Betsy McCalla-Wriggins, NACADA President
Last month my husband and I attended the christening of our newest grandchild, Lainey Antonia Wriggins. She is just 12 weeks old, but already is demonstrating some strong preferences and a rather assertive attitude. Her 4 year old brother Jack, whose original suggestion for his baby sister’s name was Home Depot, has still not quite decided if he is glad that she has arrived and created rather significant changes in his life…..
As I was thinking about Lainey and Jack and reflecting on my time as President of NACADA, it struck me how endings, beginnings, and change are part of all of our lives.
Even associations go through the same experience. Over these past two years NACADA ended one phase of its development, and we began a new phase last fall as we moved into the new organizational structure. Change has been constant throughout these challenging times…and I am sure that more changes will occur as the transition continues.
I feel very fortunate to have been a participant in this phase of NACADA’s growth and development. To all of you who offered encouragement and support as we moved through major re-structuring, thank you. When we began these discussions in January of 2000, we did not know the shape or form of the new structure. But, we trusted the process and through lots of feedback from members, created a new way of operating for NACADA. To those of you who challenged us….thank you, too. Through respectful disagreement, you helped us refine, rethink, and clarify.
As you think about your own situation and reflect on your daily activities, consider the students you see who are experiencing a new beginning, an ending, or some type of change. Many face all three at the same time….especially the new students and those getting ready to graduate. Even though many of these changes are positive and self-initiated, there is still very often some degree of anxiety. In your advising role you encourage, support and sometimes challenge which gives many students the courage to grow and develop in very exciting ways.
So, as the summer comes to a close and as the new academic year begins, keep up the wonderful work you do with your students. You are having a very positive impact in their lives.
Thanks, too, for the support you have given me as President…and for having such a positive impact in my life.
Cite this article using APA style as: McCalla-Wright, B. (2003, September). From the president. Academic Advising Today, 26(3). Retrieved from [insert url here]