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Full Circle…: Leezel Ramos

April 12, 2010

Being a NUFP fellow and blessed with the opportunity to attend the NASPA National Conference in Chicago I’m overwhelmed with excitement for my future, confidence to pursue it, and thankful for people who have guided me along the way. The theme of “living the legacy and being the movement” didn’t stop after the conference ended – two weeks after my return to Southern California my father called me with devastating news. My grandmother experienced complications after a surgery which left her on life support. In the following two weeks my entire family came together and made the decision to let my grandmother go. I initially didn’t have time to sit and write down my reflection about NASPA after processing it, but it hit me as I make sense of recent life events.

NASPA gave me the tools, knowledge and network to be successful, but my grandmother taught me the value of education and gave me a family that unconditionally supports me which keeps me going.

One of the learning outcomes for NUFP fellows is the ability to identify and develop personal, academic, and career goals – well, I’ve come to realize how much they work hand in hand and the necessity of each to achieve any goal. After my grandmother’s passing, it was the most beautiful sight to see extended relatives, former neighbors, and friends come to my hometown to celebrate the life of my grandmother. This illustrated how she built meaningful relationships in her life that span the nation and oversees. I felt the formation of just that at NASPA – met individuals that shared my passion and we created the foundation for long lasting friendships. It was instantly did I feel connected to peers who were determined to do the same thing as me – make a difference. These friends were kind enough to send me supportive and heartwarming messages when they heard the news about my family. It’s their thoughtfulness I am thankful for to have met them at NAPSA and I look forward to maintaining these relationships personally and professionally. Read more…


NASPA Opens Doors of Opportunity at National Conference: Lee Longhorn

March 30, 2010

The small train car was empty when the doors opened. I pulled my over-filled luggage behind me and situated myself behind a man eating an apple and across from me another individual traveling with luggage too. The train doors closed and I sat back relived that I had finally made it to my destination, Chicago. After several stops and more people trickled onto the train compartment, the outline of the city’s skyline came into view. I knew that all these months of planning and saving I had finally made it to the right place. “Chi-town” was where a mystery would unravel.

These were my first thoughts as I finally made it to the big city. Coming from a small town and a state where the largest city is technically a “district” in some cities; this was quite the adventure I was about to have. I met the other Sodexo scholarship winners and even a few SALT scholarship winners and something clicked in my mind. After meeting these individuals I knew instantly that each one of them had a drive, the motivation, inspiration, and ability to bring change in this world. Read more…

All Goals Accomplished, Now its time to start making plans for NASPA 2011!: Muni Adebimpe

March 29, 2010

At the conference I met so many amazing and legendary individuals.  Some offered a helping hand when necessary and other took the initiative and stated they were willing to serve as a mentor to me! This experience cannot be transcribed in any other way than besides saying it was above and beyond my expectations for professional development, and personal growth. I would have to say that my conference goals, which revolved around social justice education, development, and program implementation, were met to the fullest. In fact there were too many educational sessions to choose from, I was so indecisive and wanted to attend all of them. As most of you all know I have a great deal of background working with at-risk student populations and this conference assisted me in developing ideas which I can bring back to my university. How students respond to programs developed for at risk students and further how assessment plays a major role in the effectiveness of programs for at risk students. This information will not only assist me in my current assistantship at the University of Rhode Island but it will assist in my capstone assessment project which specifically focuses on at risk student populations at URI.

The African American Women’s summit left me speechless. The ideas and examples these women set forth amazed me. They wanted to see African American women succeed in the field of higher education and they provided tools, advice, guidance and instruction (simply amazing). Volunteering really helped me in networking and meeting a good majority of the people behind the scenes and it truly helped me have a greater appreciation for the organization that I belong to and will always belong to. I met so many individuals at this conference and so many that were willing to offer a helping hand in my job search. I cannot express my deepest appreciation for the opportunity that was presented to me. I was able to experience the best of both worlds. Read more…

What a Golden Opportunity: Rod Kelley

March 25, 2010

Every time I approach a new opportunity, I’m never quite sure what to expect. As best as I try to prepare for a new experience, I open myself to observe, learn, and engage in the freshness of a new experience- looking for the moment or moments that will blow me away. NASPA 2010 had several of those moments.

