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NASPA Western Regional Conference

Regional Conference Student Success Region V Region VI Mid-Level



Presented By

Region V
Region VI

Conference Registration is now open!

Keep scrolling to check out our conference rates and registration link.

Message from the Chair

As Chair of the 2020 Western Regional Conference (WRC), I am excited to announce that we plan to continue with the tradition of our conference this Fall, pivoting and offering a virtual platform for WRC this year.

The brilliant WRC Committee is determined to shift and offer a unique virtual experience with relevant major speakers, programs from colleagues across our region, opportunity to celebrate our region awardees and provide an opportunity for us to be in community as we move Together Towards Tomorrow, this year’s conference theme.

We are looking forward to examining critical topics such as Black Lives Matter, the national elections, pandemic and remote responsiveness and more. In preparation, you will receive additional details in the coming weeks as we build toward the November conference. I invite you to join us and take advantage of this unique experience in an intentional and gratifying way.


Rameen Talesh Ed.D.

NASPA WRC 2020 Conference Chair 

Click here to meet the NASPA Western Regional Conference Committee for 2020! 


Keynote Speaker


On April 19, 1989, a young woman in the prime of her life was brutally raped and left for dead in New York City’s Central Park. Five boys – four black and one Latino – were tried and convicted of the crime in a frenzied case that rocked the city. They became known collectively as “The Central Park Five”.

Their convictions were vacated in 2002 after spending between seven (7) and thirteen (13) years of their lives behind bars. The unidentified DNA in the Central Park Jogger Case, unlinked to any of the five, had finally met its owner, a convicted murderer and serial rapist who confessed. The convictions of the boys, now men, were overturned and they were exonerated. One of those boys, Yusef Salaam, was just 15 years old when his life was upended and changed forever.

Since his release, Yusef has committed himself to advocating and educating people on the issues of false confessions, police brutality and misconduct, press ethics and bias, race and law, and the disparities in America’s criminal justice system. In 2013, documentarians Ken and Sarah Burns released the documentary “The Central Park Five,” which told of this travesty from the perspective of Yusef and his cohorts. In 2014, The Central Park Five received a multi-million dollar settlement from the city of New York for its grievous injustice against them. Yusef was awarded an Honorary Doctorate that same year and received the President’s Life Time Achievement Award in 2016 from President Barack Obama.

He was appointed to the board of the Innocence Project in 2018, and has released a Netflix Feature limited series called “When They See Us” based on the true story of the “Central Park Five” with Ava DuVernay, Oprah Winfrey and Robert De Niro, in May of 2019.

Major Speaker

Michael Drake

In August 2020, Michael V. Drake, M.D. was appointed as the 21st president of the University of California. He oversees UC’s world-renowned system of 10 campuses, five medical centers, three nationally affiliated labs, more than 280,000 students and 230,000 faculty and staff.

Drake previously served as president of The Ohio State University (OSU) from 2014 through June 2020. Prior to his six years at OSU, he served in several roles at the University of California including nine years as chancellor of UC Irvine and five years as the systemwide vice president for health affairs.

Drake received his A.B. from Stanford University, his M.D. and residency from UCSF, and his fellowship training in ophthalmology at UCSF and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary. He subsequently spent more than two decades on the faculty of the UCSF School of Medicine, ultimately as the Steven P. Shearing Professor of Ophthalmology.

During his years as chancellor at UC Irvine, the campus rose to join the top 10 public universities in U.S. News & World Report’s annual list and was ranked by Times Higher Education as the No. 1 university in the U.S. under 50 years old. During his tenure at the campus, the four-year graduation rate increased by more than 18 percent, while undergraduate enrollment and diversity increased significantly. In addition, Drake oversaw the establishment of highly ranked new schools of law and education as well as programs in public health, nursing and pharmacy. During his presidency at The Ohio State University, the campus saw serial records in applications, student diversity, graduation rates, fundraising, and faculty research.


Registration & Rates

All conference attendees must register for the conference. In order to attend the various institutes offered, attendees must be registered for the conference. Institute rates are listed below and are an additional cost to registration.  For registration questions, please contact naspawrc@naspa.org. 


