I recently returned from NASPA 2011 and while it is fresh in my mind I have started to jot down the various ideas and lessons learned that have been forming since leaving Philly.
1) The influx of social media is one of the biggest “game changers” our field has ever seen: It should be no surprise that during this conference season social media has really influenced the way we learn, communicate and transmit information. Some examples of this include:
From: @meghanoster: Cleaning up my notes from #NASPA11-I learned a ton in those 3 days! Looking forward to next year already!
From: @SeanJohn_son: #naspa11 is over and #naspa12 is a year away. The educating for purpose and igniting for change is found in that in-between year. Start now!
From: @NASPA2: Missed the #NASPA11 conference? Check-out the archives to download presentations! http://fb.me/BPOlIRHy
From: @Niki Rudolph: @deanmamta @jpkirchmeier Can I please get a link to the video you used in your “un-session” at #NASPA11?
From: @amberflickinger: Updated my resume today! Applying for a position on the #naspa11 SLP Knowledge Community Leadership Team!
From @JoeGinese: Great point from #NASPA11 “You never see a coach run onto the field to kick the game winning goal.” #advising #coaching
I was inspired by the number of people who connected via social media prior to #naspa11 and then made to sure to connect In Real Life (IRL) at the conference. There was none of the “So, what do you do?” preliminary conversations because their relationship had already been created on-line.
2) No matter what the decision regarding consolidation, our professional organization(s) will remain strong because of the commitment of the people within it: While “consolidation” was the big buzzword during the conference, I left Philly with the realization that everything was going be fine—no matter what resulted from the vote. Higher Education faculty and staff will continue to present and attend national conferences even if the format looks a little different than in previous years.
Organizations evolve and grow and change with the hope of being more effective for everyone involved. Our institutions do this regularly in order to stay relevant. It should be no surprise that our associations are also considering the best ways to provide a quality professional development experience for all of its members.
3) People are our greatest resources: In an earlier blog post entitled “Why Don’t We Ask?” (March 7, 2011) I talked about how I contacted a woman I admired via email to ask if we could grab coffee at NASPA. I was amazed at her quick and enthusiastic reply! We had a great chat in Philly and I left our conversation feeling like we had a good connection. We plan to get together again at an upcoming conference this summer. We are very lucky to work in a field that attracts both talented and caring professionals.
Every time I met a new person–whether it was a graduate student or a Vice President–I was impressed with their sincerity, passion for the job and commitment to the profession. Our students are in very good hands in with these quality practitioners at our respective institutions.
What are your biggest take-aways from #naspa11? I would love to hear about them!