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News & Press: Member Stories

NODA Volunteer Spotlight: Dr. Brett Bruner

Wednesday, April 11, 2018   (0 Comments)
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Dr. Brett Bruner
Director of Transition & Student Conduct at Fort Hays State University

Dr. Brett Bruner’s experience with NODA began 11 years ago when he volunteered to review award submissions for the 2007 Region IV Conference as a first-year graduate student. At that time, he was “trying out” various volunteering positions in multiple associations to determine where he would find his fit and future professional association home.

“This first NODA volunteer experience led me to meeting some great NODA colleagues who have remained my friends over the past decade,” Brett says. “One volunteer role led to another and another. And for the past 11 years, serving NODA as a volunteer leader has become a critical component of my identity as an OTR professional, administrator, and educator.”

We asked Brett to provide some insight into why he has remained so strongly involved in NODA throughout his career and to share some highlights from the past decade.


Current NODA Volunteer Positions: Region IV Educational Initiatives & Events Chair; Leadership Development Committee Member; Global Initiatives Committee Member; Chair - 2018 Retention Symposium; Leadership Development Mentoring Program Mentor

Past NODA Volunteer Positions: Board of Directors Member; 2015 Annual Conference Committee Chair; 2010 Region IV & V Conference Committee Chair; Small College Network Chair; Ad Hoc Committee on Educational & Strategic Partnerships Chair; Ad Hoc Committee on Globalization of the Association Member; Educational Initiatives Committee Member; Annual Conference Advisory Committee Member; Nominations Committee Member; Kansas State Coordinator; 2017 Retention Symposium Facilitator & Committee Member; 2017 Region IV Returning Orientation Leader Institute Faculty Member; 2014 Annual Conference Graduate Student Symposium Faculty Member; 2011 Annual Conference Pre-Conferences, Extended Sessions, & Plenary Session Speaker Co-Chair; 2010 Annual Conference Graduate Staff Chair; 2007 Annual Conference Graduate Intern; 2018 Region IV & V Conference Awards & Volunteers Chair; 2012 Region IV Conference Battle of NODA Chair; 2011 Region IV Conference Two-Year College Liaison; 2009 Region IV Conference Planning Chair; 2008 Region IV Conference Associate Member Liaison & Sponsorships Co-Chair
Why do you choose to give back to NODA?

“I continue my NODA involvement to not only give back to the Association that provides me with the knowledge that I need to contribute to the OTR programs on my campus, but also to gain skills through my volunteer work that will allow me to grow as a professional, administrator, and educator.”

How have your volunteer experiences enhanced your knowledge and skills as a professional?

“As a NODA volunteer, I have and continue to gain skills that enhance my daily work as a student affairs professional, administrator, and educator. Through my service as the 2015 Annual Conference Chair, I enhanced my ability to work volunteers across the nation, empowering and supporting each of them to accomplish the tasks embedded within each of their roles. As a member of the Board of Directors from 2010-2013, I grew in my ability to think strategically, a skill that has been invaluable within my campus role serving on institutional, divisional, and departmental strategic planning taskforces. Through each of my NODA volunteer leader experiences, I walk away with at least one "aha moment" from the knowledge and/or skills through the role that can and is applied to my daily work at my institution.”

What has been your favorite or most memorable NODA volunteer experience thus far?

“Without a doubt, my most memorable NODA volunteer experience was the incredible opportunity to serve as Chair of the 2015 NODA Annual Conference in Denver, Colorado. When I was a Graduate Intern on the 2007 Annual Conference Committee, I set a goal for myself that one day my NODA volunteer leader path would take me to serving as an Annual Conference Chair. Through the two years of planning for the 2015 Annual Conference, I was surrounded by an amazing team of Conference Committee members who were experts in their respective roles on the committee. As a group, we challenged each other, celebrated with each other, and grew together not only in friendship but also in our service to the Association. Being able to see our vision of the 2015 Annual Conference as the premiere educational and learning experience for NODA members with regards to OTR was so fulfilling from pre-arrival to the closing brunch.”



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