I’m Back! Conference Update

Happy Monday Everyone!

I returned from my conference last Tuesday (election night), stayed up way too late watching disappointing results, worked two days and then had a 3-day weekend (thank goodness)! Now I’m back in the routine of work …nothing like being back to reality haha.

Last year I attended the Annual NODA conference in Denver, CO and had an absolute blast! This year that conference was in Indianapolis, Indiana and was just as much fun! I flew out on Friday 11/4 so most of that first day was just traveling. On Saturday 11/5 my colleague from SJSU, Rigo went exploring in downtown Indy.

We started our downtown tour at Monument Circle which is considered the “true heart of Downtown Indianapolis” and is “truly a must-see for anyone visiting the Circle City!” Well lucky us! While walking around Monument Circle we decided to tour the Soldiers and Sailors Monument as well. The Soldiers and Sailors Monument was designed by Bruno Schmitz and was dedicated in 1902 to Indiana’s heroes who died in wars before World War I. Erected as a memorial to the soldiers and sailors of the War for the Union (1861-65), it also commemorates the War with Mexico (1846-48), Indian and British Wars (1811-12), War of the Revolution and the capture of Vincennes from the British on February 25, 1779. Visitors can hike up to the observation level, located 330 steps up (yikes) or take the elevator (which I ended up doing) to step 290. Too many steps for me! Once at the observation deck you can see stunning views of downtown and even the capitol building in the distance. Great way to start out tourist day in Indy!

After, we headed towards the Capitol building and even got to join a tour group! Our first day was clearly all about Indiana HISTORY haha. While on the tour we discussed/visited all three branches of of the government: Executive, Legislative and Judicial; got to see Mike Pence’s office; take a seat in someones actual seat in the House of Representatives; and tour the Supreme Court Room. We learned so much about Indiana, it’s state capitol, the Indiana flag, etc., etc., etc. It really was a history day haha.

After our capitol tour and lunch we headed back to the hotel to hang out and change before the offical opening of the conference. I stayed at the JW Marriott and that’s also where the conference took place. The hotel was super snazzy and a perfect great place for a conference. To kick things off before the start of the conference we had regional meet ups and then a sit down dinner. Yum! So nice to be able to sit down and actual hear the speakers. Great way to start NODAC 2016!

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The person in charge of social media for the conference created NODA snapchat filters so of course I had to try them out. Haha too funny! I don’t know how to do anything with snapchat except the filers.

After the first featured speaker on Day #1, I headed to the first education session where I was going to be PRESENTER!! This is the SECOND time I’ve presented at a national conference! Waahoooo. Checking off those professional bucket list items!

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Our group presented about our OPI/NODA experience from last year and what to do with all that we learned. Attending a conference like NODA can be really overwhelming, so we thought our session would be helpful to new attendees and OPI grads. We had a pretty good turn out and even had a few OPI faculty members attend! Yay!

Presenting at a national conference has been something I have always wanted to do and I feel so excited and proud of myself for accomplishing this two years in a row! I hope to continue to attend NODA and to keep presenting! THANK YOU again to my co-presenters Natalie, Megan, Allison, Genna and Paige! You ladies were fabulous to work. Who knows, maybe we will be presenting again next year… 15056259_10105046099023937_4976138298608371360_n.jpg

During NODA I love being able to meet so many new people but also reconnecting with friends/colleagues! Here I am with my friend Heather who works that UC Riverside. We first met at UCSB and were on O-Staff together! It was great seeing/catching up with her again. Go Gauchos!

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During the conference I always look forward to the featured speakers. Somehow NODA always gets truly phenomenal featured speakers. This year was no exception! We had unbelievable folks talking to us about topics that are so prominent and true on all of our campuses. One of my absolutle favorite speakers was Dr. Terrell L. Strayhorn. He was beyond AMAZING. He is probably one of the best speakers I have ever seen, incredibly inspiring and motivating. Dr. Terrell L. Strayhorn is a professor of Higher Education at The Ohio State University and also serves as the Director of the Center for Higher Education Enterprise (CHEE). He gave a talk on what is belonging research shows and why NODA should care. At times, the audience was crying, sitting on the edge of their seat, tweeting in responses and standing up and singing! I have never felt so moved or empowered. THANK YOU Dr. Strayhorn for your incredible talk!

#thisiswhataprofessionallookslike

#dogoodwork

#mamabelievesinyou

#ibelieveinyou

#youareaneagle

#openthewindowandletthelightshinein

WOW is all I can say! This guy is AMAZING!

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After Dr. Strayhorn’s talk we all went to the Eiteljorg Museum for a networking event called NODA Connect. The Eiteljorg Museum was a stunning place for a networking event. The entire museum was also open so we got to explore all the exhibits. Clearly Rigo and I had a blast hahaha. We even got to see a GEORGIA O’KEEFFE!!!

Another highlight for me during the conference was the Author’s Luncheon. Last year I had no idea what this was and didn’t participate. So glad I went this year because it was really fun and I got a bunch of FREE books! Who doesn’t love free books?! There were 5 different authors that shared a little about their works and then signed our books after. We heard from the following:

Margot Lee Shetterly – Hidden Figures

Ken Ilgunas – Trespassing Across America

Jennie Capo Crucet – Make your Home Among Strangers

Patrick Phillips – Blood at the Root, A Racial Cleansing in America

Michael Puett -The Path

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I seriously can’t wait to start reading each of these books. Their stories all sound so interesting and it was grerat to meet the authors! In the future I plan to always attend the author’s luncheon. Can’t wait for next year!

The last featured speaker we had was Courtney O’Connell who talked about becoming innovative educators. She too was really inspiring and touched on so many important issues. I learned so much on how to become an innovative educator and even got a list of more books to read! #booknerd #ilovetoread book

When seeing these kinds of people speak, I get so inspired and often feel like I want to be just like them! I truly want to be someone in my field, not just another person working in an office. Sometimes I dream/wonder if some day I will be the person on a big stage speaking to an audience at a conference…do I have the power to motivate and inspire people? I sure hope so! That would be pretty cool…to sorta come full circle. #futuregoals

I love going to these types of conferences and getting inspired! Often I get back and truly feel like I can do anything! I know I can, but I just need to do it one step at a time…

For my last night in Indy, I spent it hanging out with my friend Heather and her co-worker Lizze. We explored more of Indy, had dinner at this great place called The Eagle, walked around Massachusetts Ave., did a little shopping and took a few more pictures of the capitol all lit up at night. Such a great way to spend our last night!

As the conference comes to a close I always get a little sad..I had such an amazing time and didn’t want to go leave. Over the last few days I loved being able to soak up so much knowledge, meet and talk with so many people and truly feel recharged. Although it’s sad to see NODAC 2016 come to a close, I’m already looking forward to next year! For 2017 the conference will take place in LOUISVILLE, KENTUCKY! I’ve never been to Louisville, but it looks awesome!

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During the conference I learned so much and realized this really is what I want to do with my career/life! It felt good to get reconnected to my profession if that makes sense. I also feel so thankful for the opportunity to have gone to another conference and to have presented for the second time in a row! Can’t wait unitl next year!

Hope your week is off to a great start!

Xo

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