Sunday, November 3, 2013

Rose Viau, 2013-2014 President

Current Position
Director of Residential Life at Northwest Missouri State University

Please provide your educational information – institution(s) attended, degree(s)/area(s) of study, year(s) attended
Bachelor’s degree in BS, Math Education from Missouri State University (1988-93).  Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Missouri State University in Springfield, MO (1996-98).

What is your favorite part of your role at your institution?
I love the collaboration we have at Northwest with other departments.  We work together to create the best possible services for our students and staff.

How did you get involved with MoCPA?
I started attending the annual conference years ago then was asked by Jackie Elliott (Jackie Elliott is a Past President, who was my supervisor at the time) to be the board Secretary and to be the Sponsorship Chair on the conference committee. 

What is your favorite MoCPA event/membership benefit?
My favorite MoCPA event is the annual conference.  I really enjoy being a part of the planning team and working behind the scenes to make this great conference happen.  At the conference I enjoy the smaller conference feel and getting to talk to people in all areas of student affairs.

What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world of education?
I wish money was no obstacle.  Many students can’t attend college because of cost.  Colleges and universities are forced to raise cost due to lack of state and federal funding and a slowing economy which means more students can no longer afford to attend.  There are also many amazing things we could do if money was no obstacle including renovating or replacing aging facilities across the nation, experiential trips, paying staff what they are actually worth and much more.

Scott Shields, 2013-2014 Past-President

Current Position
Coordinator of Residential Life Operations, Northwest Missouri State University

Please provide your educational information – institution(s) attended, degree(s)/area(s) of study, year(s) attended
*Truman State University, B.S. Psychology, Minor in Communication, 1992-1997
*Indiana University of Pennsylvania, M.A. Student Affairs in Higher Education, 1997-1999

What is your favorite part of your role at your institution?
*As operations coordinator, I get to put a lot of my hobbies to use.  Photography and information technology are two skills I have put to use helping out with our data management and improvement of web and social media.

How did you get involved with MoCPA?
* I was nominated by one of my Complex Directors to run for Public Institution Representative.  Not sure if I wanted to do this, I chatted with then MoCPA President, Dr. Jackie Elliott, about the possibility.  I was highly encouraged to run, but was offered a spot as the Technology Chair if I didn't win the position.  I won the election, but opted to take on the Technology Chair position as well.  I was able to use both positions together to help grow both positions and had a very successful first year.  With those successes, I was tapped to run for President and the rest, as they say, is history!

What is your favorite MoCPA event/membership benefit?
* Just working with the MoCPA Executive Board is immensely rewarding.  I have made contacts in different areas all around the state and can call them up for help at any time for some specialist help.  But mostly, they have opened my eyes to professional development and networking opportunities and how easy they can be to create.  These people are my colleagues and my friends.

What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world of education?
* If I could wave my magic wand, teachers would be paid a lot more and students would pay a lot less in tuition and fees.  Ah, if only the magic wand.

Abby Tribble, 2013-2014 Newsletter Coordinator

Current Position/Institution in Missouri?
Assistant Director, Residence Life / State Fair Community College – Sedalia, MO

Please provide your educational information – institution(s) attended, degree(s)/area(s) of study, year(s) attended 
State Fair Community College, 2007-2010 (Associate of Arts Degree)
Central Methodist University, 2010-2012 (Bachelor of Science, Psychology)
Arkansas Tech University, 2013-Present (Master of Science, College Student Personnel)

What is your favorite part of your role at your institution?
My favorite part about serving as Assistant Director in Residence Life are the moments that give me the opportunity to encourage students when they need a push, and then be there to celebrate their success with them when they walk across the stage in May. I also enjoy living on campus because I have the chance to engage with students in a more informal setting than any other department on campus. Though unpredictable and chaotic at times, ‘res life’ rocks!

How did you get involved with MoCPA?
I first attended the Annual Conference in 2011 and after attending again in 2012, I knew I wanted to be a part of this organization that promotes networking with our neighbors and continued education and development. As a graduate student and new professional, I am always seeking out opportunities to get more involved and MoCPA is one that I feel passionate about.

What is your favorite MoCPA event/membership benefit?
The Annual Conference each fall is an event I look forward to each year as it is a great way to kick off a new year and network with colleagues. As the Newsletter Coordinator, I also feel that the MoCPA Newsletter is a great way to keep that initial connection and provide professional development in a range of fields in student affairs.

What is the one thing you’d most like to change about the world of education?
A practice that I believe in is being personable with the students I work with. This means asking questions about students’ hobbies, lifestyle, and why they chose your respected institution, but also serving as an example of how education can change a life. Working at a community college involves working with a diverse population of students, many of which come to us as first generation college students. As a first generation college student and alum of SFCC, it is important to me to be a role model for the students I work with. Our students come to us because they want to improve their life and they trust us to help them reach their educational goals. A former supervisor always reiterated to me: “Without the student there is no need for the institution”, and this is a credo we all need to adopt.

