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Meet and Greet: Tammy Hong

February 12, 2010

Hi, and welcome to the NASPA 2010 Student Affairs Blog. I’m so excited to be a blogger, and share my experiences with you. Along the way, you’ll meet 11 other wonderful student affairs people, and experience what it’s like to prepare and look forward to the NASPA 2010 Annual Conference: Live the legacy Be the Movement. A little background information before we begin, I’m a second year graduate student in the College Student Personnel Program in the Midwest, and in the job search process.

I can’t say that I found Student Affairs, because really, it was Student Affairs that found me. It’s kind of like falling in love, it happens when you least expect it. I was about to graduate from college, but I had no idea what I was going to do with the rest of my life. I had a passion for helping others and programming, and if it were up to me, I would do it for the rest of my life, no questions asked. Yet, aside from event planner, was there a job out there that would let me create programs for students, and if so, how could I get involved? *cue Raiders of the Lost Ark music* My advisor introduced me to the Student Affairs profession, and provided me with information about applying to graduate school and pursuing a degree in Higher Education. She saw in me something that I didn’t see in myself, and if it wasn’t for her, I wouldn’t have found this profession.

That’s my story, and one of the main reasons that I am in the Student Affairs profession. I want to pay it forward and help other students find their passions. I want to meet other Student Affairs practitioners who are passionate about helping students, and in being change agents. I want to gain insight and perspective on how other institutions do things, and find out what new directions Student Affairs is headed. There’s an indescribable feeling you get when you know that you have touched another human being, and connected to them on a deeper level. The great thing about Student Affairs is that you get to spend time with students, and watch them grow during their stay at the University. And while you may not remember all the conversations you have had with students, in one way or another, you have made a difference in a student’s life, and that is what we hope to do each day. To live the legacy, and be the movement.

The NASPA Annual Conference has many opportunities for professional development, including, but not limited to, knowledge communities, supervision skills, assessment and evaluation, programming, current trends in student engagement, student population, men, etc. Anything that one could possible think of to ask about the profession, there are sessions for people to attend. Student Affairs is a small profession by nature, and the longer you are in it, the more people you will know. You can think of the conference as a reunion among some of your closest friends and colleagues in the field who come together once a year to share their experiences, and to learn more about the Student Affairs profession.

As for myself, I’m an almost professional. Graduate students aren’t really considered professionals. Professionals are those that have graduated from a Master’s Degree program, and are in their first “real” job. Scary, isn’t it? At any rate, you have to start somewhere. On another note, I am really excited about the many sessions that are being offered at the conference. I’m still in the process of narrowing down which programs I’d like to go to: work/life balance, the sophomore experience, assessment and evaluation, social justice and civic engagement, student empowerment, working with parents, developing student leaders, and mentoring. This is just a sample of the many sessions being offered, if you’re interested in finding out what sessions are available, click the following link: get more information, and blurbs on each one.

Until the next blog, I hope that you are enjoying the start of the new year, and wish you the best in your goals and aspirations for 2010. If you have any comments, or questions, please feel free to post them, as this is a dialogue, and a place for sharing. Hope to see you at the NASPA 2010 Annual Conference in Chicago!

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