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28 - 30 October 2019

Lugano, Switzerland



NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education and EucA – European university college Association, invite you to the European Conference on Student Affairs and Services at Franklin University Switzerland, on 28-30 October 2019. This conference will provide a platform for student services professionals, academics, researchers, and policy makers to discuss innovative programs, practices, models and trends in student affairs.

Please find below the four topics that will guide the conversations during the event.


Global Mobility

Since the late 80s, when student exchange programs started to scale, internationalization shifted from niche initiatives to comprehensive strategies. In the European Higher Education Area, for example, the target is to have 20% of graduates have a mobility experience by the end of their studies by the year 2020. Globally, with its flow of knowledge, people, technology and more, globalization highlights how institutions need to rethink their internationalization initiatives and strategies to ensure access is more inclusive, quality and support are preserved, and innovation is encouraged at all levels. How can student affairs professionals navigate the internationalization wave?

Attendees will:

  • Define evidence-based practices regarding “internationalization-at-home” initiatives that prepare all students to live and work across differences and in an interconnected world.

  • Identify best practices for supporting international and inbound students to successfully navigate the local community.

  • Establish a network of colleagues with whom to create short-term mobility opportunities or exchanges for students.

  • Explore the advantages of intercultural experiences for students, institutions, and beyond.


Mental Health & Well-being

Institutions of higher education around the world are experiencing a wave of incoming students who present with diagnosed health and well-being concerns. trend. With culture and language differences, studying in a different country can present unique challenges for these students. 

Attendees will:

  • Define holistic student well-being and its relationship with student success in higher education.

  • Define current mental health conditions (e.g. depression, substance abuse, etc.) which represent challenges to student success and well-being.

  • Identify collaborative models between service practitioners (qualified mental health professionals) on campus and within communities.

  • Enhance mezzo- and macro-level strategies to enhance student resilience.

  • Discuss replicated return on investment from resources dedicated to mental health services, programs, policies, and environmental designs.

  • Discuss cultural design of health promotion within all job functions and roles at an institution of higher education.


Employability & Career Services

Employability studies around the world demonstrate that graduates are not leaving the university environment with the many of the skills valued by employers. Teamwork, leadership skills, resilience, and dealing with conflict are some of the most sought after skills by most employers. Student affairs educators must work collaboratively across the institution to improve outcomes resulting from both inside and outside of the classroom learning.

Attendees will:

  • Articulate and utilize the concepts of career readiness to improve student employability following graduation

  • Learn evidence-based, career services practices to assist students to leverage international experiences for finding internships and professional positions

  • Understand the various ways institutions document learning, both inside and outside of the classroom

  • Identify successful career search approaches for international and limited job markets and navigating the bureaucracy involved with an international career search

  • Demonstrate how effective programs can tighten the graduate skills gap in order to improve international mobility and employability


Residential Life & Student Engagement

How can student affairs work with intentionality to expand the out-of-classroom experience for all students? What are some promising practices in building a residential curriculum to ensure meaningful learning that goes beyond attendance? How to build a culture of assessment in residential life? These questions are meant to guide the discussions of news trends and challenges in student learning and engagement in residential settings.

Attendees will:

  • Identify initiatives that increase and deepen students’ participation and engagement in educational programs on campus or residential halls

  • Understand that documenting learning in residential settings or informal learning programs improves overall student success

  • Describe how involving student leaders on campus or residential halls expands student learning (for e.g., tutors, orientation mentor, resident assistant, academic mentor etc.)

  • Explore strategies to build intentional learning environments and/or living-learning communities



Cross-Cultural Simulation Workshop

Monday, October 28th • 09.00 AM – 12.00 PM

During the pre-conference workshop participants will experience the intercultural simulation BAFA BAFA. The workshop includes an experiential learning opportunity as well as a de-briefing session that will incorporate relevant and practical suggestions on how to use this tool with student leaders and others who are involved with study abroad groups; multicultural and diverse residential communities; mentoring, coaching, inclusion, orientation programs as well as FYE classes.

The conference attendee will participate in the actual simulation that will take approximately 2 hours as well as the one hour debriefing session that follows the activity. Attendees who have experienced BAFA BAFA previously are allowed to partake in the workshop however, they will be given the role of observers. The workshop will start with dividing the group into two cultures. Each group will be briefed as to the norms and values of their culture. Participants will then begin to travel to each other's cultures and report back to their groups on their observations while interacting with the 'other'.  After everyone has had a chance to experience the other culture, the group will come together for the debriefing session. This will be the time participants will hear how this simulation can be used for a variety of student leadership training programs. The workshop facilitator has used this tool for many years during training programs for Residential Advisors, Orientation Mentors and Academic Coaches. The discussion period will focus on how this activity could be useful for any multicultural audience in higher education. The workshop needs a minimum of 18 participants and a maximum of 35.


