Candidate Statement I owe a huge part of my professional life to the supportive and dynamic colleagues I’ve met through NASPA and this great profession. It is such an honor to serve as a candidate for the NASPA Board of Directors Chair-elect, and I am excited about the opportunity to give back to this incredible organization in a meaningful and enduring way. I want to focus energies on helping others who are entering or progressing through this noble profession to connect with one another and synergize in a manner that lasts them a lifetime. As I enter my 31st year in student affairs, I bring experiences from multiple universities and organizations to this position, but I am also eager to learn more from each of you. I want to take this opportunity to thank you for all you do for college student success and making your campuses special and empowering spaces for our community!
I’ve been engaged with NASPA over the years in various volunteer capacities, and I found my passion in helping our organization internationalize. The limited research on international student affairs and services indicates that social justice and inclusion (SJI) is indeed a global cross-cutting tenant of our work; we can use this grounding in domestic SJI to expand our intercultural competencies as a field to propel us into the future. The future of higher education and student affairs is global, and there is so much for us to learn from others!
A breadth of information and experiences have led me to some broad concepts that I would like to focus on if elected as Chair-elect of NASPA:
Become a “Glocal” Organization: (Global Action & Intent, Local Impact & Benefit) In all of our work, it is important to consider our global context and impact on pressing issues while acting locally to build cultural competency within our communities. It is essential for us to provide culturally appropriate programs, services, and resources to all members, including those whose cultural perspectives may be different than our own. Active advocacy on issues and policies impacting us individually, as well as leveraging global impact, is required. For example, see the United Nations Sustainable Development Initiatives? Let’s role model how dedicated individuals can work together across boundaries to solve big issues.
Expand programs and services that engage younger/newer professionals NASPA must continue to understand the issues facing newer professionals and provide relevant education and programming targeted to their needs. This is a critical aspect of NASPA’s continued growth and development, and is essential to ensure positive growth experiences and professional longevity. We can stem attrition from the field, diversify our profession, and provide logical employment pathways, all while delivering life and career enriching educational and networking experiences for newer professionals.
Focus on policy issues that support safe and welcoming campus communities There are serious issues in our country (and our world). Student affairs is a powerful force in embracing and modeling behaviors and actions that can replace hate and indignity. We serve to bring a voice to our students on the national and international stage. This focus includes bringing attention to, and providing tools and education to help eliminate the historical achievement gap that continues to plague American higher education, support the ethical use of data, mental wellbeing initiatives, and many other critical student issues that allow us to serve a rapidly changing student demographic.
I have had the opportunity to see the great work that we do each and every day in student affairs through individual interactions with students and professionals, through teaching in higher education and student affairs administration programs, and through publishing dozens of articles, chapters, and books on student affairs. I believe the key elements to a successful professional association include listening to members and working collaboratively toward innovative solutions. During the three years of service by the Chair, I can assure you that I will personally, and with other leaders in the association, do both of these. I would be honored to represent you as Chair-elect of the NASPA Board of Directors and give back to this great association that has helped me so much over the years.