Two students from Salem College—Dominique Daniel and Carolina Ovando—have been accepted into an undergraduate fellows program that is sponsored by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). NASPA, a trade organization for student affairs professionals, was founded in 1919 and is comprised of over 15,000 members in all fifty states and twenty-five countries worldwide.
The NASPA Undergraduate Professional Fellows Program (NUFP) welcomes students from traditionally underrepresented and historically disenfranchised backgrounds and was founded with the intention of diversifying the field of student affairs professionals. In order to promote exploration of the student affairs profession, students receive on-campus mentoring from a NASPA member and participate in educational training through online modules and conference calls. NUFP Fellows also have the opportunity to apply for internships and attended industry conferences.
Carolina Ovando C’16 is a history and English major with a concentration in British literature, and is also completing a minor in political science. She claims Toluca, Mexico, and Asheboro, North Carolina, as her hometowns. Inspired to apply for the program by her experience as a Resident Assistant at Salem College, Ovando is unsure whether she would like to enter the field of student affairs or not. “The program is important for me because it helps me to find ways to apply what I have learned to help my residents grow,” says Ovando. “It will also teach me to use my professional skills in any other fields I may enter.”
Dominique Daniel C’17 is a communications major from Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her former supervisor, Residential Coordinator DeLisa Washington, inspired her to apply to be a NUFP Fellow. “I knew that it would be a perfect opportunity to edify myself and network with other students and professionals,” says Daniel, who intends to pursue a position in student affairs after completing an undergraduate degree.
Assistant Dean of Students Nikki Laird is a NASPA member and will serve as the on-campus mentor for both Salem students. “I am thrilled to mentor both Dominique and Carolina while connecting them with a larger network of individuals who can help them to understand student affairs on a broader scale,” says Laird. “I believe that this program will enhance their professional skills for any future position.”