Dreaming While Awake – International Student Services Institutes

It’s 1:00 a.m. here in Abu Dhabi and 4:00 p.m. on the East Coast of the United States.  I left my house at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, February 1, for Dulles airport to take British Airways to Heathrow in London and from London to Abu Dhabi. I lost a day, so to speak, in travel. As soon as I finish this message to you, I will finally go to bed since I’ve not been prone since Thursday night, January 31. 

I’m surprisingly alert and have such a sense of well-being. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been so thrilled that the vision Kevin Kruger and I had about ways to fulfill the NASPA Board’s international objective is coming together on several fronts much sooner than either of us expected. One dream was to offer student services institutes internationally. We had our first one in December in collaboration with the Hong Kong Student Services Association. Speaking of collaboration, a partnership with Colorado State University’s SAHE program working with Dave McKelfresh, Jody, Donovan, and Oscar Felix is a fantastic dream as well.

I’m also pumped because Courtney Stryker, Zayed University in Abu Dhabi,  and I had an impossible dream to have a NASPA International Student Services Institute (NISSI) this February despite some setbacks along the way. The potential success for the Institute is beyond what either of us dared hope. I will give a better account of attendance and response after the first day of the Institute.

Last year, Denny Roberts, gave me an opportunity to represent NASPA in the Region III 6th Annual Gulf Conference program as a panelist along with Greg Roberts and colleagues from Hamad Bin Kalifa University in Doha, Qatar, or Education City. This year, Courtney Stryker and the Conference Planning Committee are giving me an opportunity to keynote the NASPA-ACPA Gulf Conference following the NASPA International Student Services Institute. It’s all coming together beautifully, and I am going to get some sleep now to continue the dream.

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