NAADA eNewsletter
August 2014

NAADA Connections


From the President

Keith BarberDear NAADA Friends,

Last month I shared with you my belief that at the crux of our professions lies the act of stewardship. We steward students, messaging, relationships, finances, even the future. As a new academic year begins on our many campuses, I hope this thought resonates with you and provides numerous opportunities to engage in this unique act of service, all proving beneficial to your organization and you as a professional.

Within NAADA, one of the premier ways in which we seek benefits is through stewardship of one another. When a member hears of a new idea, she may implement it on her campus. When someone at one institution better understands how to add a special touch to a program, he shares it with a NAADA colleague. This has a multiplication effect that impacts all of us for the better.

There’s a movie you may have seen that provides us a good example of how skill sets and opportunities on campus can help make us better as an association, and vice versa. In the film We Were Soldiers, Mel Gibson portrays Lt. Col. Hal Moore. Col. Moore is a father of five – he knows what it takes to be a good dad. He’s also an experienced combat veteran – he knows what it takes to be a successful military leader. As Col. Moore is preparing his troops for their next battle, a young lieutenant who has just learned he’ll be a father for the first time inquires of him, “Sir, how can I be a good soldier and a good father?” Col. Moore contemplates for a moment and finally replies: “Being good at one makes you better at the other.”

NAADA is like this. For our organization to be great, we need to apply the same principles at the association level as we do at our home institutions. And, in turn, we have the opportunity to nurture, grow, and implement what we learn through NAADA in order to be better on our campuses.

I hope NAADA is providing growth opportunities for you and that you are sharing insights with other NAADA members. This two-way path will furnish us with help, vision, and stewardship opportunities for those values and people we hold dear.

Let me know how we’re doing.

All the best,
Keith Barber

Seeking Conference Speakers

The NAADA Education Committee invites education session proposals for the annual conference of alumni, communications, development, student professionals, and alumni volunteers of land grant universities and colleges of agriculture and related sciences. Next year's conference will be held June 15-18, 2015 at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, November 7, 2014. Also, please feel free to send your ideas for potential topics and speakers to Education Committee Chair Jennifer Shike (

The following program goals for the NAADA 2015 conference sessions will guide the Education Committee in selecting from proposed sessions. Session proposals are strongly encouraged to support these goals:

  • Create educational opportunities to enhance the member institutions.
  • Create meaningful volunteer experiences for former students and friends of AgriLife.
  • Involve not just our colleges but also our agencies to encourage participation in the advancement process throughout the organization.
  • Provide opportunities for our students to be involved in a professional organization, specifically our students in related fields such as Recreation, Parks and Tourism and Agricultural Communications. We hope to use these students to staff activities as well as provide value-added opportunities (like creating a multi-media, social-media EXPERIENCE to weave throughout the conference.

We look forward to developing an inspiring set of sessions to help take you to the next level professionally and personally.

Coming Soon: Annual Membership Renewals

Reminder: The membership renewal invoices will be sent during the first week of September to campus contacts. Instructions will be provided to pay online, download an invoice and update the membership roster. If you have any questions, please contact Darrin Hubbard at

2015 Conference Education Sessions… Members, We Want Your Input!

The NAADA Education Committee is hard at work planning for the 2015 NAADA Annual Conference at Texas A&M, June 15-18, 2015. But we need your help…Who were the best speakers you’ve heard at other conferences you’ve attended recently and would they be a good fit for our conference in 2015? Please, send your track rep a note to share any ideas and suggestions you have!

We also hope you will find ways to interact and share ideas via the listserv for your track. It’s a great resource…don’t be afraid to reach out to your colleagues across the country.

All the best to everyone for a great fall semester!

Meet your 2014-2015 NAADA Track Representatives!

Jill BrownJill Brown
Alumni Track Chair

University of Nebraska

Jill Brown works at the University of Nebraska – Lincoln (UNL) as Assistant to the Vice Chancellor for External Relations in the Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources (IANR). Her role includes legislative affairs, marketing, public relations, development and interacting with stakeholder groups. In addition to her duties in the IANR Vice Chancellor’s office, she is also the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) Alumni Association Development Director. Previously she worked as the Career Placement and Development Coordinator for CASNR and for the Market Journal television program. Jill has a Bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Journalism and a Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, both from UNL. Jill and her husband Lee reside in Lincoln with their 7-year-old daughter Kenzie.

Michelle HallMichelle Hall
Communications Track Chair

University of Missouri

Michelle Hall is the marketing communications coordinator for the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources at the University of Missouri. She writes promotional material and guides marketing projects to completion for College priority areas including development, alumni relations, research, student recruitment and student services to enhance undergraduate and graduate recruitment, retention and job placement, and alumni engagement. She coordinates various communication methods for internal audiences to ensure consistent and meaningful interaction with faculty and staff. She received a degree in communications with a print journalism emphasis from Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. After graduation Hall worked as a staff writer for the Manhattan Mercury newspaper, Manhattan, Kan.; as a marketing coordinator in the office of Media Relations and Marketing at Kansas State University; and as a senior information specialist for the Center for Agroforestry at the University of Missouri.

