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2020 NASPA Florida Virtual Drive In Conference

Regional Drive-in/Small Conference

Join us for an exciting and engaging virtual opportunity as we explore the “Power of the Past…Force for the Future."  The ongoing concerns about Covid-19 and uncertainty about what our fall semesters might look like have led us to make the decision to make this year's NASPA-FL Drive-In Conference as a virtual event!


$15 for members (including student members)

$25 for student non-members

$79 for non-member professionals

Non-members will need to create a NASPA Profile in order to register


Presented By


Need some technology assistance to access the event - join this Help Desk Link

Help Desk is open on 10/15 from 4 pm to 7:30 pm, 10/16 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Make sure you save the date for October 15-16, 2020.  As usual, this year’s conference will feature the NASPA-FL Social on Thursday, as well as the Drive-In Conference, Case Study Competition and Undergraduate Symposium on Friday.

The annual NASPA-FL Social will be held virtually on Thursday, October 15th at 4:00PM.  Additional information will be sent out to Drive-In Conference registrants closer to the event date.

The deadline to register for this year’s conference is Wednesday, October 14th at 5PM (EST).

This event is an affordable opportunity for professional development, networking, reconnecting with old friends, and creating new ones!  The 2020 NASPA-FL Virtual Drive-In Conference is open to all student affairs professionals.

Keynote Speaker

Anthony Cruz

Dr. Anthony Cruz

Leading During Uncertain Times: New Normal, New Opportunities for Leadership

Leadership has always been tasked with the responsibility of dealing with difficult situations. We are living in extraordinary times that are pushing us in ways that we never imagined. The COVID-19 pandemic coupled with continued civil unrest due to social injustice have created a perfect storm of uncertainty on our campuses. Student affairs leaders have been challenged to make critical decisions with very little information while having to motivate and comfort others through this crisis. Dr. Cruz will share his insights on how higher education leaders have to focus on being more empathetic, inspirational and strategic than ever before. He will also highlight new opportunities for higher education leadership as we embrace the new normal.

Professional Biography

Focus Speakers

Drive-In Conference Schedule

Need some technology assistance to access the event - join this Help Desk Link

Help Desk is open on 10/15 from 4 pm to 7:30 pm, 10/16 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm

Thursday, October 15
4:00 pm
7:00 pm

NASPA-FL Networking/Social

Undergraduate Symposium Networking Social

Friday, October 16th
8:30 am
8:45 - 9:30 am
9:35 - 10:20 am
10:20 - 10:35 am
10:35 - 11:05 am
11:10 – 11:55 am
12:15 – 1:00 pm
1:00 - 1:50 pm
1:00 - 5:00 pm
4:00 - 5:00 pm

Opening Session

Educational Sessions 1

FOCUS Speaker: El pagnier Hudson


El pagnier Kay Hudson “EK”, M.S.
Senior Vice President, Human Resources and
Vice Provost, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Florida International University

El pagnier Kay Hudson, “EK”, has been part of the Human Resources industry for over 28 years. As
Senior Vice President for Human Resources at Florida International University, EK is responsible for
strategic and innovative leadership of the Division of Human Resources and oversees all twelve
discipline-specific areas of HR including, but not limited to: employee and labor relations, employee
engagement initiatives, and the office of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access. As Vice Provost,
she is responsible for the development and implementation of all strategies that integrate student
achievement, leadership, access and community across the organization having oversight of DEI
strategies at FIU. She is leading several strategic initiatives, including the university’s commitment to
ensuring our administrative and staff employees are able to champion the fast pace of change that
advanced technologies are creating in the workplace through the “Next is Now” initiative. Most
recently, she led the Equity Action Initiative with a focus on identifying issues of systemic racism,
bias, and inequity within our FIU and providing actionable steps to eradicate them.
She currently serves as a Board Member for the Florida Chapter of the College and University
Professional Association (CUPA-HR), is past-Chair for the College and University HR Executives
(CUHRE) Consortium, serves as Executive Board Member to lead Urban/Community Growth with
the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and recently joined the Board of Opportunities
Industrialization Centers (OIC) of south Florida. She is the wife of Winston G Hudson with girl
power running strong as mother of 3 lovely daughters, grandmother of 2 granddaughters and a
female red-nosed Pitbull, Roxie.

Conducting Waves of Change: Leading, Coaching, and Supporting Units at Ever-Changing Institutions


As student affairs professionals, we exist in an ever-changing environment at micro, meso, and macro levels (changes in staffing, institutional goals, student populations, funding sources). Using multiple models from Kotter's (1996) Leading Change to Schlossberg's Transition Theory (1981), we will discuss how mid and upper-level administrators across institutional units can train staff/students to lead and support change utilizing recent staff and student development retreats titled “Waves of Change” as case studies.

