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Division of Student Affairs

A speaker talking with Student Affairs Staff in front of a crowd

2018-2019 Professsional Development Speaker Series

Upcoming Events

The Current State of Student Affairs: Implications for Policy and Practice

Thursday, April 4 | 2:30-3:30 PM | CUB Butch’s Den, Pullman Campus 

All Student Affairs employees system-wide are invited to join this session. Seating is limited. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend in person or join us via AMS.

Join Dr. Amelia Parnell, Omari Burnside, and Alexa Wesley to hear an update on the matters affecting our profession – topics will range from free speech, enrollment management, safety, mental health to Title IX. Engage in a conversation, as a variety of NASPA research and policy resources will be discussed. Attendees will hear national examples of student-focused research, policy, and practice and receive examples of how to connect each to their work at WSU. 

Maximizing Student Employment at WSU

Thursday, April 4 | 4:00-5:00 PM | CUB Butch’s Den, Pullman Campus

All WSU Campuses are invited to join this session. Seating is limited. Please RSVP here if you plan to attend in person or join us via AMS.

When operationalized effectively, on-campus employment can provide students with a greater sense of financial security, while also improving learning, career-readiness, engagement, and persistence outcomes. Recognizing these benefits, many institutions have advanced the use of federal work-study and institution-funded campus-based employment programs as part of an overall student success strategy.

In this session, join Dr. Amelia Parnell, Omari Burnside and Alexa Wesley from NASPA, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators -Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education NASPA as they share results from the national research study exploring the current conditions of on-campus employment, as well as promising student employment practices intended to improve student success.

To request accommodations for either event, please email W. Connor Wolcott at william.wolcott@wsu.edu or 509-335-4531.

About Our Guest Speakers

Omari Burnside

Omari Burnside

Omari Burnside

Omari Burnside serves as the Assistant Vice President for strategy and practice at NASPA, where he leads the organization’s student success related grants. In this role, Burnside researches and develops tools on effective student success practices, including student employment, emergency aid, and advising. Prior to joining NASPA, he worked at a non-profit where he assisted campus and state system leaders to plan, scale, and implement strategies designed to increase student success and close equity gaps.

Burnside holds a Master’s in Organizational Management from The George Washington University, a Master’s in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a Bachelor’s in Sociology from the University of Maryland.

Amelia Parnell

Dr. Amelia Parnell

Dr. Amelia Parnell 

Dr. Amelia Parnell is Vice President for research and policy at NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Parnell directs NASPA’s Research and Policy Institute (RPI), which links research, policy, and effective student affairs practice in support of student success. Prior to her arrival at NASPA, Parnell was director of research initiatives at the Association for Institutional Research (AIR), where she conducted two national studies related to future directions of the institutional research function. Her current research portfolio also includes studies on leadership attributes of college presidents and vice presidents, documenting and assessing co-curricular learning, and assessment and evaluation in student affairs.

Parnell is co-editor of the newly-released book, The Analytics Revolution. She is a member of the board of directors for IDEA and serves on advisory boards for several other higher education organizations. Parnell holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education from Florida State University and Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees in Business Administration from Florida A&M University.

Alexa Wesley

Alexa Wesley

Alexa Wesley

Alexa Wesley is a research and policy associate at NASPA–Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. She works in NASPA’s Research and Policy Institute, where she contributes to publications, blogs, and research relating to student learning and success outcomes. Prior to joining NASPA, Wesley served as a policy intern for Lumina Foundation’s DC office, where her work focused on federal postsecondary education policy and issues around student and institutional finance. She also conducted policy research and provided support for the U.S. Department of Education’s policy shop as well as the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Government and Politics and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland, College Park.


Past Events

Dr. Jill Doerner

Dr. Jill Doerner

Rules & Heart: The Humanity of Community Standards

Thursday, January 3 | 3:00-4:30 p.m. | CUB Junior Ballroom, Pullman | All WSU campuses are invited to join us via AMS.

An interactive dialogue regarding the philosophies and value of community justice practices. Dr. Doerner will lend insight and perspective on how we best support our Cougs in the community standards process, in conjunction with the Center for Community Standards and WSU partners. 


