I would like to share a few thoughts about the National Organization of Human Services Conference in Baltimore, MD this year (Fall 2013). This was my first conference in Human Services since I became the Coordinator of the Human Service Program at Prince George's Community College (PGCC). I have found the conference a critical part of helping develop my program at PGCC. The excellent workshops and "networking" with other Human Service Professionals at the conference was essential in helping me develop new approaches to teaching Human Services as well as having my own methods "validated." The conference was also a great source to meet some of the authors of the books I use in my courses. They were warm and friendly, what else would you expect from a Human Service Professional? The staff who put the conference together were "exceptionally" helpful in teaching me how to navigate the conference workshops. They went out of their way to offer me positive suggestions in regard to having my students attend the conference. In closing I would like to say how "eager" I am for the next conference to get here!

- Faculty: Largo, MD

The 2013 NOHS National Conference in Baltimore was a very positive experience. We had over 30 students, faculty members, and administrators in attendance and many of them are already thinking about the NOHS 2014 conference in Las Vegas. One of the reasons we had so many students in attendance is it was the first initiation ceremony for our new chapter (Alpha Chi) of the TUA honor society. We all enjoyed receiving our pins and certificates at the luncheon and we hope to have many new members at the ceremony next year. In addition, several of our students and faculty members made presentations and we learned a lot from the presentations we attended. In our PhD program in Human Services we require students to attend four face-to-face residencies and one of them can be in conjunction with a professional conference plus additional sessions with a faculty member. Twelve of our students participated in the residency at the NOHS conference and Melissa Patton was incredibly helpful and flexible in making that part of the experience a true success as well. We will definitely do that again next year.

Thanks for putting on a very professional conference!

- Program Director: Minneapolis, MN

Last week I was afforded the incredible opportunity to attend this year's National Organization of Human Services annual conference held in Baltimore, MD. No other event in my human services' career has moved me as much as this conference and the new relationships that I have developed from it. It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I am able to share with you this experience.

The road to this year's conference began one year ago during my fall semester here at ODU. My HMSV 346 Diversity instructor, Dr. Milliken, encouraged me to submit one of my extra credit assignments for publication to the NOHS newsletter The Link. Much to my surprise it was published! This early exposure to the outside world only served to fuel the already intense fire that I have for this field. From there I began to look for more ways that I could "plug-in;" ways that I could participate that could extend beyond the academic walls of Old Dominion. It was the following semester that another faculty member, Dr. Levingston, recommended the annual NOHS Conference in Baltimore.

After discussing my interest in attending the conference with several of my instructors, I was invited to co-present in two of the workshops. At this point I still didn't know how I was going to get to Baltimore, considering I am currently operating on a student budget. Much to my surprise, I applied for, and was awarded an Undergraduate Travel Scholarship from ODU's Department of Counseling and Human Services. The scholarship was enough to cover the train ticket to and from Baltimore, the conference registration, hotel accommodations and a daily per diem to cover meal expenses.

The conference itself was held at the scenic Pier 5 Hotel along the Baltimore waterfront. The workshops were great, the food was great, and the speakers were incredible. It would require more that this paper to adequately relay my complete experience. With that in mind, I'm going to share only the moments that impacted me the greatest. On Thursday I had the privilege of co-presenting with Dr. Rehfuss, Dr. Sparkman, and Dr. Dustin in a workshop entitled Expanding Student Options for Success through Online HMSV Training. On Saturday, I was able to co-present with Dr. Neukrug and Dr. Milliken in a workshop called Perceptions of Ethical Dilemmas by Human Service Professionals. It was refreshing to see these human service professionals operate in an environment other than a classroom. Through co-presenting I was able to grasp a sense of being part of this community.

I was also given the distinct honor of receiving this year's National Organization of Human Services Outstanding Human Services Student Award. I must say that I was deeply moved by the fact that a room full of such talented and amazing people was taking a moment to acknowledge my relatively small contribution to this field of study. I was recognized for excelling academically, committing to the service of others, and contributing to the field through research and publications.

These three experiences, as incredible as they are, pale in comparison to my favorite aspect of this conference. The most valued items with which I left Baltimore were the new relationships that I developed. To be able to talk openly and candidly with the people who are actively shaping the Human Services world made it seem that much more real to me, and only served to reinforce my belief that I am where I should be today.

This event required an investment of my time. It took me away from my internship, my studies, and my family. I had to take a leap of faith and go beyond the safety that the ODU campus provides. As I progressed through the weekend my perspective shifted and the convention itself became the investment, an investment in my future. I am grateful for the experience and I strongly encourage Human Service Majors to participate in next year's NOHS conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada!

- Doctoral Student, Virginia Beach, VA