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Finding my Pathways: Nontalie Morrow

February 24, 2010

My name is Nontalie Morrow and I am a junior at Valdosta State University in Valdosta, Georgia. I am majoring in Psychology and Spanish and I plan to go to graduate school and pursue a career in student affairs.

I was introduced to NASPA by a few of my advisors and was encouraged to apply for NUFP. When I was accepted, my mentor strongly encouraged me to go to the annual conference. This unforgettable experience would be extremely valuable for my development as a student interested in the field. I have gone to several conferences with other organizations on campus so I knew there would not be any drawbacks to attending; plus I have always wanted to visit Chicago and this was the perfect opportunity.

There are countless opportunities available such as networking, professional development, ability to research graduate schools, learn about various programs within student affairs and so much more. I am mostly looking forward to the networking and graduate school research. Networking has become so priceless and meeting new people is somewhat of a hobby for me. My plans to go to graduate school are starting to develop more now and I really plan to research more schools and see what kind of programs are out there. I also hope that the new people I meet can give me advice and insight into different programs and which ones would work best for me.

Some of the goals I have for the conference are to put myself out there and meet new people and enjoy new experiences. Another is to ask every question that comes to my mind and learn as much as I can. My main goal is to gain greater insight into the world of student affairs and continue down the path of my dream to encourage and influence students in the same way I was when I first came to college.

There are so many sessions and programs offered, and the first time I looked at the list I got a little overwhelmed, but after some help from my mentor I returned to the list with a positive outlook. I am definitely going to all of the NUFP sessions and activities because that is the main reason I am going to the conference. I am also interested in attending sessions about incorporating religion and spirituality on campus and with students. I want to attend sessions about Hispanic and Latino student involvement, global studies and expansion, graduate school preparation, student development within the residence halls and overall trends within student affairs.

I plan on attending sessions about religion and spirituality on campus because my love for Christ is something I want to share with students. My relationship with the Lord has become so much more than I ever imagined. I know the Lord is the reason for all of the success I have had in my life but I have really begun to understand that in the past two years. I want to learn about the impact of religion in student affairs and its impact on students. Campus ministries is an area that I do not have a lot of experience with and I really want to explore and learn more about it.

As a Spanish major I have a great passion for the Hispanic culture and I also want to be able to use my Spanish skills to connect with students of that culture. I want to explore places like Spain and all the countries in Central and South America which is where the interest in global opportunities comes in. International programming is another area that I do not have a lot of experience with and I hope to gain insight into this branch of student affairs.

From the beginning of my college career I was involved in housing and residence life. I have learned so much about that area and I am currently in the class to become a resident assistant. We are working on a project where we have to design a residence hall and I have begun to realize there are a lot of aspects I never thought about that goes into building a hall. The simple shape of the building has a large effect on the type of community created within the building so I would love to attend sessions that would give me insight into that area of student affairs.

Finally, I want to learn about new trends within student affairs and see how things like technology and research has impacted student affairs. When working with students it is important to stay up to date on all of the changes and developments that impact the life of students. I hope to learn some insight into potential trends for the future as well as trends that were successful and unsuccessful.

Overall, I have a lot of interests in different areas of student affairs and questions about pathways to achieve my career goals. I am truly looking forward to the conference and all it has to offer and I hope to return to campus with a whole new look at the field and an inspiration to keep reaching towards my dreams.

Can’t wait to see everyone soon!

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