Friday, March 27, 2015

#NASPA15 - Conference Recap: Connected, Communicated, Converted, and Convinced (+BookClubs)

This week, I was fortunate to attend and present at the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Conference and I had such a great time learning about new concepts in higher education/student affairs. This includes: Yik Yak, Title 9, assisting student parents, marketing to new college students and their parents, and the importance of THINKING BIG!

Book Clubs in Student Affairs - Neat Concept!
One of the sessions that I loved the most was the "book club session" focused on student affairs publications and other publications in the leadership field. This session really inspired me to "think outside of the box" because it is incredibly hard to read an assigned/required book within a specific time frame and then report the important findings (and my reflections) to my accountability group (book club). 

This book club enabled me to think about creating a journal clubs or reading e-books from the library databases without having to add an expense to our university accounts or the book club participants' personal accounts. I will write a few additional ideas about the higher education book club concept in a few days.

Connecting with Past Colleagues
Through NASPA, I was able to connect with one of my former supervisors from Stephen F. Austin State University (SFASU) and connect with MANY colleagues from TACUSPA (Texas Association of College and Student Personnel Administrators). These connections are always valuable for me, because I made a point to remain in contact with my student affairs colleagues even when I left the student affairs field and became a member of the faculty. You NEVER know how your career path will take twists and turns!

Communicating with Others via Twitter and Instagram
During conferences, especially a large scale conference (for example, NASPA had 7,000+ participants) it is important to connect with other attendees via the conference backchannel on Twitter. This is valuable because I believe a rich conversation exists on the conference hashtag (before, during, and after the conference). Also, through the conference backchannel, participants can form relationships and participate in "meet ups" during the conference (to take the virtual conversation to the virtual environment). It is always amazing to meet someone who recognizes you from Twitter.

Converted My Mind About Blogging

I attended the "Blogging Bravely" session on March 23, 2015 at 8:30 am and this session featured many of the premier student affairs bloggers - @paulgordonbrown @MarciKWalton @reneepdowdy  @josieahlquist. This was a great session, because it caused me to re-examine my blogging goals.
I had a hard time finding my blogging voice in my new role. It was incredibly easy to blog about
teaching techniques, but it is difficult to blog about a hybrid role (academic affairs and student life functions). It is very difficult to find a which topics appeal to your audience! 

Convinced Me to Publish Articles on Academic Affairs and Student Affairs Partnerships
Also, I usually publish in Communication Journals and speak at communication conferences, but I will definitely have to modify my venues and outlets to publish on bridging the gap between academic affairs and student affairs at institutions of higher education. I am actually energized and I hope to publish an article in the near future!

As you can see, I had a great time. It was great writing this brief blog post, because this post functioned a great reflection piece for me. Energized! Back to work!

Sincerely - @drjtedwardsTSU

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hi! Please contribute a comment (or two) about the post! :)