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Annual Meeting Programs & Events


Special Programs 

The Future of Fraternities

Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.

Hosted by Judson Horras, President & CEO, North-American Interfraternity Conference (NIC). Fraternity is at a turning point—a critical moment. To thrive today and beyond, fraternal culture must evolve. In 2015, fraternities collaborated to make sweeping changes to the NIC aimed at changing trajectory to advance fraternities and improve campus communities.

This program will feature both presentations and small-group conversations that:

  • Provide an update on the progress of NIC 2.0
  • Explore what our priorities and initiatives mean for you as a campus professional and how they can positively impact your community
  • Provide an update on the progress of the NIC Presidential Commissions on alcohol, hazing and sexual assault
  • Gather input to explore how together, we can chart a course for the future of fraternities

Order of Omega Case Study Competition 

Orientation | Wednesday, November 30 | 7:00 – 7:30 p.m.
Competition | Thursday, December 1 | 11:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

The purpose of the Case Study Competition is to provide an educational learning experience for graduate students involved in the fraternity/sorority advising profession. The Case Study Competition provides both participants and judges with a practical educational opportunity to learn from each other. Participants and judges establish professional relationships and networks, which foster future professional development opportunities. As professionals are educated and grow, so do fraternities and sororities.

The Case Study Competition will consist of two tracks, Track One-Crisis Intervention and Track Two-Systemic Issue. The intended goal is that graduate students will have the opportunity to further develop by participating in the track that focuses on the area they do not have as much experience; hence providing participants with a practical opportunity to further develop their skills. Participants must attend the Orientation.

Ignite Fraternity

Thursday, December 1 | 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. 

What’s is Ignite Fraternity? Imagine that you’re in front of an audience made up of your friends, peers and people from the larger community, about to present a 7-minute talk on something you’re passionate about. You’ve brought 20 slides, which advance every 20 seconds whether you’re ready or not. You have a few last-minute butterflies, but off you go—and the crowd loves it.


Project Job Search  

Friday, December 2 | 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Project Job Search is the perfect way for graduate students to gain valuable insights as they embark on their career search. Participants will receive helpful tips and tricks for their job search – what makes cover letters and resumes pop and how to navigate interviews, whether a 30 minute phone call or a full day on campus.

Participants will learn about The Placement Exchange (TPE) and hear firsthand tips from TPE representatives and participants. Participants will also interact with a panel of experienced fraternity and sorority professionals from campuses and executive headquarters.  

This session will be tailored to the wants and needs of the participants preparing to enter the job market. Project Job Search will also include an opportunity to network with current professionals, have your resume and cover letter reviewed, and to identify a key mentor to serve as a resource and guide throughout the job search and beyond. Participants are encouraged to bring questions for the panel discussion and a copy of a current cover letter and resume.

Educational Seminars & Tracks

New Professionals Seminar

Thursday, December 1 | 1:30 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
The young things of AFA have the opportunity to come together to lean in, rise strong and talk about the grit of this profession (for our readers, you will recognize some of these terms) during the New Professionals Seminar. 

At some level, we all become professionals in this field because we want to change the world (to be honest, I doubt Registrars have the same intent).  But changing the world is hard when we are working with the highest risk students, at a high risk time, in high risk university settings within high risk fraternity and sorority environments.  And then we want these same students to create “values based” organizations.
The reality is this field is tough, but so rewarding.  This session will focus on how can we stay in this field (at least long enough to pay off our student loans) and make it more than a two to three year experience.  Additionally, you will gain some good tips (and tricks) to feel equipped to do your job so you can make a difference in lives of our students…and potentially change the world! 

Please Note: The New Professionals Seminar is designed for professionals with three (3) years or less of full-time, professional experience with the content specifically focusing on the needs of members who have just begun their professional work.

Presentation Team
Lori Hart, Ph.D, The Catalyst Agency

Seasoned Professional Seminar 

Thursday, December 1 | 1:30 - 4:00 p.m.
The 2015-16 academic year was an especially challenging one for fraternities and sororities, particularly for those professionals with responsibility for advising them.  With significant national attention focused on fraternities and sororities, many are asking the question “what should the role of fraternities and sororities be on today’s college campus?”

This session is intended to be a dialogue with seasoned professionals about the current challenges and future opportunities Fraternity and Sorority Life presents to our campuses and inter/national organizations. Come prepared for an active and engaging session that will prepare you to be a more effective advocate for Fraternity and Sorority Life.

Please Note: The Seasoned Professionals Seminar is designed for professionals with seven (7) years or more of full-time professional experience within the field.