Type - Conference Registration
NASPA Member  $50
Non-Member  $150
Student/Retiree  $25



Type - Institute
NUFP Institute (NUFP only) FREE - no additional cost, conference registration required
Graduate Student Institute $10
New Professionals Institute $15
Mid-Level Professionals Institute $15
Community College Professionals Institute $15
Assistant/Associate Vice President & Dean of Students (AVP/DOS) Institute $20
Senior Student Affairs Officer (SSAO) Institute $20

Conference Schedule

Tuesday, November 10, 2020 (Pre-Conference)
9:00am (PST) Silent Auction Opens
10:00am - 12:00pm (PST) Institutes Begin (NUFP, Graduate Student, New Professionlas, Mid-Level, & Community College)
10:00am - 12:00pm (PST) AVP Institute (AVP) Intro, Competencies, and AVP Panel
1:00pm - 2:30pm (PST) AVP Institute (AVP) Current Issues Focus: Leading, Supervising, and Budgeting
1:30pm - 3:30pm (PST) Institutes Continue (NUFP, Graduate Student, New Professionlas, Mid-Level, & Community College)
3:00pm - 5:30pm (PST) Senior Student Affairs Officers (SSAO) Session
4:00pm (PST) Awards Reception
TBA Associate/Assistant Vice President (AVP) Institute
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 (Veteran's Day)
All Day Silent Auction Opens
10:00am - 12:00am (PST) Senior Student Affairs Officers (SSAO) Session
3:00pm - 5:30pm (PST) Senior Student Affairs Officers (SSAO) Session
8:00pm (PST) Senior Student Affairs Officers (SSAO) Reception
Thursday, November 12, 2020
All Day Silent Auction Opens
10:00am - 11:30am (PST) Conference Opening & Featured Speaker Yusef Salaam
11:30am - 12:00pm (PST) Break
12:00pm - 12:50pm (PST) Concurrent Sessions #1 & SA Speaks #1
1:00pm - 1:50pm (PST) Concurrent Sessions #2
2:00pm - 2:50pm (PST) Break
2:00pm - 3:00pm (PST) (AVP) Supporting Mental Health & Staff Morale In Times of Crisis
2:00pm - 3:00pm (PST) Exhibitor/Sponsor Meet & Greet
2:00pm - 3:00pm (PST) Institutes Check-in
3:00pm - 3:50pm (PST)  Concurrent Sessions #3
4:00pm - 4:50pm (PST) Concurrent Sessions #4
5:00pm (PST) Featured Speaker: University of California President, Dr. Michael V. Drake
6:00pm (PST) Receptions
TBA Senior Student Affairs Officers (SSAO) Meeting
Friday, November 13, 2020
9:00am - 10:00am (PST) Institutes Check-in
9:00am - 10:30am (PST) (AVP) VP Panel: Digital Leaders as a SSAO
10:00am - 11:00am (PST) Concurrent Session #5
11:00am - 11:50am (PST) NASPA News featuring Dr. Angela Batista & Dr. Kevin Kruger
12:00pm (PST) Silent Auction Closes
12:00pm - 1:30pm (PST) Conference Closing & Panel of Presidents Featuring: Dr. Angelica Garcia, Dr. Maria Klawe, and Dr. Judy Sakaki

Featured Speakers

Exhibitors & Sponsors

As you are well aware, COVID19 has significantly transformed higher education and the business of delivering programs and services to our students. Most colleges and universities have recently moved to some form of a virtual or hybrid delivery model of curricular and co-curricular programs and services.

Recently the Governor of California provided COVID19 guidelines specifically outlining safe spatial distancing and facial covering protocols. Additionally, the BIG10 and PAC12 Conferences announced that their Fall 2020 Football seasons were canceled. With this being said, NASPA Regions 5 & 6, have collectively moved to offer the Western Regional Conference scheduled for November 10-13, 2020, in a completely virtual format.

In approximately three months thousands of Student Affairs professionals will log in to attend, from November 10-13, 2020, NASPA Western Regional first ever virtual Conference. It is the intention of the Western Regional Conference (WRC) Planning Committee to deliver a conference program that will enhance professional development opportunities while providing critical resources to campuses that will continue to operate during these unprecedented times.  As a professional colleague and thought partner, NASPA WRC, is looking for event sponsors and virtual exhibitors. 