Jill K. Doerner is the Director of the Criminology & Criminal Justice Program and an Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Rhode Island. She joined the URI Department of Sociology and Anthropology in fall 2008 and became the Director of the Criminology and Criminal Justice Program in fall 2018. She previously served as Interim Director of CCJ for two years after leading the team creating the program. She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Ohio Northern University (2002), as well as a M.A. (2004) and Ph.D. (2009) in Sociology from Bowling Green State University.

Her research focuses on differential sentencing outcomes in the criminal justice system, examining disparities across gender, race/ethnicity and age. Her more recent research focuses on the sentencing outcomes of older prisoners and more broadly the consequences of incarceration on the aging prison population. Specifically, she is interested in focusing on issues of safety, social support, health and mental well-being, and self-care behavior, along with differential sentencing among this population. Her current project examines the changes in Honors Program students’ attitudes associated with taking a course covering various issues of inequality and analyzes data collected by her and her colleagues. Doerner’s work has been published in Justice QuarterlyWomen & Criminal JusticeJournal of Crime & Justice, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and the Encyclopedia of Women & Crime.

She regularly teaches courses on the criminal justice system, gender, crime, and justice, juvenile justice, and policy issues in criminal justice. In addition, she has taught several courses in the Honors Program, where she has also served as an advisor and Honors Project sponsor. Recently, she was appointed by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo to the Gun Safety Working Group, a state-wide collective of researchers, law enforcement, mental health professionals, government agency representatives, K-12 educators, and community members tasked with making sweeping recommendations to increase gun safety in Rhode Island.

Doerner’s involvement in the conduct process began in 2010 when she started serving on the University Judicial Board. After six years on the Judicial Board, she was appointed by URI President David Dooley to Chair the University Appeals Board, and she continues to serve in that capacity. She is also actively involved in a variety of other initiatives with the Division of Student Affairs at the University of Rhode Island, as well as the Center for Student Leadership Development, Gender & Sexuality Center, Undergraduate Admissions, and the Office of the Provost.

Dr. Eric Grospitch

Eric Grospitch, Ed.D currently serves as the Vice President for Student Life at Washburn University where he works with Counseling & Health Services, Student Recreation and Wellness, Residential Living, University Diversity & Inclusion, Student Activities & Greek Life, Veteran Services and Career Services.  Previously he was the Assistant Vice Chancellor and Dean of Students at the University of Missouri Kansas City.  There he was responsible for Auxiliary Services including Student Residential Life, UMKC Student Union & Dining, and Student Veteran Programs. He supervised the Office of Student Involvement, which includes Fraternity and Sorority Life, Activity and Program Council, Student Organizations and accounting, Communiversity, leadership and community service programs, and the LGBTQIA Office.  He has led a number of strategic planning initiatives including the implementation of long-term maintenance budgeting, a student customer service training program, campus safety, diversity education, and transportation initiatives. Married for 17 years to his partner Shelly, they are the proud parents of Dylan, a sophomore at Washburn Rural and Lauryn a seventh grader at Christ the King.Eric received his bachelor’s degree in business and master’s in counseling from Fort Hays State University and his Ed.D in educational policy and leadership from the University of Kansas.

Witnessing an Implosion: Racial Tensions at University of Missouri

Tuesday, November 20 | 10:00-11:00 AM |  CUE 114 & AMS locations here               

Dr. Grospitch will speak openly about his experience as an employee in a university system facing the realities of racial tensions.  At the height of which resulted in the resignation of a system President. Open to all WSU Faculty, Staff and students.

Balancing Act:  Activism and Employment at a State Institution

Tuesday, November 20 | 3:30-5:00 PM | CUB L60 Butch's Den                                                                               

Engage in a round table discussion about the push and pull of working to advance one’s involvement in systemic change while also fulfilling one’s role as staff or faculty, who are working to help students make a connection to a ‘place’ or person. Open to all WSU Faculty, Staff and students.


