Caitlyn Zang Headshot

Caitlyn Zang

Region VI Director-Elect

Director, Student Engagement for the Edson College of Nursing and Health Innovation
Arizona State University


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Candidate Statement

It is with great joy and enthusiasm to have the opportunity to apply for this role. I believe this region is at the forefront of transformative work within higher education, and we have the ability to be extraordinary leaders and truly change the landscape of our profession. 

Over the last 13 years, I have considered NASPA Region VI home and family. It has been the place where I began my pathway into this work as a college student and throughout my professional career. This region has given me the distinct privilege of experiencing this profession from all sectors, learning about different institution types, engaging with faculty and staff, and most importantly building connections with students. 

I am still developing as a leader and finding effective ways to serve our community, I feel that I am ready to take this next step within the region. My role on the regional board has been integral to my development and has prepared me to take on this phenomenal opportunity. 

My leadership philosophy is that of a holistic practitioner in which I lead: 

I seek opportunities in which I can practice my ability to critically think through a challenge and then implement a solution. As an analytical thinker and person who thrives on seeking challenges and offering solutions, I lead from the head at the core of my leadership style. I believe in the mission and charter of NASPA. It is important to know the why behind the work we are accomplishing, thus allowing me to be an effective follower and leader. 

Strategic thinking has been at the core of how I connect and lead people. However, I recognize that my heart is what keeps me connected to those around me. I strongly believe that a leader must develop their own style of empathy that aligns with who they are and fits the group they are leading. My heart leads from my want and desire to make college a place in which students can grow and develop into strong leaders themselves. By keeping the idea that each member of my team has the potential for greatness, I have found my heart for leading others. 

I am constantly driven to seek new innovative ways to address the challenges found in higher education. The need to challenge the status quo helps drive my passion and desire to lead others. We are facing unprecedented and turbulent times and challenging the status quo is part of this work. Leadership in higher education must also work to address inequities and barriers students from marginalized backgrounds endure every day. I strongly believe that my passion for helping to create a positive learning environment for students is deeply rooted in my soul. I am confident when higher education addresses the personal, professional, and identity development of students, the collegiate experience is transformational and can create new pathways for students, and practitioners who are committed to their own learning and development. 

A few of my goals would be: 

  • Cultivate, within our membership, a desire to continually learn new and innovative approaches to serving students and our institutions. I will strive to seek creative solutions to address the concerns you find on a daily basis within the work you do. I hope to provide new opportunities for members to learn innovative approaches in the work we do every day. 
  • Understand the challenges our members face within their role on campus. By connecting with our members and synthesizing each member’s experiences, I hope to create a long-lasting strategic plan that best serves the members of our region and sub-region/states. 
  • Innovation is critical to the success of our profession over these next few years, and what better way to achieve this than incorporating it into the goals of a new RD. Change is difficult, but now is the perfect opportunity to go back to our roots as learners and seek creative ways to approach the work we do. 

Thank you for allowing me to share more about who I am as a leader and what I hope to accomplish as a leader in the region. It is because of you, I have a desire to lead our profession to new opportunities.