DSA Conference

Join us on May 18 from 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. for the inaugural DSA Conference. This year the focus of the conference will be on Inclusive Excellence. All DSA members are encouraged to attend!

The vision for this conference, annual or biannual, is to provide an opportunity for DSA staff to get to know one another better, cross-pollinate, learn from one another, and have an opportunity to share areas of expertise.

View photos from the day!

Schedule of events

8:15 - 9:00 - Breakfast and Welcome from Chuck Klink -- Commonwealth Ballrooms A & B

9:15 - 10:15 - Three concurrent breakout sessions -- Virginia Rooms and Salons

  • Strategic Planning Session with DSA Committee – DSA Strategic Planning Steering Committee
  • Let's Break the I.C.E. - Inclusive Campus Environments -- Jamese Carrell & Jennifer Roxas
  • Collaboration in the Outdoors: An Interdisciplinary Approach to Experiential Learning -- Joey Parent

10:15 – 10:30  Break

10:30 - 11:30 - Three concurrent breakout sessions  -- Virginia Rooms and Salons

  • Everything is Awesome: How to Become a Master Builder of a Dream Team: Katybeth Lee and Ijuanzee Isom
  • Welcome to the Real World -- Ashley Gaddy
  • Helping Students Thrive in their Sophomore Year at VCU - Jimmie Gahagan

11:30 - 1:00 – Lunch, Keynote speaker, and DSA awards -- Commonwealth Ballrooms A & B

  • Keynote Speaker: Aashir Nasim
  • DSA Wide Awards given at conclusion of Keynote


charles klink

Welcome: Chuck Klink, Ph.D.

Interim Vice Provost of Student Affairs

Dr. Klink provides leadership and direction for the division and in shaping key policies for the university. He collaborates with his senior staff and others to continually promote student academic success and enhancement of the quality of life for the VCU community by creating cohesion between the various services and initiatives.



Keynote: Aashir Nasim, Ph.D.

Director of the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation at VCU

Named inaugural director of the Institute for Inclusion, Inquiry and Innovation on July 1, 2015, Nasim developed a strategic plan for the department, led a major transformation of its curriculum to enhance students’ digital fluency and integrative thinking, and increased enrollment from 18 to more than 100 undergraduate majors.


Jamese Carrell

Jamese Carrell

Hall Director, Honors College

Born and raised in Chicago Heights, Illinois, Carrell attended Western Illinois University where she received her bachelor's in Communication. Her passion and experience in working with and mentoring at-risk, first-generation populations led her to pursue a graduate degree at Indiana State University in Student Affairs and Higher Education Administration. Her life mantra's is to "aspire to be more, inspire to do more."



Ashley Gaddy

Assistant Director of Residential Life for Multicultural Affairs Central Office and OMSA Office

As a North Carolina native, Ashley received both her B.A. and M.A. from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. Ashley has a background in Housing and corporate telecommunications. Ashley is a third year doctoral student at George Mason University and her passion for social justice education not only shows in her everyday work, but in her everyday life.

Jimmie Gahagan

Jimmie Gahagan, Ph.D.

Director, LEAD Program

Gahagan encourages students’ integrative learning and leadership development. He oversees the LEAD and Emerging Leader programs and teaches leadership classes that help students’ apply their learning beyond the classroom. He has a B.A. in political science from the University of Richmond and a M.A. in Higher Education and Student Affairs and Ph.D. in Education Administration both from the University of South Carolina.

Ijuanzee Isom

Ijuanzee Isom

Coordinator of Personnel, Administration, and Special Projects

Isom is a 2001 graduate of VCU with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and has worked at VCU for over 17 years. He is an avid wrestling fan, faithful comic book reader, and sophisticated critic of hip-hop music. He lives in Richmond with his wife and two children.



Katybeth Lee

Associate Director, Health Sciences Career & Professional Development

Lee has worked in career services for over 10 years, serving students at University of Richmond and the Ohio State University before VCU. Her passion is equipping people with the skills to put their talents to work to meet needs in the world. She received her Master’s from The Ohio State University and her Bachelor’s from The College of William & Mary.



Joey Parent

Joey Parent

Assistant Director, Outdoor Recreation Programs

Joey Parent was born and raised in Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia.He started exploring rivers and trails on an old BMX bike that his father pulled out of a dumpster and a hand me down canoe that his mother gave him. While the gear has gotten nicer and the trips have gotten longer and more remote, a yearning to explore has remained the same.




Jennifer Roxas

Career Development Specialist SUNY-Oswego

Jenny Roxas earned a B.A. in anthropology, with a Certificate in applied cultural anthropology, and a minor in Italian from California State University, Chico. After graduating, she worked with probationers, foster youth, the gang-affiliated, and undocumented high school students which led her to pursue an M.S. in student affairs and higher education at Indiana State University.