Letter from the Chair
I wanted to get in touch with the Commission as a whole now
that I’ve assumed the role of Chair.
First off, I want to say that I am both humbled and honored in being
elected to this position. My hope is that
I prove worthy of your confidence in me.
For those of you who were at the Open Business Meeting in Indianapolis, you’ve heard
some, but not all, of the following. For
those of you who were not at the convention at all, you really missed something
I have to say that I’ve never seen the energy of the
Commission as vital as it was at this year’s Open Business Meeting and at the
Social a few hours later. It was truly
inspiring to see the investment and involvement people felt toward CCAPS as they
nominated their friends and colleagues to positions on the Directorate. I’ve been to many of these meetings where the
nominations barely trickled in. Not this
time! I think, and hope, this shows a
renewed interest in who we are and the work we
do. The turnout at the Social was
equally inspiring. Shortly after it
began, the hotel people needed to bring in a whole lot more chairs, and still
many people ended up standing (and even in the hall). After the Social was over I had to kick
people out, and they remained in the hall talking for at least another
half-hour. I feel grateful to be taking
over as Chair at such an opportune time.
Many thanks go to Stacey Pearson and her work as Chair for the last two
years to bring the Commission to this point.
One of the main points of my platform when I ran for Chair
was to involve more people in the work (and benefit) of the Commission. Whether they are new to CCAPS, hanging around
the fringes, or past Directorate members, my desire is to help people find (or
rediscover) their niche in the group.
There are plenty of places in the Commission that can use good people
for those interested in being involved.
The CCAPS committees do a good deal of work during the year and at
convention. Each of these subgroups can
benefit from additional hands. While I
prefer to keep the leadership of each subgroup on the Directorate, I invite all
members to consider contributing to the committee work. If you are not sure how or where you can best
get involved, please contact me (email)
and we’ll find a spot for you.
The second part of my platform was to involve CCAPS members,
especially former Directorate members, in the leadership of ACPA. By getting our people in positions of
influence within the larger organization, we can protect our Commission and
strengthen our hand. The counseling
perspective is one that is often forgotten, both in ACPA and on our
campuses. We need to make sure that our
voice is heard.
One example of our being overlooked occurred in meetings
talking about next year’s convention. We
will have a Joint Meeting with NASPA next year, limiting our sponsored programs
to three, when we usually have five to seven. Since NASPA doesn’t have a Knowledge
Community devoted to counseling issues, the three programs are the only one’s
guaranteed to be available for us (and for CE credits!), except for our CE
program on Sunday. Most commissions in
ACPA have counterparts (in some cases more than one) and will be having six or
more sponsored programs for their area of interest. During the Commission Chairs meetings I
brought up the inherent inequity of this situation. Laura Lyn also raised the issue in her
Program Chairs meeting (thanks Laura!).
By speaking directly and often, we’ve received assurances (though not
guarantees) that our needs will be attended to.
Although the energy for the Commission is high, there are
several challenges facing CCAPS in the near future, including maintaining and
increasing our membership, and our potential connections with the Jed
Foundation around the Counseling
Center Village. While I may now be the “face” of the
Commission, the most visible and accessible point of interaction, I am, by no
means, “the Commission.” All of us, we
together, are the Commission. No one
can, or should, try to do it alone.
I’m depending on all of you to fulfill your important roles in the
Commission’s work. Only when each member
plays their part can we fully address the issues above and those that will be
raised in the future.
Despite these challenges, there are many opportunities for
CCAPS to grow and flourish. During my
comments at the Open Business Meeting I spoke of CCAPS being my, and others’,
professional home. It is with all of you
that I gain perspective on my work at my center, it’s where I commiserate about
problems, it’s where I celebrate my successes, and it’s where I reconnect with
my friends. In my next meeting (yes, I
attended a lot of meetings!) David Gilles-Thomas brought up the idea of “Come
Home to CCAPS” as a theme for our website, an extension of my comments. Thinking about this idea since the
convention, I’ve decided that this theme does make sense, not just for the
website, but as my mission for the next two years.
At this point I’d like to acknowledge some people who have
recently made CCAPS at least one of their professional homes, our newest
Directorate members. Welcome to Jane
Bost, Grace Chen, Mark Fleming, Marilia Marien,
Kelly Simonson, and Vivian Yamada. I was
glad to have the chance to get to meet (or reconnect with) them in Indianapolis, and I’m
confident that their efforts will do the Commission proud.
On a personal note, I appreciated getting to meet many of
the new Commission members at the convention, and to reconnect with those I
already knew. I also appreciated the
time that several former Chairs of the Commission (Stacey
Pearson, Sue Stock, Toti Perez,
Heidi Levine, Sherry Lynch
Conrad) took to talk with me about the Commission and its issues. Your guidance was invaluable, and don’t think
you’re off the hook so fast! I’ll be
counting on you to help me as needed during the next two years. I also appreciated the support that many of
you offered me (whether serious or in jest) as I prepared to assume the role of
So, as we wind down from the convention and close out our
semesters, I invite you to think about your place in CCAPS and how you can
contribute to our success. Please
contact me with any questions or concerns you have about the Commission or ACPA
in general. Also, if you’re not a member
of the CCAPS listserv, please join (you can do it yourself from the Membership
part of the ACPA homepage – www.myacpa.org). It’s the best way to keep up on Commission
activities, job openings, and issues that affect counseling centers.
Come home to CCAPS!
Chair, Commission for Counseling and Psychological Services