Ability Ally: Moving Toward an Inclusive Institution

By : Alisha Abbott - Allies For Inclusion: Exhibit Coordinator, Saint Louis University & Amy Brinkley - Research Assistant, Saint Louis University

The Ability Institute at Saint Louis University is pleased to announce a forthcoming initiative that promotes awareness of disability related topics.  Borne out of its parent project, Allies For Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit, The Ability Ally Project is an educational training offered to institutions that wish to create a more inclusive campus environment for people with disabilities.  
The Ability Institute’s original initiative, Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit, was created by Saint Louis University (SLU) graduate students in the Disability in Higher Education and Society course under the direction of their instructor, Karen Myers, PhD.  Evolving from a class project into a sophisticated exhibit, Allies for Inclusion: The Ability Exhibit debuted at SLU on October 27, 2010.  Since its debut, The Ability Exhibit has been displayed at numerous colleges and universities, and it received national recognition at the 2011 and 2012 ACPA College Student Educators International annual convention.
The Ability Ally Project is designed to be The Ability Exhibit “in a box”.  The specialized instruction contained within the Ability Ally training is designed to educate faculty, staff, and students on how they can be allies for disability inclusion.  Participants will learn how to create environments inclusive for students with disabilities.  The training will include a pre and post-assessment; a range of interactive activities to engage participants; and discussions about disability-related topics, including person-first language, universal design, and the disability movement.  Faculty and staff who complete the training can display an Ability Ally placard at their work space, which identifies the space as an inclusive environment for people with disabilities.  Upon completing the training, students will receive a wristband identifying them as an Ability Ally.
The Ability Ally Project will be available for purchase in January 2014. If your institution is interested in hosting The Ability Exhibit or purchasing an Ability Ally training workshop, please visit our website at  If you have additional questions about The Ability Institute, please contact Alisha Abbott at

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Ryan Sallans, Introduction: Meet Our 2013 Annual Conference Keynote Speaker

Ryan Sallans is a public speaker, diversity trainer, consultant, publisher and author specializing in health care, campus inclusion and workplace issues surrounding the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer/Questioning (LGBTQ) community. 

Over the past fourteen years Ryan has conducted over a thousand presentations and trainings to diverse audiences including professionals, students and the general public. After his story was featured in the documentary Gender Rebel featured on MTV’s LOGO channel, Ryan began traveling to Universities where he shares the story of his transition from female to male. His story is told with an intermixing of humor and intricate clinical details surrounding the transition process. He has also made appearances on several talk and radio shows including: Trisha, Ricki: The New Ricki Lake Show, twice on Larry King Live! and just recently NPR’s On Point with Tom Ashbrook.

In 2012 Ryan released the first edition of his memoir, Second Son: Transitioning Toward My Destiny, Love and Life. In 2013, Ryan founded Scout Publishing LLC and released the second edition of his memoir, Second Son. Talk show host, Larry King has said that Ryan’s story is “…an important and vital book…a terrific read,” and Dan Savage, Co-Founder of the It Gets Better Project said, “Ryan Sallans is an incredibly brave young man who has written a powerful book. Second Son will save lives.”

Ryan attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Anthropology, Master of Arts in English, and a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology.
To learn more about Ryan or his memoir visit

Great Silent Auction Items to Consider and the Potential Benefits

By: Rose Viau, Northwest Missouri State University

Does your department need to begin doing regular assessment?  Are you coming to the MoCPA Annual Conference September 29th – October 1st?  Even if you are not, you should consider sending in a silent auction bid for the two items mentioned below.

Since 1999, Northwest Missouri State University Residential Life Department has been using the EBI Residence Satisfaction survey.  This is a survey that measures student’s level of satisfaction with 19 factors including satisfaction with hall staff, programming, floor community, facilities, services, safety, dining, diverse and personal interaction, sense of community and more.  Results show your school compared to other schools across the nation, and track your progress over time.

At Northwest we have used this information to help develop our department strategic plan, help guide new construction and renovation, to alert us to needs for programming model changes and staffing model changes and more.  We are able to use EBI data to show progress or decline on most measure of our strategic plan which guides us in yearly or long-term goals and planning.  As you can tell, this information has been very helpful to Northwest.

I am excited to announce that EBI has donated 2 surveys to MoCPA that will be up for grabs at the Silent Auction.  The first survey is a Residence Satisfaction survey, the same one we have used at Northwest.  This survey is for 1000 participants with data for up to 20 buildings and/or RAs.  The current price is approximately $3900.  You would be able to add additional participants for an additional cost through EBI.

