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News & Press: Association News

Greetings from the 2019 NODA President

Thursday, January 10, 2019   (0 Comments)
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Happy New Year, NODA! 

I hope that this new year has brought you a sense of optimism, of renewal and of hope.

I am honored and excited to begin my term as President of our Association. I have been so appreciative of the conversations had, the ideas shared, and the initiatives and suggestions put forward by NODA members and staff. I am continually in awe of what our membership is doing on their campuses.

With a new year comes reflection of the one passing. I share just a few NODA highlights worth noting:

  • The 2018 Annual Conference in San Diego saw the highest attendance in NODA history at 1,135. The Conference Planning Committee, led by Jordan Holliday-Mallard, the NODA staff, and the many, many volunteers who made it happen deserve our thanks.
  • The NODA Excellence Fund (NEF), first announced at our Annual Conference in Louisville, Kentucky in 2017, did exactly what it was intended to do: support our members. With funds through the NEF, over $8,000 was provided through scholarships to 13 of our members, supporting their professional development opportunities at the annual and regional conferences.
  • Launched in connection with the NODA Excellence Fund, we announced the Circle of Excellence program. Each year, NODA members of distinction are nominated to his honor. We celebrate these individuals, who have served as professionals, teachers, leaders, and scholars in the field of orientation, transition, and retention. Nominees have a goal of raising a minimum of $3,000 for the NEF, providing additional support for scholarships and professional development opportunities. The inaugural class of NODA Circle of Excellence Nominees were announced in December and are:
    • Christine Timmerman
    • Victor Wilson
    • Jeanine Ward-Roof
    Highlights about our nominees can be found at Throughout the year, individuals may contribute to the Circle of Excellence Fund in the name of any of the nominees to help them achieve their goal.

As we continue our NODA journey, we tackle several new and recurring matters:

  • Collaboration opportunities with like-associations
  • Benefits offered to our membership
  • The costs of running an association
  • Additional opportunities for members
  • Providing access to information, resources, and connections regarding all of these.

The NODA Board and other leaders continue to have real conversations regarding all of these, and welcome input and ideas for our members.

I end with a challenge to us all. At NODAC 2018, there was much intentional opportunities for attendees to offer suggestions and to provide their thoughts on what NODA can be, where NODA should be headed and what membership means to them. I, and so many others, were energized by the experience and heartened by the passion shown in both the optimistic ideas and the needed critiques. My challenge to al of us has much to do with these conversations: Consider just what is it you need from this association. Is it a sense of belonging? Ideas from others? Mentoring? Skill development? What does NODA need to be for YOU? If you have yet to find a what to fulfill your NODA needs, make a plan. What are you going to do to take control of your NODA experience? And, what help do you need to do so? Tell us. Tell me. Let us help you find your NODA.

I hope this year brings you much personal and professional joy. Thank you for the trust placed in me to lead the Association. I am glad and grateful for the opportunity to be a part of the many people who serve. Please feel free to reach out to me with your ideas, thoughts or involvement needs.


Melanie Payne
President, NODA: Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education

Senior Associate Director of FYE and Director, New Student Orientation
Indiana University

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