Less than a week ago I was in Anaheim, California for NASPA Region VI Advisory Board and NASPA Western Regional Conference meetings. It was a busy four days filled with student affairs colleagues, meaningful conversations, and productive work for the region! I feel #soblessed to be a part of this #NASPAfamily. I never imagined that getting involved with NASPA 10-years ago would have brought me to this place of reflective and rewarding work with some amazing student affairs colleagues in the Western region.
Getting involved with a professional organization started with my mentor, Zauyah Waite, who suggested that I become a member of one of the professional associations for student affairs professionals. I joined NASPA because she was a member and we took a road trip as a staff to the annual conference in Denver, CO. That is where I discovered Knowledge Communities (KCs) and joined the Asian Pacific Islander KC. This was my first experience of a #NASPAfamily.
The next year, I was nominated and won a regional award which brought me to Fargo, ND for the NASPA IV-West regional conference. I volunteered at this conference and met my #NASPAnerd mentor, Sherry Mallory. It was there that I also met Prakash Mathew who served as the Regional Vice President and was looking to fill some open advisory board positions. I put my name in the hat to serve as the Graduate Student Representative on the board. Within a month, I was asked to fill this position (thanks to a recommendation from another mentor, Lori Reesor) and this started the road to many service positions on regional and national boards and committees of NASPA. Thanks to Henry Gee for allowing me to build a social media presence for #nasparvi to engage members online…this work has been so rewarding and allowed me to work with the amazing Ashlea Wilson.
To tell you all about my involvement over the years would make this blog much longer than it needs to be…but no matter what the position or opportunity that I have been blessed to experience, the tie that binds is the feeling of family that I get from being part of this organization that keeps me serving this association and the student affairs profession. From drive-ins to publishing in a NASPA monograph, this professional association has been a part of my student affairs journey for a decade.
If I could give an aspiring student affairs professional (or even a seasoned one) any advice about NASPA, it would be:
Get involved. Volunteer. Submit a Program Proposal. Serve on a Board. Mentor a NUFP. Read Program Submissions. Attend a Conference. Join a Knowledge Community. Read NASPA Publications. Attend the Business Meetings. Donate to the NASPA Foundation. Present a Workshop. Connect with NASPA through Social Media. Say “Yes!” Apply for a Research Grant. Write an Article for the Newsletter.
Take full advantage of what the association has to offer. Be a #NASPAnerd.
NASPA has been my professional family for many years and there is always room for this family to grow! Ask me how you can become a #NASPAnerd!