Meet Your Steering Committee: Shea Ellingham

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Shea Ellingham (she/her/hers), Region Chair

What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

I am the Manager of Academic Advising Services at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta Canada. 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I first joined NACADA when I assumed the role of Manager of Academic Advising. It was a new position for me and I was hungry to learn more about the field of Academic Advising. In my previous roles, I had always been an advocate for student success and passionate about working with students.  When I joined NACADA and began to work more closely with Academic Advisors, I felt as though I had finally found my place within higher education. 

What are some of the projects you’ve worked on for NACADA?

My first project for NACADA was as Chair of the Region 8 Conference in 2011. In 2015, I transitioned off the steering committee (after serving two terms) and moved into the role of co-chair of the Canadian Advising Community for NACADA and served in that role until 2020. In 2019, I happily returned to the Region 8 Steering Committee as co-chair for the Calgary Conference, which was so much fun! I was also very pleased to have been a part of the Region Review Project which was a great opportunity to connect with NACADA members globally to find out about their thoughts about the current regional structure and the professional development opportunities that are currently offered through NACADA.  I am also serving as a member of the Region Review Implementation Committee and the NACADA Finance committee. 

How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

Being involved in NACADA has given me a platform upon which to grow professionally.  My first conference presentations were at NACADA Region conferences, my first opportunities for committee membership in a global association were with NACADA.  I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with professionals from across the globe, learning about the role that advising plays in student success in diverse settings. 

My first role with NACADA was to Chair the Region 8 Conference in 2011 and then in the following years, I have also been involved in the Advising Community Division building the network for Academic Advisors across Canada.  It has been a rewarding experience thus far and I am looking forward to taking on the challenge of working with Region 8 members in the capacity of Region Chair.

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I am so lucky to be surrounded by my family and it’s never been more important than 2020. My four grandkiddies (ages 3, 4, 5, &5) are such a joy and I am happy to be able to be an active part of their lives. I also have a new addition to my work-from-home life, a rescued cat that I sometimes call Rollo, and other times Buddy (I just can’t decide which is a better fit for him).  

Meet Your Steering Committee: Erica Compton

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NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Erica Compton, Idaho Liaison (2020-2022)

What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

I work for the College of Western Idaho, Idaho’s largest community college, and one of the newest (about 11 years old now). I am the Assistant Director for Student Advising & Success.

 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I initially got involved in NACADA as a new advisor when I first attended the 2012 Regional Conference in Portland. For a few years, I had the opportunity to participate in several regional and state conferences as they helped set the foundation in my professional role.  

Both personal and professional duties took me away from being involved in the organization for a while until earlier this year when I had the opportunity to represent Idaho on the Region 8 Steering Committee. I am excited to find myself involved with the organization, this time working in a role that I hope I can lend some of my strengths to.

What are some of the projects you worked on during your time as Idaho Liaison? 

I am new to my role in the steering committee and have not yet had the opportunity to work on any projects. I am passionate about multiculturalism, with a particular interest in the refugee community. I would like to bring further professional development opportunities to the region, focusing on those themes.

How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

NACADA has given me the foundation, knowledge, and best-practices to lay the groundwork in shaping my own personal advising vision, as well as the department’s structure here at CWI. I have had the opportunity to develop my professional portfolio with conference presentations as well as publishing an article in Academic Advising Today.

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

Ever heard the saying, ‘If you want something done, ask a busy person’? That’s me.

I have 5 sons ranging in age from 3 to 19. Although I am proud of my professional career, my role as mom is still the most important and rewarding (albeit the most challenging); it’s a good thing I like a good challenge. 😉

Meet Your Steering Committee: Kelsey Eagen-Williams

 

NACADA Region 8 Conference Co-Chair, Kelsey Eagen-Williams (she/her/hers)

 

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What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

I work at Pacific Lutheran University as a Senior Student Success Advisor. Next month I will be starting a new role as Assistant Director of Advising. 

 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I moved to Washington about a year and a half ago after working at a large university in Florida as the undergraduate research coordinator, so I didn’t have any advising (or professional) connections up here when I started working at PLU. I wanted to get involved with NACADA so I could meet folks in my area and learn from them, as well as help develop my professional career through NACADA experiences.

  

How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

I have only been a NACADA member for the last 8 months or so, but in that time I have learned so much about the NACADA community, have met really awesome people who are great connections around the area, and now have the opportunity to co-chair the NACADA R8 conference. These are all really great experiences I wouldn’t have been able to have without NACADA. 

