NASPA Online Learning Community

Careers in Student Affairs Month

Every October, NASPA celebrates the profession of student affairs. Through this month-long celebration, the NASPA community comes together to share their knowledge, network, and uplift the student affairs profession. On behalf of the NASPA staff, enjoy the fantastic content below, focusing on talent management and professional career development, at no cost to members and non-members through November 2024. 


CSAM Overview

Careers in Student Affairs (CSAM) is a month-long initiative each October. CSAM is dedicated to celebrating a career in student affairs, education, awareness of the profession, and engagement with professional associations and peers in the field. More directly, the goals of Careers in Student Affairs Month are to:

  • Celebrate the field of student affairs through opportunities to reflect on individual journeys and experiences
  • Provide professional development for student affairs administrators in higher education
  • Encourage and promote the profession to grow the field of student affairs
  • Cultivate spaces for dialogue related to pertinent topics within student affairs

The 2023 State of Student Affairs Recording

Join NASPA President Dr. Kevin Kruger and NASPA Board Chair Dr. Chicora Martin for a discussion on the current state of the student affairs field as well as the future of the field from the perspective of association leadership. 


2024 CSAM On-demand Recordings

  • Recorded On: 10/09/2023

    Vice President Naomi Sigg and Assistant Vice President Ali Martin Scoufield will share their perspectives on supporting student affairs staff during times of change and transition in higher education. Facing legislative changes, enrollment declines, values realignment, and differing student expectations – the student affairs field continues to evolve. The ability to either manage change or adapt to change has become critical in our work. This webinar will highlight ways divisional leadership can ensure staff are included in decision-making, feel supported amidst a shifting landscape, and are comfortable being their authentic selves in the workplace. With leadership experiences at various institutions and institution types, the presenters hope to inspire, motivate, support, and, most importantly, advocate for student affairs professionals' incredible work.

    Ali Martin (Moderator)

    Assistant Vice President for Campus Engagement and Dean of Students

    Cleveland State University

    Ali Martin Scoufield (she/her) cares about students. Throughout nearly twenty years working in higher education, she has prioritized the student experience, student safety, and student belonging. She is continuing that work as the Assistant Vice President for Campus Engagement and Dean of Students at Cleveland State University (CSU), overseeing CARE Management, Center for Campus Engagement, Community Standards & Advocacy, Counseling Center, Food Pantry & Resource Center, Health Services, Office of Disability and Testing Services, and Student Wellness. With a team of incredible colleagues, Ali hopes to support students in achieving their academic goals while prioritizing health, wellness, and identity. 

    Ali holds a BA in History from Western New England University, an MS in College Student Personnel from Miami University, and a MLS in Human Rights and Social Justice from Southern Methodist University. She is in the final year of her doctorate program, completing her Ph.D. in Urban Education Policy at CSU, focusing on inclusion and access for disabled students.


    Ali has worked in various functional areas, including residence life and housing, assessment, equity, Title IX, volunteer programs and alternative breaks, leadership, and community standards. Ali is an avid reader and bookstagramer (@spongebooksquarepants), traveler, and passionate about community service. She is a long-term volunteer supporting food access and the Girl Scouts.

    Naomi Sigg

    Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging

    John Carroll University

    Naomi Sigg is the Vice President for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging at John Carroll University. She oversees the Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion (CSDI), Student Accessibility Services, the Office of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, Title IX initiatives, and faculty and staff DEIB education, development, and programming. During her first year at John Carroll, she taught Asian American History for the Honors Programs. Naomi has more than 15 years of progressive experience in higher education, specializing in DEIB, leadership, and student development. Most recently, she served as senior associate dean of students and director of Multicultural Affairs at Case Western Reserve University. Naomi has been invited to share her expertise in the DEIB field through presentations at various conferences, including the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity, the International Conference on Conflict Resolution and Education, the National Association for Campus Activities, and the National Orientation Directors Association. In addition to her work at higher education institutions, Naomi also served as the executive director for the Midwest Asian American Students Union, is currently on the Equity Committee for the District of Twinsburg Schools, is a board member for a new non-profit to support veterans and their families, and serves as a mentor for College Now. Naomi received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She is a proud, first-generation Filipina immigrant mom and lives in northeast Ohio with her partner and three children.

    Vice President Naomi Sigg and Assistant Vice President Ali Martin Scoufield will share their perspectives on supporting student affairs staff during times of change and transition in higher education. Facing legislative changes, enrollment declines, values realignment, and differing student expectations – the student affairs field continues to evolve. The ability to either manage change or adapt to change has become critical in our work. This webinar will highlight ways divisional leadership can ensure staff are included in decision-making, feel supported amidst a shifting landscape, and are comfortable being their authentic selves in the workplace. With leadership experiences at a variety of institutions and institution types, the presenters hope to inspire, motivate, support, and most importantly advocate for the incredible work student affairs professionals do.

  • Recorded On: 10/16/2023

    This professional development session is designed to give practitioners the opportunity to discuss a model for approaching job searching as a intentional professional development vs. a one-time, sporadic task. Attendees will discuss strategies for building a professional portfolio to tell establish a brand a story, marketing yourself, and managing a job search.

