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News & Press: Association Leadership

Leadership Spotlight: Ella Weaver

Monday, June 16, 2014   (0 Comments)
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 NODA Leader: Ella Weaver
Assistant Director, First Year Experience
Auburn University

NODA Position: Nominations Committee Chair

Why was getting involved in NODA important to you?

I value so much the professional development opportunities, knowledge & resources I have gained from the Association. I definitely wanted to be able to give back in any way that I could. I also think that the work we do on our campuses is important and hope that the increasing the strength of NODA will help us do that work better. So in the end, it is about our campuses and our students and ensuring that we are doing the best for them as they are now but also preparing for who they will be and what they will need in the future.

When and why did you get involved with NODA?
I joined as a graduate student in 2003. At the time I was working in Student Organizations but knew that I wanted to get some experience in orientation. My supervisor gave me permission to use my professional development funds that year to travel to the NODA Annual Conference in Seattle. It was the best decision of my professional career. I made so many connections at that conference that allowed me to develop relationships with some great mentors and introduced me to the many opportunities within NODA for graduate students.

Why should a member consider a leadership position in NODA?
Other than giving back to the Association and making an impact on the field of OTR, there is great personal and professional gain to be had from involvement in NODA. Personally, you will develop a wonderful network of colleagues, mentors and friends that make this field seem even more like home. Professionally, you will be exposed to responsibilities and ideas that you may not be exposed to in your full time job and gain new skills that you wouldn't otherwise have an opportunity to practice.

What have you gained from your leadership positions in NODA?
I have absolutely gained that network of mentors and friends. I can pick up the phone anytime and reach out to a colleague anywhere in the country about a new issues I am dealing with on my campus, a specific problem I am addressing with students or a quick chat about the inevitable frustrations that occur in any job. I have also gained exposure to finances and budgeting, strategic planning, and collaborating with people from varied backgrounds to accomplish a major project. Each of these has enhanced the work I am doing at Auburn University.

What is your favorite NODA related memory?
There are so many, but I have to go back to the original - serving on the 2005 Annual Conference (Miami) Committee. It was my introduction to involvement in a professional association and what an introduction it was! I felt a bit like an undergraduate again with the long hours, late nights, early mornings and tons of laughs. It was so rewarding to see a successful final product with very tangible results. I would also say this past fall when I finished my term on the Board of Directors. We had experienced so many changes in the previous three years and the Association in some ways looked completely different. It was incredibly exciting to look back on the change but to also look forward and think about where I wanted to go next. Where would my skills be best put to use and what was I excited to work on? It felt like turning a page.

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