Casey Self, NACADA President
There is nothing more exciting and rejuvenating for me than attending a NACADA Annual Conference with over 3500 of you in a wonderful city! I know you will join with me in thanking the host committee, numerous NACADA volunteers, conference presenters, and the NACADA Executive Office staff for an outstanding job in pulling off the largest NACADA Annual Conference ever. This Association is truly remarkable in the caliber of individuals who make it the best Association and best Conference.
I also wish to extend my gratitude and thanks to all the NACADA Leaders for helping make our members feel that they matter and are appreciated for the roles they play on our campuses. One of the best parts of NACADA is the networking opportunities available through numerous meetings, socials, and presentations at our conferences, seminars, and institutes.
Our second class of the NACADA Emerging Leaders Program was also inducted in Chicago. Though I was not able to spend time with them as a group, I feel honored that I have already been invited and accepted into their Facebook group. If I accomplish nothing else as president, at least I am going to learn how to use some of this new social networking technology I keep hearing about! I mean, how cool do I feel with all my new Facebook “friends”!
I would like to mention two final thanks regarding our Chicago Conference. Thanks to all the participants who met on Thursday evening for our first ever NACADA Common Reading event. Wow! What terrific discussions and insightful comments from the panel members, participants and organizers! I highly recommend this exercise to you all at future NACADA Conferences! Finally, I want to thank fellow NACADA Board member Terry Musser from Penn State University. Terry coordinated two first-time processes that allowed NACADA Leadership to receive feedback from our members on their perspectives regarding benefits of being a NACADA member and suggestions for improvements. We will all benefit from this feedback, and it would not have happened without Terry’s leadership and dedication.
It is my honor and pleasure to serve as NACADA’s President this coming year as the Association celebrates its 30th Anniversary. When I transitioned into academic advising in 1994 at Arizona State University, I had no idea my path in academic advising would lead to this wonderful opportunity. I attended my first NACADA Conference in 1996 in Washington DC, and at the 1998 Conference in San Diego I decided to become more involved in two Commissions that connected closely with my professional and personal interests: the Advising Administration Commission and the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Concerns Commission
I have had the privilege of fulfilling a number of leadership roles including: LGBT Concerns Commission Chair, Commission & Interest Group Division Elected Representative, NACADA Council Member, NACADA Board of Directors, and most recently NACADA Vice President. I look forward to my term as President this year while our Association pays particular attention to a number of critical and exciting areas:
- It is remarkable that NACADA now has almost 11,000 members, and over 3500 of you attended the largest NACADA Conference in history in Chicago. While these are truly outstanding achievements, one of my goals this next year is to emphasize our ability to remain an association that connects with every single one of our 11,000 members. No matter how large we become and how far we spread our presence across the world, it is imperative that NACADA remain an association that benefits all members. My goal is that every single NACADA member feels there is a place to call home within our Association, and that NACADA benefits each of you in some way.
- As the country’s economic crisis looms over our lives, we must continue to find innovative and effective strategies for NACADA to make academic advising professional development opportunities available to all members. As tight budgets and limited travel funds become the norm, the NACADA Professional Development Committee, Board of Directors, and Council will begin to identify current and new professional development opportunities that can be delivered at lower costs and require little to no travel.
- Each of us must assume ownership, as a member of the academic advising community, for our own professional development as an advisor or advising administrator. Our NACADA membership is a good start, but we each need to help the NACADA Leadership pinpoint ways NACADA membership benefits us in our specific campus roles. I encourage members to contact me at Casey.Self@asu.edu, or Vice President Jayne Drake at firstname.lastname@example.org, or the NACADA Executive Director, Charlie Nutt at email@example.com.
- Our current efforts to infuse research and scholarly inquiry into the Association are off to a terrific start, and I want to ensure that NACADA continues its momentum in these advancements. Peter Hagen, the Research Committee Chair, is leading efforts to create ways in which NACADA can assist those who wish to generate research in academic advising.
- NACADA strives to be an inclusive, diverse association. Several of our strategic initiatives specifically highlight the continuation and creation of new efforts to ensure that NACADA’s membership, leadership, and programming efforts represent our diversity. Efforts such as the Emerging Leaders Program, publications focusing on diversity issues, and services to ensure that all academic advisors are sensitive to their diverse student populations, will continue to be a priority.
Finally, one of the most exciting parts of this next year for me will be that, as an association, we are formally acknowledging that our memberships and the services NACADA provides are no longer restricted to the United States, or even North America. We currently have NACADA members from 24 different countries, and there were six countries represented at the Chicago Conference. Thanks to the work done this past year, NACADA Leadership will now define what it means to be an international association. I believe this will result in a more dynamic, inclusive, and productive association for all us. This is an exciting time in the history of NACADA as we approach our 30th year.
Casey Self, President
National Academic Advising Association
Cite this article using APA style as: Self, C. (2008, December). From the president: Celebration and challenge in NACADA's 30th year. Academic Advising Today, 31
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