    D’Najah Pendergrass Thomas (She/Her)

    Director of Placement Exchange

    NASPA

    D’Najah Pendergrass Thomas (She/Her) is a practitioner whose work is centered around organizational behavior with a focus on recruitment, professional development, and career advancement. Committed to helping organizations and communities bring about transformational change in these areas, she currently serves as director of The Placement Exchange (TPE) - a partnership of ACUHO-I and NASPA, in collaboration with NACA, NODA, ASCA, and AFA. 

    This professional development session is designed to allow practitioners to discuss a model for approaching job searching as an intentional professional development vs. a one-time, sporadic task. Attendees will discuss strategies for building a professional portfolio to establish a brand story, marketing themselves, and managing a job search. 

  • Recorded On: 10/16/2023

    Ever wonder what to expect at each professional level of your career? Are you considering applying for a new position soon and wondering what you should consider or what ways you can better prepare yourself for a promotion? Join some NASPA volunteer leaders as they discuss their journeys and advice for navigating the field of student affairs across your career lifespan and ways you can prepare to level up!

    Benjamin Williams, CSAEd

    Assistant Dean of Students

    Miami University


    Benjamin M. Williams is the Assistant Dean of Students at Miami University, where he oversees restorative practices in conduct and Title IX cases, outreach for the Office of the Dean of Students, manages Campus Climate Concerns and supports students in crisis. Prior to this role, he worked in higher education for ten years and most recently served as a Development Officer and the Director of Student Orientation & Family Engagement at Georgia State University. He completed his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Georgia State University, his Master of Science in Student Affairs in Higher Education at Miami University, and is completing his Ph.D. in Education Policy Studies at Georgia State University, studying sense of belonging and campus ecology.

    Outside of his professional work, he volunteers with a variety of organizations, including NASPA as a member foundation the Board of Directors and the Co-Chair of the Mid-Level Administrator Steering Committee, Board of Directors for Equality Ohio, and on the Board of Visitors for the College of Arts & Sciences at Georgia State University.

    Leonard Brown

    Vice President for Students Affairs

    Norfolk State University

    Dr. Leonard Brown Jr. serves as the Vice President for Students Affairs at Norfolk State University and has been in the position since July 2020. His responsibilities broadly include the out-of-class experience for all graduate and undergraduate students. The Division of Student Affairs portfolio includes Housing and Residential Life, Student Activities and Leadership, Campus Life and Diversity, The Dean of Students Office, Military Services, Student Support Services, Accessibility Services and International Student Services, Career Services, Student Advocacy, and Wellness (Counseling and Health Services).  

    Dr. Brown’s entire professional career has been in Student Affairs in higher education. Prior to NSU, he served as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at St. Mary’s College in Maryland. Prior to that Dr. Brown served as the Dean of Students at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania which is his alma mater. Dr. Brown holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, a Master’s degree in Theology, and a Doctorate in Management.

    Dr. Brown is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where he grew up and was educated through high school. He resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia and has three wonderful daughters who mean the world to him. 

    Annie Henning

    Academic Advisor

    Southeast Missouri State University

    Annie Henning (she/her) currently serves as an Academic Advisor at Southeast Missouri State University - Sikeston Regional Campus. She has experience in campus programming, co-curricular honors programming, and orientation/transition experiences. She currently serves as a Co-Chair of NASPA's New Professional and Graduate Student Steering Committee (NPGS SC), which she has been a member of since 2020. She received certificate in University Teaching Skills from Saint Louis University; her master's degree is in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Missouri State University. She received her undergraduate degree in Corporate Communication with a minor in Business Administration from Southeast Missouri State University. You can connect with her on LinkedIn and at the upcoming 2024 NASPA Annual Conference in Seattle!

    Miguel Pacheco B.A.

    Assistant Residential Experience Coordinator

    Florida International University

    Miguel Pacheco is a Puerto Rican-Mexican-American from El Paso Texas and is currently a second year graduate student at Florida International University studying Higher Education Administration. Pacheco currently serves as an Assistant Residential Experience Coordinator where he co-oversees one of eight residence halls on campus. Additionally, Pacheco serves on the Higher Education Student Association executive board as the Director of Programming planning and coordinating events for his fellow cohort and is a member of the Student Conduct Committee. Pacheco is a NASPA GAP member and NODA member where he completed a NODA internship with the New Student and Transition Program at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Pacheco completed his undergraduate studies at Texas State University earning a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Secondary Education. During his time at Texas State, Pacheco was actively involved as a Resident Assistant and Orientation Leader for four years through the Housing and Residential Life and New Student Orientation departments. Pacheco has interests in Social Justice, Equity and Access, Housing and Residential Life, as well as New Student Orientation Programs. Post graduation, Pacheco hopes to work in one of these functional areas and become a Residential Director on the west coast.

    Joseph DeSanto Jones

    Executive Director

    Higher Education Consortium for Student Affairs Certification

    Joey (he/him/his) serves as the inaugural executive director of the Consortium and leads its efforts to promote and advance the field through Student Affairs Educator Certification. This new certification program recognizes student affairs educators who demonstrate competency in established domains, commit to ongoing learning and professional development, and comply with the code of ethics.

