NASPA Online Learning Community

Coffee Break with the VPs- What Does NASPA Do Anyway?

Coffee Break with the VPs- What Does NASPA Do Anyway?

Recorded On: 10/16/2023

Monica Nixon, Ed.D.

Vice President, Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion


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


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


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.



Dr. Amelia Parnell, who has recently assumed the presidency of NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, 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


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. 


Coffee with VP Panel
10/13/2023 at 2:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 10/16/2023  |  60 minutes
10/13/2023 at 2:00 PM (EDT)  |  Recorded On: 10/16/2023  |  60 minutes