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Knowledge Communities are Living the Movement: Emily Roh

April 26, 2010

I’ve gotten so much out of this conference, a lot of it unexpected positive consequences of a whim.  Since I was awarded the Golden Key NASPA Annual Conference Scholarship, I signed up for the APPEX pre- conference workshop that introduced me to the wonderful folks at the Asian Pacific Islander Knowledge Community (APIKC). Through APIKC, I met a wide variety of student affairs professionals, from graduate students to senior administrators.  Similar to finding a community on a large college campus, the knowledge communities really do create that sense of connection and support that are crucial to one’s success.  I immediately felt welcome into a community that made the rest of NASPA less overwhelming.  Don’t get me wrong – it was still overwhelming, especially coming straight from a demanding semester.

However, it really helped to meet and connect with new folks in a smaller and more intimate space before thousands of student affairs folks descended on Chicago!The workshops were a great way to stay updates on current research and practices in the field.  However, as a grad student, I found them less helpful than meeting and talking to people in the KC’s.  I think when I’m working as a professional and not constantly reading and learning as I am now, I think I will seek out and enjoy the workshops much more.

Volunteering, especially at The Placement Exchange (TPE), was an eye- opening experience.  At TPE, I worked the employer room where I talked with an experienced volunteer who gave me great tips on how to prepare for next year’s TPE.  Walking through the interviewing area helped me realize that TPE is quite intense and I made mental notes to prepare lots of self-care practices for next year.  I also had fun volunteering with as a Social Media Tech, where I signed folks up for twitter and interviewed people about their conference experience.  As can be expected from student affairs folks, most people talked about how they loved reconnecting with old friends and coworkers at NASPA.

Overall, attending my first NASPA conference was a success and an amazing experience.  I met wonderful people who all cared about student success, which affirmed student affairs as my career of choice.  A very big THANK YOU to Golden Key and NASPA, whose generous support made this experience possible.

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