Annual conference take-aways: Day One

Just got back from the opening keynote and dessert reception. If you are a frequent or even just an occasional conference go-er (even if it’s just the regional conferences), it’s amazing how many familiar faces you see even in the sea of 2,400+ people. The thing about our profession though, is that even if you don’t know the person sitting next to you, sooner or later the polite smiles and casual hellos turn into conversations about advising structures, workloads and commiseration of how we’re all doing more with less.

A clear picture was painted tonight. NACADA in its 30th year has grown by leaps and bounds. The organization has developed past its “national” reach. Sure, our Canadian colleagues have been with us for awhile now but this year’s conference sees representatives from 20 different countries. You may have already heard this scuttlebutt but NACADA has now added a tagline, “The Global Community of Academic Advising.” Watch the main site up a new logo soon. Oh, and start saving your pennies. An annual conference in Dublin, Ireland is around the corner.

“Our foundation is strong,” said Charlie Nutt, praising the current and former leadership. But he also extended the credit for that strength to the members – you and I – who serve in elected and/or volunteer positions. “We are NACADA,” he said of us members who give the strength of participation and dialogue and ideas and suggestions.

We end this take-away with a quote from the keynote speaker, Dr. Ricardo Romo. “Someone who paid attention (to me) changed my life. That’s what y’all do.” He then challenged us to find the hidden talents in our students. Challenge them, he said. Help them stretch. Help them go that extra mile.

It’s a full day of poster sessions, concurrent sessions and business meetings tomorrow. More to come from San Antonio.

Good night y’all!

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