R8Talks: Take an “Advising Sabbatical” to Refresh and Recharge

Wednesday, May 12, 2021 @ 10:30 – 11:30 am Alaska, 11:30 am – 12:30 pm Pacific/Yukon, 12:30 – 1:30 pm Mountain

Academic advisors work in demanding environments spending multiple hours daily meeting with students and completing a dizzying array of administrative tasks including paperwork, meetings, teaching, program coordination, and university service. Sustaining this workload over time can prove challenging and puts advisors at risk of emotional and physical exhaustion that diminishes their effectiveness and may result in burnout and compassion fatigue. Additionally, meeting these daily demands often leaves scant time and energy for professional development activities crucial for continued growth and effectiveness.

In response to these twin challenges, Andrew Wahlstrom from the University of Oregon has developed the “advising sabbatical.” An advising sabbatical is a multi-day respite from daily advising tasks to focus on professional development activities with the goal to promote renewal and restoration. The talk will review the presenter’s advising sabbatical research and discuss benefits observed from first-hand sabbatical experiences. Practical considerations for implementing an advising sabbatical, possible sabbatical activities, and strategies conducive to a successful experience, including gaining supervisor and co-worker support, will be provided.

R8 Talks! is a monthly, community-building opportunity for Region 8 members. Register in advance to join us in this session: https://ksu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJAod-ihqjIpEtAZCzV35fmFU-8Ealv8Hd4Z

For information about all R8 Talks, click here.


Wednesday, April 14th, 2021 @ 10:30-11:30 a.m. Alaska | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific | 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mountain

Join us for our next R8 Talks on April 14, 2021 for an open discussion about the return to working on-campus.

Discussion facilitated by awesome members of the NACADA R8 Steering Committee.

We’ll be returning to work soon, if we haven’t already.

After a full 12 months of dealing with loneliness, isolation, burnout, and not nearly as many workplace snacks, the discussions have finally started: our WFH life is drawing to a close.

While this year brought challenges, it also brought changes to our commute time, our work attire, and the amount of stimulation we receive Monday-Friday.

It is normal and healthy to have mixed feelings about returning to the office. For some, it might mean excitement: morning catch-ups with colleagues and not asking ‘can you hear me?’ to begin every meeting. For others, it might mean overwhelm; eight hours or more around lots of other humans, five days a week, when you’ve gotten pretty used to sharing lunch with the cat. For most, it will be a combination of the two.

Join our facilitated discussion about returning to the office on Wednesday, April 14. Share where you’re at on the excited-to-anxious work-from-work spectrum, and hear how others are feeling, too.

R8 Talks! is a monthly, community-building opportunity for Region 8. Register in advance to join us for this session: https://ksu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMkde6hqTwtE9Oe-K99rVngbjNfLccTgDsy  

For information about all R8 talks, click here.

ANNOUNCEMENT! Region 8 Learning Partnerships Program

Mentorship has long been valued as a vehicle for career development and personal transformation (Yoder et al., 2015). Our region is committed to facilitating impactful relationships that

1) help you expand your understanding of advising strategies and,

2) supports you as you reach your career development goals.

To that end, we would like to introduce Region 8’s Learning Partnership Program. We are focusing this effort towards “learning partnership” rather than typical “mentorship” to highlight that all involved parties have wisdom to share and space to learn. This program is not just for our graduate student colleagues, or new advising professionals, but any advising practitioner looking for a professional connection at any point in their career in higher education who has a commitment to professional growth.

Participating in this regional learning partnership program will support you to engage with colleagues that may know more about a specific area of our field than you, while also teaching about your own expertise in monthly meetings with your learning partner. As a participant, you will have space to discuss your long-term career goals, and learn more about ways to gain critical leadership skills via NACADA opportunities.

Topics you will be encouraged to dialogue with your mentorship partner about include:

  • Career Goals and Setting Intentions,
  • Networking, Advocacy, and Influence,
  • Advising as Teaching,
  • NACADA Core Competencies,
  • Presenting Opportunities, Regional Conference Planning / Submitting A Proposal,
  • Publishing Opportunities, Research Opportunities with NACADA
  • Assessment, Technology

We are now accepting applications from interested learning partners until March 31, 2021.  You do not need to have experience participating in a mentorship program, all we ask is that you are willing to learn and share with your partner.

Apply to the Learning Partnership Program HERE


Yoder, F., & Joslin, J. (2015). Advisor growth and development: Building a foundation for mastery. In Folsom, P., Yoder, F., & Joslin, J (Eds.), The new advisor guidebook : mastering the art of academic advising (pp. 301 – 315). Jossey-Bass.