    Joey has also held numerous professional roles with NASPA including founding director of NASPA Advisory Services, assistant vice president for organization development, directing professional development programs, and managing volunteer engagement efforts. Over the course of his 20-year career, he has led or participated in approximately 50 external reviews of student affairs divisions, programs, and services at public and private colleges and universities of various sizes in the United States and Canada.

    He holds an M.Ed. in College Student Personnel and a B.A. in Communication Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park.

    Ever wonder what to expect at each professional level of your career? Are you considering applying for a new position soon and wondering what you should consider or what ways you can better prepare yourself for a promotion? Join some NASPA volunteer leaders as they discuss their journeys and advice for navigating the field of student affairs across your career lifespan and ways you can prepare to level up!

  • Recorded On: 10/16/2023

    Take a break with us and connect with NASPA Vice Presidents and learn about the different functional areas, resources, and program offerings provided by NASPA. Learn more about working for an association and our role as the leading voice for the field of student affairs.

    Monica Nixon, Ed.D.

    Assistant Vice President for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

    NASPA


    Monica Nixon serves as Vice President for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Previously, she held diversity, equity, and inclusion and student affairs roles at Saint Joseph’s University, Seattle University, Colgate University, the University of Puget Sound, and the University of Virginia, for which she currently serves on the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Fund alumni board.

    Monica received her Master of Arts in Counselor Education and her B.A. in English in 1995 from the University of Virginia. She earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, where her dissertation focused on the positionality and agency of women of color chief diversity officers in higher education institutions. Monica co-authored a chapter in the 2012 NASPA-published book Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education and has served actively with NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, ACPA – College Student Educators International, and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

    Amy Shopkorn

    Vice President for Operations

    NASPA


    Amy Shopkorn serves as the vice president for operations at NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. She joined the Association in 2012 and manages NASPA’s core business functions, including finance, human resources, information technology, marketing and communications, membership, member and volunteer engagement, NASPA’s justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, and work with the NASPA Foundation.

    Prior to joining NASPA, Amy served as chief operating officer for The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), where she built much of the organization’s operational infrastructure. She also worked on-campus in student affairs at The George Washington University, focusing on the first-year experience and alcohol and other drug education programs.

    Amy is a member of the U.S. Women’s Rugby Foundation Board of Directors, serves on industry-related advisory boards, and holds volunteer positions with several local community and alumni organizations.

    Amy has a Master of Arts in higher education administration from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College.

    Stephanie Gordon, Ed.D.

    Vice President of Professional Development

    NASPA

    Stephanie Gordon serves as the vice president for professional development at NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. She joined the Association in 2003 as the director of educational programs. Since then, the Association has doubled in size to more than 15,500 members. She supervises a professional development team at the largest, most comprehensive student affairs association in the United States.

    Prior to joining NASPA, Stephanie served as director of residence life and coordinator of first-year programs at Chatham University, assistant director of residence life, staff development, and training at Colgate University, and assistant director of undergraduate admissions at Simmons College. Her research interests focus on student retention, persistence, and readiness to learn. Stephanie also assists student affairs educators in their daily work on campus. She has co-authored a chapter in Student Services: A Handbook for the Profession and authored a chapter in the current edition of The Handbook of Student Affairs Administration. Stephanie received her B.A. in English literature and political science from Simmons College and earned her Ed.M. in higher education administration at Harvard University Graduate School of Education. She recently completed her Doctorate of higher education management at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.

    Amelia Parnell, Ph.D.

    Vice President for Research and Policy

    NASPA

    Dr. Amelia Parnell, who will assume the presidency of NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education on July 1, 2024, is an accomplished higher education executive and an internationally recognized thought leader regarding current issues and emerging trends in the field. She is a passionate advocate for higher education as a tool for personal advancement and impact, and she seeks opportunities to partner with organizations and individuals who share her sincere commitment to centering students' needs.

    As the vice president for research and policy for NASPA, Dr. Parnell leads many of the association's scholarly and advocacy-focused activities. During her eight-year tenure in this role, she has fostered genuine partnerships with college administrators, researchers, grantmakers, and other higher education professionals. Dr. Parnell’s previous policy and practitioner experiences include roles in association management, legislative policy analysis, internal audit, and TRIO programs. Her research portfolio includes studies of leadership in higher education, with a focus on college presidents and vice presidents.

    As a frequent keynote speaker at national and regional conferences, Dr. Parnell presents on topics related to student affairs, college affordability, student learning outcomes, and institutions' use of data and analytics. She has been quoted in The Wall Street Journal, the Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and PBS Newshour.

    Dr. Parnell recently completed four years of service on the Board of Directors for EDUCAUSE, where she was chair of the Finance & Investment Committee and the Audit Committee. She is also the chair of the Higher Education Equity Network (HEEN), a collective impact network representing more than 25 organizations at the forefront of addressing racial equity in higher education.

    Dr. Parnell enjoys her work as an adjunct instructor and campus lecturer because it helps her ground her work through enriching engagements with students and peers. She is energized by making complex concepts easy to understand, so she hosts her podcast, Speaking of College, a source of reliable answers to college-related questions. She is also the author of the book, You Are A Data Person, which she wrote to encourage all higher education professionals to discover and embrace their unique data identity.Amelia holds a Ph.D. in higher education from Florida State University and master’s and bachelor’s degrees in business administration from Florida A & M University.