The 2nd survey is a new survey that was introduced this past Spring.  The Recreation Services Assessment is valued at $2569.

You could get one or both of these at an incredible value at the Silent Auction.  For additional information, please visit EBI at or feel free to e-mail at or call at 660-582-9494.  See you at the conference!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Collaborative Efforts: Maximizing Opportunities for Program Success

By: Trent Ball, Associate Dean of Students/Director of Retention
Valdis Zalite, Director TRIO/Student Support Services
Academic Support Centers
Southeast Missouri State University

After considering this year’s conference theme: Collaboration and Innovation: The Journey of Transformation, we thought we would share how collaborative efforts and actions helped the Academic Support Centers at Southeast Missouri State University earn the Innovative Academic Support Initiative from the American College Personnel Association (ACPA)’s Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (CASHE) in 2012.

Academic support services often exist as a separate entity on most campuses, positioned to provide support to students across multiple disciplines and requiring a staff that is prepared to assist students “where they are” to get them “where they want to be”.  The challenges faced by the staff and administrators in academic support vary, but two common obstacles are resources and reputation.  Funding is consistently an issue that impacts hiring, salary, and functions. Reputation can often be connected to institutional placement and understanding the true role of academic support.  The focus of this article is to highlight the importance of collaboration within and between institutions as a means to extend our resources and reinforce the vital services that academic support programs provide to students.
Credibility and Membership
Collaboration among the departments, institutions and professional organizations in the field of higher education is no longer a choice, it has become a necessity. When reviewing potential partners in the academic support realm we must begin with forming relationships that strengthen our credibility and extend our “reach” beyond the provision of service and into the professional development and preparation of our staff and student assistants. 
The following information provides potential opportunities to increase credibility at the institutional, program, services, and the individual level for professional staff in addition to providing guidance, support and certification for student, clerical and administrative assistants. We are often familiar with the programs and activities of ACPA and NASPA, this is an attempt to broaden our base of information.  When the staff is informed, engaged and connected the challenge of collaboration becomes less daunting and more attainable. This list is not exhaustive, and includes organizations that you may be working with currently. The goal is to offer insight or to encourage research into credibility driven connections that increase the likelihood of stronger and longer lasting collaborations both on and off your campus.  
The Center for Student Opportunity
At the institutional level, The Center for Student Opportunity (CSO) provides information and resources that guide and assist underserved, first-generation college-bound students in addition to increasing the capacity for partner institutions to identify and connect with the targeted population.  By becoming a partner with CSO, your institution promotes their support of college access for this critical population.  As a provider of academic support your program/center can partner with the CSO to increase your access to resources that provide insight and knowledge that can be used in designing activities and services for your students from the target populations in specific and all students in general.
 Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education
At the program level, the Council for Advancement of Standards in Higher Education provides programs and services with the opportunity to engage in self-assessment to improve management, policy, procedures and information sharing. This process allows staff members to review current protocol, discuss new initiatives and to identify areas of strength and weakness to better assess the state of programs and services provided.
 The College Reading and Learning Association
At the service level, the College Reading and Learning Association (CRLA) offers a student-oriented focus in reading, learning assistance, developmental education, tutoring and mentoring. In addition to being an outstanding resource, CRLA also provides academic support and tutorial programs with the opportunity to become certified. At the tutoring level, once a program is certified collaboration with faculty and staff becomes easier to develop based on the recognition that the programs and services being provided to students have been reviewed and have received certification as meeting standards approved by professionals in the field.

Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel
At the individual level, individual membership provides professionals with the opportunity to connect, network and address common strengths, challenges and goals among programs and services.  One example of this at the regional level is the Mid-America Association of Educational Opportunity Program Personnel (MAEOPP). Through active membership, individuals are provided multiple professional development, networking and mentoring opportunities, as well as conferences and seminars designed discuss best and promising practices with other professionals serving similar student populations.
International Association of Administrative Professionals (IAAP)

 Improving the professional qualifications of administrative assistants and secretaries is a key component to improving the credibility of any office. Professional certification as a secretary or administrative assistant provides those who complete the testing with Certified Professional Secretary (CPS) and the Certified Administrative Professional (CAP) credentials. This process improves skills, knowledge and assessment. 
As higher education continues to evolve, we as staff need to consistently seek opportunities to develop professionally to prepare to meet the increasing needs of the students we serve.  Taking steps to increase the credibility of the staff providing academic support services and programs provides the basis for reaching out to other departments and our colleagues at other institutions to start and sustain collaborative relationships.  Earned credibility brings to the table many important pieces to collaboration, especially the ability to network, the initiative to be progressive and the desire to consistently improve services provided.

