John Paul (JP) Regalado, NACADA President
I really struggled writing this column. On one hand, there was so much to talk about. On the other hand, I had trouble getting started. On our campus, we finished another semester and commencement and we are gearing up for summer orientation. I have learned through my experiences with NACADA that some institutions are already finished with orientation for new students! I continue to be amazed at how different institutions of higher education can be. This makes our organization that much more important in bringing people together to share our similarities, differences, and best practices with each other.
Speaking of best practices, NACADA Region conferences continue to be outstanding opportunities for us to gather with each other, network, and engage in substantial conversations about student success. My sincere thanks to all those who had a part in the planning of these events. Having once served as a co-chair for one of these conferences, I can attest to all the work it takes to pull it off.
I want to provide a brief update on the work of our Board of Directors and Council. In early April, we held our mid-year Board and Council meeting at Kansas State University. For most of our Board and Council members, it was their first time to visit the NACADA Executive Office. It was not my first visit, but it is still a cool site to see! When visiting the NACADA offices, one gets the feeling of going “behind the scenes” to see how a movie is being made or how a favorite restaurant makes its outstanding dishes. Of course, I know that our Executive Office does far more substantial work than making a movie or a dish, but to physically see where all the “magic” happens is pretty amazing.
At our mid-year meeting, we received a report on the great progress our Center for Academic Advising Research Committee is making. I know many of you have a high interest in this initiative and we look forward to sharing more with you in the near future. The Board and Council reviewed a necessary revision of our by-laws. Many thanks to that committee for all their hard work, as it is very detail-oriented and maybe not so interesting but is vital to the sustainment of our organization. The Council had a productive meeting as our regions, commissions and interest groups, committees and advisory boards continue to do outstanding work in making all of our initiatives and professional development opportunities the best they can be. We are extremely grateful for all their work!
We spent the bulk of our time focusing on a professional development workshop on Diversity and Social Justice led by Dr. Mamta Motwani Accapadi, Vice President for Student Affairs at Rollins College in Florida. Dr. Accapadi made us think about our own personal experiences and reflect on our own biases. I know there were parts of the conversation that might have been uneasy but I am so proud of our Board and Council and Executive Office that participated in this workshop and discussion. As a Board, we will continue to discuss ways to move forward as an organization in this area. I am thankful for the opportunity to engage in this discussion with my colleagues.
As I look toward to the end of my time as president, I am thankful for all the opportunities I have had this year. I got to visit with a lot of you in Minnesota and in Hawaii. I visited North Carolina State University and am getting ready for what should be an amazing experience in Melbourne, Australia. I recently gave a short commencement speech at our University Preparatory High School ceremony here in Corpus Christi and I told the students about my story as a first-generation college student. I told them that going to and graduating from college was transformational for me and my family. I believe that is the power of higher education. For us to be a part of this transformation experience is incredible and helps sustain and drive us in spite of the incredible challenges we face as educators. I am very proud to serve as your president, and I look forward to our continued work in improving our institutions and elevating academic advising in the name of student success.
John Paul (JP) Regalado, President, 2014-2015
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Executive Director of Academic Advising
Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
Cite this article using APA style as: Last, N. (2015, June). From the president: Improving our institutions and elevating academic advising. Academic Advising Today, 38(2). Retrieved from [insert url here]