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How Can You Make an Impact for Womxn in Student Affairs?

Womxn in Student Affairs
September 27, 2021 Shelly Sawalich Logan University

Like me, your choice of career in Student Affairs may be related to your desire to make an impact on others.  Perhaps you had that special person or persons that made an impact on your time in college and inspired you to do the same?  Maybe since then, you’ve had supportive supervisors or peers that have made a difference in how you do your job or even how you feel about your calling into Student Affairs.  These relationships can be so important to our growth and wellbeing.  

I remember in my first Student Affairs role as a chapter consultant for Sigma Kappa Sorority, we were mid-way through the year, and as our leaders trained and prepared us for the last half of our year in the role, they also talked with us about making plans for what was to come next. Everyone else had plans, career goals, a next step in growing up, but I was clueless.  The stress of the situation gave way to tears as I met one-on-one with my Director, Lisa Holliday.  She listened…and with care smiled and told me that it was clear to her that I was a Student Affairs professional and she wondered why it wasn’t clear to me.  She could see something in me that I wasn’t able to see yet and her guidance, support , and leadership led me to the career that I love.     

For me, I’ve been lucky enough to have so many womxn that have supported, guided, advised, and mentored me throughout the years.  Each one has left an impact on me and the way that I build relationships and support students.  Some were role models, some supervisors, and many were colleagues that became friends.  I hope that I was able to show my thanks and encouragement to them along the way too.    

In this spirit, WISA has a way for you to make a dual impact on others.  Next week is our WISA Week of Giving 2021.  This week-long social media campaign the week of October 4th will give you an opportunity to donate AND recognize womxn in the field of Student Affairs that have impacted you for the better.  Those womxn who made a difference in your life, we want you to give to the WISA Special Interest Fund to share their impact with the NASPA community.  With your gift in recognition, we will reach out to the womxn in whose honor you make a gift.  Moreso, this gift will continue to make an impact by providing financial support to our colleagues nationally toward access grants and research and scholarship awards.  These gifts drive the purpose of WISA, giving voice to the intersectional needs of people who identify as womxn in student affairs, addressing issues of gender equity and providing opportunities for professional development and relationship-building among members.

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. We cannot fund these grants without you! Follow us on social media and stay tuned to hear more about our WISA Week of Giving. Any questions regarding your gifts or the week, please contact Savannah Lockman ([email protected]) or Dr. Shelley Sawalich ([email protected]), WISA Advancement Co-Chairs.



Shelley Sawalich, PhD (she, her, hers) 

Associate Provost & Dean of Students

Logan University