Region 8 Invades LAS VEGAS! Annual Conference Recap

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NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising has over 13,000 members. Of those 13,000, over 4,300 attended the 2015 Annual Conference, the largest attendance at an annual conference EVER! There were some amazing sessions, some great networking opportunities, and great keynote addresses. I encourage everyone to check out the Region 8 Facebook page, or look at the back channels in Twitter for #viviaNACADA15 and #NACADAR8 as many of our members were live tweeting the event!

Las Vegas was…well it was Las Vegas! There was a ton of excitement, lots of things to do in the town and the Caesar’s Palace Conference Center was beautiful! With the exception of one night with a bit of thunder and lightning, the weather was very good for our members to venture off onto the strip (after the sessions of course) and take in the sites of Vegas!
Sunday had a ton of great pre-conference workshops, but Region 8 truly shined during the Annual award ceremony. Lots of awards/certificate of merit recipients from Region 8 showing everyone why 8 is great!

While not everyone was able to make the awards ceremony, as a reminder the following people won association awards in 2015! This was a Region 8 takeover!

  • Outstanding Advising Award – Primary Advising Role – Certificate of Merit Recipients
    • Sheree Solario, Western Oregon University
    • Kim Rambo-Reinitz, University of Oregon
    • Kelli Schrand, University of Idaho
    • Noell Bernard Kingsley, University of Washington
  • Outstanding Advising Award – Faculty Academic Advising – Winners
    • Mary Sanchez Lanier, Washington State University
    • Frank Wilhelm, University of Idaho
  • Outstanding Advising Award – Faculty Academic Advising
    • Josh Snodgrass, University of Oregon
    • Arlene Courtney, Western Oregon University
  • Outstanding New Advisor Award – Primary Advising Role – Winners
    • Jesse Poole, Western Oregon University
    • Allison Ramsing, Oregon State University



Both Sunday night and Monday morning, NACADA welcomed all new members to NACADA to join together and find out what NACADA is all about. It was at this meeting that we had the chance to meet tons of our new Region 8 colleagues.
As the week went on, Beth Dittman, Willamette University wowed everyone by presenting her Best of Region 8 presentation, “Practice, Reflect, Repeat: Getting Back to Basics to Teach At-Risk Students the Essential Elements of Persistence.”
With so many great sessions to attend, we had to remember that for Region 8 to continue its success, we also had some business to take care of!

First, your Region 8 Steering Committee met to discuss all things Region 8. This included information on the newly created Diversity and Social Justice coordinator for the Steering Committee, Association and Region 8 elections, the Seattle Conference, and tons of additional to-do items.

Vegas Business MeetingAfter the Steering Committee meeting, the entire region joined in for the Region 8 Business Meeting. While at the business meeting, the Region gave out tons of prizes, and even more information! So what do you need to know from this meeting?

  1. Earlier in this post, I mentioned the deadline for the Region 8 awards is November 1st, that is the deadline for both the Regional awards program and the 13 scholarships available for the Region 8 Conference in Seattle…that’s right 13!
    1. Region 8 Excellence in Advising Awards – Now is the time to nominate someone who you feel represents what Region 8 is all about! We have several different award categories. Awards Committee Chair: Leah Panganiban, University of Washington
    2. Region 8 will be giving out up to 13 $500 scholarships to help YOU get to the conference in Seattle! These travel scholarships can be used towards any expenses associated with Region 8 conference attendance. Scholarship Committee Chair: Kerry Thomas, Oregon State University
  2. Nicole Kent, our Region Chair also hyped a TON of great professional development opportunities in the next year (and beyond) in Region 8:
    1. Region 8
      o Region 8 Conference – Seattle, WA – January 20-22nd, 2016
      o Region 8 (2017) Conference – Missoula, MT – April 10-12th, 2016
    2. State and Province Initiatives
      o BC Academic Advising Symposium – Victoria, BC – November 9th, 2015
      o Alberta Advising Symposium – Calgary, AB – November 20th, 2015
      o Oregon Academic Advising Conference – Monmouth, OR – June 22nd, 2016
      o University of Idaho Advising Symposium – Moscow, ID – September 2016
    3. Additional…
      o Nicole also plugged the free Student Success Lecture Series, taking place at Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR. The next lecturer will be Penny Robinson from UKAT, the United Kingdom Advising and Tutoring Network and the 2015 NACADA Leading Light Award winner, on October 14th, 3:30-4:30.
  3. Nicole also discussed the upcoming Association and Region 8 Elections! The following positions will be open:
    1. Region 8 Steering Committee Positions – More information will be sent out when nominations are being accepted.
      o Technology Coordinator
      o Diversity and Social Justice Coordinator
      o Alberta Liaison
      o British Columbia Liaison
      o Idaho Liaison
      o Washington Liaison
    2. Region 8 Chair – 2016-2018 – This position will be elected via balloting though the NACADA Executive Office.
      Nominate your colleagues (or yourself) for awards, get yourself to a conference to 2 or 6, and run for the Steering Committee or Region Chair!

This was an amazing conference and your colleagues are going to bring a ton of information back to your home campus!

P.S. Check back regularly on the blog for more information as the Region 8 Conference approaches. With the accelerated timeline this year, there will be regularly posting with important information…and you can find it all here!!!

~ Alex Kunkle, Communication Coordinator

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