Thursday, April 9, 2009

Mail Call – Message #1 from Your ACPA President
by Dr. Tom Jackson, Jr., ACPA President 2009-10

ACPA is hot right now. What a fantastic convention we had in Washington, D.C.

Allow me to thank each of you for not only being a member of ACPA, but also taking an active role in our shared profession. A long time ago a mentor of mine encouraged me to be active in our professional associations. His point was that we, as professional’s, must give back to this profession. Whether it is doing presentations, writing, serving on committees or some other activity is very important. It is what professional’s do. You shouldn’t have to think about giving to your profession – you just do it.

I learned a lot from that mentor – who today remains my dearest friend. This, in part, is why I need your help. It is one of my goals, as your ACPA President, to communicate with you in a way that not only informs you of current issues within ACPA and the profession, but also uses the technology available to us today. Currently the means to communicate to the membership are the regular articles in our different publications. I hope to explore several methods, including Facebook, Twitter, and my blog. Using my blog I hope gives you further insight into why certain decisions get made or how I may be approaching an issue that the association must address. My hope is you will see the many perspectives and ramifications that are often involved in the many different things that the President and ACPA must address.

Think about it for just a moment. ACPA has 20 commissions/task forces, 6 standing committees, 33 state associations, and 24 different countries that are members of ACPA. ACPA has roughly 8,200 members, all with a voice and an expectation. It is impossible to touch each person, but each President tries in some way. I am no exception. Your help in guiding me and participating in the association makes things much easier. I encourage you to follow me on Twitter, join me on my public chats, and actively shape our global profession. Below is a summary of my efforts to reach out to you.

Twitter: acpaprez (the goal is 500 followers – win a prize!)
Facebook: American College Personnel Association
Skype: Monthly public chat the 2nd Friday of EVERY month at 11:00 a.m. EST.

In the coming days I will share with you more insights on the items we are currently addressing as an association. If you seek greater involvement – we can find ways to get you even more involved. In fact, next time you speak to a colleague have them join ACPA, too. ACPA, in many respects, is not that different than your campus employer. We are facing budget challenges, seeking ways to collaborate more easily with our sister associations, trying to improve and retain membership, and trying to advance our work across the globe. We have assumed the leadership role in trying to bring associations together to enhance our global profession. This includes identifying opportunities to enhance student development research abroad while assisting with professional development. We are also looking at ways to better utilize technology in our very popular and successful Placement Services. If you can imagine improvements you can bet we are thinking or talking about them now.

Your membership matters to me and ACPA. ACPA is an association that is progressive, responsive to trends, viable, and one that I hope provides you the type of information and opportunity to learn and improve your campus environment. After all, it is about students. Take care.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a great idea Dr. Jackson to move to new technology forums. It's great to see your leadership in this area.

I'd be curious to hear your views on how ACPA and NASPA can work together in collaborative ways to advance the profession collectively.

Amit Taneja
Associate Director, LGBT Resource Center
Syracuse University
ataneja @