Friday, April 4, 2008

CSPA-New York -- What an amazing group!
by Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., ACPA Vice President 2008-09

There I was, simply enjoying the half dozen receptions I was attending or crashing at ACPA Atlanta when a friend realized I was an officer. I reminded them I was "only" the VP-Elect and didn't assume office until the following day. To them it didn't matter because in that room, at that moment, I was it. A representative of ACPA.

This is not an uncommon experience for me. Everyday I am asked to bring greetings either as the Vice President for Student Affairs or on behalf of the University President at the University of Louisville. It happens so often I keep a few canned thoughts and stories in my pocket just in case. However, this was slightly different. CSPA-NY is one of the strongest and largest state associations in ACPA. The room was packed with colleagues and friends. There was a buzz of camaraderie that I really did not want to interrupt with "welcoming words." Still, Peter Fagen, the state association President, invited me to say a few words. How could I not "step up?"

As I took the podium I went into speech mode. While it could seem it was just me saying kind words about CSPA-NY, honestly, it was much, much more than that. This truly is an amazing group of practitioners. Their attentiveness to each of my words was incredible. It was instantly clear to me the enormous pride CSPA-NY has in its members, leaders, and association. I hope other state associations get the chance to see this organization's strength. They really do make a difference.

So what did I say? Naturally I thanked them for all that they do, acknowledged that I knew of many of their contributions to the profession, and spoke about what we all should remember when we return to campus - that we work with and serve students. More on this in a future blog.

Up until that point I was just an "elect." That night, in public, at this event, I assumed my place as the VP. CSPA-NY helped me do this and I sincerely look forward to working with this state association in the future.

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