Heidi GriswoldHeidi Griswold
Development Track Chair

University of Missouri

Heidi Griswold is Director of Development in the College of Agriculture, Food & Natural Resources (CAFNR) at the University of Missouri. Heidi joined CAFNR in 2007. In her role, she works to develop relationships with alumni, companies, friends, and volunteers of the College to engage alumni, raise financial support and find opportunities for strategic partnerships. She also touches students as advisor to the CAFNR Student Development Board, which provides stewardship to donors.

Prior to CAFNR, Heidi worked for the Mizzou Alumni Association coordinating alumni events, diversity efforts and managing in-state alumni chapters.

Heidi earned her Bachelor’s degree in Agribusiness Management from CAFNR in 2006 and a Master’s degree in Public Administration: Non-Profit Management from the University of Missouri in 2010.

Frank Santiago
Student Professionals Track Chair

University of Arizona

Tara AndersonTara Anderson
Volunteer Track Chair

University of Illinois

Tara Anderson served as the young alumni director of the University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer & Environmental Resources (ACES) Alumni Association Board of Directors. A 2002 graduate of the College of ACES with a BS in Food & Agribusiness Management, Tara currently serves as the Volunteer track chair for NAADA. Professionally, she holds the role of Director of Alumni Relations & Annual Giving for the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and previously, was Director of Alumni Relations for Chicago-Kent College of Law at Illinois Institute of Technology. She began her career working for the University of Illinois Alumni Association.

Jennifer ShikeJennifer Shike
Education Committee Chair

University of Illinois

Jennifer Shike is the director for communications and marketing in the College of ACES at the University of Illinois. She is responsible for facilitating the development of communications and marketing strategies, managing the college’s branding strategy, and serving as the primary communications resource for the Office of Advancement. She also serves as the Illini Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow advisor and organizes professional development opportunities for students through her involvement in the Livestock Publications Council and the American Agricultural Editors Association. Shike is a graduate of Kansas State University where she majored in agricultural journalism and communications and animal sciences. After graduation, she served as the National Swine Registry’s Director of Junior Activities where she developed the National Junior Swine Association from an idea into the fastest growing youth livestock organization in the United States with nearly 12,000 members. She and her husband, Dr. Dan Shike, live in Sadorus, Ill., with their 8-year-old daughter, Olivia, 6-year-old son, Hunter and 6-month-old daughter Harper.

New Member Spotlight: First-Timer Shares NAADA’s Impact

NAADA Conferences are known to be fun. From the first pool-side retreats with a small group brainstorming alumni activities to this summer’s gathering of more than 200 participants, family and friends, we’ve been known as a fun group. That fun spirit translates to a welcoming attitude that makes its mark on first-time attendees, like Elizabeth Copeland from Virginia Tech, helping them get the feel of our organization and learn lessons that will be helpful in their personal and professional lives.

Elizabeth, a new member to her college’s alumni board, noted that NAADA made her feel welcome from the very beginning. She pointed to the “First-Timers Meeting” on the first day where new members were paired with a buddy (hers was Tara Anderson) who helped navigate the conference and answer any questions.

“This is my first year on the VT alumni board so the NAADA conference overall really helped me gain different perspectives of how other college alumni boards are run and it helped me gain a better understanding of what my role is on the board and how I can provide the most benefit back to the board,” said Copeland. “I believe the sessions provided at NAADA could be applied to both my role on the VT alumni board and also to my professional career – whether it be a session on how best to handle 'Herding Cats' or 'Using Social Media to Meet Engagement Goals' as I recently moved to my company's Corporate Affairs department.”

She also noted the pre-conference workshop, “Strengths Based Leadership” was helpful in allowing its participants to identify their personal strengths, and then learned how to maximize those strengths and look for others to help in weaknesses in order to be the most effective and successful leader – skills useful in any situation.

Elizabeth honed in on the fun of NAADA with what she identified as her favorite session, an educational tour of Beaver Stadium at Penn State!

Her advice for next year’s first-time attendees: “Take advantage of your buddy as they are a valuable resource, not only for logistic questions, but also from a networking perspective.” She also noted that you shouldn’t feel obligated to attend only the sessions in their “track.” “I found it very informative to attend other 'track' sessions.”

One of the great things about NAADA is how we all mix and share new ideas and experiences. Think about who YOU will bring as a First-Timer next year to Texas A&M!

Welcome, New Members

Help us welcome our new NAADA members. Feel free to drop them a note of welcome!

Bruce McPheron, Ohio State University, Dean
Jill Pfister, Ohio State University, Student Professionals
Steve Neal, Ohio State University, Student Professionals
Jeff Hattey, Ohio State University, Student Professionals
Dave Dietrich, Ohio State University, Student Professionals
Kelly Newlon, Ohio State University, Student Professionals
Cindy Plummer, Ohio State University, Student Professionals
Jennifer Heller, Ohio State University, Development
Tori Farmer, Ohio State University, Development
Matthew Marx, Ohio State University, Communications
Bill Smiley, Ohio State University, Alumni
Hilary Price, Ohio State University, Development
Emily Winneberg, Ohio State University, Development
Kelly Zwink, Ohio State University, Development

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