Ellyn Couillard - Director of Student Services/Taneja College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida
Heather Petrelli - Associate Dean of Student Affairs/Taneja College of Pharmacy, University of South Florida


The Experience and Impact of Starting a Student Affairs Honor Society


The co-presenters were graduate students in the MS in Higher Education Administration graduate program, and worked together to become founding board members of a chapter of an international student affairs honor society. During this presentation, we will discuss the process of collaborating to create a thriving organization that has brought new enthusiasm and energy to students in the graduate program and in the university community. We would like to share this experience for the benefit of others who may be inspired to start their own organization.

Heidi Whitfor - Associate Professor, Barry University
Janice Normil - Alumna, Barry University
Courtlyn Heard - Alumna, Barry University
Frank Saavedra - Graduate Student, Barry University


The Space for Leadership Education in Institutional Priorities: Analyzing Institutional Mission Statements


This session will focus on a content analysis done on Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) data. With over 6,500 postsecondary institutions represented, this session will cover an array of findings about how institutional mission statements include “leadership” or “leader” in their self-reported institutional mission statements and conceptualize what this data means for current institutional practices supporting leadership development.

Brittany Devies - Graduate Assistant Leadership Learning Research Center, Florida State University
Kathy L. Guthrie - Associate Professor Higher Education, Florida State University

Three Pillars of Research-Informed Strategies to Increase College Student Retention Rates


Research shows a shortfall in college student retention rates among historically underserved students, even among students with high academic ability. Our session is based on exploratory, qualitative studies centered on this student population. It helps convey the lived experiences of historically underserved student groups (as they relate to their needs and decisions about continuing their enrollment in college). It addresses the problem college administrators and faculty members have with determining how best to help meet their needs. A potential outcome is the utilization of results and supports to improve student support systems and interventions and achieve higher retention rates.

Sherell Wilson - Founder and Owner, Beyond College Access LLC

Education Sessions 2

COVID 19 and its impact on pre-health and pre-law students


COVID-19 has uniquely affected pre-health and pre-law students, a cohort of scholars already burdened with demanding, time-sensitive admissions requirements. Many students who had been diligently preparing for graduate school applications are now faced with uncertainty as to when co-curricular experiences will resume, canceled entrance examinations, and more. This presentation discusses the impact the global pandemic might have on current admissions and recruitment processes as well as the challenges students are facing as a result of entrance exam changes, limited exposure to professionals in their field, and academic disruptions.

Jackie Mikulski - Academic Program Specialist, University of Tampa
Brooke Sheetz - Pre-Professional Advisory, The University of Alabama in Huntsville 

How a small private university in Florida utilized a unique enrollment management program to increase student enrollment


How a small private university in Florida utilized a unique enrollment management program to increase student enrollment, at a time when student enrollment in higher education was at a steady decline. The program, Shark Preview, not only changed the landscape of the student population, but it helped create an environment of strong student leadership development, student success and retention. Research, evaluation, collaboration and continuing improvement has set the stage for Shark Preview to become one of the largest enrollment management tools for the campus. Moving past enrollment, it aids in creating student leaders that are then involved with the program up until graduation.

Sophia Andali - Associate Dean of Students, Johnson and Wales University-Charlotte
Crysta Diaz - Senior Associate Director Premier Programs and Shark Preview Weekends Office of Undergraduate Admissions, Nova Southeastern University

Racial Disparities and Graduation Rates at a University’s Satellite Campuses


Many students of color arrive on campuses having successfully navigated difficult high school circumstances, a formidable college admissions process, as well as difficult financial conditions. More than half do not graduate from college. Many factors can affect graduation rates including student demographics, institutional resourcing, job demands, and campus type. During this session, the presenter will present the results of a survival analysis that evaluated whether graduation disparities exist for students of color at the departmental (e.g., College of Business) level. The effect of campus type (i.e., main, satellite) on graduation rates for students of color will also be discussed. COVID 19 and its impact on pre-health and pre-law students:

COVID-19 has uniquely affected pre-health and pre-law students, a cohort of scholars already burdened with demanding, time-sensitive admissions requirements. Many students who had been diligently preparing for graduate school applications are now faced with uncertainty as to when co-curricular experiences will resume, canceled entrance examinations, and more. This presentation discusses the impact the global pandemic might have on current admissions and recruitment processes as well as the challenges students are facing as a result of entrance exam changes, limited exposure to professionals in their field, and academic disruptions.

John Jaggi - Doctoral Graduate Student, Utah State University

Ten Steps to Create Accessible Online Spaces


As higher education currently functions within an online environment, there is need to create accessible spaces whether in a classroom or a meeting space. Using best practices in online pedagogy and Universal Design, this session will provide attendees with 10 easy fixes they can make to any presentation be inclusive and accessible. By making these practices part of daily practice and presentation planning, it will insure that all your students and colleagues can focus on the content of your presentation as you intended it.

