The NASPA WISA Knowledge Community Special Interest Fund was created in 2017 to benefit research on womxn’s issues and promote professional development access for members. Since that time, there have been multiple recipients of grants that have funded research initiatives and conference attendance. Please view our “Why I Give to WISA” photos to learn why donors choose to target their contributions toward this fund, and read the testimonials below to learn more about how these grants have impacted some of the recipients.
During 2019-2020, we will be funding four grants:
One full NASPA Member Annual Conference Registration (valued at $515)
Two full NASPA Student/NUFP Annual Conference Registrations (valued at $205 each)
One Research Grant of $350
We cannot fund these grants without you! You can donate using this One Time Gift Form and choosing KC – Women in Student Affairs in the Gift Designation. Any amount would be beneficial. Even giving $10 would make a difference. You are welcome to email WISA Advancement Co-Chairs Heather Brake (email@example.com) and Kristen Sullivan (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have any questions.
Why I Give to WISA:
What are you currently doing in Higher Ed?
Currently serving as Associate Dean of the College, working in academic affairs overseeing our student success network (study abroad and away, community engagement, academic advising, academic integrity, the writing center, academic support, student accessibility services and prestigious fellowships and scholarships).
How did your receipt of the Professional Development Access Grant impact your professional development?
I used the funds to attend the NASPA Annual conference in 2018. This was an especially important year for my professional development as it helped me make the transition from student affairs to academic affairs. It was at this NASPA conference that I presented a session on how academic affairs and student affairs could collaborate for creating more inclusive classrooms and ultimately increase student success for historically underrepresented populations. My ability to attend this conference with the Access Grant, enabled me to develop key expertise in how skills and knowledge in student affairs work in tandem with the strategic initiatives in academic affairs.
What does WISA mean to you?
For me WISA means that as a field, we acknowledge that there is more to be done to create equity for women identified folks in student affairs. In higher education, we see that the leadership and key decision makers are men, and often white identified men. WISA presents an opportunity for us to acknowledge this inequity and a platform of action to combat it.
Why should folks donate to the WISA Special Interest Fund?
Many persons work at institutions with limited resources or at institutions that do not value professional development in student affairs. It is key that we have resources available in the Special interest Fund that will afford folks an opportunity to network, but also learn about ways in which they can be more effective and efficient in their current roles.
I began my PhD in Higher Education & Organizational Change at the University of California, Los Angeles in fall 2018. Previously to beginning my doctoral program, I had been working in student affairs at the University of California, Irvine (UCI) in the Cross-Cultural Center and the Campus Assault Resources & Education Office. My research interests stem from my professional experiences in student affairs and include exploring issues of campus sexual assault using power-conscious frameworks and the understanding the experiences of women of color student affairs professionals. As a new PhD student last year, I struggled with the transition from practitioner to doctoral student. As my program focuses more broadly on higher education, I found myself missing my student affairs world. I was excited to attend the NASPA 2019 Annual Conference for the chance to reconnect with colleagues and be immersed in student affairs.
The WISA Professional Development Access Grant supported my registration costs for the NASPA 2019 Annual Conference. The conference was an amazing opportunity for me in so many ways. I presented a session with a former colleague and two student interns (who are also NUFPees) from UCI’s Cross-Cultural Center. The session focused on the programs, seminars, and initiatives we had implemented focusing on cultural wellness and politicizing healing. While it was exciting to share our work with the broader student affairs community, I was most excited about being able to support our students to present at their first national conference and see their incredible work being recognized. I was also able to attend the Doctoral Seminar before the conference began, which helped me feel validated and affirmed in my decision to pursue a PhD. I was able to connect with potential mentors and other doctoral students from around the country. During the conference, I had a reunion with my cohort-mates from my Master’s in Student Affairs Administration program at Michigan State University that were also in attendance. It is always inspiring and fulfilling to connect with my cohort and this was no exception!
In addition to the opportunity to attend the conference, WISA has provided me with a space to explore critical issues impacting women in student affairs and has allowed me to meet incredible professionals from around the country. I sincerely appreciated the opportunity to attend the annual conference, present and mentor students, connect with colleagues, and return to my home in student affairs.