On behalf of the Illinois Academic Advising Association (ILACADA) and Leadership Team, I would like to thank you for your membership and if you were able, attendance at this year’s conference held at the University of St. Francis in Joliet. Jeanne Washburn and Jeff Chiapello, along with the entire USF faculty and staff, were incredible hosts to us this year and we are grateful to them for providing their beautiful campus and facility to us for our inaugural conference. For those of you in attendance, I hope you enjoyed your day and left having learned something new about our profession. In addition, I hope you had a positive networking experience and connected with a new colleague. If so, consider the conference a success!
While the annual conference will continue to be our centerpiece event to highlight and celebrate the Illinois advising community each year, we have many other initiatives in the works aimed at promoting our profession and providing our advisors with continual professional development opportunities. We are also working on a quarterly e-newsletter. If you have information or an article you would like to submit, please do so to either me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Ryan Gray, Communications Chair at email@example.com. We will make sure your information is disseminated widely. Also, if you have an advising position open on your campus, be sure to send that information to Ryan so we can post that on our website. We will be bringing you further professional development opportunities throughout the year and as soon as those programs are finalized, we will be sure to send the details via the listserv, Twitter and Facebook. We are collaborating with various constituencies throughout the state on programming ideas and initiatives. If you have an idea for a program, please let us know!
One question I and others on the Team have been asked is “What are the benefits of membership in ILACADA?” Like any other professional organization (such as NACADA, ACPA, NASPA, and others) ILACADA was designed to assist you with your professional development needs. While many of these benefits are intrinsic in nature, I can assure you that we will provide a forum and place for advisors to gather and share information. Because we have been in existence for just a year, we are still in the developmental stages. As I mentioned previously, we will be providing our members with an e-newsletter, you can submit information regarding advising jobs open on your campus, and other venues for professional development this year. As we announced at the conference, our future plans are to coordinate and host a New Advisor Mentoring Connection where we hope to pair advisors, new to the profession, with a seasoned professional who can assist them with career decisions, goal setting, and provide a springboard when they are experiencing difficulty or stress in their career. Another goal we hope to accomplish next year is to offer professional development grants and awards to our members. If you are interested in working on any of these committees please let me know!
In the meantime, thank you for your continued involvement and support of ILACADA along with our mission, goals and programs. Enjoy your summer. It promises to go quickly!
Teri Farr, ILACADA Leadership Team Chair and Illinois Representative to NACADA Region V