Friday, Oct. 18, 2019

Careers in Student Affairs Drive-in Conference

Join us for a day-long conference focused on prospective students interested in pursuing careers and master’s degrees in student affairs, current graduate students enrolled in student affairs master’s degree programs, and rising professionals in the student affairs profession.

Student affairs professional works with a student

Keynote Speaker

Kevin Kruger photo Keynote speaker, Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, will present on “Seven Trends for the Future of Student Affairs.”


Hosted by the Springfield College Division of Student Affairs.

Additional support provided by Springfield Technical Community College, NASPA Region I, NASPANECPA, and College Promo

Conference Schedule | Oct. 18, 2019

9-9:30 a.m. | Check-in

Location: Richard B. Flynn Campus Union Lobby  

9:30 a.m. | Welcome

Dr. Mary-Beth Cooper, President, Springfield College
Location: Cleveland E. and Phyllis B. Dodge Room

Mary-Beth A. Cooper, PhD, DM, became the 13th President of Springfield College in August 2013, bringing to the College her experience from a long and distinguished career in higher education administration and community service.

With her leadership, the Springfield College community has experienced a unified rededication to its Humanics philosophy and mission of leadership in service to others, and has committed itself to educational excellence through cultivation of partnerships that allow students to produce new knowledge and that engage diverse populations.  Through an extensive planning process, she has fostered an internal environment that reflects shared governance among its faculty, staff, and student bodies, and an external environment that is safe and welcoming for the College community and its city neighbors.

President Cooper earned a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Delaware, a Master of Education from the University of Georgia, a Master of Business Administration from the University of Rochester, a Doctor of Philosophy in Education Administration from Michigan State University, and a Doctor of Management from Case Western Reserve University. No stranger to campus life, President Cooper formerly served as a Vice President in Student Affairs at Rochester Institute of Technology. Known for her volunteer leadership, President Cooper serves on a number of boards and councils, both locally and on a national level. 

10-11 a.m. | Session I (choose one)

Life as a Student Affairs Graduate Student: Graduate Student Panel

This session will feature a panel of current graduate students from Springfield College and surrounding schools who will speak about their experiences in graduate school, including applying for graduate school, and how they secured Graduate Assistantship/Fellowships in the field. There will also be time for the panel to answer any of your questions. 

Confirmed speakers:

  • Cameron Labelle, Springfield College, Student Affairs Administration Master's degree program student
  • Caroline Paleologopoulos, Bay Path University, Higher Education Administration Master's degree program student
  • Jennifer McNeill, Bay Path University, Education Administration Master's degree program student
  • Jamie Conlon, M.Ed., Assistant Director of Employee Relations, Springfield College, May 2019 graduate of the Student Personnel Administration Master's degree program at Springfield College


Student Affairs Jobs of the Future

The Student Affairs profession is always evolving as the higher education landscape changes. This session will address some of the up-and-coming functional areas of Student Affairs and new areas for employment.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Jaclyn Calovine, Deputy for Equity Investigations, Berklee College of Music
  • Erica Stocks, Director of Student Affairs, Boston University- Henry M. Goldman School of Dental Medicine
  • Brenda Hounsell Sullivan, Assistant Dean/Director of Student Involvement, College of the Holy Cross

11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. | Session II (choose one)

Graduate School Fair
Location: Campus Union Rotunda 

This is your opportunity to connect with faculty and Admissions representatives from multiple colleges and universities from around the region offering Master’s degree programs in Student Affairs/Higher Education Administration that qualify candidates for successful careers in a multitude of higher education settings. 

List of schools committed to attending: 

  • Bay Path University
  • Boston College
  • Boston University
  • Bridgewater State University
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Merrimack College
  • Regis College
  • Salem State University
  • Springfield College
  • Suffolk University
  • University of Bridgeport
  • University of Rhode Island
  • University of Southern Maine
  • University of Vermont 


Effective Job Searching

Whether you are embarking on your first higher education job search or are in the field and are looking to explore new opportunities, this session will address how to effectively market your valuable experience and will highlight cutting edge trends in Student Affairs job search. 

Panelists include: 

  • Phyllis Williams-Thompson, Director of Career Development, Office of Career Services, Elms College
  • Andrea St. James, Director, Career Development, Western New England University
  • Junior Delgado, Director, Career Center, Westfield State Unversity
  • Sally Schirmer-Smith, Career Coach, The Sullivan Career and Life Planning Center, Bay Path University


Is an Advanced or Terminal Degree for you? 

Panelists will answer questions and discuss topics such as: 

  • What are your career goals? 
  • How do you choose a program? 
  • Timing and balancing personal and professional life.
  • Shared experiences of the panelists.

Panelists include:

  • David Hall, Ed.D., Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Springfield College
  • Polly Prewitt-Freilino, Ph.D., Director of Institutional Research and Effectiveness, Mount Holyoke College
  • Jason Incorvati, Interim Co-Director for Programs and Student Development, University of Massachusetts—Amherst

12:30 p.m. | Lunch and Keynote

Dr. Kevin Kruger, NASPA President
Location: Judd Gymnasia - Union West

Keynote speaker, Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, will present on “Seven Trends for the Future of Student Affairs.”

Dr. Kevin Kruger draws on more than 40 years of experience in higher education. Since 2012, he has served as president and CEO for NASPA - Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Prior to his role as president, Dr. Kruger worked for 18 years as the associate executive director and served as the chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO) for NASPA. He has held a range of student affairs positions at Southern Methodist University and the University of Maryland. As NASPA president, Dr. Kruger represents student affairs at a variety of national forums and is a frequent contributor to higher education news stories on the college student experience. Dr. Kruger has published and presented nationally on trends in higher education, student success, degree-completion strategies for low-income/first-generation students, and change management and leadership in higher education. He is the proud father of two children, one a college senior and the other a first-year student. Dr. Kruger received his M.A. and Ph.D. in Counseling and Personnel Services from the University of Maryland.

Lunch is sponsored by College Promo

2-3 p.m. | Vice Presidents Panel

Coming from a variety of backgrounds and types of institutions, the Vice Presidents will share lessons learned during their careers as students affairs professionals. They will also share tips and advice, including what they look for in the people they hire and suggestions for how to succeed and advance in the profession. Plenty of time will be taken to respond to questions from those in attendance. 

Confirmed speakers:

  • Jeanne Hart-Steffes, VPSA, Western New England University
  • Catherine Holbrook, VPSA, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts
  • Patrick Love, VPSA, Springfield College
  • Marcella Runell Hall, Vice President for Student Life and Dean of Students, Mount Holyoke College
  • Timothy St. James, Interim Dean of Students and Campus Facilities, Asnunstuck Community College

3-4 p.m. | Networking Dessert Reception

Location: Campus Union Rotunda

We invite you to join us with your peers, conference attendees, and speakers for a networking reception of coffee and desserts. This will be a great opportunity to leisurely connect. If you need to get on the road for the drive home, please feel free to stop in and grab a snack and beverage for the ride. 

We hope you'll join us!

Registration will be closing on Wednesday at noon. We will be accepting walk-in registrations on the day of the event, but will only be able to accept cash or check.

Students sitting in a classroom discussing.

If you have any questions or need additional information, please contact Scott Dranka, Director of the Career Center, at 413-748-3222. 

Please note that the Conference is listed in our Course Catalog where further details can be found.