Cliff Haynes - Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Florida


Best Practices Educational Sessions

FOCUS Speaker: Gerard Wheeler "Turn the Tide"


Engagement is a critical point to every college student’s experience. Covid-19 has created obstacles yet opportunities for the engagement of our students. Participants will be able to identify creative and strategic ways to create programming both virtually and in person. Campus Life and Student Engagement at Nova Southeastern University created a blend flex model to programming. This model helped to provide students with both virtual opportunities while still having in-person programming in a safe environment. As the mission of Campus Life and Student Engagement is to empower students to learn, lead, and engage in a variety of opportunities to create a vibrant NSU campus. We provided students with the opportunity to help us “Turn the Tide.”


Breathing Life into the Digital FSL Experience


COVID-19 has introduced unprecedented changes to how we live. How higher education has been forced to operate is no different.In this session, we will cover how your campus life department can plan, design, and execute continued support despite being socially-distanced.


  1. Beyond the post - Maximize social media channels for increased engagement and student participation
  2. Email is not dead Get your students to read and look forward to your emails
  3. Design for experience - Attract more students to get involved using the same strategic marketing tactics as top brands
  4. Resources you can use - Tools to help you operate digitally


Oscar Ibars - CEO, GreekXperience

Learning Isn't Cancelled


COVID-19 halted the ability to meet in-person, but that did not keep us from offering our summer pipeline programs and connecting with students virtually. Recognizing the challenges faced by students and young adults everywhere during these unique circumstances, the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Community Engagement adjusted its programs and resources to meet the needs of the community.

Janet Bringuez-Sanchez - Assistant Director Programs, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Nanette Vega - Executive Director, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine
Jaleesa Cooke - Program Manager, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

Leveraging Passion: Effective On-Line Training to Create Student Engagement Ambassadors


Student employees make valuable connections to students, but they can also move beyond single department service providers to transformational engagement ambassadors to institution-specific and higher education culture and climate, fostering institutional fit, employment skills, civic engagement, and improved retention. The Center for Community Based Learning at University of North Florida created a unique training model that combines principles of academic tutor and peer mentor training with service learning and civic responsibility to train ambassadors dedicated to community-based learning and engagement of fellow students in academic and social connection points. The model pivoted on-line, making it cost effective and flexible.


Susan Trudeau - Co-Curricular Coordinator, University of North Florida

When a Day of Service Lasts All Month


This session will discuss how one campus operationalized their innovative mindset to shift single days of service to an entire month-long education, service, and reflective experience called Stampede of Service. As an office dedicated to creating effective, ethical and positively engaged global leaders, the University of South Florida Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement has transitioned to a multipart program that incorporates leadership, career readiness, and partnerships with non-profits. In the face of COVID-19, this program persists as a co-curricular student experience because of the office's dedication to being nimble, dynamic, and flexible.

Olivia Norton - Graduate Assistant, University of South Florida
Idrissa Stephen - Assistant Director, University of South Florida
Kim Fabbri-Greener  - Associate Director, University of South Florida

Educational Session 3

Facing Death on Campus: Insights on Crisis Management from Senior Student Affairs Practitioners


The purpose of this session is to share the presenter's recent research on lessons learned by senior student affairs practitioners (SSAOs) while responding to campus crises, specifically the death of students or employees. The study, which was narrative and arts-based, collected the stories of five SSAOs who led through campus crises such as suicide, alcohol overdose, and accidental death. Methods and findings will be discussed, included themes such as connections with victims' families, connections to crisis leaders' own families, tensions between structure and intuition, adaptability as a necessary competency, memorializing tragedy, and applying lessons learned to new organizational contexts.

Matthew Ricke - Assistant Director & Title IX Coordinator, University of Central Florida

How to Develop an Effective Online Orientation for Online Learners


It can be challenging to orient online students to a program, and now many of us are facing the same problem for face-to-face students given the pandemic. Utilizing the learning management system students use for classes, the University of Florida online masters program developed an asynchronous orientation for its students this fall. Attendees will learn the various topics included during the orientation; how to vary activities to maintain balance and interest; and what to consider for creating an effective online orientation, regardless of program type you lead.

Cliff Haynes - Clinical Assistant Professor, University of Florida
Danica Mandarano - Graduate Student, University of Florida

Strategies for Maximizing Supervision Success


Being a supervisor is not about telling someone what to do; this role is an opportunity to enhance skills and mentor individuals by challenging and supporting them in their journey of becoming outstanding practitioners. Supervisors can have a positive effect when they individualize experiences and empower those they supervise. However, supervision is not always easy, particularly when supervising people at different levels. This session will highlight effective and research-proven supervision practices.