By committing to be a sponsor at the Western Regional Conference, your company will benefit as follows:

  • Virtual engagement opportunities with attendees
  • The opportunity to sponsor a speaker or virtual event
  • Receive special name recognition at the opening of “your” speaker or sponsored virtual event
  • Have your company logo included on the Western Regional Conference website
  • Access to the key decision-makers from multiple western region colleges and universities
  • Increased visibility and exposure of your products and services 

Sponsors may also choose to virtually exhibit. There are also options to solely exhibit, and have an opportunity to share information about your organization with attendees.  We are currently exploring various virtual vendor engagement opportunities for our attendees.

Exhibitors and sponsors at specific levels receive conference registration(s). For more information regarding sponsorship and exhibiting please follow this link or click the button below: Sponsor/Exhibitor Registration Form

We are looking forward to our partnership! Should you have questions regarding sponsoring or exhibiting at WRC in November 2020, please do not hesitate to reach out to our conference committee members:

Conference Committee Members - Contact

Dr. Lea Jarnagin

Dr. Lea Jarnagin

Interim System-wide Director, Student Wellness & Basic Needs Initiatives, California State University Office of the Chancellor 


NASPA WRC 2020 Sponsorships Co-Chair

Dr. Jen Miller

Dr. Jen Miller

AVP/Dean of Students, Cal State LA


NASPA WRC 2020 Exhibits Chair

Dr. Greg Sawyer

Dr. Greg Sawyer

Vice President for Student Affairs, Sonoma State University


NASPA WRC 2020 Sponsorships Co-Chair

Register Online for NASPA Western Regional Conference

The theme of the 2020 NASPA Western Regional Conference is together towards tomorrow.

Register Online

Silent Auction

The Silent Auction Committee invites you to participate in our conference by donating to the 2020 NASPA Western Regional Conference Silent Auction. All auction proceeds will go to the NASPA Foundation and will go towards scholarships and support for research and programs for members. 


Donations can range from gift cards, trips/ getaways, experiences (e.g. a culinary tour of San Francisco), crafts, technology, art, school swag, wellness coaching, and academic support (e.g. dissertation coaching, editing services, etc.). Donating to the WRC Silent Auction is easy!  Please contact one of the following regional/area committee volunteers below who will assist you with your donation. Donation deadline is October 31, 2020.

Your donation will contribute to enhancing the success of current and future student affairs leaders and practitioners and higher educational scholars in NASPA. Thank you for your consideration.

Committee Members - Contact

NASPA Region V

Stacy Montgomery, Pepperdine University - stacy.montgomery@pepperdine.edu


Greg Toya, El Camino College (Hawai’i) – gtoya@elcamino.edu 

Deborah Miller-Calvert, Long Beach City College (Arizona) - dmiller-calvert@lbcc.edu

Stacy Montgomery, Pepperdine University (California) - stacy.montgomery@pepperdine.edu

Derek Vergara, Orange Coast College (California) – dvergara2@occ.cccd.edu


Sponsors & Exhibitors

Natalie Schonfeld, Coastline College - nschonfeld@coastline.edu

Additional Silent Auction Committee Members Available

Naomi Abesamis, Fullerton College - nabesamis@fullcoll.edu

Shannon Quihuiz, Orange Coast College - squihuiz@occ.cccd.edu

Jamie Kammerman, Orange Coast College – jkammerman@occ.cccd.edu


Join the NASPA Western Regional Conference Volunteer Team!

Join a dynamic team of volunteers who are committed to helping with program review, facilitation and support of workshops, and with promoting and marketing our first ever online Western Regional Conference. This is an exciting time to get involved as we embrace a new way to host #NASPAWRC20. Volunteers should expect an innovative way of delivering the content combined with opportunities for professional development, social connections, and networking. We look forward to you being part of the team!

Please sign up through Volunteer Central or this contact form. For any questions, please contact Katya Armistead at katya@ucsb.edu

Call for Programs

The NASPA Western Regional Conference Committee (November 10-13, 2020) is going virtual, so we are re-launching the call for program proposals. We invite and encourage you to submit a proposal for this new conference format, as our need for professional development and personal connection is as strong as ever.

