Preston Reilly Headshot

Dr. Preston Reilly

Orientation, Transition, and Retention KC Chair-Elect

Project Manager, Dean of Students Office
Old Dominion University


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Joint Candidate Statement


Statement of Philosophy and Purpose

Experience, passion, motivation, and commitment – these are just a few of the necessary qualities needed to serve as a Co-Chair of the OTR KC. You can be assured that both of us, Michael Baumhardt and Preston Reilly, have these skills and many more attributes to offer. Through our varied involvement in NASPA and other professional associations, we understand the time and energy that this position requires. We are excited for the opportunity to continue to serve our profession, especially during this critical period in higher education.

Both of us have been fortunate to find a professional home in NASPA on national, regional, and Knowledge Community levels throughout the past decade. Michael has served as the Student Leadership Programs KC Co-Chair in the past and is currently serving as the OTR KC Member Engagement Coordinator. Preston has held leadership roles in various NASPA institutes, conferences, and symposiums, with the most recent being the Mid-Managers Institute. We are confident we have the skills and knowledge to work with our colleagues on the OTR KC Board.

Throughout our past decade of working together in higher education, Michael and Preston collectively bring high level experiences in orientation, transition, and retention. In addition, our work around assessment, program development, student support, and family engagement will allow us to help strategically shape the future of the OTR KC.

Detailed below are the goals that we have set forth during the time that we would serve as Co-Chairs. We recognize that this is not an all-inclusive list, as it is important for us to gather goals from the KC Leadership Team and KC Members. 

Our philosophy is heavily grounded upon the Mission Statement of the OTR KC. The purpose statement reads: “The Orientation, Transition and Retention Knowledge Community (OTR KC) is a conduit for student affairs professionals with a vested interest in orientation, transition and retention programming, research, and services. The OTR KC will provide opportunities to share resources, knowledge, and research to enhance the field and attain best practices in orientation, transition and retention programming.”

With higher education’s upcoming enrollment cliff looming in the near future, we believe that orientation, transition, and retention need to be a part of every higher education professional’s responsibility. In order to meet the needs of the changing demographics of our students, we must recognize the collective pursuit that all faculty and staff must embrace. We believe that bridging the gap between research and practice can help shape this partnership. As Co-Chairs, we will reach out to all functional areas , while striving to build partnerships both within and outside of NASPA to leverage best practices and provide innovative resources to prepare members to best serve their students. As a profession, we need to begin looking at our future post COVID-19. Michael and Preston believe leveraging NASPA’s guiding principles of integrity, inclusion, innovation, and inquiry will provide a foundation as we impact the future of our campuses.

Thank you for taking the time to read our philosophy, purpose, and goals as you consider us for Co-Chairs for the OTR KC. We promise you that with our previous experience, passion, and motivation, we will lead this KC to provide great services and resources for you and our colleagues.