John Paul (JP) Regalado, NACADA President
This past year has been one of the most amazing years in my life, both professionally and personally. When I was elected President of NACADA, I admit that I was a bit nervous. Here was a kid who grew up in a small town in Texas, was the first in his family to go to and graduate from college, wasn’t sure what he wanted to do in his life, stumbled into academic advising, and was now going to “lead” this organization of 11,000+ members? No puede ser!
Now that my term is almost up, I can truly say that it exceeded all my expectations. I was blessed to work with a great Board and Council, elected and appointed leaders, an incredible Executive Office and an unbelievable network of fellow NACADA colleagues all around the world doing their part to help elevate academic advising and help students achieve their academic and career goals.
In the last year, our Board has spent considerable time thinking strategically about NACADA’s future regarding leadership, research, and diversity. The Council has continued to work very closely with our Regional, Commission and Interest Group, and Administrative divisions to ensure that we are meeting the needs of our members. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of being a part of NACADA and what we do to support our institutions and students.
So, what has the year brought? In addition to what I mentioned, at our mid-year Board and Council meeting, we reviewed and approved a number of revisions and updates to our organizational by-laws. Many thanks to the by-laws task force members for all their work on this important initiative. This work is crucial to making sure that our policies and procedures are updated and transparent. Over the last few years, we have instituted a professional development element as part of our agenda for the mid-year meeting and this year, we focused on Diversity and Inclusivity. I thank the Board and Council for devoting a considerable amount of time to looking at our own biases and what we bring to the table, and how we can apply that knowledge and self-awareness to our positions at our institutions and within NACADA. There were some difficult conversations, but I appreciated everyone’s openness and participation.
Regarding our continuing focus on leadership within the organization, we are instituting some new initiatives with our continuing and newly elected NACADA leaders that we think will help our leaders transition more effectively into their roles and hopefully lay out some clearer “pathways” for those of you interested in getting more involved in NACADA. Interestingly enough, this is patterned very much after many of our members’ initiatives with students: how to provide information in such a way that it is not overwhelming but is productive and timely. This is not an easy task, as it takes into account individual differences in learning and comfort levels. I would be remiss if I didn’t thank our Sustainable NACADA Leadership Committee members for all their work with these initiatives.
One of the most exciting initiatives that I have been a part of this year is our Task Force on the Center for Academic Advising Research. This group has been on task from the get-go on brainstorming, discussing, and creating a potential vision, mission, and goals; doing extensive research (pun intended) on other centers that exist in higher education, and exploring the organizational make-up of such a center and its role with/within NACADA and Kansas State University. The task force is finalizing its comprehensive report that the Board will be discussing soon. We have received some tremendous and positive feedback from our members regarding this initiative and we appreciate all the time and attention this task force has invested in this effort
On a personal note, I have to tell you how unbelievably AWESOME it was to go to Hawaii for the Region 9 conference as well as our International Conference in Melbourne, Australia this last year. Yes, the locations were absolutely beautiful but the lasting impact was in the connections I made with our NACADA members at those conferences, the sessions and keynotes I attended, and the discussions I had with NACADA members all over the world. We share a lot in common with each other while maintaining important and distinct differences in our student bodies, institutions, and geographical locations.
As we look towards our Annual Conference in Las Vegas, I continue to be humbled by the amazing journey I have had this year, but I couldn’t be happier with or prouder of the direction in which NACADA, and academic advising, is moving. I want to take these last few lines to say thank you to our Executive Director for his leadership, to our past Presidents, Vice Presidents, Board of Directors, Council, and elected and appointed leaders for all you have done to help make NACADA what it is today. Speaking of our leadership, I have great faith in our President-Elect David Spight, Vice-President-Elect Dana Zahorik, and our newly elected and appointed Board, Council and leaders. They will do a great job and will serve NACADA well.
Lastly, to those of you reading this, thank you for all you do for NACADA and for your institutions, and most of all, for your students. It continues to be both an honor and a privilege to serve as your President. Thank you!
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: Regalado, J.P. (2015, September). From the president: A year in review. Academic Advising Today, 38(3). Retrieved from [insert url here]