Meet Your Steering Committee: Erica Morris (She, Her, Hers)

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Erica Morris, Two-Year College Liaison (2021-2022)

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

I am about to enter my fourth year as the Faculty Career & Transfer Counselor at Spokane Falls Community College in Spokane, WA. I have a small academic advising load and primarily provide career and transfer counseling to students, alumni, and the public.

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

When I worked at EWU I had a colleague who was very involved with NACADA (shout out to Kyle Ross!) and it looked like fun! I was fortunate to have a supervisor who was supportive of NACADA. I left EWU in 2019, but kept up with my NACADA membership because I wanted access to the benefits: articles, professional development, conferences, scholarships, etc. When my SFCC colleague, Veronica Mendez-Liaina, sent an email asking for a volunteer to fulfill the Two-Year College Liaison term, I jumped at the chance!

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

As the Two-Year College Liaison, I am working on outreach to staff and faculty at the two-year colleges in Region 8. This includes promoting NACADA and answering questions. I am also in the planning stages of outreach to Graduate programs that are training our future two-year college instructors.

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I am a first-generation college student from a low-income background and a proud product of public education in the state of Washington. My husband and I have two children and a large mixed breed terrier name Pluto and live in Spokane. I enjoy talking walks along the river, live music, and reading. I love working with students and I love my job.

Meet Your Steering Committee: Gabby Garcia (She, Her, Ella)

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Gabby Garcia, Communication Coordinator (2021-2023)

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

I work at Portland Community College (PCC) as the Academic Advisor for the College Assistance Migrant Program (CAMP), a federal funded program that serves Migrant/Farm working college students. Our program is located at the Rock creek Campus. Before stepping into my current role, I worked as an Academic Advisor for the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University.    

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I’ve always been a student who liked to be involved in organizations that related to my major and interest. I made it habit to continue to be involve in organizations that relates to the work I do. I became aware of about NACADA as a grad student learning the ropes of academic advising, now as a practitioner I have the pleasure of taking part of the steering committee as the Communication Coordinator.

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

I am currently serving on the Region 8 steering committee as the Communication Coordinator. I am working on having our Blog, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts become an active place of information and updates for our region.

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

To have the opportunity to get connected with advisors of various backgrounds and institutions. NACADA provides different avenues for growth for all advisors. I have received opportunities to exchange and work through ideas of shared advising related topics.  

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I am originally from Newberg, Oregon. I am a product of the program that I now work for, I always have fun showing off that detail to my students when I tell them I was also a CAMP student. When I can, I love to chase waterfalls and explore nature in this beautiful state.

Fun fact:

I will be getting married this year in August!

Meet Your Steering Committee: Sara Heller (She/her/hers)

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Sara Heller, Montana Liaison (2021-2023)

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

I am the lead Academic Advisor in the Department of Health and Human Development at Montana State University.

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I wanted to encourage more representation and participation from Montana advisors at the regional and national level of NACADA.  In order to do that I needed to get involved first! 

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

I am currently serving on the Region 8 steering committee as one of the two Oregon representatives.

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

I just submitted my first proposal (!) for the 2022 Region 8 Conference.  Though not NACADA-affiliated, I am also working to connect advisors in Montana through monthly newsletters, book clubs, and workshops.

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and attend Montana State University for college to be closer to family.  It’s been the best decision I’ve ever made!  I just celebrated 15 years of working at MSU and I love it.  In my free time, I enjoy playing with husband and 3 year old son, sewing, and trying to recreate Pinterest projects. 

Meet Your Steering Committee: Katie Weibel (She/Her)

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Katie Weibel, Washington Liaison (2020-2022)

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

Washington State University (WSU) – Vancouver. I’m an academic coordinator in the College of Arts & Sciences. 

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I first got involved with NACADA when I was an academic & career advisor at the University of Oregon – the team there is very active in the organization, and I was so excited to join again now that I’m back in the region and the field! 

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

I’m part of the committee for the upcoming Annual NACADA conference in Portland in 2022! SO EXCITED! 

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I’m originally from Wisconsin – I moved out west in 2014. I love trail running – the WSUV campus is PERFECT for that. I also have a little pup who I’m training to trail run with me. (Of course, I had to include a picture of her as well, little Kirby!)

R8 TALKS: Imposter Syndrome

Join us at our next R8 Talks! session held on December 8, 2021, at 10:30-11:30 a.m. Alaska | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific | 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mountain.

