UHSP Hosts Virtual Student Affairs Summit
Published on 04 January 2021
University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis hosted a Virtual Student Affairs Summit on Friday, Nov. 20.
The summit provided a place for student affairs professionals in the St. Louis region to participate in professional development while also making connections with colleagues at other institutions.
Student affairs and higher education professionals from more than 25 colleges and universities took part in the summit. Participating institutions included Florida State University, Harris-Stowe State University, Lindenwood University, Maryville University, Missouri Baptist University, Saint Louis University, University of Missouri-St. Louis, Washington University in St. Louis and other universities from across Missouri, Illinois and the nation.
“The event began as a way to partner with colleges and universities to create professional development and networking opportunities for student affairs professionals in the St. Louis area,” said Heather French, Ed.D., vice president for student affairs. “It grew into something bigger and better than I imagined and I look forward to seeing the event expand in the future.”
Nearly 200 professionals registered for the virtual event where they participated in 13 roundtable and educational sessions.
“We wanted to create a sense of unity and provide a space for people to make cross-institution connections,” French said. “By allowing people to attend sessions that most appealed to them, we were able to connect student affairs professionals who shared common interests and goals during the roundtable discussions.”
Attendees also listened to educational sessions hosted by student affairs professionals that focused on topics such as COVID-19 response guidelines, ways to engage students virtually and recommendations for addressing decreased morale and challenges with remote work.
Additional conference sessions focused on ways to support low-income students, international students, and racial equity on college campuses, and highlighted new recommendations for implementing Title IX on college campuses.
The event continued with a town hall discussion that formalized a St. Louis area student affairs network that would provide annual networking and professional development events for student affairs professionals in the region.
“During the town hall, attendees indicated that they would like to continue meeting as a group to help solidify a network in the St. Louis region,” she said. “We don’t have a formal network in place yet, but a group of volunteers has agreed to plan next year’s event to keep the momentum going.”