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Conference Guest Speakers
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Saturday, November 2 – Monday, November 4

2019 Conference Guest Speakers

Dr. Russell Lowery-Hart was named President for Amarillo College in 2014. AC received the 2019 Leah Meyer Austin Award as one of the top student success institutions in the Achieving the Dream Network. Amarillo College’s work on poverty was featured in The Atlantic (June 2018). Russell’s leadership is focused on improving student success through systemic and cultural change by empowering the student voice in redesigning higher education. While his calling is education reform, his passion is family. His wife, Tara, sons Christopher and Campbell, daughter, Cadence fill his life with beauty and joy.


Since July 2013 Dr. Penny Rue, has served as the Vice President for Campus Life and Professor of Counseling at Wake Forest University. She is broadly responsible for the well-being and safety of students and their education outside the classroom.

Dr. Rue served as Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of California San Diego for six years and for eight years as Dean of Students at UVA. She is nationally known for her creative leadership in strengthening campus communities. She served for five years as Senior Associate Dean of Students at Georgetown University and for seven years as Georgetown's Director of Student Programs. 

Earlier in her career she held posts at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and at this University (The University of Maryland). In the early 80’s she served as the Assistant Director of Campus Activities as well as Coordinator of the National Clearinghouse for Commuter Programs. Most significantly and proudly, Dr. Rue obtained her doctorate degree in Counseling and Personnel Services from this University (The University of Maryland), where her dissertation research focused on a conceptual study of community on the college campus. 

She has a Master’s degree in student personnel services from The Ohio State University, from which she received the Maude Stewart Outstanding Alumna Award in 2011, and an A.B. magna cum laude in English and Religion from Duke University.  In 2011 she was named a Pillar of the Profession by the NASPA Foundation. She has served as the Public Policy Division Chair and most recently Chair of the NASPA Board of Directors.

Outside of work she loves swimming, gardening and cats.  


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The mission of the Southern Association for College Student Affairs is to advance:
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  • Understanding of issues impacting students and the student affairs profession, while fostering our core values of inclusiveness, professionalism, and collegiality.