Our conference theme, Together Towards Tomorrow, inspires us to interrogate the issues of our past and present as we imagine the possibilities of shaping a wonderful future. The conference committee understands the importance of moving forward collectively during this time defined by pandemic-related fears, continued racial and gender equity issues, environmental urgencies, and of course the national election scene, to name a few. Our work is more profound than ever, and as student affairs educators we must build on best practices to ensure inclusive, healthy campus and virtual spaces for all students to thrive.

Proposals will be evaluated based on relevance to the conference theme; connection to Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Educators; content, e.g. sound program planning with clear expectations and outcomes, grounded in research and practice, and engaging format; and adherence to program submission guidelines.

Call for Programs and SA Speaks has ended as of October 8, 2020. 



Types of Educational Sessions

General Interest Sessions

50-minute sessions should fall into ONE of the following categories: (1) Directly related to the conference theme and to the Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioners; (2) provide an opportunity to showcase programs, strategies, or interventions that have been successful on a particular campus; or (3) allow for discussion of current events, developing trends.


Note: If you are interested in being considered as a KC spotlighted General Interest Session, you will have the opportunity to indicate this on the application form.

Research Sessions

The format of the research sessions includes two research paper presentations, each to be read for not more than 15 minutes. A moderator/discussant will respond briefly followed by a Q&A from the audience. Accepted single research paper submissions will be placed together by co-chairs.

Poster Sessions

A poster session showcases research and/or institution programs and is held during a 50-minute concurrent session. Unlike a General Interest Session or Research Session, a poster session allows viewers to study and re-study your information and discuss it with you one-on-one. It combines text, images, and dialogue to create an interactive exchange of ideas between presenter and participant. As viewers walk by, your poster should quickly and efficiently communicate your topic.

SA Speaks Session

Student Affairs (SA) Speaks are 10-minute talks that offer Student Affairs professionals an opportunity to connect with one another through personal narratives and storytelling. This year, our hope is to have all members of our community (from NUFP fellows to SSAOs) invite us into their worlds by presenting on important topics and innovative ideas that will inspire us to move together towards tomorrow. The submission process for SA Speaks is a separate form from the general program proposals and requires both a written outline as well as "trailer" or snapshot of the full 10-minute talk. Click "Submit!" below to send in your proposal materials. For any specific questions, please contact SA Speaks Chair, Nancy Nguyen at nancy.t.nguyen01@sjsu.edu.  

Pre-Conference Program and Events



NUFP (NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program) Institute

If you are a NASPA Undergraduate Fellow, start your conference experience here! The NUFP Institute takes place over two days starting on Nov 10. To honor our conference theme, our cohort will build bridges to professional practices and skills, create connections to each other and participants in the other institutes, and support you in identifying next steps to your academic and professional goals. The institute will also introduce you to current and diverse Student Affairs practitioners, many of whom are NUFP alumni and friends, who will share their wisdom and coach you through your institute experience. Register early to secure your spot!

NOTE: Your status as a NUFP Fellow does not guarantee you a spot in this pre-conference institute. You must register to participate and be a current NASPA Undergraduate Fellow.



Felipe Martinez  — University of Washington, Seattle
Danielle Quinones-Ortega — UC Santa Barbara

Graduate Students Institute

Graduate student experiences offer invaluable lessons for navigating your Student Affairs journey; however, transforming those lessons into leadership foundations for higher education requires intentionality. From thinking about challenges facing Student Affairs leaders to planning your professional pathways, this pre-conference is designed to support your journey while addressing how to balance academics, career interests, and life beyond the profession



Chris Hutchison - Chapman University 

New Professionals Institute

The New Professionals Institute provides a forum for NASPA members with less than three years of experience to address the knowledge and skills they desire as they engage in the duties of student affairs administration. As a new professional, you are uniquely positioned to bridge the emerging needs of students and supporting the administrative evolution toward addressing these challenges. The Institute is offered in conjunction with the NASPA Western Regional Conference which allows you to build your professional network within regions V and VI. In addition, the Institute will feature the following topics:

