Carol Pollard, NACADA Emerging Leader
Jo Anne Huber, NACADA Mentor
In March 2007 at the NACADA Region VII Conference, we listened with interest as Charlie Nutt gave a short talk about a new NACADA program initiative. He described the Emerging Leaders Program as “exciting and innovative” – a great way to for individuals to spread their wings within NACADA. The NACADA Diversity Committee was already accepting both Emerging Leader and Mentor applications for the inaugural 2007-2009 Class, and we both immediately decided to apply.
The Emerging Leader application was rather involved and reminded me that I was signing up for more work – work that I would be doing in addition to my busy job and hectic life! But the process of applying also made me realize that I had goals and plans I would like to pursue through NACADA involvement; I was eager to see if I might be accepted.
The summer day when e-mail arrived saying that I had been chosen was a very happy one! It was, however, followed almost immediately by our pre-conference assignments. If I had any doubts about the rigor of the Program, they were immediately erased – clearly I would be kept busy until our group came together at the Annual Conference!
At the Annual Conference in Baltimore, we came together for our first meeting and spent a morning talking about NACADA – its past, present, and future – and shared how we wanted to be a part of that important development. There were many laughs, a few tears, and lots of great stories. I was inspired to hear the different ideas program participants had about their goals and dreams. I said that I was interested in learning and helping in any way I could with the regional, national, and even international conferences. I truly believe in NACADA events, and I love organizing things (some people might say I am bossy; I prefer to think that I have a ‘take charge personality!’).
The most exciting moment of our orientation was when we were partnered with our Mentors! This pairing of Emerging Leader and Mentor is the single most important portion of the program; the Mentor connection is invaluable. I was honored to be paired with NACADA Past President Jo Anne Huber from the University of Texas at Austin, who also happens to be the Chair for the upcoming 2009 Annual Conference in San Antonio. Clearly, this was a person from whom I would learn much – and I have indeed dearly appreciated her mentoring and friendship. Knowing someone with her level of experience has been a wonderful gift.
Jo Anne and I presented together at our 2008 Regional Conference and, following that, she asked if I would be interested in serving on the 2009 Annual Conference committee. I agreed to be the Exhibits Chair. Without the Emerging Leader experience, I do not believe that I would have volunteered to be involved with the planning for the Annual Conference – and it all began with filling out a simple program application!
During the past year, I served on the NACADA Name Change Task Force, and just recently was asked to serve on the Emerging Leaders Program Advisory Board. Both are great opportunities to become more involved and learn more about how NACADA works; I look forward to seeing what develops from these groups.
Attending the 2008 Annual Conference in Chicago was a homecoming in many ways. In part, it was bittersweet – our time was half over as Emerging Leaders; it seemed like it had gone too quickly. At the same time there was a renewed energy from the incoming 2008-2010 Emerging Leaders class. Meeting the new class was such fun, and they looked to us as experts – I don’t think that view is warranted quite yet but we are working on it! We met together one afternoon to discuss questions and share ideas; I think the returning members learned as much as the new Emerging Leaders. Those of us who had been in the program for a full year had stories to tell about our relationships, how our professional development had gone during that year, and our plans for the upcoming year.
Now that my final year as an Emerging Leader is well underway I must confess to a few moments of panic – have I done what I should, have I missed opportunities, what does the future hold? I am excited about the part I will play in helping with the 2009 Annual Conference, and I can’t wait to meet the next class of Emerging Leaders. Participation in the Emerging Leader Program has been certainly a career changing experience; I am honored to have been a part of this special group. I encourage YOU to apply for next year and begin the same journey.
Jo Anne’s Perspective
First of all, I was honored to be chosen as a Mentor for the first Emerging Leader class. Over the years I have learned a lot from NACADA leaders and colleagues; these individuals were absolutely invaluable as I worked my way up the ladder in leadership positions. The difference is that with this Program there is a formal process, with a dedicated budget, that ensures that those who wish to pursue NACADA leadership positions – regardless if as a volunteer or in an elected position – are encouraged to achieve their goals. The Emerging Leaders were able to select the Mentor they felt could best help them pursue their interests. Luckily, with the Annual Conference planning for 2009, it was easy to slip Carol into a role she wanted. I hope that Carol will continue to achieve her goals in the Association and always know that I am a phone call/email away, even when our formal mentorship ends as our second year concludes.
Carol J. Pollard
Senior Academic Counselor
College of Music
University of North Texas
Jo Anne Huber
Senior Academic Advisor
Dept. of Government
University of Texas-Austin
Cite this article using APA style as: Pollard, C. & Huber, J.A. (2009, March). Emerging leaders program: Second year, full throttle! Academic Advising Today, 32(1). Retrieved from [insert url here]