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NODA Leadership Spotlight
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Did you know that you can get involved with NODA in numerous ways? There are numerous opportunities to get involved and get connected through NODA. Any professional can serve on the board of directors, or help plan a regional conference, present at an annual conference or write a perspective piece for the Journal of College Orientation and Transition. The NODA Leadership Development Committee is here to help you get connected to the opportunities that exist through NODA. To help you learn more about the value a leadership position can bring to your professional development, we will be featuring a "NODA Leadership Spotlight". If you're interested in NODA leadership positions, click here to view current openings.

NODA Leader
Missy Wikle
Director, New Student Orientation & Enrollment
Oklahoma State University

When and why did you join NODA?
I joined NODA following my transition from advising and career services to orientation. I had been involved in both NACADA and NACE (the two associations for advising and career services) prior and knew I wanted to connect with my NODA colleagues in the same way. I knew the networking and other advantages gained from involvement in national associations help lay the foundation for professional development within a chosen field. I wanted to connect with NODA to be a better orientation professional, especially since this was the first year for OSU to have an orientation office. My first conference was a regional conference in El Paso, Texas. With only two of us in the office, our roll call wasn’t anything special at that meeting, but we gave every ounce of OSU spirit as we donned huge foam cowboy hats and stood in our chairs to introduce everyone to the OSU Cowboy way!

What leadership positions have you held/currently hold in NODA?
I have served on regional conference committees, as the Oklahoma State Coordinator, and on a NODA committee. Because I have quite a few years of experience in other associations, and am not the youngest person anymore , my goal for NODA has been to serve wherever needed in those more behind the scenes areas – like volunteering as a case study judge or helping with graduate resume critiques or just hanging out in hallways to help with logistics and guidance during conferences.

Why was getting involved in NODA important to you?
Getting involved was important to me because I wanted to learn as much as I could about ways to make orientation at my institution the best it could be. The more you help, the more people you get to know, and the greater the network of people who are willing to help you brainstorm new ideas or learn the best way to tackle issues you may be having at your home institution. The great thing about NODA is that there is almost always someone out there who has experienced the things you’re going through and they are willing to help with ideas, solutions, or just listen while you vent about your day. The other great thing about NODA is that there are many ways to get connected and serve without necessarily having a specific position or title within the organization. It’s all about the people you meet and the help you offer to those around you that really make NODA an organization filled with people who want to make things around them better. I mirror the attitude of my colleagues in Region IV. From meeting so many enthusiastic people like Quincy Spencer, Danielle Bristow, Cynthia Hernandez, Jaime Mendez at my first regional conference, to the friends like Jake Hayes, Tara Boyle, Rebecca Bertrand who attended OPI with me, I realized how important getting involved with these people really was. Through these connections, conferences and committee involvements mean so much more. Even though we don’t work at the same institution, these people, and so many more like them, have become a huge part of my professional development and have greatly influenced the way I connect orientation to the rest of my own institution.

Why should a member consider a leadership position in NODA?
I’m the type of person who thinks if you’re going to do something, you should do it completely, which means being "all in” and committed. You will get out of NODA exactly what you put into it, and the more you put into it, the more connected and committed you become to improving not only your own home office, but also the profession as a whole. Orientation professionals who stick only to their own offices and a conference here and there are only getting part of the advantages of a national organization like NODA. I truly believe the greatest portion of my professional growth began after I started giving back to NODA in service roles. The more you serve, the more committed you become, the more people you meet, the more lessons you learn, and the better you become as an orientation professional.

What have you gained from your leadership positions in NODA?
My leadership positions within NODA have solidified my decision to move out of advising and career services to orientation. Serving both on committees and behind the scenes of NODA has shown me the amazing people who work in the various areas of orientation. Pride in NODA as an organization has grown and I have become a better orientation professional because of it.

What is your favorite NODA related memory?
Oh so many from which to choose! Making new friends, solving regional conference logistics issues together, collecting crazy props for the skit competition, and letting myself just act crazy in front of an entire undergraduate audience at a regional conference are just a few that stand out. But, my favorite NODA memories tend to be those that involve seeing how NODA influences other professionals, graduate students, and undergraduates who begin making connections with each other and with the profession itself. Especially seeing those "a-ha” moments for my undergraduate and graduate leaders who realize while sitting in a regional conference presentation that they can see themselves nowhere other than higher education careers. When it all clicks and you see someone realize they’re in the right place… and you know you had something to do with it… those are the best memories.

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