UNC Asheville Student Affairs Hosts North Carolina College Personnel Association and Housing Officers Conference, Nov. 6-8

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The fall season brought a timely conference on “Changing Seasons, Evolving Students” to Asheville, as UNC Asheville’s Student Affairs hosted a joint meeting of the North Carolina College Personnel Association (NCCPA) and the North Carolina Housing Officers (NCHO) on Nov. 6-8, 2017. The three-day conference held at the Crowne Plaza Asheville brought together more than 200 college professionals from the Carolinas.

“The conference offerings and educational programs this year included 39 different sessions and a track dedicated to racial justice,” said Stan Sweeney, director of Highsmith Student Union at UNC Asheville. “Our keynote speakers, with decades of experience in the student affairs field, were able to bring all of the worlds that we work in together.”

Sweeney served as a conference co-chair for the NCCPA with UNC Asheville colleague, Blair Jenkins, associate director of residential education, who is member of NCHO. The Conference Planning Committee also included UNC Asheville staff members Fred Tugas, Sergio Ossorio, Christina Jaeger, Robin Hamilton, Keith Martin, Meg Clark Johnson and Adam Foss. They were joined by Pam Pinnix, Kimberly Hedrick and Cate O’Connor from universities across North Carolina.

UNC Asheville staff and programs also received two awards during the conference. Stan Sweeney received the 2017-18 President’s Award, recognizing a member of NCCPA for their outstanding service and dedication to the profession and association. UNC Asheville’s campus events app, UNCA Now, was awarded 2017-18 Program of the Year for its innovative approach and alignment with the core values of the American College Personnel Association.

The conference included tours of campus construction at UNC Asheville, opportunities to visit downtown Asheville for dinner, a vendor fair, and a silent auction benefiting NCCPA and NCHO. The last joint conference was held in 2004 at UNC Wilmington.   

Keynote Presentations

Robert N. Page Jr., executive director of the Office of Inclusion and Engagement at Metropolitan Community College in Kansas City, Mo. presented the opening keynote talk, asking the question “Creating a Cultural Paradigm Shift: What Will Your Legacy Be?” Page has worked in postsecondary education for more than 30 years, specializing in retention and recruitment programs, diversity training, awareness, conference coordination, budgeting, strategic planning, and motivating all students to achieve at their highest potential. He is the founder of such programs as the National Black Leadership Conference, the "Am I My Brother's Keeper" Male Empowerment Conference, and the African American Male Summit at NASPA and ACPA.

UNC Asheville’s Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs Bill Haggard gave the closing keynote, “From a Macintosh 9-Inch Screen to a Smartphone: 25 years of Student Affairs in North Carolina.” Haggard, who joined UNC Asheville in 2006, leads the Student Affairs division, which includes Dean of Students, Residential Education, Citizenship Education, Highsmith Student Union, Housing and Dining Services, the Student Health and Counseling Center, Campus Recreation, Student Crisis Management, Multicultural Affairs, Transition and Parent Programs, International Student Services, and Public Safety.

He is a frequent presenter at national and regional conferences and a guest lecturer on topics related to student conduct administration, sexual assault prevention and response, and crisis management. He has served as the chair of the Campus Safety and Violence Prevention Knowledge Community for NASPA, Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education. He also serves as a member of the board for the Hardee Center for Leadership and Ethics in Higher Education at Florida State University.

For more information, visit the conference website.