Session for Student Affairs as part of the All-Division Staff Meeting:

Building Inclusive Environments through Allyship | Tuesday, November 20  

Dr. Josie Ahlquist

Social Media & Digital Leadership

Thursday, October 4, 2018
Engaging the Digital Generation: Social Media for Community Building and Student Success
The session will feature ways to increase engagement and build community with contemporary students online and how social media can be a medium for professional development.
Session for Student Affairs staff: 10:30-12:00 PM  | Chinook 150 | View Invitation | Watch Livestream 
Session open to all WSU Faculty and Staff, particularly those in student service areas: 2:00-3:30 PM | Chinook 150 | View Invitation 

Check Yourself: Being an Authentic Digital Student Leader | Session open to all WSU students: 4:00-5:15 PM |  Chinook 150 | View Invitation 

Dr. Josie Ahlquist is a digital leadership educator, discovering the intersection of digital communication technologies and leadership development. She believes in challenging how we think about social media for community building and leadership capacity. Dr. Ahlquist backs up her content with her own grant funded and award-winning research. Her research agenda focuses on teens and young adults digital experiences, senior executives online leadership practices and digital leadership pedagogy. She is extensively published, including the Handbook of Student Affairs Administration textbooks, The Journal of Leadership Studies, co-editor, and author in Engaging the Digital Generation, as well as co-editor and author of Going Digital in Student Leadership. Josie is currently writing a book set to release summer 2019 on Digital Leadership in Higher Education.

Dr. Georgina Dodge

Our Division's Role in Shaping Our Campus Culture

Thursday, April 12, 2018 | 3:00-4:30 pm | CUB 210

Please join Student Affairs colleagues for an informal gathering and discussion with higher education thought-leader Dr. Georgina Dodge as she shares her insights on community, equity, and inclusive excellence. As Student Affairs professionals, we lead the way in building a more welcoming and inclusive campus for our Cougar community in all of our places and spaces, and our programs and services.

Dr. Georgina Dodge is the Associate Provost for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Bucknell University where she serves on the President’s Diversity Council. In past roles, she has served as Chief Diversity Officer, associate vice president and Title IX coordinator at the University of Iowa, and held various positions at Ohio State University including the Office of Minority Affairs. Learn more about Dr. Georgina Dodge’s professional experiences on Bucknell’s website.

George McCllelan

Dr. George McClellan

Shaping our #GoCougs Division

Tuesday, February 13, 2018 

The Division of Student Affairs invites you to attend a professional development opportunity with Dr. George McClellan, an internationally recognized author and noted expert in student affairs, finance, and change management in higher education. Dr. McClellan will be spending the day with our Division of Student Affairs leadership on Monday, February 12, 2018 and with Division staff on Tuesday, February 13, 2108.

Dr. McClellan is an Associate Professor of Higher Education at the University of Mississippi. He has served for 35 years in a variety of Student Affairs professional positions including most recently as the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Indiana University - Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). He has also held positions at Dickinson State University, University of Arizona, and Northwestern University. He has authored, co-authored and co-edited many professional books, articles and chapters including Making Change Happen in Student Affairs: Challenges and Strategies for Professionals, Budget and Financial Management in Higher Education, Stepping Up to Stepping Out: Preparing Students for Life After College, and The Handbook of College Athletics and Recreation Management. Learn more about Dr. McClellan: bio and resume.

Arthur Romano in a room presenting

Dr. Arthur Romano

The critical role that meaningful dialogue can play in addressing issues of difference on campus

Monday, October 9, 2017
10-11:30 a.m. | Chinook 150 – Workshop for Staff Courageous Leadership: Building Peace in contentious times
1-2:30 p.m. Chinook 150 - Workshop for Faculty Learning about Conflict in Higher Education Classrooms
3-4:30 p.m. | Chinook 150  - Workshop for Students Courageous Leadership: Building Peace in contentious times
6 p.m. | CUB Senior Ballroom - Keynote address: Civility and Difference: Sustaining Conversations that Matter on Campus. The keynote address will explore the possibility of having passionate and contentious conversations on campus without resorting to negativity, nastiness and name calling. Dr. Romano will also discuss how can we be honest and not sugar coat things while also respecting others.

October 10, 2017
9am-10:30am | CUB 210 (Jr. Ballroom) – Roundtable with Dr. Arthur Romano CUB 210

Dr. Romano has implemented innovative educational programs in Africa, South America, Asia, Europe and the US. These programs have supported thousands of students in learning practical strategies for building healthy communities, becoming global leaders and productively engaging with conflict. Dr. Romano has spoken numerous times at the United Nations and has collaborated with the Department of Public Information to promote the Gandhi-King Season for Nonviolence and the International Day of Peace. He currently serves as a professor of conflict analysis and resolution at George Mason University.


Learn within Student Affairs

NASPA Annual Conference Virtual Ticket: more details available prior to the annual conference in March 2019.