“I’ve run a game on everybody, and they’re going to find me out.” This quote from Maya Angelou demonstrates that no one is immune to the effects of Imposter Syndrome, least of all our students. Sentiments of imposterism are pervasive throughout post-secondary and seem even more so in high-achieving students. This session will provide an overview of imposterism in general, anecdotal evidence from advising students competitive programs, and how we as academic advisors can help reduce these impacts as early as possible.

“Who do you think you are? Dealing with Imposter Syndrome in Post-Secondary”

Discussion facilitated by Bri Harvey of Mount Royal University.

Registration link: https://ksu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJUvdeCuqTIoEtH5nRQfhB-JVNDurxM0HOzSR8 Talks! is a monthly community-building opportunity for Region 8.

For information, visit nacada.ksu.edu/Community/Regions/Region-8/R8-Talks.aspx.

Want to get involved with NACADA but not sure how?

The last 18 months have been nothing short of a marathon in the lessons of patience and resilience. The tectonic shift from in-person classes to virtual learning and the cutting of professional development budgets has resulted in many advisors having to make choices between pursuing their own professional goals and managing the day-to-day obligations of work and family. As we now start to look towards returning to some semblance of ‘normal’ perhaps there is space to reconsider professional development and engagement on a different level. 

NACADA, the Global Community of Academic Advising provides a host of opportunities for advising professionals to connect and learn from one another through a network of like-minded individuals who all work to support students through their higher education journeys. As an association that relies heavily on the expertise and dedication of volunteers, there are a vast number of opportunities for advisors to expand and grow their leadership skills by getting involved. And the best part of starting on this journey is that it doesn’t have to be a huge time commitment or require a special set of skills in order to succeed.  In fact, if you have only a few hours a month that you could dedicate to your own professional growth, then NACADA might just be a great way for you to start investing in yourself.

The Region 8 steering committee is an active and engaged group of advisors who work together to provide professional development activities across the region. Your Region 8 steering committee is currently seeking new members to join the committee and engage in activities such as conference planning, helping to facilitate the R8 Monthly Talks, supporting the Region Awards & Scholarship program, and engaging in supporting the Learning Partnership program. We are also seeking new ideas and feedback from members on initiatives that we can introduce that will help support the needs of our members. 

We are looking for members to fulfill the following roles in the Region 8 steering committee: 

  • Provincial Liaison for BC
  • Provincial Liaison for Alberta
  • State Liaisons for Alaska
  • State Liaisons for Idaho
  • State Liaisons for Montana
  • State Liaisons for Washington
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Two-Year College Liaison
  • Awards & Scholarship Chair ( Brand New Role)

Below is some general information about the province/state liaison position, expectations of steering committee members, and the nomination process and timeline.

State/Province Liaisons: will facilitate communication between allied organizations (state/province and campus organizations) and the region, help plan and coordinate outreach and/or professional development opportunities for their state/province/territory, and serve on Region 8 steering committee sub-committees (i.e. Awards Committee, Scholarship Committee).

Awards Chair: This is a new addition to the steering committee and the Awards Chair will be responsible for overseeing the awards and scholarship program for Region 8.  Working closely with the communications coordinator, the Awards & Scholarships Chair will promote these programs, recruit volunteers to evaluate nomination packets, and preside over the final award & scholarship winners. The Awards & Scholarships Chair will also facilitate the recognition of awardees through a variety of media and at the Region conference. 

Communications Coordinator: The communications coordinator works closely with the entire steering committee to manage and update the content for the Region 8 website (in conjunction with the Executive Office liaison), and also manages the Region 8 social media channels.

Two-Year College Liaison: The two-year college/institution liaison works closely with the province/state/territory liaisons to promote outreach to two-year colleges/institutions throughout the region.  The goal of this position is to promote professional development and engagement opportunities for this demographic.

These are great opportunities for anyone interested in taking on an excellent leadership position within a province/state, the region, and with NACADA. No previous experience is required, in fact, this is an excellent first leadership opportunity for those of you who have been looking for a way to become more involved in NACADA and make Region 8 even greater!

Time Commitment: Steering Committee Meeting once a month (one hour) and 2-8 hours a month serving on sub-committees or event planning/outreach (depends on what project/sub-committee member is working on). Steering committee members serve a two-year term, with the option of serving a second two-year term. Attendance at regional and state/province conferences is encouraged but not required.

Nomination Process and Timeline: If you would like to run for any of these positions, please email your Region 8 Chair, Shea Ellingham (sellingham@mtroyal.ca) your name, photo (jpeg preferred), institution, email, phone number, and a brief (about 200 words) statement about your background and why you are interested in serving in the position by December 1, 2021. Your photo and personal statement will be posted on the voting website. Voting (online) will take place in January, winners will be notified in early February, and the newly elected members will join the Steering Committee at the regional conference in May 2022 (either in person or via Zoom).

