Kathy Stockwell, NACADA President
I hope everyone had a productive spring, a successful conclusion to the school year, and a smooth start to the summer term. For NACADA, this has definitely been a busy and exciting time. At its mid-year meeting in March, the Board of Directors and the Council received updates from the various task forces and subcommittees that have been appointed to assist the Association in meeting its strategic goals. Many exciting ventures are in the works, and I look forward to sharing the outcomes of those efforts in future publications and at the Annual Conference in Denver this October. While at the mid-year meeting, we got a sneak preview of what downtown Denver has to offer; it’s a great site for our Annual Conference, and I know NACADA members will enjoy what Denver and the conference have to offer.
As spring drew to a close, so did NACADA’s Regional Conference season. This year, these outstanding and highly successful events drew 2600+ participants, a testament to the fact that academic advising continues to grow in importance on our college and university campuses. I personally want to thank our Region Chairs, the Region Conference Chairs and their committees, and all the conference volunteers (and there were many) who made this year’s conferences a success. NACADA is a grassroots organization that thrives because of the involvement of our members; these volunteers are true examples of how groups of dedicated individuals can work together to plan exceptional learning/networking experiences. As I always state in my conference welcome comments, it is a pleasure to be around so many people who are dedicated to the success of our students. I always leave NACADA conferences re-energized and proud to be affiliated with this wonderful Association.
Here are just a few of the many highlights from this year’s Regional Conferences:
- Many networking opportunities were provided, starting with the fabulous welcome receptions.
- The Orientation for New Members sessions were well attended by very enthusiastic participants. The large number of first-time attendees is further testament that academic advising is alive and well on our campuses.
- The Writing for NACADA sessions, which were held in each region and which focus on the importance of scholarly inquiry in academic advising, also were very well attended. Look for increased numbers of new authors in Academic Advising Today, the NACADA Clearinghouse of Academic Advising Resources, and the NACADA Journal as a result of these sessions.
- The Region 6 and 8 conferences were held in Canada, strengthening our connections with our neighbors to the north.
- The use of social media was evident in all regions. Region 2 had a conference blog and did online streaming of several sessions. Comments on activities were “tweeted” from conference sites and numerous pictures were posted on Facebook. One of our annual goals is to increase the use of social media within the Association, and based on its use at the regional conferences, I believe we are well on our way to achieving this goal. Thanks to the “techies” in our midst who help us make this a reality!
- Also in Region 2, Heather Patterson from James Madison University, a first-time attendee who also was a first-time presenter, won the Best of Region award for her presentation “Connecting with Students Using a Syllabus and a Blog.” Congratulations to Heather and to all other Best of Region winners. We look forward to seeing your presentations in Denver.
- In Region 4, long-time NACADA leader Nancy King was honored as the winner of the Joyce Jackson Volunteer Award. Congratulations, Nancy, and thanks for all you do for NACADA!
- In Regions 3 and 5, the Research Symposiums were well attended, and participants left energized and ready to tackle their individual research-related projects. Many of these same individuals attended the Writing for NACADA sessions to learn how to publish the results of their research.
- In Region 8, which was held in Calgary, keynote speaker Andrew Brash, a world renowned mountain climber, related his quest to climb Mt. Everest to our students’ quest for success. It was an inspirational speech that left the audience in awe. Thanks to Andrew and the keynote speakers in all regions.
These are just a few of the many exciting things from our Regional Conferences that help make NACADA a premier Association for those helping students succeed.
As spring exits and summer approaches, I encourage each NACADA member to consider attending one of the two NACADA Summer Institutes to be held in late June in Colorado Springs and early August in New Orleans. The NACADA Summer Institute is like summer camp for advisors! It is an intensive, weeklong experience where participants network with colleagues from like institutions, interact with experts in the field of academic advising, and develop Action Plans that enhance advising on their campuses. This is an invaluable experience not to be missed!
I hope each of us has a great summer. Take some time to enjoy the great outdoors, have some fun, and rejuvenate!
Thanks to all -- NACADA is strong because of the contributions of each member.
Kathy Stockwell, President
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Fox Valley Technical College
Cite this article using APA style as: Stockwell, K. (2011, June). From the president: Together we make a difference! Academic Advising Today, 34
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