Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director
I hope you all had a productive spring. For NACADA it has definitely been a busy and exciting time, with our outstanding and highly successful Regional Conferences. The 2000+ participants in attendance at these conferences was a tremendous demonstration that academic advising continues to grow in its importance on our college and university campuses. I want to personally thank our Region Chairs, the Region Conference Chairs, and the many volunteers who made this year’s conferences so wonderful. All of you are true examples of how our members make NACADA the Association it is!
As President Bloom stated in her column, attending the Regional Conferences has been a great honor and treat for us. We enjoyed having the opportunity to meet and talk with so many brand new NACADA members; at each Regional Conference the number of new members was staggering! Each Region has its own culture, strength, and energy; to be able to experience this has been totally energizing for me. It is also great to see the camaraderie and deep connections that Region members have with each other and how each Region is definitely a “NACADA Family” of its own! And just like families, each Region has its special traditions and also exciting “family events” that make the conferences so amazing.
Just a few highlights of our “families” I have experienced at the Regions include:
- At Region 1, former Region Chair Gail Stepina (University of New Hampshire) was serenaded by all 302 participants with a special tribute song to the tune of “My Favorite Things,” named “Gail’s Favorite Things.”
- Region 2 adopted our guests from the United Kingdom into our NACADA family, making them feel a part of the NACADA spirit.
- At Region 4, participants were welcomed at the opening reception by Mobile’s Azalea Trail Maids in gorgeous antebellum dresses that highlighted the wonderful Southern hospitality of the Region.
- Region 5’s focus on development of new allied associations was apparent from the great participation from all the outstanding allied associations in the Region.
- At Region 7, the participants were witnesses to a marriage proposal and engagement of two long-time Region 7 members,Caroline Fox (Fort Hays State University) and Jonathan Franklin (Oklahoma State University-Tulsa).
- At Region 8, a great number of new Canadian members were “adopted” into the Region 8 NACADA family, truly demonstrating the international connections growing in NACADA. The Region also must figure out how to compensate two new members whom I doused with a cup of coffee at 7 a.m., but that is another story!
- Region 9 truly experienced the NACADA family spirit with the Librarios family from Hawaii (see photo at right). Three generations of this advising family attend NACADA events together: father Ernie, with nearly 40 years in advising at Leeward Community College; son Niki,who advises at the University of Hawaii at Manoa; and daughter-in-law Laurie, who advises at Leeward Community College; as well as grand-daughters Joy and Faith, who enjoy attending with their Grandpa Ernie and their parents. Niki and Laurie met as student workers at Leeward in Ernie’s advising office.
These are all examples that NACADA is not only an Association known for its high quality events, publications, and services but, just as importantly, for our networking and “family connections” that make all of us feel so much more a part of our Association!
As we move from spring to summer, I strongly encourage all of you to attend, or provide others at your institutions the opportunity to attend, one of the two NACADA Academic Advising Summer Institutes held in June and August in either Portsmouth, Virginia or Austin, Texas. The NACADA Summer Institute is a premier event held twice each summer; it offers participants with an intensive, week-long experience that provides participants with valuable knowledge and skills. Participants have the opportunity to network with colleagues from like institutions and interact with experts in the field who help them develop an Action Plan that will enhance the advising experiences of all students on their campuses. In addition, I encourage those of you with faculty advising models to attend the Faculty Advising: Collaborating for Success Seminar held just prior to the June Summer Institute in Portsmouth. This seminar, in its fourth year, focuses on strategies faculty advisors can incorporate into their advising practices as well as strategies to assist those who work directly with faculty on their campuses.
I wish you all a great summer. Let me add my encouragement to Jenny’s that each of you take some time for yourself and get re-energized for your students, your institutions, and NACADA! Your involvement with each continues to be the key to the success of NACADA and all we do!
Thanks and have a great summer!
Charlie Nutt, Executive Director
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Cite this article using APA style as: Nutt, C. (2008, June). From the executive director: NACADA academic advising families grow and prosper. Academic Advising Today, 31(2). Retrieved from [insert url here]