NASPA was Amazing

If I had to describe the NASPA conference in one word, I would say amazing! But since I can say more than a word, I will go into more detail. I am so grateful that my first NASPA experience was so successful and beneficial. I learned more about the profession and colleagues across the country. One of my favorite things about this particular conference is the ability to learn and share with people from different types of institutions, throughout the country, and in different areas of student affairs. I felt as though the people I met were truly interested in my thoughts and ideas during small group discussions. I felt a sense of belonging and that I fit in this professional association. I went to a variety of sessions on different topics- some directly related to my current position in financial aid and other that were related to topics of interest. I felt like presentations were fabulous and gave plenty of useful information.

One of my favorite sessions was devoted to students in poverty. Sounds like a depressing topic, but the information given was phenomenal. Oregon State University gave the presentation about how they serve their students in need of food and housing. I was so inspired and felt so empowered to help students in need after this presentation. I felt like this was a theme of the conference: empowerment. Between being excited about conference’s usage of gender neutral restrooms, joining Knowledge Communities, and meeting new colleagues, I felt empowered to be a better and more knowledgeable student affairs professional.

Another awesome benefit of attending this conference is developing and maintaining friendships!! I loved stepping off of the escalator into a sea of Ball State University graduate school friends. I was able to catch up with a former faculty mentor and friends from graduate school. It is amazing how we can all come together from across the country and discuss our passions. If you weren’t able to go, I highly recommend it for next year! #NASPA12wins! (@katieericson will discuss this in her blog later this week). 

Amber Phillips

Student Affairs - the First Years

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