Hannah, Larry, and I were able to travel to New Orleans a few weeks ago to attend the NASPA annual conference for Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. This is a very large conference – over 7000 attendees! – so it’s difficult to narrow down the trip into just a few highlights. Here are my top three moments from NOLA:
- I attended several great sessions on fundraising in higher education. One of my main goals for the TECHniques Center in the coming years is to grow the number of scholarship opportunities we are able to offer our students. Because our services are not covered under a student’s general tuition and fees, we do have a program fee each semester. While we have been successful at keeping this fee lower than similar programs across the country, the fee does keep some interested students from being able to benefit from the TECHniques Center. We hate for finances to be the factor keeping students away, and I was thrilled to learn new ways for us to increase the scholarships we will be able to offer in the future.
- One of our former students, Marshall Watson, is now a law student at Loyola University. He was kind enough to meet Hannah and I for breakfast one morning at the famously delicious Café du Monde. Of course the beignets were amazing, but getting to catch up with Marshall made for a great morning. He is doing so well and is getting ready to take over the world. So great to see him and catch up on his life!
- We won! Each year, NASPA recognizes exemplary programs in different areas of student affairs, and this year the TECHniques Center had the honor of receiving the Bronze Award in the Area of International, Multicultural, Gender, LGBTQ, Spirituality, Disability, and related areas. Although we all know the TECHniques Center is a special place, it is always nice to be recognized by an outside organization. I am thankful to all of you who took the time to write letters of support on our behalf. We did get our award in the mail, so be on the lookout for pictures once we get it back from the framers.
Of course, that is just a small sample of all that we learned and enjoyed in New Orleans, but I think you can see why I picked those as my top three! Thank you all for your support of the TECHniques Center day after day.