NACA® Mid America - Featured Speaker - Dr. Sonja Ardoin
Sonja Ardoin, Ph.D.

Dr. Sonja Ardoin
Appalachian State University (NC)
Ardoin will address the Professional Development Lunch at 12:30 p.m. and present a Professional Educational Session at 2 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 25.


Sonja Ardoin, Ph.D., is a learner, educator, facilitator and author. She originates from "Cajun country" – the small, rural community of Vidrine, LA, specifically – and is proud of her first-generation college student to doctorate journey. She holds degrees from Louisiana State University, Florida State University and North Carolina State University. 

Ardoin's career path includes experience in student activities, leadership development, community engagement, fraternity and sorority life, student conduct and academic advising. She made the move from full-time practitioner to full-time faculty member in 2015, but continues to view her professional role as that of a scholar-practitioner. She studies social class identity in higher education; college access and success for first-generation college students and students from rural areas; student and women's leadership; and career preparation and pathways in higher education and student affairs.

Ardoin remains engaged in higher education through presenting, facilitating and volunteering with national organizations, including ASHE, NASPA, ACPA, LeaderShape, AFLV, Zeta Tau Alpha, Delta Gamma and Peer Forward. She is a contributor to the NASPA Center for First-generation Student Success advocacy group, the NASPA Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education Knowledge Community, and the AFLV Board of Directors.

She also serves on the editorial boards for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice and the College Student Affairs Journal and as a reviewer for the Journal of College Student Development. She contributes to literature through books, book chapters, journal articles and blogs and enjoys reading the work of others. She credits her love of reading to her grandmother, who always brought her to the local library as a child and challenged her to read the maximum number of books each week. Learn more at


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