Michael Wade Headshot

Michael Wade

Orientation, Transition, and Retention KC Chair-Elect

Associate Director for Diversity, Access and Inclusion, Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University of South Carolina

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Candidate Statement

Greetings NASPA members! My name is Michael Wade and I humbly submit my name to serve as your Chair for the Orientation, Transition and Retention Knowledge Community (OTR KC)! As a member of NASPA since 2014, I have enjoyed being a part of a dedicated entity that has evolved, and intentionally created space for student affairs administrators from diverse backgrounds to connect, create community, and to develop through the sharing of knowledge. I am confident that my experiences in student affairs thus far, more specifically with college access, retention and multicultural student development makes me a good fit for this exciting opportunity within our organization.

Professionally over the past 14 years, I have served and continue to serve in roles where student success is a primary focus of my work, student transitions and retention are areas that I have developed a passion and commitment towards. While at Ferris State University I was able to provide influence and direction with our multicultural student outreach and development efforts, cultural programming and university-wide strategic development. Additionally, I was fortunate to serve on several committees and appointed to task forces that included the university’s Diversity and Inclusion Plan steering committees, the most recent University Strategic Planning workgroup, as well as our Higher Learning Commission Accreditation workgroup to name a few. Furthermore, in my current role with the University of South Carolina, I serve in a capacity that allows me to lead our efforts that recruits freshman and transfer students of diverse backgrounds that are seeking a rewarding, diverse and inclusive undergraduate experience. In addition to being a part of our enrollment leadership team that shapes our strategic diversity recruitment planning efforts, I provide training for faculty and staff, as well as maintain key relationships with campus partners and community members to ensure that our students are afforded an authentically welcoming and supportive environment, within which they can see themselves successfully thriving. 

I would humbly serve the OTR KC and provide its members the direction and support for collaborative success. Cultivating partnerships for positive systemic change is an area that has driven me forward recently, and I believe it is necessary if we are going to meet the ever-changing needs of our prospective and admitted college students. The OTR KC values of education and knowledge, inclusion and community, collaboration and support are values I have supported for years and continue to be an advocate for. Additionally, being exposed to research, best-practices and trends I feel helps to inform us all on the capacity we must possess and direction we must go to support students of diverse backgrounds. With the OTC KC, I hope to continue the vision and great work that has been established, as well as contribute tools, techniques and intellectual information to help the community enhance. 

NASPA provides many diverse communities for professional development, a sense of belonging and support for student affairs professionals of diverse backgrounds, as well as the inspiration for many to become agents of change for our institutions. My experiences and skill set have equipped me with a solid foundation for consideration for this outstanding position with NASPA, and I would be honored to serve and to contribute to this community. Thank you for your consideration!