Harnessing SAAL’s Essence

Harnessing SAAL’s Essence

My grandfather said, “agua es la vida,” which translates to “water is life.” It is a crucial factor in maintaining what we possess. As a Student Affairs Assessment professional, I use my farming background daily; with precision and conscientiousness, I work tirelessly to build future leaders who can continue the labor to sustain our mission as an organization. Storytelling is a component of passing down lessons to one’s community, which is an essential component of my upbringing. My culture and background play a significant role in my passion to give back to SAAL and has always been a safe space for me to share my voice, perspective, and ideas. Since 2009, the Student Affairs Assessment Leaders (SAAL) has created an inclusive space for educators coordinating assessment in student affairs to share and advance conversations related to creating and leading cultures of assessment by engaging with an active listserv, blogs, podcasts, structured conversations, and an assessment MOOC.

Photo by Nicole Baster on Unsplash

I am incredibly humbled to be the first SAAL President building upon the work of previous SAAL chairs, board, and committee members. My journey through this profession has been enriched through mentorship and this community. I am enthusiastic in my new role as the SAAL President to ensure the SAAL strategic plan is implemented and continually developed this year. I will work with the SAAL Board and you, the community, to identify metrics to measure our successful implementation of this plan. We will spend time reflecting and adjusting our new committee structure to ensure it meets your needs. We will work intentionally to nurture external partnerships with organizations such as Anthology and the Council for the Advancement of Standards. Within the SAAL community, stories and strategies on how to navigate the changing dynamics of higher education exist and I will work within our structure to support this crowdsourcing of information. It is critical that we work to understand the needs of our community to foster a sense of belonging for its members, help to advance your knowledge, skills, abilities, meanwhile advancing the knowledge about the student affairs profession.  With my experience, I will work to harness SAAL’s essence created by those before me and use this to navigate into the future. What we do today and the effort we invest will plant seeds of change for the future that will directly benefit our colleagues, students, and community. As SAAL enters a new organizational structure with its new strategy, I hope my diverse perspective along with my 15 years conducting Student Affairs assessment and research can serve you all.

Blog written by Renee Delgado-Riley, SAAL President

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