    Stephanie J. Bannister, Ph.D.

    Assistant Vice President, Center for First-generation Student Success

    NASPA

    Stephanie Bannister serves as the assistant vice president with the Center for First-generation Student Success, an initiative of NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and The Suder Foundation. Prior to joining NASPA, Stephanie served Kansas State University (K-State) in a variety of roles–most recently as the assistant vice provost for student success. Stephanie joined the K-State division of student life with housing and dining services in 2001. Previously, she served as associate director for student living in housing, directed two residence halls at the University of Kansas, and traveled nationwide as a consultant for Alpha Gamma Delta International Fraternity. Stephanie has a B.A. from Fort Hays State University, an M.S. from the University of Kansas, and a Ph.D. in education from K-State. With a career spanning two decades, she has served as a consultant for higher education and non-profit agencies on a range of topics from strategic planning to community building and leadership development. Stephanie is a graduate teaching faculty member in the College of Education at K-State and is active in the greater Manhattan community.

    A first-generation advocate and ally, Stephanie resides in the great state of Kansas with her husband, the Honorable Grant D. Bannister, chief judge for Kansas' 21st Judicial District, and is the proud mother of Sydney, William, and Grace.

    Leiana Boldon

    Academic Support Services Graduate Assistant

    Illinois State University

    Leiana Boldon is a second-year master’s student in Illinois State University’s College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) program. She serves as a NASPA Graduate Associate and currently holds several positions in the Bloomington-Normal area. She works as an academic support services graduate assistant at ISU, serves as the live-in house director for Alpha Omicron Pi – Beta Nu Chapter, and works as a practicum student in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Illinois Wesleyan University. Off the clock, she loves to sing, explore new restaurants, and host game nights.

    Leiana received her Bachelor of Science in Music Business in 2021 from ISU. She was exposed to the field of student affairs during her senior year working as an admissions tour guide and applied to the CSPA program soon after. Leiana will be graduating in May of 2024, and her areas of interest include academic advising, academic success, admissions, assessment, and first year experience curriculum development. Originally from St. Louis, Missouri, she’s excited and eager to explore outside of the Midwest as she begins her student affairs career.

    Take a break with us and connect with NASPA Vice Presidents and learn about the different functional areas, resources, and program offerings provided by NASPA. Learn more about working for an association and our role as the leading voice for the field of student affairs. 

  • Recorded On: 10/24/2023

    An introduction for new professionals and grad students into some lesser known fields of student affairs. Most people go to grad school understanding the "popular"/larger subsections of student affairs, but what about the niche spaces within our field?

    Dr. John S. Hollemon III

    Director of DEI and HBCU Initiatives

    National Association for College Admission Counseling

    Dr. Hollemon has worked in the field of Higher Education for over a decade. As a passionate educator, he has purposefully diversified his experience by working with students at each level from K-12 through college. He completed his undergraduate degree in Communication Studies, with Minors in Black Studies and Asian Studies from Randolph-Macon College. He also holds a Master’s in Executive Leadership from Liberty University and a doctorate in Healthcare Administration (Health Equity Concentration) from the Virginia University of Lynchburg. 

    Dr. Hollemon previously served as the Chief Diversity Officer & Dean of Inclusive Excellence at Hampden-Sydney College. Dr. Hollemon currently serves as the Director of DEI and HBCU Initiatives for the National Association for College Admission Counseling, where he is tasked with identifying, addressing, and accessing DEI priorities throughout the association. NACAC is an organization of more than 27,000 professionals worldwide dedicated to serving students as they pursue postsecondary education. In this role, Dr. Hollemon is unapologetically committed to engaging in community work to increase access and success in higher education for students, especially those from minoritized backgrounds. 

    Kristeena LaRoue, M.S.

    Deputy ADA Coordinator for Digital Accessibility

    University of Central Florida

    Kristeena currently serves as the Deputy ADA Coordinator for Digital Accessibility and Universal Design at the University of Central Florida. In this role, Kristeena is responsible for developing and implementing institution-wide policies, processes, and initiatives related to disability and accessibility. Kristeena previously served as the Associate Director of the Disability Resource Center and Access Technology Center at Missouri State University. Additionally, Kristeena serves as a consultant to various organizations on disability and accessibility concerns, including digital accessibility, disability culture, and accommodations. Kristeena holds leadership roles in many higher education organizations, including NASPA, AHEAD, and Florida AHEAD. Kristeena earned her M.S. in Student Affairs in Higher Education, as well as a B.S. in Psychology and a B.S. in Interpersonal Communications from Missouri State University, and is certified through the ADA Coordinator Training Certification Program. 

    Samantha Gonzalez

    Program Coordinator

    Nepantla Program

    Samantha González is a Las Vegas native, who went on to pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish and Linguistics from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a Master’s Degree in Secondary Education from Johns Hopkins University. 

    As a first generation college student, she often felt lost and conflicted by the sudden lack of cultural connections, financial barriers, and a poor sense of belonging. Reflecting back on her time as a student, she has noticed that her greatest motivators were the faculty and staff of color at her institutions that taught her that community and aspiration are the greatest resources to have when navigating the unfamiliar. Samantha hopes to provide this same guidance to the first-generation college students at Nevada State University.