 

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I work mostly with transfer and first generation students at PLU and I love connecting with that group of students because I was both a transfer and first generation college student. Working with these students and helping them acclimate to the college environment and be successful is the best part about my job. Outside of work, most of my time is spent chasing after my one and a half year old son with my husband. I run a blog about houseplants and baking, so when I’m not actively ‘mom-ing’ I’m either baking or taking care of my 200+ houseplants. 

Meet Your Steering Committee: Patrick Fernandez

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NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Patrick Fernandez, Two-Year College Liaison

 

What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

I work for Highline College located just south of SeaTac in a city called Des Moines, Washington. Currently, I am the Interim Program Manager for Career Services. Career Services is under the larger department of Advising, Transfer and Career Services.

 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

My institution, Highline College, is highly supportive of professional development. In 2017, I had been at Highline for one year which meant I was eligible for out-of-state travel for professional development. My director suggested that I go to the Annual NACADA Conference to learn more best practices for policies we were trying to update regarding student success. I had such a positive experience, I wanted to know how else I could get involved. I am still here learning, growing as a person and professional and having fun! Region 8 is great! 😊

 

What are some of the projects you worked on during your time as the Two-Year College Liaison on the steering committee? 

I’ve read scholarships, helped present at the annual conference, served on the site selection committee for the 2021 Region 8 Conference and was set to present at the 2020 Region 8 Conference until it was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19. I look forward to continuing working on more projects with Region 8!

 

How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

Being involved in NACADA has introduced me to great friends and mentors. These are people I look forward to learning from, collaborating with in meetings as well as working with at conferences. From a professional development standpoint, it was helped me gain the skills to become a better leader in my institution and within Region 8. I am always wanting to learn more and NACADA is great at providing the opportunity whether at the Annual Conference or at the regional level.

 

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

Most of my early life, I thought I was just color blind. Later when talking to people who are color blind, I discovered that I have color anomia where I can distinguish between colors but cannot identify them by name or name the color of an object. If that may be confusing, just ask me in person and I will share lots of funny stories of how it affects my life.

Meet Your Steering Committee: John McDonaugh

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NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

John McDonaugh, Program Planning Committee for R8 Victoria 2020 Conference

 

What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

I have been employed at the College of the Rockies for the past 15 years, most recently as an Education Advisor and Coordinator of Student Services.

 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I got involved with NACADA due to my passion for advising. I have really enjoyed working with the past and current Region 8 chairs. NACADA provides great networking opportunities and professional development. I want to try and inspire other advisors and grow my advising knowledge.

 

What are some of the projects you worked on during your time on the Conference Planning Committee? 

I am new to NACADA. I am currently on the program planning committee for the Region 8 Victora 2020 conference. As well, I am a member of the 2 year college subcommittee.

 

How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

My involvement with NACADA has helped me with networking with other advisors and allowed me to gain a better understanding of various advising models in the region. I have never been involved with planning a large scale conference and my involvement with the Victoria 2020 conference has helped me grow in this area. Being a lifelong learner, I more than ever realize there is a lifetime of learning involved with advising!!

 

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I  have a wife and three wonerful children (which keep me very busy taxi driving). During my university days, my first year classes were bigger than my home town and I never spoke to an advisor during my undergrad (I didn’t even know they existed!!)

Meet Your Steering Committee: Veronica Mendez-Liaina

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NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Veronica Mendez-Liaina (she/her), Inclusion & Engagement Coordinator (2019-2021)

 

What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

I work for Spokane Falls Community College – Pullman campus.  I am the Counselor for the Pullman campus.  I work with some amazing people on my campus!  

 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

In my first role as an advisor about 15ish maybe more, my first supervisor in advising pushed me to get involved with NACADA to help me development my academic advising skills, my professional development, and to help me grow as a person that could be in leadership someday in higher education.  That was in 2006, and I have been active in NACADA since.  It’s really one of my favorite thing. 

 

What are some of the projects you worked on during your time as one of the Inclusion & Engagement Coordinator on the steering committee? 

I have given workshops on implicit biases and personal spaces on community college campus and at advising symposium.  I mentor advisors from other college campus. I make myself available to others when they have questions or need trainings on cultural competency and awareness.  I am working on access more materials for our members that talk about what diversity and inclusion really is on our campus and how we can be a support for our students. 