Viancca Williams - Director Fraternity & Sorority Life, University of Central Florida

Community Public Health: A new form of Case Management


The pandemic challenges us all to pivot to meet the continuously evolving circumstances of supporting students. Maxient provided guidance on creating a process to best manage and report on students who have identified they have been exposed and/or had a positive COVID-19 test.  Join us to hear our guidance on how to best use a system to collect reports and manage information in serving these students.  While we have solid recommendations, they should be viewed as guidance evolving over time as we learn more about the need of clients and students.

Keynote & Closing Session

Graduate Student Networking Hour

Join other graduate students in a candid and relaxed networking session!  Get to know other students, share ideas and experiences, and have fun during the Graduate Student Networking Hour!


Case Study Competition & Undergraduate Symposium

More information available below.

NASPA-FL Awards Ceremony

Each year NASPA Florida recognizes outstanding professionals and programs in our state. Please join us for this year’s awards presentation to celebrate the talent and dedication of professionals in our state. Winners for the 2020 NASPA Florida awards will be announced during this session.

Case Study Competition

The NASPA-FL Case Study Competition is a competition for graduate students and new professionals (within their first two years of professional experience).  This competition gives you the chance to apply and showcase your classroom, internship, experiential and leadership experiences all in one opportunity!

Competitors can form teams of two – three people for either the graduate students category or the new professionals category; up to ten teams can compete in each category.  Each team will analyze, evaluate, and provide solutions to a thought provoking case relevant to the field of student and academic affairs.  Participants will present virtually to a panel of judges comprised of student and academic affairs practitioners and faculty. 

Please note: all participants must register for the NASPA-FL Drive-In Conference in order to be eligible to compete.

If you are interested in competing in the 2020 NASPA-FL Case Study Competition, please register here.  Please feel free to contact Dr. Sonja Montas-Hunter at smontash@fiu.edu if you have any additional questions.  

Undergraduate Symposium

NASPA-FL is excited to host the annual Undergraduate Symposium during the 2020 NASPA-FL Virtual Drive-In on October 15 – 16, 2020.  The Undergraduate Symposium is designed to introduce undergraduate students to the profession of student affairs and to prepare them to pursue a graduate degree in student affairs.  This program includes several educational sessions and a graduate school fair.  In addition, registered students will be matched with Florida-based student affairs professional to complete a mock interview session.

This year’s theme is “Power of the Past…Force of the Future”.  Join us as we take you on a journey through time and help you prepare for a vibrant future!


Friday, October 16
1:00 - 1:15 pm
1:15 - 2:00 pm
2:00 - 2:45 pm
2:45 - 3:00 pm
3:00 - 3:30 pm
3:30 - 4:15 pm
4:15 - 4:45 pm
4:45 - 5:00 pm

Welcome from the Undergraduate Symposium Coordinator

The formal kickoff to the Undergraduate Symposium; this mini-session will outline your learning outcomes for the Symposium.

Undergraduate Symposium Educational Session 1

From there to here from here to there find your fit anywhere!


Higher education is a field with vast opportunities and more paths than meet the eye. In this program, participants will explore the many functional areas within Higher Education, identify which areas align with their aspirations and goals, and find their fit through a guided discussion and self-reflection.

Sophie Braga de Barros Loureiro - Student Engagement Program Coordinator, Florida International University
Jenna Levine - Peer Mentor Program Manager, Florida International University

Undergraduate Symposium Educational Session 2

Graduate School Search: Where to Begin?


Are you anxious about your graduate program search? Are you wondering where to start and how to narrow down your options? Then this session was made for you! Using the individual values of consciousness of self and congruence from the Social Change Model of leadership as a starting point, we will walk participants through the importance of self-reflection in making congruous choices. Participants will leave this session prepared to make authentic choices about their graduate school search.

Olivia Norton - Graduate Assistant - Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement, University of South Florida
Kaylan Burns - Coordinator for Student Organization Development, University of South Florida
Christina Borg - Graduate Assistant for Civic Engagement, University of South Florida


Graduate School Presentations

Graduate School Social

Undergraduate Symposium Educational Session 3

Culturally Relevant Leadership Learning at a PWI


This undergraduate symposium program session will explore the Culturally Relevant Leadership Learning model (Bertrand Jones et al., 2016) and the ways in which it operationalizes for undergraduate students at Predominantly White Institutions. While the whole model will be introduced and explored, the majority of this session will focus on the operationalization of the five domains: historical legacy of inclusion/exclusion, behavioral, compositional, psychological, and organizational/structural (Bertrand Jones et al., 2016). Critical questions on each domain will be posed and discussed within the session.

Brittany Devies - Graduate Assistant Leadership Learning Research Center, Florida State University

Closing Remarks

Close out your day with words of wisdom about your future in student affairs with the Undergraduate Symposium Coordinator.