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Humans of NODA
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Cara Wiebel
Assistant Director, Orientation Services
University of Iowa


"NODA has become my professional home. I love that it is a small community with big opportunities and one that cares about helping each other out, sharing ideas and research, and partnering on ways to best serve students. Getting involved in NODA on the Regional level has provided me with the opportunity to deepen professional relationships and serving on conference planning committees has allowed me to exercise skills that I don’t always get to use in my day-to-day work.  My favorite NODA memories have probably been the informal interactions with colleagues from across the country- having dinner together, sharing stories about some of the “interesting” situations we all encounter in the OTR world, and getting to know more about people that make up the association."



Joshua Walton
Coordinator, Orientation and Transition Programs
University of North Texas


"NODA has played a major role in both my life and my career. From attending the Orientation Professionals Institute to serving on the Region IV leadership team, I have gained insight from working with many different professionals at numerous stages in their career. Additionally, I have developed lasting friendships through the conferences that I know I can always call on in a time of need. Through these experiences and relationships, I have been challenged to lead, to serve, and to grow."






Joey Ratcliff
Director of Prospective and New Student Programs
University of Houston


"I was SROW excited for my first NODA regional conference back in 2009. We hosted SROW at Ole Miss and I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Never did I imagine that I would be able to build the network and have the critical understanding of OTR that I do now when I walked in to my first Sticker Swap (a Region 6 favorite). If you see me at NODAC, I'll likely be with Logan Franks because we met at SROW in Charlotte, NC and have been inseparable since. Being able to co-chiar the Graduate Student Network together is something we've always wanted to do since we went through the Graduate Symposium together as grad students. 

NODA really supported me when I transitioned to my first professional role by offering the Orientation Professionals Institute. Shout out to OPI '13 and our class mascot Opi! My favorite memory of NODA is that I actually met my future employer at NODAC 2012 in the Las Vegas airport because I got on the wrong hotel shuttle bus. I was a small town Southern boy in a big city. Kasi Jones at Purdue University tried to persuade the bus driver to let me stay on the bus but he wasn't having it. Throughout the whole conference, she kept asking me if I was okay and knew where I was going. I was so embarrassed every time I saw her, but after the final banquet she gave me her information and said to stay in touch. Five months later, I accepted a job from her and loved every minute of it. So, moral of the story to graduate students, you can meet your future employer at any second while at NODAC...even on the wrong bus."


Liz Kurt
Director, New Student Programs
Iowa State University


"I have been in several professional organizations throughout my career(s). NODA is like none other. The open information sharing, the friendships that are formed and the resources from the Association Office have been a huge part of my success.  Our work is stressful from the constant battle for our existence on campus to our long hours. Without the ability to reach out to colleagues for new ideas and the moral support of colleagues across the country, I don't know how I would succeed. The leadership opportunities and networking are invaluable and enable me to continue to make a difference on my campus, for my community, and in our world."





 Justin Barker
Coordinator, Orientation & 
Transition Programs
University of North Texas






"From being a NODA intern to being a professional member over the last 3 years, the Association has truly changed my life. Specifically, going to the NODA Annual conference always renews my spirit and love for OTR programs – I am always discovering new ways to carry out our programs on our campus through networking with equally as passionate OTR colleagues.  

OPI! One of the best experiences I have ever had as a professional. I went to my first NODA annual before I attended OPI, and I had a great time but there were moments when I felt a disconnect. But attending OPI in 2016 really changed that for me. I was able to connect with other professionals who have become great friends, and dive deeper into topics related to the field that set a great foundation as I navigated the annual conference. 

I cannot say it enough, but NODA gives me such an indescribable sense of rejuvenation. We come off long summers, welcome weeks, and for many of us Family Weekends, often times burnt out and needing a break.  NODA puts me around energetic, passionate professionals that love the field and that celebrate the work that each of us is doing. From OPI, to ed sessions, and networking opportunities, I leave every NODA experience challenged, affirmed, and equipped to make a positive difference in the lives of students and families."




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