We look forward to bringing the 2021 NASPA Virtual Conference to you!
The forces buffeting higher education are reshaping our institutions, our work in student affairs, and our students. Our efforts to educate students for engaged citizenship and personal growth are critically necessary, as are our efforts to bridge opportunity gaps and promote health and well-being as a way of life. The confluence of a global pandemic, its devastating and disparate effects, a national reckoning with systemic racism and racial injustice, dramatic political polarization in a presidential election year, and an economic downturn, have created conditions not known in recent memory. Although not one of us has the answers to all of the thorny issues we face, together we can boost our knowledge and help each other gain new tools for meeting the considerable challenges of our day.
We are designing the 2021 NASPA Virtual Conference to motivate each of us to redouble our efforts as student affairs professionals. As the pandemic continues to unfold in the United States and worldwide, we have decided not to convene in Kansas City – and instead to bring the conference to you in your home, office, or wherever you might be. While we will miss the opportunity to enjoy jazz and barbecue in person, we know that prioritizing the health and well-being of the NASPA community is the right way forward.
In light of all we are facing, our 2021 Annual Conference has four clear goals:
- To rebuild community and promote dialogue;
- To support staff throughout the professional lifecycle;
- To be responsive to students’ changing needs; and
- To promote innovation and sustainability in our field.
If ever there was a time for student affairs professionals to share wisdom, find new ways to support staff and students, and engage in dialogue with one another, this is it.
We know that you have a lot of questions about what the virtual conference will look like. The Conference Leadership Committee is hard at work reimagining this event for a virtual space, and we look forward to bringing you the online version of everything you know and love about the NASPA Annual Conference: high-quality professional development, networking, and engagement opportunities.
On behalf of the 2021 Conference Leadership Committee, I invite you to join us for this first-of-its-kind NASPA event, and be part of the dialogue. Together, we will find our way forward.
Michele C. Murray, Ph.D.
Chair, 2021 NASPA Annual Conference
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students, College of the Holy Cross
2021 Conference Leadership Committee