2015 -2017 President's Welcome
NAFA now boasts a record-high 454 members! As we have grown over the years, we have continued to tweak our organizational structure to support the increased size of our community. Throughout the 2015-2017 biennium, our goal is to continue providing the high quality programming and support network our members have become accustomed to, while also looking strategically towards the future. Now is the time to revisit and revamp our organizational structures to support current activities as well as plan for our continued expansion, securing NAFA’s role as the premiere voice for fellowship advisors in the higher education landscape.
Over the past year, NAFA has put an emphasis on developing our communication initiatives and revamping our financial management. Through their leadership of NAFA’s Technology, Communications, and Publications Committee, our Director of Communications Lauren Tuckley (Georgetown University) and Board Member Monique Bourque (Willamette University) have breathed new life into NAFA’s social media presence, instituted this newsletter, and have undertaken a mass reorganization of our online records platform. On the financial side, our Treasurer Jeff Wing (Virginia Commonwealth University), along with John Richardson (NAFA Administrative Manager and past Treasurer) and the Finance Committee, have led the organization through another successful financial audit and are drafting a long- term financial strategy for the organization.
We are excited to bring a robust group of events to members this summer, including study trips to the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as workshops on public service, serving diverse populations, and strategies for new professionals. I hope you also read about our recent NAFA-affiliated trip to Taiwan this past March. This excursion marked our first group venture of NAFAns to Asia and paves the way for the organization to re-envision international offerings for our members. I’d like to thank Jeanne Sokolowski (University of New Hampshire) and Brian Souders (University Maryland, Baltimore County) for their coordination of the Taiwan pilot project.
One of our priorities for the next year is to work towards defining best practices for fellowship advising, an exercise which we believe will help guide NAFA’s next five-year strategic plan. Beth Powers (University of Illinois, Chicago) has graciously accepted an appointment to the NAFA board to lead these efforts in identifying our hallmarks of excellence, which we hope to present to the membership at the next Biennial Convention in Philadelphia, July 19-21, 2017. In closing, I would like to extend my gratitude to the many advisors and foundation representatives who allow our all-volunteer organization to thrive. In particular, I would like to thank Jill Deans (University of Connecticut), who will be retiring from the NAFA Board next month, for her years of service to the organization and its leadership. I look forward to seeing some of you this summer on the Germany Study Tour and at the New Advisor’s Workshop in New Orleans, and I always welcome your thoughts on ways we can continue to improve our organization and NAFA community.
The History and Purpose of the National Association of Fellowships Advisors
The purpose of the NAFA is to provide its membership with access to information concerning national undergraduate and graduate grants, scholarships, and fellowships, as well as the foundations and agencies that support them. NAFA also provides a format for the exchange of ideas concerning the application process, scholarship foundations, and the ethical issues related to scholarship advising. The long-term goal is to provide support for faculty and staff who are assisting students through the process of applying for grants, scholarships, and fellowships.
Beth Powers, University of Illinois—Chicago
"Before NAFA, you were working by yourself on your campus. Few others understood your joys and challenges; you were alone. It is hugely different now for advisors. NAFA provides a place to learn, to share ideas, to let off steam."—Jane Curlin, Senior Program Manager, Udall Foundation Education Programs
|The NAFA's Founding Board of Directors consists of the following individuals:|
|Bill Beesting||Florida International University|
|Mary Borg||University of North Florida|
|Ann Brown||Ohio University|
|Tamara Cissna||University of Tulsa|
|Lori Colliander||University of Washington|
|Jane Curlin||Willamette University|
|James Duban||University of North Texas|
|Scott Furtwengler||Southern Illinois University|
|Edwin Goff||Villanova University|
|Bob Graalman||Oklahoma State University|
|Anthony Lisska||Denison College|
|Norah Martin||University of Portland|
|Suzanne McCray||University of Arkansas|
|Beth Powers||University of Illinois-Chicago|
|Gale Rhodes||University of Louisville|
|John Richardson||University of Louisville|
|Lia Rushton||University of Alabama-Birmingham|
|Mary Tolar||Truman Foundation|
|Elizabeth (Betsy) Vardaman||Baylor University|
|Sylvia Whitman||Rollins College|
|Michael Young||Arizona State University|