To properly reflect on the conference, I need to consider the varying hats I wore while I was there.

First-Time Attendee Read more…

Vote for your Favorite 2010 Conference Photo!

March 25, 2010

In the February 22nd blog post on the NASPA 2010 Conference Blog, conference attendees were invited to submit photos under the categories of “Living the Legacy,” “Being the Movement,” and “Chicago at its Finest” for a chance to receive a complimentary 2011 NASPA Annual Conference registration.

The photos have been submitted, and now it is your time to vote! Vote in each of the three categories by clicking on the pictures below. If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at Voting is open until April 6, 2010, 1pm (eastern). Good luck to all the submissions!

photo of doris ching and ryan sasaki

2010 conference logo

2010 nufp reception photo

chicago landscape photo

My Overwhelming NASPA Experience: Kaymesia Coss

March 24, 2010

Before I arrived in Chicago for the conference I spoke with several of my mentors about their NASPA Annual conference experiences. Each of them expressed to me that it would be overwhelming and that I needed to remember to pace myself. I remember being very confused about their advice and not understanding if overwhelming would be a good or bad thing, but I was definitely about to find out!

I arrived in Chicago Friday afternoon and immediately began making connections with other Level Two recipients. My roommate Leezel Ramos and Samiyyah Ali were the first fellows I met and we quickly became the three amigos. Together we assisted with The Placement Exchange (TPE) where we witnessed the largest job placement production known to man…well at least that is what it felt like! It was not the size of TPE that impressed me the most (although the stats were pretty impressive) it was the execution of the well organized operation. From the layout of the employer floor plan to the mail boxes of the potential employers, everything was perfect and very well thought out. Kudos to an excellent planning staff! You all did your thing!! =)

Next on the agenda was the NUFP Pre-Conference which was absolutely amazing!!! I was able to meet so many fellows that were outgoing, intelligent, hilarious, and extremely passionate about the field of student affairs. What I appreciated most about the selection of fellows was diversity. There were so many students from different geographic regions, sexual orientations, ethnicities and more. There was a student from every walk of life which made each session more fulfilling. My top two favorite sessions were Power and Privilege and the StrengthsQuest Luncheon. In the Power and Privilege session we were able to have a heated discussion on different stereotypes given to minority groups and how those labels made us feel. We spent so much time “sharing” we almost missed lunch! I am a huge fan of StrengthsQuest so when I received a code from Nathan Victoria I was extremely excited! The facilitator presented our results in a way that was both engaging and informing. He concluded the session by letting us come to the realization that it was not a coincidence we all had similar strengths, but the strengths we shared would make us all phenomenal student affairs practitioners! If anyone was uncertain of their future success in the field they left the session knowing they had what it takes to fulfill the conference theme of being the movement.

Read more…

Time to be the Movement: John Gradel

March 22, 2010

Attending my first NASPA Conference was a blast!  I was able to meet a lot of different people in only a few short days.  I also had the chance of seeing the wonderful city of Chicago!

The SALT pre-conference was great because I was able to meet a lot of different undergraduates from across the United States who were interested in going to Student Affairs.  Not only did we hear from exceptional panels of people already in the field giving us advice, but also we learned about different theories on diversity and leadership.  The highlight of the pre-conference was the session on StrengthsQuest where we learned about our strengths and how to utilize and improve upon them!

The conference itself was an awesome learning experience.  From the sessions to the keynote speakers, all of it was great.  I fortunate enough to even meet Condoleezza Rice.  I got a photo with her and even shook her hand!  That was an amazing start to the next few days.  I went to several different sessions and by doing so accomplished one of my conference goals!  I went a session on Planning Your Future Career Moves in Student Affairs.  This was an awesome panel of seasoned professionals in the field.  They gave some great advice for how to navigate your career to keep continuing to advance and grow in the field.  I also attended an awesome session on how to create a Global Ambassadors Program.  I am interested in working in Education Abroad/International Education so this is an awesome program I would love to bring to campus.  It is a great way to create partnerships with the community.  Those were just some of the awesome sessions I was able to attend.

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