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University Administrators 2010 NASPA Meet

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Matt Bailey

Born in London, moved to Chicago in 2007, fell in love with Wrigley Field. Doesn't that make me a Chicagoan?

4,200 university student affairs professionals from across this fine nation meet this week at the Magnificent Mile Marriott and Sheraton Chicago hotels for the 2010 NASPA Annual Conference: Live the Legacy, Be the Movement.  

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Ms. Laura Valdez

I sat down with Laura Valdez, University of New Mexico Student Orientation Director, to learn a little more about this group, whose purpose is simply improving students' college experiences.

Q. What's that acronym?

"The National Association of Student Personnel Professionals."

Q. How often do you meet?


"Once a year.  I really enjoy it.  We have met in Orlando, Boston, Seattle, and DC to name a few."

Q. Chicago's the best though, right?

"Chicago and Seattle are my favorite.  I haven't been to Chicago since the 1997 NASPA conference.  People are so friendly here.  It's shocking to me how friendly people in a big city can be.  Last time I was here I was searching for a pizza place in the loop around 5pm.  Everyone was rushing home and this one kind lady took the time to walk me to the door of the restaurant.  The people in DC push you out of the line at McDonald's!"

Q. What do you like best about being a NASPA member?

"NASPA is the premier voice for student affairs.  I love discovering best practices, and exploring cutting edge issues in higher education each year at this conference.  It is critical to my growth as a professional.  I value the discussion and knowledge I gain from interaction with the professionals in my field."  

Q. Many universities in Illinois are in financial crises this year. Have you noticed any decline in participants at this conference compared to past conferences?

"The University of New Mexico's finances are not nearly as bad as some of our neighboring states.  My boss told us that there would be no money for travel this fiscal year. I was lucky to have the conference registration paid for, but I am covering the travel and accommodations myself."  

Q. What are you planning on doing in your spare time in Chi-city?

"Eating good food and catching up with old friends!"

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after eating some shepherd's pie at Elephant & Castle @160 E. Huron




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