Opening Doors For Professional Growth

Author: Jessica Haywood

Receiving the Graduate Student Scholarship for NWASAP allowed me to get my first taste of student affairs conferences- an experience I would not have had without financial support from NWASAP. 

Attending the conference allowed me to meet other student affairs professionals from surrounding institutions and gain a perspective of the profession that extends beyond my experience at Oregon State University.  The atmosphere was open and welcoming, and the smaller size of the conference made me feel more comfortable and less overwhelmed than if I had been attending a large regional or national conference.  NWASAP provided a great conference experience, offered interesting, engaging workshops, and allowed me to grow as a professional.  The organization provided a session during which graduate students and new professionals could come together to meet each other as well as talk about current issues and experiences in the field.  I appreciated the opportunity to connect with other people outside of my institution who have similar interests and experiences as myself.

Attending NWASAP not only allowed me to make connections as a conference attendee, but also provided me a safe space to try out my skills as a disseminator of knowledge by presenting my research on transformative learning in immersive service-learning experiences.  I was encouraged to present at the conference by a NWASAP member, and received valuable feedback by all of the attendees.  The people and atmosphere of the conference helped me feel confident and supported during my first professional presentation - support that I’m not sure I would have felt at other conferences.  Having the opportunity to present at the conference helped me understand that I not only can be, but already am a contributor to the field.  As my graduation date from the College Student Services Administration program at OSU draws closer, I feel confident as a professional because I have this experience under my belt.  I want to thank the NWASAP Board and members for the wonderful financial support that allowed me to attend the conference and gain invaluable professional experience!

By Jessica Haywood

College Student Services Administration

Graduate Student Oregon State University