    In 2021, she joined the Nepantla Program as its Program Coordinator where she recruits high school students to join Nepantla every year for its annual six-week summer bridge program. Aside from working with prospective high school students, she mentors and guides the students in the Nepantla Program by listening to their often quieted voices, celebrating their cultural wealth, and teaching them to take charge of their aspirational capital by “dreaming big and aiming high”. In her free time, Samantha finds joy in caring for her dogs, playing video games, and reading.

    Alex Koehler, M.S.

    Assistant Director of Wellness Resource Center

    Temple University

    Alex serves as the Assistant Director at Temple University's Wellness Resource Center. Her work focuses on harm reduction and education around substance use and cultivating a recovery-friendly campus, as well as supporting office operations and resources. Alex holds a bachelor's degree in Public Health from Temple University and a master's degree in Higher Education Policy & Student Affairs from West Chester University. Alex has a passion for accessible education and student wellness. She also co-chairs the NASPA New Professionals and Graduate Student Steering Committee and is a NUFP Alumna. 

    An introduction for new professionals and grad students into some lesser known fields of student affairs. Most people go to grad school understanding the "popular"/larger subsections of student affairs, but what about the niche spaces within our field?

  • Recorded On: 10/25/2023

    Do you want to learn about what it is to starting your career in higher education? Look no further than to speak with members of the Graduate Associate Program (GAP). GAPs will be available to share their experiences about finding their programs, why they love higher education, and other great insights for those who are just looking to start out.

    Do you want to learn about what it is to starting your career in higher education? Look no further than to speak with members of the Graduate Associate Program (GAP). GAPs will be available to share their experiences about finding their programs, why they love higher education, and other great insights for those who are just looking to start out.

  • Recorded On: 10/31/2023

    Are you thinking about or currently in a doctoral program while being a full-time working parent? Work-life balance takes on a whole new meaning when you are parenting while in a doctoral program and writing a dissertation. Join this discussion as we share our experiences through our doctoral programs and dissertation writing, the honest truths about balance, and navigating the dissertation journey. Current doctoral students or graduated doctoral working parents are welcome to join and share perspectives.

    Qua’Aisa Williams, Ph.D.

    Director for Instructional Design

    First-generation Student Success Center

    Qua’Aisa Williams (she/her/hers) serves as associate director for instructional design with the First Scholars Initiatives® at the Center for First-generation Student Success and joined in March 2020. A proud first-generation college graduate and TRIO Educational Talent Search and Student Support Services alum. Qua’Aisa’s career in higher education began at Florida State University’s Center for Academic Retention & Enhance (CARE), working with the summer bridge program for first-generation and economically disadvantaged students.

    Qua’Aisa holds a M.S. in higher education administration and a B.S. in family & child sciences from Florida State University. She completed her Ph.D. in college student affairs administration at the University of Georgia.

    Ke’Ana Bradley, Ph.D.

    Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion and Early Career Initiatives

    NASPA

    Ke’Ana Bradley is the Director of Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Early Career Initiatives for NASPA-Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Ke’Ana’s role with NASPA involves contributing to ongoing association efforts related to equity and social justice through programming and research as well as coordination of programming for early career students and professionals such as Careers in Student Affairs Month, the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows and Graduate Associate Programs, and the New Professionals and Graduate Student Steering Committee. Ke'Ana brings 17 years of varied experience in higher education. Prior to joining the NASPA staff, Ke'Ana's roles included Director of Student Life at Mountain View College, International Student Advisor at Lynn University, Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Services and Programs at the University of Notre Dame, and Coordinator of Student Activities and Multicultural Student Affairs at both Southern Methodist University and Texas Woman's University. Ke'Ana holds a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington, a master’s degree in Counseling from Southern Methodist University, a master's degree in Communications from The University of the Incarnate Word, and a bachelor’s degree in Communication from The University of Texas at San Antonio. Ke'Ana is also a Licensed Professional Counselor (TX). Ke'Ana lives in the Dallas area with her husband and their two kiddos. 

    Shannon Niedzwicki, Ph.D.

    Director of Virtual Learning

    NASPA


    Shannon serves as the director of virtual learning at NASPA, overseeing all of the virtual learning and engagement for the Association. With over 20 years of experience in higher education, including campus recreation, advising, Title IX, career education, and workforce development. Before joining NASPA, Shannon was the assistant director of employer relations and oversaw on-campus student employment, marketing, employer relations, experiential learning, and community engagement for the Department of Career Services at the University of Toledo. Shannon also worked nine years in the community college sector, where she was director of Career Services and worked closely with workforce development and institutional research. 

    Shannon’s research interests focus on the career readiness of college students, specifically student-athletes. Her dissertation titled, From Court to Career: Exploring the Career Readiness of Men’s and Women’s Basketball Players, completed her doctor of philosophy at The University of Toledo. Shannon has a B.A. from Kent State University in Recreation Management and an M.A. in Sports Administration from Western Michigan University. Shannon is a faculty member for the College of Education and Human Ecology at The Ohio State University and serves on the Board of Directors for the Eberly Center for Women at The University of Toledo. 