Here are a sample of offerings available today, March 24th. Let us know which sessions you’re attending through the Social Wall on the conference app!

  • #NowTrending: Gen Z & Microcredentialing Lauren Daly | Touro University Nevada Gen Z students are increasingly concerned about whether the completion of a costly college degree will ensure them a job after graduation. IBM is one of a growing number of companies that no longer require college degrees from their applicants, instead citing “candidates who have hands-on experience” as being just as qualified for posted jobs. A national research survey by Northeasten University found that 55% of HR leaders agree that microcredentials are likely to diminish the emphasis on degrees in hiring over the next 5-10 years. Learn how microcredentials, nano degrees, and digital badges are emerging as job qualifications of the future, and discover how to advise students of their growing importance while encouraging them to complete their formal degree programs. Technology and Social Media R6|C4
  • Getting Gritty With It: Grit as an Advising Strategy Kelly Rush | Western Oregon University “I’m not a math person, never will be. Maybe college isn’t right for me.” How do you help a student with a perspective like this? How do you convince them that they’re simply not a math person yet and that with continued, persistent effort they will eventually conquer the subject that they struggle with the most? Grit offers insight into working with students in these situations, no matter where they fall academically. Grit is where the rubber meets the road. It specifically addresses how to help students continue to find sustained motivation and persistence when confronted with failure. We will discuss how to apply Grit theory in practice and examine case studies. Participants will leave with strategies and techniques to apply Grit in your advising practice. Student Pe
  • Maintaining Work-Life Balance without Losing Your Mind or Your Job Andrea Harris | Pepperdine University & Camille Reid | University of West Georgia Has your advising meeting ever been zoom-bombed by your own child? Have you received a work call on your cell phone while you were in the bathroom playing Candy Crush? Do you wear fuzzy slippers during professional meetings? Have you experienced any or all of these while working harder than you have ever worked in support of your students, colleagues and university? This session will explore how to handle work-life balance, whether working from home is the usual, or a new practice related to the times. Using humor and practical data and information, we hope to help attendees develop some healthy practices to enact suitable boundaries between work and life, as well as feel less alone about their experiences. Health and Well-Being R1|C4

You can view all of the sessions offered on the schedule. Don’t forget to connect through our social wall – you can hashtag #cfh to let us know you’re “here” with us!

Written by: Shannon Miller & Clare Donohue (R9)


NACADA’s Region 8 and Region 9 Conference is starting TODAY! Here is a sample schedule of sessions you can attend during the first day of the conference, March 23rd.

  • Networking Session: Dialogues on Diversity and Inclusion in Advising: If you are passionate about connecting with community of advisors who want to advance diversity and inclusion in their practices and on their campuses, check out this group! Whether you want to learn more about social justice on campuses, working on developing an affinity group in your community, or want to learn more about the issues facing higher education, join this information conversation.
  • Leading the Way for Gen Z: Helping First-Year Students to Explore Careers and the Future of Work – Ann Lara | Cal Poly Pomona: California State Polytechnic University Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona) has recently focused the campus conversation around the “Future of Work” to create transformational opportunities for students to successfully navigate an evolving workforce. Providing students with an opportunity to explore and become career-ready during their first year of college is critical. This presentation will provide participants with an example of a successful program, “The Pineapple Club,” that helps improve student retention and success. As a minority-serving institution, Cal Poly Pomona is committed to supporting low income, first-generation to college, historically underserved students who may need additional tools for navigating career competencies. This immersive experience helps Gen Z students leave their first year of college with a strong foundation for the changing world of work
  • Setting Up Your Digital Command Center for More Effective and Efficient Advising in Uncertain Times – Carrie Ben-Yisrael | Washington State University: Want to learn how you can use every day digital tools/resources to get things done and make your advising session and program administration more effective and efficient? Many advisors struggle with knowing how to systematize their digital environment in a way that allows them to feel supported and equipped to do the job. Using Tiago Forte’ Second Brain concept and David Allen’s Getting Things Done methodology, with a few tweaks to your computer screen or other digital device, you can learn to set up your digital command center and automate your workflows using everyday tools and software to make your life easier, while providing better student services.

Don’t miss these sessions! You can view the full list of sessions available on the schedule. Hashtag #CFH (conference from home) to let us know you’re “here” with us!! You can hashtag #NACADASessions to let us know which sessions you’ll be attending!

Written by: Shannon Miller & Clare Harris (R9)

Conference Wellness

Did you know that taking care of your mental and emotional health is just as important to a long healthy life as taking care of your physical health? Did you know that it is just as important for the doctor to do a mental status exam as it is to do a physical status exam? Just like physical health, mental health can affect motivation, energy levels and other daily functioning tasks.