Presentation Team
Kathy Cavins-Tull, Ph.D., Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, Texas Christian University & Co-Chair NASPA Fraternity and Sorority Knowledge Community

Bernard Schulz, Ed.D. Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs, East Carolina University & Co-Chair NASPA Fraternity and Sorority Knowledge Community

Graduate Training Track

Friday, December 2 | 8:00 - 11:45 a.m.
The field of Fraternity/Sorority Advising is incredibly dynamic. For first-year graduate students especially, there a multitude of experiences and opportunities to navigate. There are many exciting adventures; there are difficult choices to make. There are paths well-worn and new ones to blaze. We're looking for new practitioners that are revolutionaries, traditionalists, and for others that are a little bit of both. In order to be successful, we must have clarity around who we are, what we believe, what we are passionate about, and what we want to teach others.

With understanding your core values as the basis, the Graduate Training Track will help first-year graduate students develop a philosophy and approach to their work, understand the practical application of the AFA Core Competencies for Excellence in the Profession, identify and navigate key organizational dynamics, and develop initial strategies for change management.



Workout for a Cause with The Strong Movement

Thursday, December 1 | 6:00 - 7:00 a.m. | Cardio + Core
Sculpt and strengthen your body and core while keeping your heart rate up and scorching calories.

Friday, December 2 | 6:30 - 7:30 a.m. | Full Body Tone
Full body toning and strengthening exercises that target main muscle groups.

Saturday, December 3 | 7:00 - 8:00 a.m. | Yoga Flow + Stretch
Yoga inspired flow and stretching to de-stress and rejuvenate for one more day of #AFAAM!

The Strong Movement’s founder, Ailis Garcia is a TV host, speaker, writer, fitness model, and NASM Certified Personal Trainer and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. Known for her genuine and down-to-earth personality, ambition and positive attitude, Ailis is dedicated to inspiring and motivating others to be their best, most confident version of themselves, in body and mind, and to achieve the life of their dreams. Ailis is passionate about helping others realize and actualize their potential to start creating the life they desire! She travels across the country leading her Strong Movement workouts and sharing her workshop, Steps to A Stronger, More Confident and Happier You! Ailis is excited to partner with AFA and Workout For a Cause in Boston!


AFA Foundation Silent Auction

The AFA Foundation Silent Auction is one of the most popular events at the Annual Meeting. This year will be no different! All proceeds go directly to support those involved in the advisement of men's and women's fraternities. Your donations help the Foundation fund projects aimed at strengthening our profession, including research and professional development programs.


All individuals and organizations who donate items to the Silent Auction will be recognized by the AFA Foundation. The final deadline for submitting a donation online is Wednesday, November 30, 2016, but donations will be accepted onsite at the Annual Meeting. If you would like to ship your item in advance of the Annual Meeting, please send to: AFAF SILENT AUCTION, PO Box 1369, Fort Collins, CO 80522-1369.


We hope you consider donating items to make the 40th Annual Meeting the best one yet! Click for more information and to fill out the donation form.



Exhibit Hall 

Open Hours | Thursday, December 1 | 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Reception | Thursday, December 1 | 6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Open Hours | Friday, December 2 | 10:00 am – 3:00 p.m.

Closing Festivities | Friday, December 4 | 2:00 – 2:30 p.m.

Please make sure to block off time to visit the Exhibit Hall. Our Vendor Members offer services that enhance the work our members do and this is an excellent opportunity to network and learn more about how they can help you do your work better. Plus, we have the following raffles items to give away: $25 Visa gift cards, vegan leather weekender bag, Daniel Wellington stainless steel watch, Amazon Fire Stick, $50 Amazon gift card, and an Amazon Echo!


First Timers Meal Gatherings

Thursday, December 1 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m. 
Saturday, December 3 | 11:30 a.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Connect with fellow first-timers during special meal gatherings. Reservations have been made at various restaurants within walking distance of the hotel. Sign-up at the registration desk or during the AFA Connections Kickoff to reserve your spot. We will meet in the Westin Boston Waterfront lobby at 11:30 am. Please note: the cost of the meal is your responsibility.


Fireside Chats Meet & Greet  

Thursday, December 1 | 5:45 – 6:30 p.m. | Galleria in the Harbor/Marina Wing
Have you ever wanted to put a face with the name of the person you have been talking or emailing with about a specific chapter? Want to catch up with an old colleague but have not been able to find them? Are you new to your position and want to introduce yourself to interfraternal partners? Fireside Chats Meet & Greet is the perfect opportunity for you!

Campus-based professionals will be stationed at tables and organization-based professionals and volunteers will be about to seek out institutional representatives with whom they want to meet. The intention of the Meet & Greet is not to conduct full Fireside Chats, but rather to make introductions and potentially schedule a future meeting. While this is a great opportunity to put a face with a name, meet up with an old colleague, or say a quick hello, this is not an appropriate environment to bring up major issues which you have not previously scheduled a Fireside Chat to discuss. We encourage you to stop by the institutions’ tables to say hello and introduce yourself. Begin creating those partnerships early! 

