Dear ACPA Membership,
So, we woke up the other day and realized it is August. A new academic year is upon us and with it new challenges. We have learned that as a profession we can navigate challenges. In many ways that is the exact purpose of the roles many of us play on campus. Wake up, see what happened the night before, and that’s your job for the day (or several days).
As we move into whatever the next year brings, we encourage each of you to celebrate, support, and listen to one another. We each have things to celebrate each day. Let’s not wait until the end of the semester or the end of the year to do that. You have a new team member? Celebrate! You met a great student today? Celebrate! You got a good parking spot? Celebrate? Your phone battery lasted all day? Celebrate!
Support is also essential. Maybe this year ask people in advance what support looks like to them? We aren’t all the same and we don’t all seek support in the same ways. What does each member of your work team need right now? Don’t make assumptions based on what people wanted in the past. We are all changed as a result of the past year. Find out what people need and then offer what you can accordingly.
Finally, listening is perhaps the most important thing we can ever offer those with whom we are in relationship–work or otherwise. This requires time and attention and a focus on someone besides ourselves. Giving someone your full attention is a gift that too often we allow to be interrupted by our own ideas, words, the screens of our computers, phones, etc. When we turn to face another human being and seek to take in what they are offering, asking, or processing, they notice. Others notice when we don’t do that as well. Don’t multi-task people. Make time and if you can’t give time in that moment, explain that what they have to say deserves your full attention and can you find a time when you are able to offer that?
We have all done difficult work in the past months. The work we have chosen to do is difficult much of the time. When we do it in community with others–communities built on celebration, support, and listening–the load is significantly lighter.
We are excited to share resources with you in this issue of Developments that speak to these issues. We have articles about undergraduate and graduate students, student athletes, the role of gratitude in students’ lives, and pieces to consider if you are considering a career change or pursuing a terminal degree. You will find things to celebrate, resources to support you in your work and lives, and excellent insight to which we should each listen / pay attention.
Best of luck this fall, everyone. Thank you for all you do.
Michelle L. Boettcher & Reyes J. Luna, Developments Editorial Team