Ms. Leslie Guggiari was the Dean of Student Life and Engagement at Franklin University

Switzerland (FUS) from 2003 to 2015. She holds a MA in Intercultural Communications and

Administration from the School for International Training (SIT) Brattleboro, Vermont.

She is a former adjunct faculty member at Franklin in Intercultural Communications,

as well as an Academic Travel leader for classes in Thailand and India focusing on

intercultural immersion, community development, and humanitarian aid.

She has lived in Ticino, Switzerland since 1983 when she first started to work at Franklin.



*Schedule is tentative and subject to changes or modifications.

*Schedule is tentative and subject to changes or modifications.

28 october

       08:30         Registrations open

09:00 - 12:00     Pre-Conference Workshop 

12:00 - 13:30     Lunch Break on your own


13:30 - 14:30     Opening Session


14:50 - 15:40     Concurrent Sessions


15:50 - 16:40     Concurrent Sessions


16:40 - 17:00      Coffee Break


17:00 - 17:50      Plenary Session


      18:00           Opening Reception - Taste of Switzerland

29 October

09:00 - 10:15      Morning Keynote by Kevin Kruger, NASPA President


10:30 - 11:20      Concurrent Sessions


11:30 - 12:20      Concurrent Sessions


12:20 - 14:00      Lunch


14:00 - 15:15     Student Affairs in Europe: Regional & Global Perspectives 


15:15 - 15:40      Coffee Break

15:45 - 16:35      Concurrent Sessions

16:45 - 17:35      Concurrent Sessions


19:00 - 21:00

                Dinner & Dialogue (optional; participants                 must register online here and  pay for themselves)


Wine Tasting (optional; participants must register online here before 23 October and cover the cost of 30 CHF. Payment will be made on site when you register the first day of the conference.)

30 october

09:00 - 09:50      Morning Session by Mirela Mazalu and Maria Cinque


10:00 - 10:50      Concurrent Sessions


11:00 - 11:50      Concurrent Sessions

12:00 - 13:30      Closing Lunch


14:30 -                Optional Ancillary Activities (participants can register and                                pay onsite at check-in on the first day of the conference):


  1. Hike to Monte Salvatore (30 CHF funicular round trip)

  2. Visit UNESCO Heritage Castles of Bellinzona and a Chocolate Factory Visit (25 CHF)

Prices are estimates based on the Ticino ticket discount. Participants will obtain their Ticino ticket for free in their hotel.

Concurrent Sessions


Employability and Career Services

Employability and Careers Services

The What the Why and the How of Coaching in Student Affairs
Anna Lugovkin, Coach, Self Employed

Coaching culture is spreading like a wildfire through countries, corporations, institutions and educational establishments. The process can be implemented in a variety of contexts, take different forms and utilize wide-ranging models. As a result of this diversity, few professionals have a clear understanding of the WHAT, the WHY and the HOW of coaching. The goal of this program is to briefly introduce the basic tenants of coaching as a resource for personal development and offer some forms coaching can take in universities. A brief demonstration will provide one example of a mini-coaching session.

Career Navigating Abroad
Ebonie Rayford, Assistant Dean Student Life and Career Services, Franklin University Switzerland

Participants in this engaging session will hear about first-hand experience in a career services center located in Switzerland. Advantages and limitations will be shared to explore successes and challenges in this unique learning environment. Information will include online career platforms, programs, events, partnerships, advising, and curricular aspects of career resources.

Active Learning and Soft Skills Teaching: Comparing University and Corporate Practices
Mirela Mazalu, Secretary General, EucA

This presentation will show the work of an European project, elene4life, aimed at helping students affairs professionals and faculty develop innovative curricula in soft skills learning using active learning methodologies. In order to provide examples, scenarios and good practices for the improvement of students' soft skills, the project consortia mapped existing active learning practices and compared findings of soft skills learning in two sectors, academia and corporate training. The innovative aspect of this approach resides in breaking down the barrier between university teaching methodologies and active corporate training approaches linked to the concepts of coaching, empowerment and personal development.

Transformative Learning outside outside the Classrooms: A path to Creative Global Careers 

Clara Barbera, Director for Student Affairs Diversity and Inclusion, Berklee College of Music Valencia Campus

This panel focuses on how we intertwine the technical skills that creative industry professionals need in order to succeed in their desired career paths, with the soft, and life skills that will turn them into leaders of the industry across the globe. Emphasis will also be placed on the importance of establishing the right environment for all community members to thrive - not only as students but also as creative leaders in all industries.

