Just Registered For My First National Conference! (Part I)

By: Luis H. Garay

Over the weekend I registered for this year’s NODA Conference(NODAC). NODA is the Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education*. This year’s conference is in San Antonio, Texas and goes from November 3rd through November 6thIn short, I am REALLY excited for this conference!
As the title of this week’s post says, NODAC is my first student affairs national conference! Last year, I had the wonderfulopportunity to attend the Missouri College Personnel Association (MoCPA) regional conference. MoCPA was an excellent spring board to jump into the pool for student affairs conferences. I enjoyed MoCPA because I was in wonderment that all those in attendance were passionate and willing to engage with others about student affairs. I imagine the same spirit of passion and engagement will be at NODAC but focused on orientation, transition, and retention.

I have always had a passion and a special place in my heart for Orientation. A lot of it stems from my wonderful experience with Orientation serving as Orientation Leader in my undergraduate days to NODA Intern this past summer. Somehow, someway, the world of orientation pulls me back in and I love it. My love for it has grown from being a guide and resource to incoming, first-year students to working with Orientation Leaders so they too may experience what I loved about Orientation. Professionally, I am excited to meet others who are similar-minded but also to be able to learn more the enrollment management part of the field.

I will be chronicling my NODAC experience in three parts: part one is this post, my pre-NODAC thoughts as it were; part two will focus on early NODAC thoughts and any sightseeing in San Antonio (it’s my first time in San Antonio), it will be posted on November 4th; and the final part, part three, will be post-NODAC thoughts, it will be posted on 11th. I’m not committed to this structure, but it would be nice to write about this experience. So, stay tuned!

On a final note, are any of my fellow SAFirst bloggers attending NODAC? How about any SAFirstYears readers? Let’s meet up! Feel free to connect with me and let me know (@LuisHGaray). Oh, and since this is my first time in San Antonio, any local eatery recommendations, sights to see, or museums to check out are highly encouraged.

*For more information on NODA or NODAC 2013, you can check out their website at the following:http://www.nodaweb.org/

Student Affairs - the First Years

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