I first became involved with volunteer leadership when a friend and colleague told me she was nominating me for the Director for Community Colleges position on the ASCA Board of Directors. My immediate question was why? I honestly didn’t understand where her idea was coming from and why she wanted to nominate me. She said, “Because you’re an amazing practitioner and you have so much to offer to the profession. “ To which I replied, thank you and then agreed to the nomination. In my mind, I thought no one knows me and no one is going to vote for me. Surprisingly, I was elected to the position.
My first day in the board room, I remember us talking about aspects of diversity within the association. Some of the discussion seemed abstract, as though diversity and inclusion were remote concepts. It was at that moment that I felt compelled to introduce “cultural humility” as a framework for consideration. The idea was met with sincere curiosity. That year, I observed a lot and asked even more questions. I also spent time reflecting on my own experiences and why I chose ASCA as my professional home. Today, I continue to do the same, and that is what keeps me focused on our collective educational purpose and continued organizational progress.
As a practitioner, authenticity, cultural humility, and integrity are values that guide my practice. As a person, it is simply who I am. I am unapologetic about my raw honesty, yet always respectful and diplomatic. I am open to sharing my own awareness and talent, and I am always eager hear someone else’s story and learn from another’s experiences. According to my Strengths Finder results, my top two strengths are contentedness and belief.
Consequently, I decided to accept the nomination for the President-Elect position for a few reasons. One, my moral compass profoundly connects with the ideals of our profession. Two, my resolute belief in truth and the commitment to justice that abides in the hearts of the many professionals who do this work. Lastly, we have an obligation to the many trailblazers that have paved the path for us and a duty to properly prepare new professional that will come after us.
My vision for the association directly aligns with our ASCA mission, which is simply to advance the profession. My goal is to continue initiating courageous conversations about structural antiquated, exclusionary, and/or harmful practices that negatively impact our institutional communities. Furthermore, I will continue to bring challenging awareness opportunities to both the board of directors and to the membership.
In conclusion, it is imperative that we continue to infuse intentional inclusion practices into the organizational fabric of our association. The landscape of our profession is changing and in order to continue to grow the profession, we have to expand our professional paradigm. Together, we can strengthen the profession by empowering professionals in the field to walk in authenticity, practice cultural humility, and to lead with integrity.
Goal 1: Develop, implement, and manage a sustainable and efficient organizational leadership structure.
If elected to the position of President-Elect, I will spend the first year working with the leadership to evaluate the progress of both strategic priorities. Once we effectively evaluate the progress we will need to identify any barriers in the way of completing the identified aspects of each of the priorities. I know from all the work that has been done in the last four years that we are currently working on reorganizing the volunteer leadership structure to a structure. The new structure is one that will be more comprehensive and allow for membership engagement on all levels. No matter how long one’s tenure in the field, the new structure provides opportunities for everyone to contribute to the profession in whatever capacity is most meaningful to them. In addition, I will work with our Central Office to explore more efficient options that may be needed to enhance day to day operations. In addition, now that our Central Office is remote I will work to identify technology resources needed to provide additional membership incentives and improve our web site.
Due to my current position on the board, I am keenly aware that we are currently in the process of achieving most of the items listed under this first priority. Nevertheless, if elected I will be committed to ensuring all the aspects of the priorities remain relevant agenda items until completion.
Goal 2: ASCA will create, implement, and manage a defined structure and strategy that directs all educational content under the auspices of the Association.
This second priority is one of the most challenging. However as professionals who generate and disseminate knowledge it is especially important that we do some work in this area. If elected, I will work with the current, and past president to establish committees to evaluate common practices among other volunteer associations and collaborate with the entire board to allocate future funds for solidifying the educational content creation and delivery protocol that is selected.