Over 500 professionals in student affairs attended the 63rd annual Southern Association for College Student Affairs conference that was held Saturday and Sunday in Memphis, Tenn., and VSU’s Higher Education Leadership program was among them.
“It’s the kind of conference where schools come together,” Matthew Parnell, Hopper Hall residence hall director, said. “Wake Forest was there, Clemson was there, Georgia, Valdosta State, West Georgia—all schools from the southeast.”
Higher Education at VSU works to train students to become professionals within student affairs—student affairs cover anything from Greek Life to Housing to Student Life.
The theme for SACSA 2012 was “Building Bridges through Collaboration and Innovation.”
The conference gave professionals from various universities a chance to network with others within the student affairs field.
“We want our jobs to be administrators on a college campus,” Parnell said.
Parnell and Nigel Richardson, academic advisor, both presented at SACSA about rising in the ranks as a professional and student conduct. Along with presenters there were sessions devoted to innovation and professional development where attendees were directly involved.
“One session that Matt and I went to was on how to build your own mission statement by defining what our core strengths and core beliefs were,” Richardson said.
Other sessions were created so attendees could come back to their university with new ways to work with student affairs in their university.
“The most rewarding aspect of it was to be able to represent Valdosta State University at the conference,” Richardson said. “It felt really good to be Valdosta State University and spread Valdosta State University’s name to a conference to the whole southeast because we are the southeast.”