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You never forget your first time…

January 26, 2010

Whether it is your first kiss (fifth grade, my backyard, spin the bottle, name withheld to protect the innocent), your first awkward graduate school experience (first day orientation, University of Vermont, saying I’m from Philadelphia and immediately getting called out by a classmate because I am actually from the ‘burbs), or the first time it was confirmed that student affairs is the field for you (July 2008, University of Arkansas, the 2008 NUFP Summer Leadership Institute…all of it), the first time you do something is always a time to remember. That’s why we here at NASPA created this blog…to chronicle the first time experiences of 20 undergraduate and graduate students at the NASPA Annual Conference in Chicago, IL, March 6-10, 2010.

If you were wondering whose stories of firsts were in the paragraph above, those are from me, Nathan Victoria, the Assistant Director of Educational Programs and Social Media for NASPA. Some of you may know me from my days as Nathan Victoria, Assistant Director of Educational Programs, working with the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP), The Placement Exchange (TPE), the Small College and University Division (no acronym…sorry!), and some educational workshops; however, in my newly created position (as of two weeks ago, at least), the responsibilities are a bit different. I still continue my work with the fabulous entity known as NUFP and help facilitate the ever-growing premiere job searching process of TPE (over 850 candidates registered to date!); but now, with the help of my wonderful colleagues here at NASPA and our amazing volunteer leadership, I am charged with engaging NASPA membership (that’s you!) or student affairs in general (that’s who you will forward this blog onto!) through the social media channels of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, (and who knows what else in the future).

As I stated earlier, this is a blog of firsts — a place where the 8 Sodexo NUFP Annual Conference Scholarships winners and the 12 Golden Key NASPA Annual Conference Scholarship recipients (4 undergraduate, 7 master-level graduate, and one PhD student) will share their thoughts and feelings. All these students are first-time attendees to the NASPA Annual Conference, and they will be chronicling their experiences (in blogs, tweets, pictures, and possibly even a video or two) before, during, and after the conference. We might even have an entry or two from one of our 24 knowledge communities, NASPA staff, or conference planning committee. This blog will surely be the first place you visit when you get into your office in the mornings, and it will be the first thing you check before you go to sleep late at night. But I digress…

The upcoming posts to this blog will be introductions of all of our authors, as well as their goals for the conference and what sessions they want to attend. If you have any interest in contributing to the social media efforts at the NASPA Annual Conference (or with NASPA in general), subscribe to this blog, comment on the entries, contribute to our online Mentor Scrapbook, tweet about us with the hashtag #naspa10, comment on our Facebook event, or contact me at nvictoria@naspa.org with any ideas.

Live the Legacy Be the Movement. What a wonderful conference theme to bring us together in Chicago in less than six weeks (five for those of us doing TPE).

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