include: Continue building upon the foundation of WISA being a knowledge community that serves as an inclusive haven for all womxn.
  • Network: Provide opportunities for womxn to engage and connect.
  • Thrive: Maintain and bolster the organizational health of WISA. 

If you're interested in learning more, would like to get involved, or have ideas of ways to actualize these initiatives and more, we invite you to join our community! 



WISA Purpose Statement

The WISA Knowledge Community gives voice to the intersectional needs of people who identify as womxn in student affairs, addresses issues of gender equity and provides opportunities for professional development and relationship-building among members. 

The following efforts support this purpose:

  • Identify issues that are important to womxn working in student affairs and elevating the awareness of these issues across members, our association, and the profession.
  • Address equity concerns and advocate for people of marginalized identities, with specific focus on womxn and the intersections of their identities.
  • Promote a community among womxn in student affairs, providing opportunities for authentic mentoring and relationship-building.
  • Provide accessible professional development opportunities designed to address gender equity issues and promote personal/professional growth.
  • Promote opportunities for womxn in student affairs to find their professional voice as advocates for equity issues.
  • Support womxn who aspire to enter the professional field of student affairs and those preparing for professional advancement.


About the Logo:

(Womxn in Student Affairs Knowledge Community secondary logo approved February 2018.)

Abstract Nature: this abstract, non-representational image intentionally avoids outside references or other meanings that may not be intended

Triangles: triangles are used to signify change, growth, and evolution over time through the use of the Delta symbol

Intersection of Triangles: the triangles intersect in multiple spots to represent the intersection of identities

Letter “W”: there are multiple ways that the triangles make a “W” for women/womyn/womxn/etc. , which represents the intersectionality of women’s/womyn’s/womxn’s/etc identities.

Colors: the colors are a modern take on the traditional primary colors (red, blue, yellow) to signify disruption of the norm and fresh perspectives on tradition

Butterfly: although abstract, the the form created by the shapes could be seen as a butterfly, which implies transformation or a bird, taking flight, soaring, and rising above freely

Upward Orientation: the abstract butterfly/bird-like form is oriented upward, connoting rising and soaring in an overall uplifting gesture

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Recent Blogs


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.


Leadership Team

Knowledge Community leaders are NASPA volunteers who have generously devoted their time to their Knowledge Community. Chairs are elected by the Knowledge Community members while Regional representatives are selected from within the Region. Additional roles are selected by the Knowledge Community.


Signature Initiatives

Womxn Wednesdays

Womxn Wednesdays was launched during the Fall 2019 academic semester by the WISA Professional Development Committee to provide self-identified womxn in student affairs with accessible professional development opportunities and resources. The free, online 30 min dialogues featuring speakers and panelists from across the country are recorded and housed here so they are accessible to all WISA members.


The Importance of Mental Toughness (October 2, 2019)

Guest Speaker: Dr. Edna Grover-Bisker, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs at Missouri University of Science and Technology (October 2, 2019)


Recording available here. 


When Life Happens: Negotiating Work & Life Balance as a Care Giver (November 6, 2019)

Panelists: Ms. Lyn Baier, Associate Director for First Year Engagement in University Career Services at Rutgers University and Dr. Alexandria White, founder S.A.M.S. (Student Affairs MomS) and Student Services Director of Student Affairs at Ole Miss International.

Recording available here.


Making the Jump to the Next Level (December 4, 2019)

Guest Speaker: Dr. Rosanna Ferro, Vice President for Student Affairs and Campus Life, Ithaca College

Recording available here. 



The WISA Knowledge Community has developed several working groups to address issues and efforts pertinent to our membership. To raise the conversation around these themes, we have discussed their interconnection with the professional competencies set forth by NASPA, and we are continuing to evaluate and plan the most appropriate strategy for bringing these conversations to our membership and the field as a whole. If you would like to get more involved in any of these working groups, please contact the person listed below to indicate your interest and enthusiasm. We look forward to ongoing and fruitful discussions around the following topics:

Intersectionality of Identity

To address the connectedness and overlapping of the various identities of our membership and to address the systemic and social barriers in our professional landscape.

Social Justice and Inclusion; Personal and Ethical Foundations; Values, Philosophy, and History; Leadership

Contact: Nikkie Hockenberry, [email protected]

Pay Equity and Negotiation

To raise awareness of the policies and practices that enable the wage gaps on our campuses and to provide professional development in negotiating and navigating advancement in our positions.

Advising and Supporting; Personal and Ethical Foundations; Organizational and Human Resources; Law, Policy, and Governance

Contact: Erika Lamarre, [email protected]

Work-Life Negotation and Wellness

To discuss and address the issues in our personal development and their impact on our professional development, including role negotiation, self-care, and parent and family issues.

Personal and Ethical Foundations; Organizational and Human Resources; Leadership

Contact: Melodye MacAlpine, [email protected]