Meet Your Steering Committee: Lesley Gerein (She/her/hers)

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Lesley Gerein, Budget Coordinator (2021-23)

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

I work at the University of Calgary in Calgary, Alberta Canada.  I currently hold the role of Senior Specialist, Academic Advising.   In this role I am responsible for providing oversight, training, advocacy, and professional development for academic advisors and student service professionals across campus.

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

I have been involved with NACADA for 8 years. I became involved initially because I’m passionate about the development of academic advisors, and I wanted to help bring NACADA events and resources to the amazing advisors in my region.  I also wanted to add an additional Canadian voice (me!) to the advising conversations happening within NACADA.  I’ve continued to stay involved because of the many connections I’ve made with fantastic advising professionals across Canada and United States. Plus, there is still so much for me to learn and do within NACADA!

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

Currently I hold the position of Budget Coordinator for Region 8 and I am a Steering Committee member for the upcoming Region 8 Conference in May 2022.

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

When I’m not working, I’m an avid ice hockey player. My nickname is Chainsaw. I also have two small children that keep me very busy.  I hold a BA in English Literature and a Masters in Communications Studies, where I studied degree audit systems as part of my final thesis project.

R8 TALKS: Charting a Course to the Stars: How to Submit Your Stellar Story as a NACADA Conference Session!

Join us at our next R8 Talks! session held on November 10, 2021, at 10:30-11:30 a.m. Alaska | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific | 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mountain.

NACADA needs you! We all come to this profession from unique personal life experiences, and we can lift each other up by sharing our expertise, curiosity, and passion. Join us for this action-oriented R8 talk on how to submit an out-of-this-world conference proposal. We’ll discuss various strategies for navigating each step of the voyage as well as overcoming imposter syndrome!

Discussion facilitated by awesome members of the NACADA R8 Steering Committee.

Please register in advance for this meeting: https://ksu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJIscOiuqj0qHNLnOLWWcN-nZHP_vfTAhBew 

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

R8 Talks! is a monthly community-building opportunity for Region 8. For information, visit nacada.ksu.edu/Community/Regions/Region-8/R8-Talks.aspx ~ see you on November 10th!

Meet Your Steering Committee: Aysha Haq

NACADA Region 8 Steering Committee

Aysha Haq, British Columbia Liaison (2021-23)

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

Kwantlen Polytechnic University.  I’m the Academic Advisor working primarily with students who are upgrading their English, math, and science courses for program admission and/or course prerequisites.

Why did you get involved with NACADA? 

Initially, as a new advisor, becoming involved in NACADA through conferences and workshops meant I was able to expand my knowledge on advising, meet others, and build the foundation for my advising practice.  Now as a more experienced advisor, serving on the Region 8 steering committee as well as the Canada Advising Community has meant I can be a resource for others around me and continue to cultivate my professional skills.

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

Currently, I am serving as the BC Liaison on Region 8 and I am a member of the Canada Advising Community as well!  Recently, I read and provided feedback on proposals for the upcoming Annual Conference.

Please share a little about yourself and a fun fact. 

I have worked in the post-secondary world for over 20 years in a variety of roles, Program Assistant, Transfer Credit Coordinator and Academic Advisor.  I am an avid Seattle Seahawks fan (Go Hawks!) and in my downtime enjoy getting in some workouts and heading outdoors for biking and hiking.  Connecting with people is a passion and I’m always available to chat with folks about advising, travel, desserts – let’s talk! 

R8 TALKS: Advising Technology

Join us at our next R8 Talks! session, held on October 13, 2021 at 10:30-11:30 a.m. Alaska | 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Pacific | 12:30-1:30 p.m. Mountain.

Congratulations for being a de facto expert on technology in advising!

Regardless of our preparedness, we have all become technology de facto experts. For this session, we wanted to host an informal discussion on the tools that we have found to be the most useful and that we will continue to utilize back in office. These may include:

·  Social media use

·  Virtual advising

·  Online communication

Discussion facilitated by awesome members of the NACADA R8 Steering Committee.

Please register in advance for this meeting: https://ksu.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJ0sdeigqTkuE9QjLtna2_VxWNlql18KPq7a. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

R8 Talks! is a monthly community-building opportunity for Region 8. For information, visit nacada.ksu.edu/Community/Regions/Region-8/R8-Talks.aspx ~ see you on October 13!