From the President

From the President

Kathleen G. Kerr
ACPA President

My last article in Developments as President of ACPA – College Student Educators International is arriving to you immediately before the ACPA Convention in Indianapolis. The Convention theme is Reinvent You. Us. Indy. and I hope that in a couple days you will experience the many exciting innovations we have incorporated into this year’s convention.

Each convention is a labor of love, requiring almost 18 months of planning by the ACPA staff and an incredible team of volunteer leaders.  The Indianapolis Team has had the great fortune of being led by Dr. Gretchen Metzelaars. I believe you will experience her vision for a unique and inspiring convention come to fruition in Indy.  Be sure to offer her your thanks.

Over the course of this year, I have had the pleasure of traveling the country, and a bit internationally, to talk with ACPA members about our Association, now in its 90th year.  I have shared with colleagues that with our age comes wisdom, but only if we wisely choose our path forward. We must be thoughtful and intentional to become the Association we want to be when we turn 100. The ACPA strategic plan is one guide forward and the selection of our next Executive Director is another significant milestone.

In Indianapolis, I hope that you will take some time to thank Greg Roberts, outgoing Executive Director of ACPA; and welcome Cynthia Love, incoming Executive Director.  They will transition on July 1, 2014 and as with any leadership change, our course will shift.  Greg has done a marvelous job of “steering the ship” since 2003 and his retirement is well deserved.  Cindi has been selected by the Governing Board to move us forward, and ensure that we are leaders in higher education while continuing with our longstanding commitments to member voice; social justice; research and scholarship; and career and professional development.  She will do a wonderful job and I am very excited for many more of you to meet her.

As I reflect back on this year, I now understand why it is appropriate for an ACPA President’s term to end at Convention.  I began this year thinking I knew a lot about our profession and the Association.  I end the year with a greater appreciation for all that there is for me to learn.  Every time I traveled for ACPA, in each state or country, I learned amazing things from the colleagues I encountered – perspectives on issues, suggestions for best practices, insights into campus politics, and more.

The world changes incredibly quickly and the challenges facing higher education are only growing.  But in many ways, thanks to technology, we are closer to one another and more connected than we have ever been.  We have opportunities to support each other, and learn from each other that few before us experienced.  Collaborations and partnership serve our students and our campuses far better than notions of individualism and isolation. We must continue to utilize our membership in ACPA to facilitate those connections, and continue learning.  Lifelong learning is not just something to enjoy, it is an imperative if we are to be successful.

So, I head to Convention knowing now, after having served as the President of ACPA, that I need this professional development opportunity more than I realized a year ago.  My membership in ACPA, after my presidency, will continue to be filled with rich experiences that will make me a better colleague and allow me to better serve my students.  See you in Indy.

Please e-mail inquiries to Kathleen G. Kerr.

Follow Kathleen on Twitter @acpaprez

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