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News & Press: Association Leadership

Letter from NODA President, Heather Kovanic

Friday, March 27, 2020   (0 Comments)
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Dear NODA members,

As I write this from my kitchen table at home, I reflect on what a whirlwind these last few weeks have been for me, and I am certain for you as well. Our world and our work in orientation, transition, and retention have changed dramatically. These rapid, and at times daily, changes have been overwhelming, and as we are leading campus transitions, we are also navigating them for ourselves. I know that you are doing incredible work, and I hope you are also able to take time to reflect and rest.

Together as NODA members, we will get through these difficult moments, and we will do what we do best – share new strategies to tackle challenges; engage in rich conversation about how to serve students and families; and encourage each other personally and professionally. Many of my most important and valued relationships are those I share with NODA members and friends. These are the people who have already helped me make sense of what’s happening and what we are being asked to do to reimagine our OTR programming; more importantly, these are the people who send an email or text to check in to make sure I’m doing okay or make me laugh.

Over the past two weeks, I have been inspired by the NODA Association staff and the efforts of many NODA members in our regions and networks to provide a variety of timely resources and opportunities to connect. While much of what we value from our NODA involvement are the in-person networking and training opportunities for us as staff, and especially for our students, I hope that you choose to engage in our community virtually as we all navigate the new normal. It has been awesome to see so many of you already taking advantage of these virtual connections! Stay tuned to NODAfications in your email and actively read the messages shared through NODA Connect to get involved with one another.

The NODA community is incredibly strong, and I hope that it empowers and sustains you as you navigate all that’s ahead. I encourage you to reach out to Joyce Holl, NODA’s Executive Director at with your ideas or thoughts about how we can best help you during this time, and know that as your President, I am honored and grateful to be part of the NODA community with you.

Be well,

Heather Kovanic
NODA President

1.866.521.NODA (6632) | 1200 S Washington Ave, Suite 215, Minneapolis, MN 55415