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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Setting the Advising Agenda

A&S | Maxwell advisors assume key leadership roles for major conferences.

April 8, 2021, by Dan Bernardi

Steve Schaffling, Ling LeBeau, Lauren Hunter Meyer and Carlota Deseda-Coon
Top row, from left, Steve Schaffling and Ling LeBeau. Bottom row, from left, Lauren Hunter Meyer and Carlota Deseda-Coon.

Story originally posted December 11, 2020, updated April 8, 2021, to include Carlota Deseda-Coon's appointment as a NACADA Emerging Leader.

Four staff members from the Office of Undergraduate Academic and Career Advising in the College of Arts and Sciences (A&S) | Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs have recently taken on leadership responsibilities for annual academic advising organization conferences. The appointments recognize each advisor’s professional expertise and thought leadership in the field.

According to Steve Schaffling, Assistant Dean of Student Success in A&S | Maxwell, serving as leaders within prominent professional associations elevates the schools on the global level and connects advisors to an international knowledge base. By meeting and working alongside some of the world’s top advisors, staff can implement the latest best practices to enhance the Syracuse student experience. One example is the recently launched two-way texting service available to A&S | Maxwell undergraduate students. Successfully started in Fall 2020, it allows students to easily and quickly contact their advisor via text to schedule meetings and correspond about dates, deadlines and important information. It was the University’s first such resource, which Schaffling says he learned about during a presentation at a recent advising conference.

“We always aim to be at the forefront of opportunities and practices to help us be better guides to our students,” Schaffling says. “When our staff serve in professional societies alongside their peers from around the globe, they become immersed in the newest and most effective ways to improve the advising experience—and ultimately, the student experience in A&S | Maxwell."

The appointments include:

In June, Steve Schaffling was named Chair of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) International Advising Conference. Over the next two years, Schaffling will lead various aspects of planning for NACADA’s upcoming international conferences including: crafting and implementing a mission statement and program goals; coordinating committee activities; leading committee meetings; executing a marketing campaign; and planning a potential virtual conference if the in-person event is canceled due to COVID. The international conference, held in October each year, will take place in Greece in 2021 and New Zealand in 2022, and annually draws around 400 attendees with 60% from countries outside of the United States. NACADA is comprised of over 12,000 academic advising professionals from around the world. The organization promotes student success by advancing the field of academic advising globally and providing opportunities for professional development, networking and leadership.

Carlota Deseda-Coon, Director of Advising in A&S, has been selected as one of ten NACADA Emerging Leaders for 2021-2023. The two-year program supports Deseda-Coon's continued involvement and growth in the association. As an Emerging Leader, she will participate in a leadership development program to intentionally expand the association outreach and increase accessibility to advisors of diverse identities and backgrounds. Her work will focus on research and expansion of advisor developmental opportunities to deliver culturally competent, effective services and interventions to students. A group of advisors that is inclusive, knowledgeable and respectful of individual identities can promote the authenticity of the relationships developed between students and advisors and support student success.

Ling LeBeau, Associate Director of International Student Success in A&S, will serve as a Teaching, Learning and Scholarship Knowledge Community (TLS KC) Coordinator on the Content Team for the NAFSA 2022 and 2023 Annual Conference Committees. LeBeau will help produce professional development sessions and workshops for the NAFSA annual conference. With over 10,000 members, NAFSA is the world's largest professional association dedicated to international education and exchange in higher education, government and the community. LeBeau also serves on the Advocacy/Policy Committee for Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA). AIEA is the only association dedicated exclusively to senior leaders in the field of international education.

Lauren Hunter Meyer, Director of Pre-Health Advising in A&S, serves on the professional development committee of the North East Association of Advisors in the Health Professions (NEAAHP) and is a co-coordinator of the NEAAHP Upstate local area network’s (LAN’s) annual meeting. As a member of the professional development committee, Meyer is organizing the new advisors’ workshop for the 2021 annual meeting, being held in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in June. As co-coordinator of the NEAAHP Upstate LAN, she is organizing their virtual 2021 annual meeting in February, which is focused on physician’s assistant careers and admissions.

Read more about A&S | Maxwell advising.