NAFSA 2018 Annual Conference & Expo - Pennsylvania Convention Center

NAFSA held their annual conference in Philadelphia in 2018. I lived in Philadelphia for ten years, so it was fun to visit my old hometown and see what changes had taken place since I left in 1993.

I photographed the event over five days. As usual, NAFSA had some great speakers this year. Bill Nye, science ambassador and CEO of The Planetary Society, was the Wednesday plenary speaker. Renowned journalist and author Terry Gross was the final plenary speaker at the NAFSA 2018 Annual Conference & Expo in Philadelphia, delivering an insightful and inspiring address to NAFSA 2018 attendees on Friday,

NAFSA Paul Simon Awards 2016


The 2016 Simon Award winners were recognized at a November 2016 ceremony in Washington, DC. This is the fifth year that I have the privilege of photographing the event. 

The Senator Paul Simon Award for Campus Internationalization recognizes colleges and universities that are making significant, well-planned, well-executed, and well-documented progress toward comprehensive internationalization—especially those using innovative and creative approaches.



NAFSA 2016 Conference in Denver, CO

I just completed a five day photography shoot for NAFSA in Denver, CO at the Colorado Convention.  This was my first visit to Denver.  The weather was great, the people were very welcoming and the downtown area was very fun, entertaining, and clean.  

The was my fourth NAFSA conference and I get to see some old friends from prior years.  The current President of NAFSA, Fanta Aw, PhD, is stepping down from her position at NAFSA at the end of this year.  I have included a photo of the two of us below.  She and I have enjoyed a lot of laughs and good conversation over the last four years.  It won't be the same without her next year.  

The Plenary speakers were excellent this year,  David Brooks, Bryan Stevenson, Gayle Tzemach Lemmon, and Noble Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi all gave inspiring speeches.  

And as I posted before, Aloe Blacc kicked off the event on Tuesday evening with a great performance.

Next year we are headed to Los Angeles at the LA Convention Center.  I have photographed a number of events there in the past.  A matter of fact, I will be there next month for the IDEA Personal Trainer Conference.  

Aloe Blacc - NAFSA Opening Celebration Entertainment

Aloe Blacc performed at the NAFSA Opening Celebration in Denver on Tuesday night just outside the Denver Performing Arts Center.

What a pleasant and humble man, and a wonderful performer.  This was the first time I had ever heard his music (I think I was the only one of 10,000 people who hadn't).  I REALLY liked his music and I will definitely be putting him into some my playlists!  I found myself dancing to the music as I was going through the crowd photographing them.  I had to catch myself and stop moving so I could take a few photos that weren't all blurry from me dancing with a camera. 

David Brooks - NAFSA Plenary Opening Speaker

I had the opportunity to meet and photograph David Brooks yesterday at the NAFSA Conference in Denver, CO.  David was a pleasure to work with and and an excellent speaker.  He is one of the best that I have heard at the NAFSA conferences.

David is a columnist for the New York Times, a senior fellow at Yale, and he can be seen frequently on NBC's Meet the Press and on PBS NewsHour.

I am definitely going to buy a copy of his new book "The Road to Character" and read it on my flight back to Washington, DC on Saturday.

 20160531 NAFSA Denver

Copyright 2016 Len  Spoden Photography.

NAFSA Paul Simon Awards

The NAFSA 2015 Senator Paul Simon Award Ceremony was held at The Hyatt Regency Washingotn Hotel on Capitol Hill back in November of 2015.  This is the fourth year in a row that I have photographed this event.  The event starts with an panel discussion with the university presidents, followed by the award ceremony and cocktail hour.  Award winners include: 

2015 Simon Comprehensive Award Winners

  • Troy D. Hammond, President, North Central College
  • James Harris III, President, University of San Diego
  • Lynn Pasquerella, President, Mount Holyoke College
  • Teresa A. Sullivan, President, University of Virginia
  • Nancy M. Targett, Acting President, University of Delaware