At the Region 8 and Region 9 Virtual 2021 Conference Wellness session, you can learn more about the importance of mental health exams and how gratitude can affect your mental health!

Gratitude is the quality of being thankful and showing appreciation for what we have. At a time when many of us are struggling to adapt to a new normal, practicing gratitude is more important than ever.

Showing gratitude has the following mental health benefits:

  1. Expressing gratitude can improve your mood. People who regularly express gratitude for the positive things in their life are shown to be happier overall, leading to lower rates of stress and depression.
  2. Showing gratitude can make you more optimistic. Studies show that those who express gratitude regularly appear to have a more positive outlook on life.
  3. Sharing gratitude can improve social bonds. People have reported feeling more loved and more connected to others in their lives when they routinely practice gratitude or those around them practice gratitude.
  4. Practicing gratitude can improve your physical health. People who actively express gratitude tend to be more engaged in activities to take care of their physical health, like eating well and exercising. This leads to higher energy levels, better sleep and a stronger immune system, or the ability to fight off illness or infection.

Research has also shown that “by consciously practicing gratitude, we can train the brain to attend selectively to positive emotions and thoughts, thus reducing anxiety and feelings of apprehension.” The simple act of reminding yourself of the positive things in your life – even as simple as the roof over your head or food on your plate – can invoke feelings of thankfulness and optimism that make managing stress, depression or anxiety easier.

Want to learn more about mental health and the role of gratitude? Be sure to attend our Wellness session.

If you haven’t registered yet, you can do so HERE. Hashtag #CFH to let us know you’re joining!

Written by: Clare Donohue & Shannon Miller (R9)

Virtual Networking Sessions

NACADA’s Region 8 and Region 9 Virtual 2021 Conference is just around the corner!

Today we have more information on our Virtual Networking Sessions for the conference. The sessions include:

Balancing Act

You’re seeing students virtually, coordinating events on campus, helping kids with homeschooling, taking care of a household, completing a graduate or doctoral degree, and more, all during a global pandemic to boot.  Do some or all of these sounds familiar? Have a conversation with colleagues who are experiencing the same challenges and learn some tips to help you not only survive but thrive through these unprecedented times.

Fantasy Pop Culture  

Do you have an interest in all things fantasy, such as Harry Potter, Star Wars, or the Marvel Universe? Join this networking session to discuss upcoming releases, fan theories, and anything else in between! Take this time to discuss with your fellow fan! (Also, Hufflepuff is #1, Han shot first, and Thanos is lucky the MCU did not give us Squirrel Girl)

Advising During a Pandemic

Do you have virtual advising tips to share? Or, do you have questions on what advising might look like as we begin the process of returning back to campus? Join this group to discuss what steps you or your campus have done to help virtual advising as we continue the transition to a return to campus.

Two-Year College Conversations

Join a room ready to discuss all things related to two-year colleges and transfer students!  Whether you want to talk about unique issues your two-year students are facing, learn more about the transfer process, or get some great ideas for your university to help recruit and retain transfer students, this could be a conversation you don’t want to miss!

 Dialogues on Diversity and Inclusion in Advising

If you are passionate about connecting with a community of advisors who want to advance diversity and inclusion in their practices and on their campuses, check out this group!  Whether you want to learn more about social justice on campuses, working on developing an affinity group in your community, or want to learn more about the issues facing higher education, join this information conversation.

You don’t want to miss these exciting topics. If you haven’t registered yet, you can find all relevant information here: NACADA > Community > Regions > Regions 8and9 > Registration Information (ksu.edu) 

Be sure to hashtag #CFH to let us know you’re joining!

Written by: Clare Donohue & Shannon Miller (R9)

A Look at Our Closing Speaker!

NACADA members, we are very excited to introduce you to our closing speaker! Jason J. Dorsetteis a native of North Carolina who now resides in Corvallis, Oregon. Jason is a PhD candidate in the College of Education Language, Educational Policy, and Equity program at Oregon State University. His research interest includes issues of access and equity in the context of higher education informed by race, gender, and the interconnectedness of other social identities. Jason has worked in higher education for over a decade and has a proven record of making positive impacts on the lives of students, faculty, staff, and community members that he encounters. He currently works in the Educational Opportunities Program Educational as an associate director, serves as a faculty member in the College Student Service Administration (CSSA) graduate program, and serves as facilitator for the popular Black Minds Matter course all at Oregon State University.

Jason received his Bachelors of Art degree in History and Middle Grade Education and Masters in Science degree in Public Policy and Administration from North Carolina Central University—a Historical Black College & University (HBCU).  He has served in leadership capacities regionally, nationally, and internationally in a number of higher education professional associations, as well as published and contributed to books and academic articles and journals.

