Attending ACPA 2020 and looking for sessions to attend?

If you are planning to attend ACPA 2020 this March occurring from the 2nd to 5th there will be a variety of presenters within the New England region that will be there. We encourage you to attend these sessions if the topics are of interest to you. Here is a list of presenters, their institutions, session numbers, and session topics. Gavin Henning who is a Past President of both ACPA and CAS will be presenting three sessions: (PRE-CONVENTION) Promoting Equity and Inclusion Through Socially Just Assessment, Implementing Socially Just Assessment: Methods for Practice, (PRE-CONVENTION) Conducting Program Review Using the CAS Standards. Matthew Gregory who is the NECPA Operations Coordinator will also be presenting a session: So you want to be a Senior SA Pro? You can learn more about the ACPA20 convention going to:

AmeriCorps Vista Experience at University of Maine at Presque Isle

Written By: Mary Ndukwe

As part of the Northern New England Campus VISTA collaboration, my host site is a part of the Maine Campus Compact. This coalition of 18 member campuses purpose is to catalyze and lead a movement to reinvigorate the public purposes and civic mission of higher education.

The goal of my position at the University of Maine at Presque Isle (UMPI) is to develop programs that will increase access and retention to higher education for low income individuals. Working on a university campus was the major influence for me to want to pursue a career in higher education. I work with UMPI’s TRiO programs such as Upward Bound, Talent Search, and Student Support Services addressing and improving college access. This project will support retention efforts on campus particularly as it relates to early college, low income and first-generation students. It will also serve an essential role in expanding our focus on building upon and sustaining programs that promote community service, civic engagement, diversity, and inclusion.

With UMPI being a small institution I have had the opportunity to build connections and learn about different areas within student affairs. As a recent graduate, working alongside student activities and residence life as a professional has been a great way to interact with students. Regarding my professional development, I am involved in some of the university committees working with professional staff and faculty. Also, during my term as a VISTA, I have had the opportunity to attend a conference and training related to higher education. Serving as an AmeriCorps VISTA has been an extraordinary introduction into the world of higher education.

NECPA Award Winner Spotlight – Molly Hansen

Emerging Professional of the Year Award Winner – Molly Hansen

What do you love most about working at Bunker Hill Community College?

What I love most about working at Bunker Hill Community College is the drive and perseverance of the student population. Each student I have met shows dedication to their education and pursuit of learning. While operating the DISH Food Pantry, I have had the opportunity to serve and get to know students who come from all different backgrounds and career pathways—and they are all proud to be Bunker Hill Community College students. Additionally, the support for basic needs initiatives at Bunker Hill is unlike anything I have seen at any other institution. The staff and administration are not only acutely aware of the issue, but make intentional efforts to support students who are struggling with food and basic needs insecurity. I am proud to work at BHCC for my first full-time position!

Who inspired you to get involved in Higher Education?

My passion for higher education started at the University of Arizona in Tucson, where I completed my undergraduate degree. I saw firsthand how food and housing insecurity impacted my classmates’ ability to complete assignments, pay attention in class, and be an active member of the college community. Through my work with UA Campus Pantry, I was able to assist my peers with this issue by distributing food and hygiene items on a bi-weekly basis. In addition, my involvement with Residence Life, Office of Admissions, Career Services, and the Women’s Resource Center made it clear to me that working with college students was something that I was passionate about. When I started my graduate program at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, I began researching ways in which basic needs insecurity impacted the college student experience. This led me to write my master’s thesis on the creation, management, and sustainability of college food pantries. In my current role, I hope to assist students who are currently facing food insecurity, while also being an advocate for policy change on the state and local level.

What advice would you offer to new professionals who are starting their first professional position?

My advice to new student affairs professionals is to be as intentional as possible in getting to know your campus community. Take time to meet with various offices around campus to introduce yourself—these personal connections are extremely helpful when planning collaborative efforts. Get to know the student population by reaching out to Student Government Association and other student-led groups, and take advice and feedback about your initiatives from them seriously!

NECPA Award Winner Spotlight – Tita Feraud-King

Graduate Student of the Year Award Winner – Tita Feraud-King

What do you love most about working at UMass Amherst?

UMass Amherst supports all my diverse passions and gives me opportunities to do whatever I am interested in. I have been able to supervise student staff, teach within the second semester of working there, work on changing residential curriculum and the teaching lesson plans, sit on very important university committees, and present my research. UMass helps me entwine my passion for social justice in every aspect of my professional and academic life.

Who inspired you to get involved in Higher Education?

There are two people who inspired me to get involved in Higher Education: Dean Jacqueline Peterson and Robert Jones. Both are two people of color who were able to carve unique spaces in Higher Education to support all marginalized intersectional identities. Dean Peterson showed me that it is possible to have strong connections with students even when you are on top and work on changing a campus climate. Robert Jones taught me how to be a great facilitator, engage with students, empower students to use their voices and stand tall, and advocate for underrepresented students.

What advice would you offer to new professionals who are starting their first professional position?

One piece of advice that I would give any new professional is to have an open-minded with job opportunities. You may think you know what you like and strong dislike, but sometimes jobs will surprise you. I originally did not want to do residential life and did not see the connection between my passion for social justice and housing, but decided to do so for my graduate assistantships. I absolutely love my job and working with my residents. I have grown as a supervisor, social justice advocator, and facilitator.