Global Mobility

Global Mobility
Intercultural Conflict - Bridging Cultural Differences
Deborah Knaust, Dean of Students Life and Engagement, Franklin University Switzerland

How effective are you when dealing with conflict? Conflict is a necessary part of change, creativity, collaboration, and innovation. In today's complex and diverse world, working effectively with conflict is an essential skill for success.This engaging session will increase your effectiveness when dealing with intercultural conflicts. Participants will learn how to use intercultural tools to strengthen their own intercultural competence and identify ways to incorporate them into student programming and curriculum.

Internationalizing a graduate curricula in student affairs: a focus on Intercultural Comptence
Razmona Meraz Lewis, Faculty Coordinator; Faculty Specialist II, Western Michigan University

This presentation highlights strategies including the successes and challenges at internationalization efforts of a U.S. graduate program curricula in higher education and student affairs leadership.Two faculty partners discuss collaborations with the division of student affairs as well as international partners. Halfway through, attendees will break into small groups to discuss some of their own ideas. Strategies discussed include: creating global learning outcomes, development of a program-wide intercultural assessment plan, using the Intercultural Development Inventory, developing study abroad programs, and developing partnerships with internationally-based graduate programs.

Fortifying the Bridge: Aligning Student Affairs Practices Between Homeand Abroad Campuses.
Tikesha Morgan, Senior Student Affairs Officer, Emerson College European Center at Kasteel Well, The Netherlands

How do we continuously cultivate knowledge within our ever-changing field of student affairs that will align with the practices of two campuses? This panel will focus on the experience of two student affairs divisions, two campuses, two continents, two languages and two cultures, all with one common goal. During our 50 minutes together, we will discuss how we are re-imagining and re-learning our practices as two student affairs units to successfully prepare our students for an extraordinary study abroad experience, and reinforcing the success of global mobility.

Blockchain and Global Mobility. Diplome: transparent certified unchangeable qualification management system

Luca Lantero, Director, CIMEA - Information Centre on Academic Mobility and Equivalence

CIMEA, the Italian ENIC-NARIC centre, has launched the Diplome platform: holders of academic titles can upload their qualifications using blockchain technology and create a digital wallet whose contents are decentralised, transparent, certified and unchangeable.The main goal of the workshop is to show how to use new technology solutions such as blockchain in higher education: it supports recognition of academic and professional qualifications, it improves efficiency and reduces time costs; it contributes to creating a global ecosystem; it facilitates mobility of students and professionals. The workshop integrates interactive techniques, group work activities and expert presentations to share experience and enhance professional dialogue.

How Racism Influences White US American Students’ Perceptions of Faculty of Color: Exploring Implications for Study Abroad

Kathleen Neville,Associate Dean School of Graduate StudiesSalem State University

This workshop will seek to explore the backgrounds of US American students as they study abroad in relation to their cross cultural development to counteract inherant racism. Student Affairs professionals will identify the student profile of US study abroad students and discuss how US and Eurpoean institutions of higher education can collaborate to improve student success and development.

Mental Health and Well-being

Mental Health and Well-Being for Study Abroad Students
Corbin Moro, University Counselor and Accessibility Coordinator, Franklin University Switzerland

Universities around the world are experiencing an ever-increasing number of students who arrive with diagnosed health and well-being concerns. Many students arrive on campus with prescribed psychotropic medication. With cultural and linguistic differences and being far away from home, studying in a different country can present unique challenges for these students. Finding English-speaking professionals willing or able to work with these students can be difficult. Some students come from cultures where mental health is not spoken about and mental health problems are ignored or not recognized. It is important to recognize, support and engage these students as quickly as possible in order to help them transition into their new home away from home.

Best Practices to Support Staff Who Oversee Crisis Management in Student Facing Offices
Jim Hoppe, Vice President & Dean for Campus Life, Emerson College

This program will explore efforts to develop a cross cultural perspective on student well being, that allows institutions to support students who are living and studying in a variety of locations across the globe, as well as develop resiliency for navigating different support structures and cultural contexts.


McGill’s New Student Wellness Hub: A Holistic Approach to Student Mental Health

Lina Di Genova, Director Strategy Assessment and Evaluation, McGill University

In response to the student mental health challenge, McGill University developed and recently implemented a unique interprofessional-care hub and spoke model that includes a virtual hub. Our model underscores the holistic nature of health and wellness that is designed to mobilize and, most importantly, enable the entire campus community to be responsive to student mental health while empowering students to take charge of their own mental fitness. Join the Hub leadership team as we discuss what we learned, our development process, best practices from implementation science, and how we are measuring our progress to address student mental health service demands.

