NSU brings home the gold at NASPA regional conference
TNE Editor

NSU brings home the gold at NASPA regional conference

Published 11/14/17

Emily Osborne


Aspiring Student Affairs Professional is a fairly new organization on campus. This is only the second year the group has been active at NSU. The club’s purpose is to help connect students who have a passion for and who are seeking jobs in the student affairs field.

Each year NASPA: Student Affaris Administrators in Higher Education has a national conference for all students to attend. Even though not all campuses have this organization, each state has representatives there. At this conference students learn about what the big problems or challenges are that people in the student affairs field are facing today. 

The NASPA conference offers over 600 different sessions including Greek life, gender equality, inclusion and diversity, residence life, academic advising and leadership development. These sessions help students gain new knowledge and strategies and prepare them to take them back to their universities and implement them.

“NSAPA conferences show me that working in student affairs can mean having family across the nation,” said Dae’Lyn Smith, Mannford, junior. “It’s encouraging to know that professionals here at NSU and all around the nation see potential in me, care about me and care about my success in the future.”

The NASPA organization on NSU’s campus started last year and already has made a huge impact in the lives of the students involved.

“Being a part of NSAPA means I get the opportunity to interact with professionals that easily turn into mentors as I strive to further my career in higher education leadership,” said Smith.

This group is not only for students, but it is a chance for the faculty and staff to grow and learn more about their field.

“What I find most valuable and important are the connections that are made through NASPA; being able to connect with other professionals from other institutions is a huge benefit,” Jessica Langston, senior scholarship coordinator. “We really are like an extended family. To be able to get to know these people on a personal and professional level is incredibly important. I have no doubt that I could reach out to any of these people at any time, and they would do anything they could to help not only myself but one another when needed.”

Five of NSU’s very own went to a regional NASPA conference and came home with awards. The regional board is made up of 10 states, and Oklahoma is in region IV-W. Regional awards included: Smith, Undergraduate Rising Star; Hoang Do, Graduate Rising Star; Kristi Norris, New Professional Rising Star; Dan Mabery, Outstanding Service to NASPA; and Jessica Langston, The “Golden Shoe.”

Each individual was first  nominated. The nominations were then reviewed by the regional board.

“Being named as the Graduate Rising Star for the state of Oklahoma is truly humbling experience,” Hoang Do, guidance specialist I.  “Sharing the stage with so many colleagues around the region helped me understand the importance of our profession. The individuals recognized at the NASPA conference are not only going to be the future of higher education,but they also represent the future student affairs.”

NASPA’s national conference is in March. This conference is once a year and there is regional meeting once a year.

For more information, email Smith at smith152@nsuok.edu.

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