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Networking, Mentoring, and Learning – My Goals to Live the Legacy and Be the Movement: Kim McAloney

February 18, 2010

My name is Kim McAloney.  I am an Ethnic Studies major at Oregon State University.  I am a social justice minded future student affairs professional!

I am excited about all the professional development and networking opportunities available at NASPA Annual Conference.  I attended NASPA’s Multicultural Institute and not only learned a lot, but made some great connections with both students and professionals.  I am excited for both the known and unknown opportunities that await in Chicago!

NASPA’s Annual Conference: Live the Legacy; Be the Movement in Chicago, Illinois is right around the corner.  As each week of the term progresses, I become more eager to attend the conference.  For me, conferences are a place to meet amazing people, soak in new information, and reconnect with colleagues and professionals from around the country.

Many professional development opportunities will be at the Annual Conference.  These opportunities include being around student affairs professionals, listening to the conference featured speakers, taking part in Meals with a Mentor, and attending the conference sessions.  First of all, attending a professional conference and rubbing shoulders with amazing people is quite an experience. As a Fellow, I enjoy meeting other Fellows and building a network that will endure throughout our careers.  New professionals have great things to know about graduate school to their first experiences in their new positions.  Meeting mid-level and senior student affairs officers and listening to what is said, how it is conveyed, and how they carry themselves is one of the greatest personal development opportunities for me. Watching to learn is just as important as listening to learn.  Networking helps lay a foundation for legacy building.

Secondly, the Annual Conference has incredible featured speakers.  A few of the speakers include Martha Kanter, Condoleeza Rice, Joseph White, Shaun Harper, and Andrew Joviette. This will be an opportunity to have these greats speak into our lives.  What an opportunity to hear from living legacies who are actively part of the change.

Third is the professional development opportunity, Meal with a Mentor.  This allows undergraduate and graduate students, new professionals, and those new to NASPA an opportunity to learn, share, seek guidance, and get to know experienced professionals.  Mentorship is a key to success and builds on the foundation of networking laid to carry legacies and be the change.

Finally, what is a conference without sessions!  There are so many sessions; it has taken me weeks to decide which to attend.  Two sessions I plan on attending are Navigating NASPA: An “Insider’s Guide” to the Association and secondly, Project ReMiX: A Multicultural Space in a “Check One Box” World.  As a first year NUFP Fellow, I am new to NASPA.  From the short time I have been involved, I have come to understand the need for such an organization; which for me is support, mentorship, and knowledge.  From Navigating NASPA, I want to learn how to not only utilize what NASPA has for me, but how I can also be an active participant to continue the Legacy and Be the Change within the organization.

Project ReMiX: A Multicultural Space in a “Check One Box” World is a session I hope to gain information and continue to make connections.  I hope to do my master’s program thesis on multiracial/mixed blood college students and how these students identity affects their campus experience.   I feel the “theory to practice approach” as well as the “framework to craft cross-culturally appropriate programs” will be beneficial as I begin my own research.

My overall goals in attending the conference are to make new connections, reconnect with those I have come to know as colleagues, attend sessions in order to bring back information to be put into practice, and to gain a better understanding of NASPA.  Chicago, here I come, prepared to Live the Legacy and Be the Change.

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