Collaboration and Execution
In order to address the need for collaboration among diverse programs providing academic support at Southeast Missouri State University we developed the Academic Support Centers. Bringing together two university-based programs, two federally funded TRIO programs and two Missouri Department of Higher Education (MDHE) grant funded programs provided the opportunity to assist students in the targeted and general student population with supportive services and the common link is the provision of academic and learning assistance.  Collaborative partnerships between the university-based, state funded and TRIO programs has lead to increased student success, increased resources, a decrease in duplicated services and academic assistance programming for students that are more accessible and effective.

The Academic Support Centers consist of The College Access Challenge Grant (CACG), from MDHE – the Plan for College Initiative, The Default Prevention Grant, from MDHE, Educational Access Programs (university funded), Learning Assistance Programs (university funded), TRIO/McNair Scholars Program (federally funded) and TRIO/Student Support Services (federally funded). 

Beginning with the focal point of academic support and learning assistance, joint programming and initiatives provide students’ access to College Success Seminars, Mentoring and Networking Activities, Supplemental Financial Assistance, Financial Literacy Education, Performance Based Grants, Work Opportunities and the cornerstones of our academic assistance Supplemental Instruction and Tutorial Services.

This formal collaborative partnership connects students to academic assistance, reduces program expenses and designs trainings for the learning assistants that involve collaboration from faculty and staff throughout the campus. Successful collaborative efforts have produced stronger and more efficient services resulting in enhanced student learning and improved academic performance.

The collaborative efforts of the Centers extend to other departments across campus and to colleagues at other universities and colleges.  Working closely with the staff of key departments on campus designed to support students (Advising, Admissions, First-Year Experience and Student Transitions, Student Financial Services, Counseling and Disability and Registration) the activities noted above are planned with facilitators and professionals from those departments to both extend our resources as well as develop the partnerships necessary for proper referrals and support for students beyond the scope of academic assistance.
Integration and Advocacy
Developing collaborative partnerships can set the foundation for integrating the academic support services into the mission of the college or university.  Earlier we mentioned that often academic support services exist as a separate entity, and at times the services can appear detached from academic affairs, leaving us as an area that is an “add-on” versus a key player.  Collaboration with faculty must move beyond just providing referrals to services and into active program support.  Faculty members serving as seminar or workshop presenters, members of our advisory boards, or mentors to our learning assistants integrates academic affairs into academic assistance, and can create the type of advocacy for our programs that services alone cannot.

The goal of this article was to highlight the many opportunities we have as providers of academic support to bring added credibility to the crucial services we provide in the students’ journey to their degree.  Our discussion of the Academic Support Centers at Southeast Missouri State University was given to provide an example of a collaborative model that links similar programs from different funding sources and our final goal is to encourage the continuation of the discussion of integrating academic support services and academic affairs.  Below is a list of links that explore these points. 

Collaboration in Delivering Higher Education Programs: Barriers and Challenges:
Lessons Learned: Eight Best Practices for New Partnerships:
Powerful Partnerships: A Shared Responsibility for Learning:
The National Dialogue on Academic and Student Affairs Collaboration:
The Student Learning Imperative: Implications for Student Affairs:
Academic support and assistance is geared toward developing and supporting student learning as defined in Learning Reconsidered (1994). Learning Reconsidered defines learning as a comprehensive, holistic, transformative activity that integrates academic learning and student development.  A focused collaborative effort, joining credible, certified services and resources to academic affairs and pursuits continues to redefine learning in higher education.
To continue the conversation, please feel free to contact us at the email addresses below.
Trent Ball (
Valdis Zalite (
Adapted from an article previously published in the ACPA’s Commission for Academic Support in Higher Education (CASHE) Corner Newsletter


PARTNERS in PREVENTION: Let Us Help Your Campus!

By: Rebecca Maier, Northwest Missouri State University 
Dedicated to creating healthy and safe college campuses; Partners in Prevention wants YOU to know they are here to help your campus.  Their four-pronged approach include: prevention education, social norming, harm reduction programs, and environmental management.  Serving 21 public and private campuses across the state, PIP invites you to learn more about what they are doing and how your campus can see results!   

Are you seeing an increase in a particular behavior in students?  Feel as though students are being bombarded with messages and nothing is sticking?  Generally concerned about the health and safety of students?  Partners in Prevention use evidence-based programs that yield results.  They can help your campus build and implement a comprehensive plan.  It doesn’t matter if your campus is not currently a member of PIP- it’s about learning what is out there and readily available to impact your student population. 

Throughout the MoCPA Annual Conference, participants will have opportunities to interact with PIP professionals.  Come to the Partners in Prevention pre-conference and learn about successful approaches used across the state.  MoCPA and Partners in Prevention have been working collaboratively to also offer a PIP track throughout the conference.
PIP will meet your campus where they are at in their prevention efforts.  Follow PIP at the MoCPA annual conference!