Title: Director of Residence Life and Housing
College / University / Organization: Edinboro University
Position for which you are applying: Assembly Coordinator for Commissions
In the space below, please describe your involvement with ACPA, including any leadership positions you have held .
I have been an active member of ACPA for the better part of 20 years. I was elected and served as a directorate body member for the Commission for Housing and Residence Life first in 2006 and again in 2012. As a directorate board member, I served in various leadership roles: as an awards chair and twice as a vice chair, leading others in goal attainment. I am currently serving in my final year in the capacity as Chair for the Commission for Housing and Residential Life.
I have very much enjoyed my involvement in the commission and believe that my contributions, as well as those of the commission, have been well recognized. I received the commission's award for outstanding contributions in 2010. Further, In 2014, under my leadership the Commission for Housing and Residence Life was recognized for Outstanding Contributions to ACPA’s Strategic Objectives.
Please describe how you will work to advance ACPA’s Core Values if elected/appointed to this position.
I believe past performance is a good predictor of future success. Therefore, I will talk a little about what I have done and then about future strategies to advance ACPA’s Core Values.
My orientation as a commission chair has been to direct the efforts of the commission in support of ACPA’s values and goals. Accordingly, under my leadership, the commission has spent a great deal of time: 1) cultivating a more diverse membership base by purposely reaching out to regions that are under represented within ACPA and to institutions that have historically served the needs of minority populations in higher education; 2) ensuring that programs and publications provide the tools and resources necessary to serve a broad base of our students (our most recent effort, led by a past Directorate Board member, has been to edit and in the near future publish a book on the topic of transgender populations on campus); and 3) assessing the needs of our commission members and of students.
I have been fortunate to serve as a chair for a large and very strong commission. Recognizing that each commission faces unique challenges, I believe it is incumbent upon the Coordinator to work closely with each 1) understand and demonstrate its commitment to ACPA’s core values; 2) identify ways in which commission members can work collaboratively to achieve the efficiencies necessary to allow smaller groups to flourish; and 3) gain access to and understand ACPA’s tools and resources so that efforts can be focused on realizing values and goals. I believe that I am an inclusive leader who capitalizes on strengths while helping groups to overcome limitations.
After reviewing the qualifications of the position for which you are applying, please describe briefly below how you believe you meet each qualification.
My term as the Chair for the Commission for Housing and Residence Life will end in March 2015. I believe the skills I have gained through this role would be invaluable to my success as the Assembly Coordinator for Commissions. I believe my planning and organizational skills, understanding of the larger role of ACPA as a professional organization and in the lives of students, and my strong work ethic and loyalty uniquely qualify me for this role.
As a leader, how will you contribute to the work of the Association?
Just as the role of student affairs is to support the academic mission of the college or university, the role of the commissions is to support the educational mission of ACPA. Accordingly, the role of the Chair of Commissions is to provide the appropriate support that allows each commission to contribute significantly to the larger organization. At a micro-level, though I believe it is incumbent upon the coordinator to provide leadership and a strategic direction, I also believe it is important to involve the commission chairs in the direction-setting process. On a macro-level, I believe it important for an incumbent to be an “opportunist.” I believe I have a strong capacity to see connections and opportunities for synergy.
After reading the introductory statement about the ACPA Leader Selection Process, take a moment to reflect on your own experiences at the intersections of equity, inclusion and diversity. How will your experiences help you in our work to champion equity, inclusion and diversity within and outside the ACPA community?
I have just returned from a three-day diversity summit. During my time there, I reflected a great deal on the ways in which those of us in higher education can work to equalize the playing field and by extension effect social change. I have come to several conclusions, two that I find applicable to my candidacy as the Coordinator of Commissions. To begin, we need to continue to learn more about those whose voices have historically not been recognized with any zeal within the academy. Therefore, research, assessment, and a demonstration of personal interest and commitment are necessary first steps. However, while research, assessment, and a genuine commitment are necessary, I firmly believe if we are to create significant impact as an organization, they are insufficient steps. As a professional organization we have struggled to tap into the intersectionality of our own (multiple) “identities.” Specifically, we are set up and largely function in our roles as state and international divisions, as commissions, and as committees. Rarely do we work to address problematic issues in higher education (e.g.: access, retention, sustainability, incivility) collaboratively, across our identities. I do not have the answer per se. How this sort of second order change is realized calls for minds far greater, individually or collectively, than mine. However, recognizing that working in the same ways and expecting different results is a solid first step. I ask only to be considered a strong contender to serve in an assembly role so that I might play a role in bringing about this change.