  • Finding your place within your organization

  • Student affairs career planning and positioning for purposeful growth

  • Strategies for effective networking

  • Pathways for professional development

  • Trends in student affairs administration

  • Understanding campus cultures — external and internal influences



Leslie Opulauoho - University of Hawai'i, West O'ahu 

Mid-Level Professionals Institute

Mid-level professionals are some of the most influential forces on campus. In pivotal positions, they serve students directly while promoting the learning, growth, and development of their staff. As managers, they provide critical insight and perspective to senior administrators and bridge the gap between Academic and Student Affairs. In appreciation of the varied roles mid-level professionals play, the MLI provides focused learning and a valuable networking opportunity. Developed for those in a managerial position with professional staff supervision and development responsibilities, the MLI curriculum offers a space to learn from senior student affairs officers and the opportunity to share cross-sector collaboration techniques and approaches. Join us for critical reflection as we consider best practices and emerging trends while discussing job satisfaction and professional development.



Marcus A. Rodriguez — Occidental College


Community College Professionals Institute

The Community College Institute provides a forum designed for and by NASPA community college members.  The institute is designed to build networking opportunities, actively engage in understanding in the context and role of community college in America, and discuss the ways in which our work contributes to student success in higher education.  The institute is offered in conjunction with the 2020 NASPA Western Regional Conference, which allows you to build your professional network with others at community colleges in regions V and VI.


Tentative Agenda*

November 10, 2020

10:00am-12:00pm: Institute Presentations

1:00pm-4:00 pm: Institute Presentations


Candida Darling, Senior Director for Implementation and Planning, Salt Lake Community College

Dr. Cynthia Olivo, Assistant Superintendent/Vice President, Student Services, Pasadena City College


November 11, 2020

No events scheduled


November 12, 2020

2:00pm-3:00pm Community College Institute Participant Check in


November 13, 2020

9:00am-10:00am Community College Institute Participant Check in & Debrief

 *Agenda and presenters are subject to change.



Isaac A. Rodriguez Lupercio - Santa Monica College

Assistant/Associate Vice President and Dean of Students (AVP/DOS) Institute

The Assistant Vice President/Dean of Students (AVP/DOS) Institute guides individuals who currently serve in a supporting role, or “number two,” to the institution’s highest-ranking student affairs officer. The institute engages participants in career networking, discussions about current national topics and how it impacts our work, best practices in supporting a senior student affairs officer, and visioning and reflecting around excelling in this role.



Clint-Michael Reneau - CSU Fullerton

Senior Student Affairs Officers (SSAO) Institute

Senior Student Affairs Officers Institute:  Last Lectures From Our Best and Brightest

The 2020 Senior Student Affairs Officers (SSAO) Institute will feature Last Lectures delivered by some of the most respected colleagues in our regions.  These well-regarded practitioners will share reflections for what would theoretically be the very last presentation in their illustrious careers. The Institute is structured to provide meaningful opportunities for dialog among the attendees about the issues raised by each of the lecturers.  These discussions will provide an opportunity to further engage the presenters while also benefiting from the wisdom of fellow SSAO participants. We will have rich conversations about our shared challenges, unique perspectives, and possible responses relative to the topics and themes highlighted by our invited speakers. 

Note:  The Institute is designed for the most senior student affairs officer on campus.

Prominent Speakers include:

Deneece Huftalin President, Salt Lake Community College
Les Cook Chancellor, Montana Tech
Larry Roper Professor, Oregon State
Shannon Ellis Vice President for Student Services, University of Nevada, Reno
Mike Munoz Vice President for Student Services, Long Beach City College
Janet Smith Dickerson Vice President for Student Affairs, The Claremont College Services


Learn more about our speakers here!


Mike Segawa - Pitzer College


We recognize that this has been an extremely challenging time on all of our campuses. The impacts of COVID-19, the deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement, and the elimination of transgender non-discrimination protections in health care have had devastating effects on us and members of our communities. It is with all of these critical issues and so much more in mind that we have decided to move forward and provide an opportunity to nominate, celebrate, and honor NASPA Region V & VI colleagues and programs that have supported students, uplifted programs, and created positive change on our campuses and in our communities.
To support our efforts to honor individuals and programs through our regional awards, please consider nominating a Region V or Region VI colleague or program. Regional award winners will be forwarded for consideration at the national awards level, as applicable. 
A full description of all awards and a list of past recipients is available below! Please consider taking time today to nominate an individual and/or program for the difference they have made in your life and the lives of the students we serve!