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Preparing for the Windy City: Lee Longhorn

February 23, 2010

Hensci! My name is Lee Longhorn. I’m a senior at the University of Oklahoma studying Native American Studies and Journalism-Professional Writing. I’m a member of the Muscgoee (Creek) Nation and descendant of the Seminole, Shawnee, Delaware, Sac & Fox, Seneca-Cayuga, Wyandotte, and Onondoga Tribal Nations. I’m a NUFP Fellow and my mentor is Dr. Heather Shotton. I hope to attend graduate school and study Adult & Higher Education witha focus in college student development and student affairs.

It’s hard to believe that in the middle of my spring semester, right when my midterm projects, summer internship paperwork, and planning for the fall semester are due, I’ll be traveling to Chicago, Illinois to attend the 2010 NASPA Conference. I’m very excited and can’t wait to meet with many student affairs professionals and to learn more about the exciting world of student affairs. After I attended the Multicultural Institute in Dallas last month, I learned more in those three days that I was there than in any class or one-on-one study session with my mentor.

I’m really interested in what changes are being created in terms of helping students, particularly minority students (and even more particularly American Indian students) in higher education for the twenty-first century. It seems that within the past few years, there are quite a number of obstacles that come between a student obtaining their undergraduate degree that weren’t there maybe five years ago. I hope attending this conference will give me an insight into what I can learn and eventually contribute any knowledge or research I conduct later on in my professional career.

There are two sessions that I’m really interested in attending and they are “Addressing the changing face of Native American Students” and “Success Strategies for Doctoral Students of Color.”These sessions are most beneficial to me as they both can help me in the long run in establishing my career in student affairs. The Native American student session will most benefit me since that’s what I’m interested in at the moment. The outcome of what I’ll learn is how to help American Indian college students at different higher education institutions. Since there has been an increase in American Indian students attending colleges (community, tribal, public, private) and the information will be relatively researched, I feel I can walk away with a lot more than what I already know.

The second session about doctoral students of color sounds like an amazing session because I know very little programs or opportunities for those of ethnic backgrounds seeking to get a degree beyond the undergraduate level. Also from this session I hope to get motivated in the pursuit of personally hoping to get a doctorate (in something, not sure yet).

Overall the experience NASPA is going to be something that I know I won’t forget and will look forward to attending every year, if possible. Besides myself, my mom is exciting and is anxiously awaiting me to tell her all what Condoleezza Rice has to say at the conference.

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