Dr. Raul Fernandez, lecturer and faculty director for SED’s online Ed.M. in Higher Education Administration program, was recently selected to participate in the NASPA Supporting, Expanding, and Recruiting Volunteer Excellence (SERVE) Academy.
The academy is “a year and a half long program for mid-to-senior level professionals who want to gain knowledge about, and strategies for, enhancing their leadership” within the leading professional organization for higher education administrators. The participants will also “gain additional knowledge and skills centered on executive development, mentorship, association management, and volunteer service.”
This year’s cohort consists of just 10 individuals, all vice presidents, deans, and program directors.
“I’m excited about this opportunity not just for the professional development and mentorship that I’ll receive from educators at the highest leadership levels within NASPA, but also because expanding my network means access to more terrific guest speakers and connections for our students,” Dr. Fernandez said.
Dr. Fernandez has been an active member of the association since 2007, joining the Latinx/a/o Knowledge Community (LKC) and eventually becoming the LKC’s representative to the Equity, Inclusion and Social Just Division. Regionally, Dr. Fernandez also serves as a faculty liaison to the emerging Region 1 Ubuntu Institute for student affairs professionals of color.
“As a scholar focused on equity, diversity and inclusion in higher education,” Dr. Fernandez wrote on his application to the academy, “my role within NASPA has and will continue to be fostering inclusive environments where the multidimensional identities of all our students, faculty and administrators are affirmed and respected.”
He added that one of his priorities as a higher education professional is to build stronger connections between faculty and student affairs administrators in order to work collectively when achieving goals that benefit students.
“As a participant in the SERVE Academy,” Dr. Fernandez wrote, “I hope to connect with like-minded folks from a variety of backgrounds and to engage with them in discussions on how best to prepare our Association to thrive in a more diverse and inclusive society.”
The previous cohort consisted of just 15 professionals nationally—all vice presidents, deans, and directors – who have been tapped as future leaders of the professional.
“I’m looking forward to learning more about the structure and operation of the Association, and taking what I’ve learned into potential leadership positions like Regional Director for New England or the National Board of Directors.”