New Professional's Institute (NPI)

Sunday, October 24, 2021, 10:00 AM -  4:00 PM

TACUSPA's New Professional's Institute is an exciting and unique addition to your TACUSPA Conference experience that allows for new professionals to come together through their shared experiences as newcomers in the field. The Institute will allow for a merger of your fresh perspectives and new ideas to pair with the valuable insights of seasoned professionals. The Institute will provide participants with learning opportunities while making connections with their peers and gaining insight from upper level Student Affairs leaders across Texas.

Questions regarding the New Professional's Institute can be directed to the NPI Coordinators, Veronica Guzman ( or Dr. Brenda Rodriguez (


The Institute will cover critical topics such as: 

  • Integrating into the Profession
  • Navigating Institutional Culture
  • Succeeding in Multi-Generational Offices
  • Clarifying Personal Values
  • Intersectional Identities in the Profession
  • Intentional Career Mapping
  • Building Influence on your Campus

Who is considered a new professional?

  • Professionals with 5 or less years of experience
  • Graduate Students
Have more than 5 years of experience? Check out the Mid-Manager's Institute!

Registration Information

Visit the conference registration site to register for the New Professional's Institute. The registration fee is $50. Participants must also register for the annual conference. The Institute will take Sunday, October 24, 2021 between 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Dallas/Plano Marriott at Legacy Town Center prior to the start of the annual conference. Lunch will not be provided. Participants will receive a certificate of completion at the end of the Institute.


Meet the Faculty Mentors

TACUSPA is grateful the following Student Affairs professionals who have volunteered to serve as Faculty Mentors during this year’s New Professionals Institute. Each NPI participant will be guided by one of these leaders in a small group with other new professionals.

Jarvis Clark
Associate Director of Student Activities
University of Texas at San Antonio

    • Jarvis oversees the areas of Student Organizations, Fraternity and Sorority Life, Student Activities Assessments and Risk Education Programming. Within the UT San Antonio Division of Student Affairs, he serves as an Assessment Team Representative, Expressive Activity Logistics Coordinator, member of the Culture of Respect Initiative Team, Hazing Education and Awareness Team and Roadrunners In Action Team.  Jarvis is a Certified True Colors and Green Dot Training Facilitator, and served on an Advisor Committee for the National Panhellenic Conference (Spring 2020-Spring 2021). He is also a proud Mid-Managers Institute Alumnus (2019).
Why I enjoy working in Student Affairs:

A wise person once said, and I’ll paraphrase a bit, that some plant, some water, but increase happens beyond their individual contribution. I believe that when you choose to work in this profession, you are choosing to dedicate yourself to the establishment and nurturing of relationships. For some, we plant seeds of perspective, innovation, hindsight and humility. For others we water the fields of growth, knowledge, resilience, and inspiration for those we come in contact with. Ultimately, through the development of positive and healthy relationships with students, colleagues, and the entire higher education community, we will see an increase of individuals who flourish in life. We will impact and influence institutions to adapt and remain relevant in the midst of a constant changing world. Hopefully, once we have finished our individual race, will walk away with the satisfaction of knowing that we lived a life as professionals that was more about the edification of others versus the need to highlight ourselves. That’s why I work in this profession and that is why I remain.

Kelli Vincent
Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life
University of Texas Arlington

 Kelli oversees all administrative and supervision responsibilities of the Fraternity & Sorority Life office and the 25 organizations within the UTA fraternity and sorority community. Kelli provides advisement to the All Fraternity and Sorority Life Standards processes, including adjudication of disputes and allegations reported to the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life. Kelli revised the All Fraternity and Sorority Life Standards process to support the peer-to-peer process and create more transparency for organizations participating in the process. Kelli actively serves on various committees and initiatives within the Division of Student Affairs. 

Why I enjoy working in student affairs:

It’s always great to see students transform and begin to feel comfortable with who they are as individuals. To know that you have a part in that process of guiding them through the successes, changes, and changes they go through is a really rewarding experience that never seems to get old. In my mind, whether it’s securing funding for or creating a new program, helping my staff, or coaching a student I know that what I’m doing is making a difference in their life.

Lyle Tate

Director of Admissions, Recruiting & Advising for the University of Houston College of Optometry

Lyle coordinate all admissions aspects of the college from overseeing applications, scheduling applicant interviews with faculty, working with administration to create admission offers, planning all aspects of new student orientation and white coat ceremony each fall, and more. Lyle also travels (when allowable) throughout Texas and the U.S., visiting pre-optometry student organizations, sharing information about the field and their program. Additionally, Lyle meets weekly with future applicants regarding the application process, the Optometry Admission Test, program prerequisites, being a competitive applicant, and more.

Why I enjoy working in student affairs:

I thoroughly enjoy getting to meet with students to help kick-start their optometric careers. Working with graduate students is wonderful because they’re independent but still need our office’s input and assistance on a number of things. Being a public representation of our program and of a field that’s so rewarding as a profession is a joy.

Dr. David Byrd

Associate Dean for Admissions and Student Services, Associate Professor/Research 
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, School of Nursing

Dr. Byrd serves as the Dean of Students for the School of Nursing. Dr. Byrd's responsibilities include oversight of enrollment management plans and administration of the recruitment and admissions process for all students, ADA accommodation facilitation, student leadership development, student organization recognition and risk management, providing timely student behavior intervention, and follow through of student academic integrity and disciplinary conduct violations.

Why I enjoy working in student affairs:

Student affairs administration has afforded me the opportunity to build relationships that have ensured vulnerable students have been successfully retained and graduated. Witnessing their development and assisting with overcoming complex barriers that too often derail our students serves as my primary motivation for my work. We are blessed to work in a job that allows us to directly influence societal issues like mitigating generational poverty, promoting inclusive excellence, and building a more socially just world. 

Texas Association of College and University Student Personnel Administrators

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