Title: PhD Candidate
College / University / Organization: Boston College
Position for which you are applying: Director of Membership Development
In the space below, please describe your involvement with ACPA, including any leadership positions you have held.
I have been a member of ACPA since 2000 and have attended every national convention since 2001. I have attended the June/July Leadership Meeting of the Association for the past 7 years and am currently serving on the Assembly Leadership in my second term as the Coordinator for Standing Committees.
State Involvement: I am a current member of the Massachusetts College Personnel Association and was on the re-chartering committee for and a member of the District of Columbia College Personnel Association.
Commission Involvement: I have attended, presented and serve on the faulty of the Commission for Housing & Residential Life and the Commission for Assessment & Evaluation’s Residential Curriculum Institute.
Standing Committee Involvement: Prior to serving as the Coordinator, I was involved with the Standing Committee on Men and Masculinities serving as Chair from 2008-2010 and in various directorate roles since 2002.
Scholarship and Education: I have published in Developments and About Campus and will have presented over 15 educational sessions at ACPA National Conventions.
Please describe how you will work to advance ACPA’s Core Values if elected/appointed to this position.
In order to work in the area of membership development, one must deeply believe in the organization whose membership they wish to grow, retain and serve. I have made ACPA my professional home, in part, because its espoused values align so closely with my own. I, like many others, have felt the power of involvement firsthand. Involvement is a gift both for the involved person as well as for the association one serves. Membership in an association and involvement with colleagues who share your vision for higher education is an uplifting experience and one that I want to ensure others are able to experience.
In addition to involvement with an amazing group of dedicated professionals, ACPA has given me the opportunity to participate in and share research, scholarship and educational opportunities that advance our student-centered work. I steadfastly believe in this core value of ACPA and further believe it is one of our greatest strengths and differentiators.
Having “grown up” in the Standing Committees, I have been particularly engaged with ACPA’s values surrounding dialogue, inclusion and human dignity. Although ACPA still has a lot of work to do in these areas, I believe the Association represents some of the best minds and best activists working in this area. This value is a critical one that I hope to make central to all of our membership development efforts.
After reviewing the qualifications of the position for which you are applying, please describe briefly below how you believe you meet each qualification.
Throughout my career I have served as a professional in both academic and student affairs, worked within the United States and internationally, and been a graduate student, PhD student, and a faculty instructor. Having shared the professional identities of many within our membership, I believe this places me in a unique position to be aware of, listen to, and respect the voices and needs of the diverse individuals that make up our association.
In my current role as Coordinator of Standing Committees, I have worked closely with the ACPA Governing Board for the past 4 years and believe I am in a well-qualified position to now serve on that Board. In this capacity, I have served on the Membership Recruitment and Retention Committee with three different Directors and have been able to witness their styles and approaches firsthand. I believe this, coupled with the historical knowledge I bring, could be a tremendous asset to ACPA. I have also participated in the ACPA Awards process for the past 7 years and am aware of how it has evolved and how we could potentially improve it further.
As a leader, how will you contribute to the work of the Association?
ACPA has given me a lot. It has given me new tools and innovative ways of going about my work as a professional. It has exposed me to scholars and research that inform my work. It has allowed me to develop a network of professionals who share my dedication and interests. And it has also given me lifelong friends. ACPA is my professional home and I want to contribute to this association by providing these experiences to others.
The Director of Membership Development is a critical position on the Governing Board because it focuses on the heart of what makes our association thrive and grow—our members. If elected to this position, I hope to advance the Association’s reputation as the innovative voice for college student educator practice. An association where rigorous research and scholarship combine with the sprit and energy of the young and young-at-heart to transform the student learning experience for the better. An important aspect of this vision is the need to leverage technology to provide innovative avenues for membership engagement. The Association now not only competes for members with other associations, but also with the disruptive technologies that provide professional development and networking opportunities for free. The challenge for ACPA moving forward is how can we make a compelling case for becoming a member in light of these new realities. As a PhD student who studies educational technology and social media, I hope to leverage my knowledge and talents to address these challenges. Additionally, it takes time to learn how to navigate the Association and gain the knowledge of its inner workings in order to get tasks and initiatives done. I hope to use my past experience to be a more effective as a leader while at the same time remaining open to change and new ways of doing things.
Moving forward, I ask myself:
How can we democratize involvement?
How can we provide diverse points of entry into our association?
How can we provide a compelling financial case for joining our association?
How can we increase low or no cost opportunities while maintaining quality?
How can we increase services, and the accessibility of those services, to our members?
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 recognize that I have many identities that have afforded me much privilege. As someone who considers himself an ally in many aspects of his life, I recognize that the interrogation of my own privilege and a checking of my own biases and prejudices is something I must constantly do. When I fall short, I am blessed to be surrounded by colleagues and friends who challenge me and who provide good perspective and advice. It is these relationships, and my understanding of social justice work as a constant journey, that I bring to my leadership roles.
I believe that we are all stronger when we bring together diverse and knowledgeable voices working towards a common goal. I believe that ACPA, more than any other organization, possesses professionals with the commitment and dedication to constantly work towards making this a reality. Although ACPA has never been perfect on issues of equity and inclusion, I do believe we are learning. I hope to continue this learning through my ability to provide voice and empowerment when it is needed, and the ability to be humble and step back when it is warranted.