    Ashlee Young, M.Ed.

    Associate Director of First Scholars Initiatives

    NASPA|Center for First Generation Student Success

    Ashlee Kocina Young serves as associate director for Expert Guidance with the First Scholars Initiatives®  in the Center for First-generation Student Success, NASPA. Prior to joining NASPA, Ashlee held a dual appointment at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. As the Assistant Director of the William H. Thompson Scholars Learning Community, a large, comprehensive college transition program for the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation Scholarship recipients, Ashlee was responsible for community engagement programming and assessment. In her role as the Coordinator for First Generation Nebraska, Ashlee co-managed university-wide first-generation initiatives and served as the primary contact with Nebraska’s involvement as an inaugural First-gen Forward Institution, and in an advisory capacity.

    A first-generation college graduate, Ashlee holds an M.Ed. in higher education administration from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, and a B.A. in psychology from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She is currently working on completing a Ph.D. in leadership studies, with a focus on multicultural leadership perspectives and first-generation leadership development beyond college at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

    Are you thinking about or currently in a doctoral program while being a full-time working parent? Work-life balance takes on a whole new meaning when you are parenting while in a doctoral program and writing a dissertation. Join this discussion as we share our experiences through our doctoral programs and dissertation writing, the honest truths about balance, and navigating the dissertation journey. Current doctoral students or graduated doctoral working parents are welcome to join and share perspectives. 

  • Recorded On: 10/31/2023

    Are you seeking innovative ways to transform your student onboarding process and create an exceptional experience for your incoming students? Join us for an engaging and insightful workshop on harnessing the power of the ACIP Framework to reimagine student onboarding and set the stage for success for community college students.

    Hana Lahr

    Senior Research Associate

    Community College Research Center


    Dr. Hana Lahr is a senior research associate and the director of applied learning at the Community College Research Center, where she leads research on whole-college reforms at community colleges across the country. She has conducted research on the change management process, advising reforms, onboarding students into programs, and the costs of guided pathways reforms. Lahr is interested in how colleges approach the change management process, how colleges adapt reforms to their state and institutional context, and how these reforms change the student experience and impact student outcomes. As the director of applied learning at CCRC, Lahr focuses on translating research into practical guidance that can help support organizational learning and reform. She has a BA in music performance from the University of Florida, an MS in counseling from Shippensburg University (PA), and a PhD in education policy from Teachers College, Columbia University. Prior to joining CCRC in 2011, Lahr worked in student affairs at HACC (Central Pennsylvania’s Community College) and at the Metropolitan College of New York.

    Shelitha Williams

    Associate Vice President for Student Affairs

    Rochester Institute of Technology

    Dr. Shelitha Williams serves as the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology. Prior to taking this role, Dr. Williams served as the Vice President of Student and Enrollment Services and the Chief Diversity Officer at Genesee Community College, with over 20 years of professional experience in higher education.  Dr. Williams received her doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of Rochester, Master of Social Work with a counseling concentration from SUNY Stony Brook University and Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Africana Studies from SUNY Potsdam.

    Are you seeking innovative ways to transform your student onboarding process and create an exceptional experience for your incoming students? Join us for an engaging and insightful workshop on harnessing the power of the ACIP Framework to reimagine student onboarding and set the stage for success for community college students. 

  • Recorded On: 11/03/2023

    What unique skills and abilities do Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) student affairs professionals utilize to administer population-based services, and how can they be woven into practices at non-Native institutions? How does understanding TCU histories and traditions influence the disposition, responsibilities, and practices of all student affairs professionals? What can Non-Native campuses learn from TCUs' approach to legacy and alumni connections in admissions practices? What can all student affairs professionals learn from how TCUs expand the scope of student-centered and service-oriented responsibilities associated with our field?

    Charlotte E. Davidson

    Director of the Native American House

    University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

    Charlotte E. Davidson is Diné and a citizen of the Three Affiliated Tribes, also known as the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation. She is the daughter of Nora (Yazzie) and Wilbur Wilkinson, Sr. Her maternal grandparents are Sally (Manygoats) and Kee Horseherder-Yazzie. Her paternal grandparents are Molly (Wolf) and Ernest P. Wilkinson. Concerning kinship relations, she is of the Tó'aheedlíinii (Water Flows Together People), born for the Waterbuster Clan. Her maternal grandfather’s clan is Kinłichíi’nii (Red House People), and her paternal grandfather is of the Flint Knife Clan. 

    Dr. Davidson is the director of the Native American House at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and is a lecturer in the Department of Student Affairs Administration at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. In NASPA, she serves as the Indigenous Relations Advisor, co-leads the President’s Implementation Committee for Indigenous Engagement and Inclusion, and co-chairs the Extended Learning Sessions Committee for the 2024 Conference Leadership Committee. Dr. Davidson is a co-founder of the Power and Place Symposium, guest editor of the Winter 2021 issue of Leadership Exchange, and member of the 2019-2022 NASPA SERVE (Supporting, Expanding, and Recruiting, Volunteer Excellence) Academy. Dr. Davidson is the recipient of the 2022 Distinguished Service in NASPA Award, an annual recognition bestowed by the Indigenous Peoples Knowledge Community.

