Celebrating the #NASPAProps Thank You Contest Winners - Read their WHY

As students graduate and halls close, NASPA volunteers across the globe are still in full swing with over 17 in-person conferences to be executed throughout May and June, including two inaugural events: 2017 NASPA Religious, Secular, and Spiritual Identities Convergence and the 2017 Symposium on Collegiate Financial Well-Being. Serving on a conference planning committee is but one of the incredible ways NASPA members give of their time and talents, partnering with the NASPA staff in offering a staggering array of educational experiences and resources aimed at enriching the field of student affairs. ‘NASPA is its members’ is said often, and to me it means how dedicated, integrated, and invested our volunteers are in the substance of our association.

April is National Volunteer Month, and as a way to celebrate last month we conducted a contest on the NASPA Blog. To enter the raffle for some topnotch prizes, including a campus visit from NASPA President Kevin Kruger, members were asked to leave a comment explaining WHY they volunteer for our association. Once again, we offer sincerest #NASPAProps to all our volunteers, serving in every capacity, and special thanks to the many commenters.

Without further adieu, I’m excited to announce the winners of the #NASPAProps Thank You Contest:

Grand Prize Winner:

Steve Jenks, Admission Counselor, Ithaca College:

"I volunteer with NASPA because it's a unique way to partner with colleagues from all over the world around issues related to higher education that I think are important. In my current role on my campus, I don't always have the ability to affect change in a way that I want to, but NASPA allows me an outlet to put my passion into action and help create knowledge and best practices that are useful in ways beyond my day-to-day role. I was also a NUFP fellow and feel a great appreciation for everything that NASPA has done for me professionally and personally. Volunteering is an easy way to show my gratitude, give back, and support the future of student affairs."

Not-So-Second Prize Winners:

Kelly Alvarado, Manager, First Year Experience Programs, Gonzaga University:

"I volunteer with NASPA on the Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community (LKC) to advance scholarship, research, advocacy, professional development and student success for Latinx students and professionals. Being a volunteer for the LKC has helped me build a network of amazing student affairs professionals from around the country. I have learned so much from everyone I work with and appreciate giving back to my community."

Melissa Kisubika, Retention Specialist, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign:

"I started volunteering with NASPA in grad school at the national and regional conferences, then in my first full time position I took a leap of faith and volunteered to serve on the leadership team for the AER KC. I started that journey with the AER KC as a way to remain "in the know" about assessment and research because that was not really a part of my daily job. Now I coordinate the communication for the KC and have been doing that for 7 years. Because of my involvement with the KC I now am pursuing a PhD with a focus on assessment and now work in a role where research is important. My volunteering has allowed me to be an influence on campus committees, has given me strengths in a job search, and most importantly allows me to work closely with some of the greatest minds in student affairs from across the country!"

Triseinge Ortiz, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Marshall B. Ketchum University:

"I volunteer with NASPA to support the determination and will power of those seeking equity for higher education. Together we can develop plans and persist to reach students that have underdeveloped potential. This is an organization that supports trying new methods and reminds us to reward ourselves as well as our students for achievements. NASPA is where we can connect and be proud of how far we have come while acknowledging where we still aim to be."

Congratulations to these four fantastic volunteers! If you want to get involved in NASPA, make sure to check out the new and improved Volunteer Central.