VP for Campus Life elected to national role

Today’s Daily Deac is sharing some good news.  Penny Rue, our Vice President for Campus Life, has been named Chair-Elect of NASPA, a national organization for student affairs professionals.  The official news story is below.

For those who don’t work in higher education, NASPA is among the most respected professional organizations for higher education.    NASPA helps student affairs professionals with continuous education about the profession so that they can make the co-curricular experience better and better for our students.  It also helps represent the voice of colleges and universities in matters of public policy.

Having one of our own named as the Chair-Elect of NASPA not only elevates Wake Forest’s visibility as a leader in higher education, but it puts one of the greatest administrators I’ve ever worked with in a position of important national leadership.  Penny is an incredible colleague and if you had any idea how much she does behind the scenes (as well as in public) for our students, you would be astonished.   There is a video in the news story below with Penny reflecting on NASPA and Wake Forest.  Worth your time to watch.

Also – as an aside, did you know that working in colleges has become increasingly professionalized in recent years, particularly in the area of campus life?  More and more people who are ‘front-facing’ or interacting with students having advanced degrees in student affairs – not just Master’s degrees, but PhDs and EdD degrees too.  There is a great deal of student development theory that is used on campus when we think about how to develop programs or services to students. Combining some of that theory with the ‘real world’ knowledge of Wake Forest and our student body helps raise the bar on all we offer our students.


Campus Life VP Penny Rue to lead national student affairs organization

Wake Forest University Vice President for Campus Life Penny Rue has been chosen for the most distinguished volunteer leadership role in her field – Board Chair-elect of NASPA, the leading association for student affairs professionals.

Penny Rue

Rue, who has broad responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of Wake Forest students and their education outside the classroom, has been a NASPA member and volunteer leader for 40 years. She is currently the Public Policy Division Chair of NASPA and has served on the Board of Directors since 2015.

At the organization’s annual conference in March, she will begin a three-year term – serving as Chair-elect (2017-2018), Chair (2018-2019) and then Past Chair (2019-2020).

“Being elected to lead NASPA is an honor and a great responsibility,” said Rue, who came to Wake Forest in 2013.

“When I began my career, student affairs professionals were worried about homesickness and social adjustments. Since then, our work has gotten much more complex as we grapple with threat assessments, federal compliance and campus climate.”Penny Rue, vice president for campus life

“NASPA has helped me keep abreast of best practices over the last 40 years and also navigate issues with colleagues who represent a variety of perspectives,” she said.

VIDEO:  Learn more about Rue’s efforts to build community at Wake Forest and her involvement with NASPA.

NASPA has commanded an increasingly respected voice in Washington, D.C. in recent years. Rue is among its volunteer leaders frequently asked to speak out on key issues such as college completion, Pell Grant funding and campus safety.

Last month, Rue led a panel discussion before lawmakers on Capitol Hill as part of an effort by the American Association of State Colleges and Universities and NASPA to discuss the challenges of addressing sexual assault on university campuses with the new administration.

In 2015, she testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Higher Education and the Workforce Training about “Preventing and Responding to Sexual Assault on College Campuses.”

“I once heard a student affairs professional call Penny a ‘national treasure’ in higher education, and her NASPA appointment affirms his sentiment as well as my own.”Nathan O. Hatch, Wake Forest president

“Penny’s commitment to NASPA strengthens her tremendous talent and depth of experience to the betterment of the Wake Forest community. I am pleased for her recognition and grateful for her service to our students,” he said.


Categories: campus life

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