    Dr. Davidson earned a Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies from Haskell Indian Nations University and a Master’s and Ph.D., respectively, in Educational Policy Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    Robert 'BJ' Rainbow

    Vice President of Academics

    Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College

    My name is Robert Bryan Rainbow Jr. my Dakota name is Tatanka Hanska which means ‘Long Buffalo’.  I am the son on Robert (Bob) Bryan Rainbow Sr. and Lois Ann (Counts) Rainbow.  Through my mother I am an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians, and through my father I come from the Spirit Lake Dakota, and Standing Rock Nations.  My grandparents are Sidney and Eileen Counts, and Victoria and Sam (Guy) Ireland, and the late Herbert (Hobo) Rainbow.  I am also the great grandson of the late Joseph Rainbow from Fort Totten, ND.

    I grew up playing basketball and going to school in Bismarck, ND since 1991. While there, I started dancing (Peji waci) Grass dance when I was 11yrs old.  I also started singing in the 3rd grade while living at united tribes.  I enlisted in the United States Marine Corps in 2000-2004.  I served a 6 month tour of duty in Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.  After being honorably discharged I was accepted into the University of North Dakota in 2004.  I received my Bachelors of Science in criminal justice, and Bachelors of Arts in Indian Studies, and Sociology degrees as well as attaining my Master of Science in Educational Leadership. I am now working on my Ph. D. in Higher Education also through the University of North Dakota.

    Before coming to New Town, I was the recruiter at the American Indian Student Services at the University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND. I am currently the Vice President of Academic at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College located in New Town, ND. I am happily married to my beautiful, wonderful wife of 21 years Deanna Rainbow, we have a daughter (Bryann) who is a junior at the University of North Dakota and a son (Bryson) who is a sophomore at new town high school. We also added a new addition to our family this past summer, our new dog Brycee which is comprised of Labrador and boxer. Some of my hobbies consist of playing basketball, softball, riding horse, playing horse shoes, beadwork, quillwork, and craft work.                                                             

    Since being in higher education, my passion has included advising & mentoring young Native American students navigate through college life.  I also try my best to practice our traditional lifeways of ceremony as well as singing and dancing (powwowing) around the region. There is nothing is more gratifying than seeing our next generations make good decisions for themselves and the future generations.  I love empowering & inspiring our youth by using my own life as examples.  It is never too late to learn about who you are because if we don’t do it now, when If not us then, who.  My dream is to become an administrator in academia and one day direct my own American Indian Student Services like the one at UND.

    Monica Nixon, Ed.D. (Moderator)

    Assistant Vice President for Equity, Inclusion, and Social Justice

    NASPA


    Monica Nixon serves as Vice President for Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion. Previously, she held diversity, equity, and inclusion and student affairs roles at Saint Joseph’s University, Seattle University, Colgate University, the University of Puget Sound, and the University of Virginia, for which she currently serves on the Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA) Fund alumni board.

    Monica received her Master of Arts in Counselor Education and her B.A. in English in 1995 from the University of Virginia. She earned a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington, where her dissertation focused on the positionality and agency of women of color chief diversity officers in higher education institutions. Monica co-authored a chapter in the 2012 NASPA-published book Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Higher Education and has served actively with NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, ACPA – College Student Educators International, and the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education.

    What unique skills and abilities do Tribal Colleges and Universities (TCU) student affairs professionals utilize to administer population-based services, and how can they be woven into practices at non-Native institutions? How does understanding TCU histories and traditions influence the disposition, responsibilities, and practices of all student affairs professionals? What can Non-Native campuses learn from TCUs' approach to legacy and alumni connections in admissions practices? What can all student affairs professionals learn from how TCUs expand the scope of student-centered and service-oriented responsibilities associated with our field?

    Haskell Indian Nations University alumna Dr. Charlotte E. Davidson (Diné/Mandan, Hidatsa & Arikara) and Robert Rainbow (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa/Spirit Lake Tribe/Standing Rock Sioux Tribe), vice president of academics at Nueta Hidatsa Sahnish College, will explore these questions in a moderated discussion with NASPA's Vice President of Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion, Dr. Monica Nixon.

  • Recorded On: 11/03/2023

    Join us for an engaging webinar during NASPA's Careers in Student Affairs Month, where we will delve into the unique world of interviewing and transitioning to a student affairs role at community colleges. Discover how to effectively communicate your transferrable skills and articulate why your gifts would be an excellent fit for the community college environment. Our panelists will explore the parallels between student affairs professionals' roles at four-year and two-year institutions so attendees can learn how to showcase their experience and skills effectively. One crucial aspect of community colleges is funding, and our webinar will provide insights into the financial landscape of these institutions and valuable perspectives on governance, shedding light on the decision-making processes and structures that shape these jobs.

