I am honored and excited to be considered for the NASPA Board Chair-elect role. This year has been challenging for our profession, from the personal and professional impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to the social and racial justice issues that have impacted our students, campuses, and society. Higher education needs student affairs professionals and faculty to reimagine a post-pandemic reality and effectively address community inequities. NASPA has a responsibility to adapt to emerging social and economic realities to serve its members better.
Over 26 years ago, I attended my first NASPA conference as an undergraduate. Colleagues nurtured my development with their scholarship, mentorship, and service. Since then, NASPA has kept me inspired to better support students. Spending most of my career in Region 1, my regional volunteerism centered on working as a state director, knowledge community chair, and conference presenter.
I have witnessed the beauty and challenge of our profession working at institutions of various sizes and missions. My career inspires me to identify multiple entry points into our association's work and future. Being a vice president for student affairs, dean of enrollment management, and chief diversity officer has helped me understand the nuances of running complex organizations, especially during challenging times.
I have volunteered for several roles at the national level to support our colleagues' development and elevate excellence within our profession. For example, I helped revise the ACPA-NASPA Professional Competencies. As part of this, our committee made social justice and inclusion more prominent in our work. This foundation is as critical today as it has ever been. Also, I co-edited a book on AVP leadership and served as a faculty member for four AVP Institutes. These opportunities enabled me to pay forward the commitment NASPA mentors have had in supporting previous generations. Chairing the 2019 and 2020 NASPA's Annual Conference Leadership Committees, I worked with members to provide physical and virtual forums to educate, facilitate essential exchanges, and provide opportunities for members to teach and learn.
Being selected Board Chair-elect would enable me to take my volunteerism in an exciting direction. We must leverage our collective intellect to secure our association's future and support members. Working with volunteers, we will deliver on our association's promise to be the leading voice of student affairs. COVID-19 will continue to cause practitioners to redefine the field. NASPA should also re-examine its practices and services to address increasingly complex pressures. NASPA's Guiding Principles and strategic plan are guideposts. The following three words and leadership questions will be central to my work with the membership:
Collaboration—NASPA needs to enhance its role as a respected resource for our profession. NASPA can support members more profoundly and nimbly by seeking out partners to increase our influence on the changing higher education landscape. This effort is more important than ever, given the financial impacts of the past ten months. Leadership Question: What strategic partners should NASPA collaborate with to result in synergistic outcomes for our members?
Excellence—NASPA needs to continue as a promoter of emerging and best practices and research through its engagement opportunities. NASPA should be responsive to our members' changing financial and work landscapes to broaden services to be more diverse and inclusive. We should share innovation on our campuses beyond their current audiences and formats. Leadership Question: How should NASPA amplify its members' practice and research to ensure accessibility and utility?
Leadership—NASPA needs to continue as a driving force in its advocacy for student success. As demonstrated on campuses across higher education, defining and achieving student success has expanded to institution-wide conversations. Our members should be supported in their efforts to drive change. NASPA should support members' efforts to be influential leaders by providing timely resources and services. Leadership Question: How should NASPA offer services to help members be better prepared to lead in their contexts and elevate student affairs?
I will work tirelessly with my colleagues in NASPA and across our field to best position student affairs to serve students in this changing and uncertain higher education landscape. I am confident that we will adapt and evolve to serve our students. Thank you for considering my candidacy for the 2021-2022 Board Chair-elect.