Civically, Jason comes from a long family legacy of politically and socially involved relatives. Jason serves as the President of the NAACP Corvallis-Albany (Linn-Benton Counties) branch, and a board member for the City of Corvallis Imagine Corvallis Action Network (ICAN).  He is also Co-Founder of SoulForce Education—a non-profit organization that provides organizations with transformative learning experiences and activities designed to promote, explore, and implement diversity, equity, and inclusion tenets and principles ranging from the introduction of social change concepts and polices to specialized topics (e.g. implicit bias, racism, gendering, organizational culture and climate, etc.).

Jason’s presentation will be “Enough is Enough: Applying a Lens of Critical Race Theory and Cultural Responsiveness in the Academic Advising Community” at the NACADA conference.



You still haven’t registered? CLICK HERE to register, and hashtag #CFH (conference from home) to let us know you are joining!

Written by: Esther Herrera (R9)

Even more conference pets!

So many conference pets!! Thank you to everyone who has sent in a photo or shared one to your own social account with the hashtag #conferencepets . 

Today is the very last day for the early bird registration! Scroll through these pet photos for your daily dose of happiness and then head on over to register!

Artoo and Nimoy, formulating their getaway plan…

Astrid 🙂

Kimchi is preserving energy for the networking events!

Kirby knows how to dress to impress!

Sophie is hiding away from the zoom camera! 

Have you registered yet? The conference is THIS MONTH! You can register and find all relevant information here: NACADA > Community > Regions > Regions 8and9 > Registration Information (ksu.edu)  – early bird deadline is TODAY 3/16!!

5 Ways to Make the Most of a Virtual Conference

There are just as many (if not more!) opportunities at a virtual conference as there are in person. Read on for 5 ways to make the most of your virtual conference experience! 

  1. Review the schedule ahead of time and add things to your calendar

A few days before the conference, read through the program and decide which sessions you would like to attend. I recommend finding a session for each time slot – even if you don’t attend them all, you won’t be flustered trying to decide which session to attend right before it starts. Copy the links for each sessions Zoom room and paste them into your calendar at the exact time the presentation will be hosted. Having the links handy will help you save time during the conference and reduce stress of finding links in between sessions. 

  1. Take health & wellness breaks

Whether virtual or in-person, professional conferences are long and demanding. Add the element of screen fatigue from everyday meetings, online learning, and virtual events and you have a perfect recipe for stress and strain which can take away from your conference experience. You can alleviate many of these stressors by making time to incorporate short and simple health and wellness breaks into your conference days. Re energize by participating in a conference-sponsored wellness activity, going outside, moving your body, engaging in meditation, or connecting with a friend or loved one. Your body and mind will thank you!

PSST – there are wellness breaks scheduled throughout the conference. Check your conference app!

  1. Build connections

Just because the conference is virtual, doesn’t mean you won’t have opportunities to network! In addition to the conference networking events outlined in a separate post, there are several ways to create connections at a virtual conference.

  • Stay present in live sessions! It can be tempting to multi-task during a virtual conference, but try your best to be fully engaged.
  • Take notes  & ask questions – especially if there is a Q&A!
  • Reach out to presenters from sessions that resonated with you. Presenters love to chat about their work! 
  • Get social! Find us on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram. Tag #cfh so we can connect!
  1. Attend social events

One of the benefits of attending professional conferences is connecting with like-minded professionals with whom you may otherwise have never crossed paths. While it may seem challenging to do so over a virtual format, it’s possible! Participating in social events gives you the opportunity to connect with other conference attendees in a casual and stress-free setting. Conferences don’t have to be stuffy; they can be fun! Be intentional about attending conference sponsored social events and give yourself the opportunity to build collaborative relationships and lifelong friendships. 

  1. Structured debriefing 

Both virtual and in-person conferences can feel overwhelming – we take copious notes, get business cards, make plans to connect with people, find those aha! ideas that we want to share with our staff. But so much of this information is forgotten because there is so much information all at once. To help sort through this information before you forget, try a structured debriefing after the end of each day. This can look different for each person, but these questions below will give you a good starting point. 

Ask yourself:

  • What are three things I learned today?
  • Which three things do I want to learn more about?
  • Who do I want to connect with after the conference? (name, email, topic of connection)
  • What could I share with my team/coworkers/supervisor?

We hope you found this information helpful! We look forward to learning with you as we all #cfh together.

Have you registered yet? The conference is THIS MONTH! You can register and find all relevant information here: NACADA > Community > Regions > Regions 8and9 > Registration Information (ksu.edu)  – early bird deadline is March 16th!

Written by: Cayleigh Olson (R8)