    Dr. Michelle Cantu-Wilson

    Trustee & Owner

    San Jacinto College & Vida Linda Consulting

    Dr. Michelle Cantu-Wilson is a trustee at San Jacinto College. She is also the owner of Vida Linda Consulting, a higher education leadership consulting firm that provides leader-focused professional development, program review services, and strategic-planning support. Dr. Cantú-Wilson currently serves on the board of Pasadena Health Center, a growing medical care provider in Southeast Houston. She also serves on the College of Education Curriculum & Instruction (EDCI) with STEM Emphasis Doctoral Program Advisory Board at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. Dr. Cantú-Wilson is a guest host of the EdUp Experience podcast, a global higher education podcast. Locally, she is a member of the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and serves on the workforce committee. She is also a member of the Pearland Chamber of Commerce. Previously, Dr. Cantú-Wilson served as the Director of Teaching and Learning Initiatives and Special Projects at San Jacinto College. She was also a developmental education faculty member. She is the past president of the Gulf Coast Region Chapter for the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education and served as the membership chair for the Houston Chapter of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas. Dr. Cantu-Wilson’s prior career as a K-12 campus administrator and teacher have served her well. She was a junior high assistant principal for six years and a junior high English teacher for 5 years in Pasadena ISD. Michelle holds a Doctor of Education degree in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Houston-Clear Lake, a Master’s in Administration and Supervision from the University of Houston, a Bachelor’s of Arts in English from the University of Houston, and an Associate of Arts from Ranger College in north Texas. She was born and raised in Brownsville, Texas and was the first in her family to attend college. She is married and has three amazing children.

    Richard L. Monroe, M.S.

    Student Engagement Manager

    Metropolitan Community College

    Richard Lee Monroe (he, him, his) assumed the role of Student Engagement Manager in January 2019, having previously served as the Coordinator for Campus Life & Leadership at Metropolitan Community College (MCC) from March 2017 to January 2019.  Before joining MCC, Monroe served as the Coordinator for Student Organizations at the University of Missouri - Kansas City and the Technical Operations and Marketing Manager for Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri.  Richard has also served as an adjunct faculty member at MCC.

    A native of Carl Junction, Missouri, Monroe holds a bachelor of science in accounting with a minor in computer information systems from Missouri State University, and a master of science in student affairs in higher education (administration) from Missouri State University.  Monroe is working on his dissertation for the Ph.D. in Education, instructional design, and Technology degree from Liberty University.

    Monroe is a lifelong learner dedicated to improving higher education by providing holistic support services that give students the best opportunity to grow in their life path.  Monroe has the drive to improve and seek efficiency, which has directed him to research how higher education can better utilize and mine the available data to enhance the support systems at higher education institutions.

    Monroe is very involved and continues to serve in many capacities.  Currently, Monroe serves as a deacon and as a lead producer for the production team at his local church and is a founding father of the Theta Lambda chapter of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity of Missouri State University.  Monroe is also a member of NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, and Chi Sigma Alpha, student affairs honor society international, of Missouri State University, among other organizations.  


    Andrea Garcia Gonzalez

    Program Specialist

    Mt. San Antonio College

    Andrea Garcia Gonzalez (she/her/ella) serves as Program Specialist at Mt. San Antonio College (Walnut, CA) in the NextUp/REACH Program where she has the privilege of working with current and former foster youth in their transition into, while attending, and as they graduate from college. Additionally, Andrea oversees grant funding and programming for Life Skills, a unique component of NextUp/REACH which aims at strengthening students’ independent living skills for a more successful transition into adulthood. 

     

    A proud first-generation college graduate, Andrea has dedicated her life’s work to supporting students from all backgrounds as they strive to grow through education. Andrea has experience working in the K-12, university, and more recently, community college system, having worked for multiple campuses in the southern California region. As a new student affairs professional herself, Andrea cares about growing the pipeline of equity-minded community college professionals, which is why she sits on the board of NASPA’s Community Colleges Division as the New Professionals representative. She also supports the work of the CCD Latinx/a/o Task Force. 

     

    Andrea earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Child Studies from Santa Clara University and a Master’s of Education in Educational Counseling from the University of Southern California. She proudly claims the agriculturally rich town of Dinuba, CA as her hometown and currently lives in Ontario, CA with her husband and fur baby, Fanta.

    Tania Velazquez

    Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/College Director

    Suffolk County Community College

    A dedicated student affairs professional who has worked in both a large public university and community college. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Student Affairs/ College Director for Career Services at Suffolk County Community College. As a licensed Social Worker, Tania has functioned in various capacities in higher education ranging from working with at-risk student populations, Veterans, mental health, and career development.  Tania is a published author and experienced presenter, having presented at several local, regional and national conferences. Her research interest is on Latinx/a/o and women leadership empowerment and within the community college sector. Tania earned her AA in Liberal Arts at Suffolk County Community College, BS at SUNY at Geneseo, and an MSW with a specialization in Student Community Development at Stony Brook University.

    Derek Vergara

    Dean of Students

    Orange Coast College

    Join us for an engaging webinar during NASPA's Careers in Student Affairs Month, where we will delve into the unique world of interviewing and transitioning to a student affairs role at community colleges. Discover how to effectively communicate your transferrable skills and articulate why your gifts would be an excellent fit for the community college environment. Our panelists will explore the parallels between student affairs professionals' roles at four-year and two-year institutions so attendees can learn how to showcase their experience and skills effectively. One crucial aspect of community colleges is funding, and our webinar will provide insights into the financial landscape of these institutions and valuable perspectives on governance, shedding light on the decision-making processes and structures that shape these jobs.