Jennifer L. Bloom, NACADA President
This is my kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of town, Chicago is
My kind of people too
People who smile at you
And each time I roam, Chicago is
Calling me home, Chicago is
Frank Sinatra’s words ring true as the countdown to the NACADA Annual Conference is well under way. I am so looking forward to returning to Illinois and to Chicago to see my NACADA friends and family. A great journey awaits us all. The Hyatt that is hosting the Conference is located right on the Chicago River and less than a block away from the famed Michigan Avenue. Great food, good shopping, and lots of fun await us, and I look forward to seeing you there. The most important thing, however, is that all of us who attend the Conference will have plenty of opportunities to learn and get re-energized.
We spend so much of our time encouraging our students to become lifelong learners that sometimes we forget to “walk the talk.” Conferences like the NACADA annual and regional conferences are just some of the opportunities we have to continue to grow and develop as professionals and people. The second edition of Academic Advising: A Comprehensive Handbook will make its debut at the Annual Conference in Chicago. This important book that is edited by my friends Virginia Gordon, Wes Habley, and Tom Grites is a must-have for your bookshelf.
On behalf of the Board of Directors, I would like to invite you to attend a special Town Hall meeting that I have asked my fellow Board member,Terry Musser, to organize. This meeting will be held on Friday at 5:45 p.m. in the Hyatt. This not only serves as the annual membership meeting required by NACADA’s bylaws, but this year we are going to be giving you the opportunity to share your thoughts on the present strengths and future directions of NACADA. Our organization is only as strong as our membership, and we as a Board are committed to meeting your needs, so please come to this meeting so that your voice can be heard.
Finally, since this is my last President’s Column for Academic Advising Today, I want to take this opportunity to thank all of my colleagues on the NACADA Board of Directors and Council for their hard work and dedication to continuously striving to enhance the organization. It has been a pleasure and honor to work with each and every one of you. I particularly want to thank Casey Self for his outstanding leadership as Vice President and wish him the very best as he assumes the role of President for the 2008-09 academic year. I am confident that he and incoming Vice President Jayne Drake will lead us confidently in our never-ending quest to live out our strategic plan. I have appointed a number of subcommittees and task forces this year, and I want to thank all of the chairs and members of those groups. We have made a lot of progress this year and that is due to the leadership of so many dedicated members of this organization. I also want to thank the Executive Office staff for their continued excellent work on behalf of our membership. We are very fortunate to have such an amazing team of talented individuals working on our behalf in Manhattan, Kansas.
Finally, I would like to end with a quote from Nancy Twiss, former Scholarship Advisor at Kansas State University, that I use to wrap up almost all of my talks, “Most of us will not find answers to the causes of cancer, or solve the problems of homelessness, or defuse international conflicts, but we feel that through our advising, we may be able to make a small but pivotal contribution to our students’ ultimate work…It seems to me that our students represent an unequivocal reply to Margaret Mead, when she famously said: ‘Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has’” (Chronicle of Higher Education, 9/14/01). Please never forget how important you are to your students and to NACADA. Thank you for this opportunity to serve as your President – it truly has been one of the highlights of my life.
Jennifer L. Bloom, President
National Academic Advising Association
Cite this article using APA style as: Bloom, J.L. (2008, September). From the president: Chicago, my kind of town. Academic Advising Today, 31(3). Retrieved from [insert url here]