Pre-registration is not required to attend the Meet & Greets, though institutions will be asked to indicate whether or not they are participating when they register for Fireside Chats through the online form.


Fireside Chats 

Friday, December 2 | 4:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Fireside Chats are a forum for campus and inter/national organization representatives to reinforce their collaborative efforts on a variety of issues through brief, 20-minute meetings. These meetings will provide attendees the opportunity to discuss the progress of their organizations and create collaborative action plans for future success. 

Given the time limitations of these meetings, Fireside Chats should serve as a starting point for one-on-one discussions later on or regular communication between inter/national organization representatives and campus professionals. We strongly recommend that you inform the other party of discussion items prior to the meetings in order for both parties to be fully prepared. Preregistration is required.

Check out the most frequently asked questions about Fireside Chats to learn more. If you have any other questions about the 2016 Fireside Chats, please feel free to contact Lauren Utley, Fireside Chats Coordinator. Registration is now closed.


Closing Banquet 

Saturday, December 3 | 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Join us for the Closing Banquet as we honor the recipients of the Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Awards, the Robert H. Shaffer Award, the Jack L. Anson Award, and the Dr. Kent L. Gardner Award. A meal ticket is required for this banquet and is available through the Annual Meeting Registration Form. Additional meal tickets are now available for purchase.

Umbrella Organization Open Forums  

Members have the opportunity to attend Open Forums led by the staff and volunteers of national fraternal umbrella groups. Please see below for the dates and times of these forums:

  • Thursday, December 1 | 10:15 - 11:30 a.m. | NMGC
  • Thursday, December 1 | 1:30 - 2:45 p.m. | Local/Religious Groups 
  • Thursday, December 1 | 3:15 - 4:15 p.m. | NPC
  • Friday, December 2 | 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. | NAPA
  • Friday, December 2 | 10:30 - 11:45 a.m. | NPHC
  • Friday, December 2 | 2:30 - 3:45 p.m. | NALFO
  • Saturday, December 3 | 9:00 - 10:00 a.m. | NIC


Off Site Excursions

The Institute of Contemporary Art - Boston 

Thursday, December 1st | Meet in hotel lobby at 5:00 p.m.

  • Tour: Self-guided, with a welcome from the Museum 5:30-7:30 pm
  • Form of transportation: 12 minute walk from The Westin
  • Price: Free!

Harpoon Brewery Tour and Social Hour 

Thursday, December 1st | Meet in hotel lobby at 4:00 p.m.

  • Tour: Presented by Harpoon Brewery, 5:00 and 5:30 p.m., each tour holds 25 people, and the room holds 70 people
  • Form of transportation: 15 minute walk from The Westin

Old Town Trolley Tours of Boston

Friday, December 2nd | Meet in hotel lobby at 5:00 p.m.

  • Tour: 2 hour Old Town Trolley Tour around Boston!
  • Form of transportation: Trolley picks up at The Westin
  • Price: $25 per person - limit 40 people

Spirit of Giving

Join the Special Events Committee in the spirit of giving with two opportunities at the 2016 Annual Meeting:

In partnership with Horizons for Homeless Children and United Way in the Greater Boston Area, AFA will be collecting generic children’s toys and gift card donations to aid families in need during the winter holiday season. Most preferred gift card donations include Macy’s, Target, Stop and Shop, and Kohl’s. There will be a drop off box at the registration desk beginning at 1:00pm on Wednesday November 30th, closing on Friday, December 2nd at 5:00pm. Register gifts in advance by signing up here.

In addition to children toy donations and gift cards, United Way will additionally be collecting unused hotel toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, body lotion, etc.). Please consider donating your unopened items in an effort to support the homeless within the Greater Boston Area this winter season. A drop off box will be available at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, November 30th until Friday, December 2nd at 5:00 p.m.

Horizons for Homeless Children

The mission of Horizons for Homeless Children is to improve the lives of young homeless children in Massachusetts and help their families succeed by providing high-quality early education, opportunities for play, and comprehensive family support services.

Research has found that homeless children have twice the rate of learning disabilities and three times the rate of emotional-behavioral disorders than children who are housed. In such, Horizons for Homeless Children, located in the Greater Boston Area provides a high-quality early educational opportunity for children of homeless families by providing early education centers, play space for children, as well as family partnership programs and advocacy groups. More than 120 shelters are provided through Horizons for Homeless Children, impacting more than 2,000 homeless children within the area.
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