 

How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

NACADA has introduced me to people and concepts that not only have made me a better advisor, but a better person.  NACADA has been the extra “tool in my box” for when I need a new strategy to complete a task for my supervisor, my co-workers, and my students.  NACADA also taught me to not be afraid of leadership positions, being committees, donating time as a mentor.  I am not always the best at what I am doing, but NACADA is a great place to learn and apply knowledge.

 

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I fancy myself as 3 things:  1 – An amazing mom to 3 boys (I can run drills for football and still pin my son in wrestling).   2 – #4 batter in any line up for a softball team (you want to pick me up for a softball tournament aka homerun hitter) 3 – A certified Karaoke Champion! (I do weddings and special events…call me!). 

Meet Your Steering Committee: Deven Lisac

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NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Deven Lisac, Alaska Liaison

 

What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

I’m with the Bristol Bay Campus in Dillingham Alaska, a satellite school of the University of Alaska Fairbanks. My focus is on distance learners and small colleges.

 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I got involved in NACADA to learn more about the Global Advising community, to learn from other Advisors, universities, administrators, and collaborate on advising best practices. 

 

What are some of the projects you worked on during your time as one of the Alaska Liaisons on the steering committee? 

On the steering committee I’ve been involved with assessing one of the NACADA goals of Provide professional development opportunities that are responsive to the needs of advisors and advising administrators.

 

How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

NACADA has helped me make connections with other universities and personal. I’ve met others in the same field/department and we’ve been able to assist each other when new problems arise. We are able to collaborate on best practices.

 

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I’m from Dillingham Alaska. I love to play and explore the great outdoors. I love to Skate Ski and hike.  

Meet Your Steering Committee: John McDonaugh

John McDonaugh 2019

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

John McDonaugh, BC Liasion

 

What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

College of the Rockies (in the southeast corner of BC)/education advisor and coordinator of student services.

 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I had heard of NACADA from one of my colleagues and wanted to expand my advising knowledge.  I had always wanted to participate in NACADA events, so I jumped at the opportunity of attending the 2019 Calgary R8 conference!

 

What are some of the projects you worked on during your time as one of the BC liaisons on the steering committee? 

I currently sit as one of the BC liaisons and am actively involved with the two year college subcommittee.  Working with a few other BC college advisors, I have been working to coordinate a BC colleges working group to share best practices/information.  I was also a program co-chair/conference planning committee member for the R8 2020 Victoria conference (the best conference that never happened)! 

 

How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

NACADA has opened doors to endless networking opportunities.  Being involved with NACADA has helped me foster many great friendships while providing me with great opportunities for personal and professional growth.  NACADA has  been very open and supportive of having new members jump right in on committees or to volunteer.

 

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

As I continue my journey of lifelong learning, I have switched careers many times.  While at the college, I have worked as an institutional research analyst, instructor in our upgrading and office administration programs, and accessibility services coordinator.  I feel that I have really found my passion in advising students and helping them navigate their lifelong learning and career pathways. 

A few fun facts about me

  • I am allergic to beer and bell peppers!!
  • I am a pretty decent cribbage player
  • I have 3 amazing children (which will be coming up to post-secondary age in a few years!)
  • I love hiking and biking
  • I like to start my day with a very loud, pump me up song!

2020 Regional Conference Cancelled

In light of the recent travel restrictions and the World Health Organization’s announcing COVID19 as a pandemic, we have made the difficult decision to cancel NACADA regional 8 conference. We are so sad to be giving this news but the health and safety of our members is of the utmost importance.

For more information on next steps please check the email you registered with.

See you next year!

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Meet Your Steering Committee: Cathlene McGraw

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NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Cathlene McGraw, Committee Member

 

What institution do you work for and what is your role there? 

At Boise State University, I am an academic advisor in the College of Arts and Science and I serve as adjunct faculty for Communication and Media Arts teaching Conflict Resolution and Nonverbal Communication.

 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

In some ways I feel like a first generation higher education professional because I feel a little lost finding my way in both campus and professional work and cultural expectations. I thought NACADA could help fill in some gaps for me and help me access professional opportunities better.

 

What are some of the projects you worked on during your time on Scholarship Committee Member on the steering committee? 

I have just served on a handful of committees.

 

How has being involved with NACADA helped you grow in your professional career? 

NACADA has been very helpful to increase my resilience in this profession – I feel like I understand my professional options in a more broad context.

 

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I started working in higher education as a part of LGBTQQIA+ services. When my little guys came along I turned to advising to find a better balance between family and work. Fun fact: My children are the most smart and attractive people on the planet.