Student Mental Health and Well-being in the Transition between School and Higher Education

Katie Rigg, Head of safeguarding and student well-being, Council of International Schools

This roundtable will explore the key challenges that higher education institutions face when seeking to support student mental health and well-being for students in transition from high school, and will help the participants to come up with solutions to some of these challenges.

Psychological First Aid

Phil Georgiou, Psychotherapist and Director, Mondo Equilibrio

As universities and providers of the study abroad experience for American students, we're all increasingly aware of how incredibly life-affirming this experience can be - yet at the same time how challenging it can be to 'get it right'. There seems to be an ever-increasing prevalence of mental health problems; students arrive with more medication than we've seen in previous years but they somehow seem less able to deal with the change, uncertainty and difference that can lead to personal growth. Then there's our response as administrators, staff and faculty - what should we do when faced with the issues we see in our students? Should we intervene - and if so, how?

Mental Health
Residential Life and Student Engagement

Residential Life and Student Engagement

Masculinity Leadership Style Development and College Men
Christina Witkowicki, Director Coaching and Consulting, LaunchPoint

Inclusive communities hinge on those in privileged positions creating space for underrepresented groups. Men hold privilege in society yet few understand that privilege. There is a strong relationship between gender role norms and leadership styles that may affect how men lead organizations and create space for diverse perspectives in leadership. This session presents data on leadership style development in college men, its connection to gender role norms, and strategies to promote student engagement and development and help break down society's oppressive structures.

A Personal Development Plan
Caterina Avezzú, Director, Collegio don Nicola Mazza

The personal developing plan: how living and learning community and shared experience can enhance the university learning. The talk will present the Personal Developing Plan (progetto formativo) as used at Collegio don Mazza. This on-line platform is intended to support students in developing competences and self awareness throughout the academic year and through the community experience in the hall of residence. The model has been realised with the support of a certified coach, through focus groups with students and staff and is focused on self reflection, personal developing plan, setting personal goals and self- evaluation.

The Formative Power of Residence Halls
Maria Jose Ibáñez Ayuso, Maria del Pilar Rodriguez Gabriel, Jose Carlos Villamuelas
Colegio Mayor Francisco De Vitoria

The aim of this workshop is to present how the comprehensive educational model of the Residence Hall Francisco de Vitoria by recovering the millenary essence of the University which fosters students' knowledge of themselves, of the world and boosts some of the 21st century indispensable skills. This model is based on a personal guidance program, on the participation and leadership of Residence clubs, on community life and on the seeking of academic excellence understood as a synthesis of knowledge of different disciplines.

Developing a Global Culture on Campus through Student Engagement
Colin Tannam, International Student Support Officer, University College Dublin

This presention will outline examples of on campus integration between international and domestic students and UCD staff. Focussing on the Global Lounge as a key component of UCD's Global Engagement Strategy, examples of activites to promote student engagement will be outlined including: Support of Global Guide Student Ambassadors, National Day Celebrations, Student Society Events, Language Cafe, Informations Sessions by students who have been on Exchange/Erasmus or volunteer development work abroad, Staff Networking e.g. Multicultural Employee Group, Orientation Programme which includes activites for both international and domestic students. Weekend opening which is convenient for students living on campus. This workshop will contribute to the shared learning of best practice in relation to on campus integration.

Engage to Lead; Lead to Engage
Lucas Min, Residential College Operations Manager, New York University Abu Dhabi

With an 85% international student population, New York University Abu Dhabi is a small liberal arts university located in the United Arab Emirates. The Division of Campus Life collaborates with students to explore individual and collective meaning in their personal, intellectual, professional and social lives. Through student leadership roles, we cultivate a sense of belonging within the institution and the larger community, which catalyzes development and fosters engagement. This session will highlight the framework of our student engagement strategies and provide a model that can be used on your campus.


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To register, please follow these steps:

1. Fill in this form with your contact information and preferred choice of attendance.

2. Once you fill in your registration, we will send you an invoice should that be helpful for accounting purposes.

3. You can pay either via a bank transfer using the information below or via your credit card.

Bank details for bank transfer:                                                    Credit card payment:


European University College Association
Rue de Treves 49-51, bte 3, 1040 Brussels 

IBAN  BE13643004089639


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Others keynotes and speakers will be confirmed shortly

Kevin Kruger.jpeg

Kevin Kruger

NASPA President

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Download HERE the guide with all practical information for participants.


Mirela Mazalu

+32 22806340

Rue de Trèves 49 bte 3

B-1040 Bruxelles

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