Monday, May 16, 2011

2011-2012 ACA Officer Elections - Vote for Secretary

For our 2011-2012 Officer Elections the ACA membership agreed to elect those candidates that ran unopposed for their respective positions. The position of Secretary  was the only contested position and now requires a vote by our dues paid members. The position has two candidates running for election and their speeches can be read below.  You must cast your vote on the following website by 5pm on Monday, May 23rd. 

Speeches (in alphabetical order):

Secretary Candidate: Christine Anderson

My name is Christine Anderson and I am running for ACA Secretary.  While I know a few of you well, and many of you by name, I have not had the opportunity to meet most of you.  So, I would like to introduce myself personally and professionally.  I grew up in Houston, but have lived in Austin for most of the past 12 years- I believe this qualifies me as an Austinite.  I love the Austin scene and some of my favorite things to do in town are dance at the Broken Spoke, hike a Greenbelt and go for a swim at Barton Springs.  I was born just outside of Stuttgart, Germany and many of my relatives still live there today.  I am fortunate to get to return almost every other year to visit my family.  Speaking of family, I am also “Mom” to a very cool 5th grader named Eben. 

 Professionally, I have been advising for just under a year, but my work with students began long ago.  Before I came to UT in 1998, I served as a College Ambassador for North Harris Community College.  In this role I traveled with the College President promoting the value of an education to underserved areas of Houston.  During this time I also worked as a Math tutor.  Since moving to Austin in 1998 I have earned a BA in History and an MA in Middle Eastern Studies from UT, and have also worked as a Program Coordinator for Meals on Wheels.  Just over three years ago I joined the Bridging Disciplines Programs as the Administrative Associate and in this role I was able to learn more about how UT operates than in the previous 9 years put together.   Today, my experiences as an Administrative Associate, student, teaching assistant and community leader shape my daily interactions and broader philosophies as an Academic Advisor.   I am grateful for the path that brought me to advising because it allows me to approach my work from a variety of perspectives and experiences. 

I would be honored to serve as your Secretary for ACA and bring my background and enthusiasm to the Executive Committee.  This opportunity would allow me to contribute to the organization and also give me the chance to work more closely with many of you.  More importantly, my administrative skills will come in very handy as ACA secretary.  Sometimes when I type an email, onlookers become mesmerized by my fast and efficient typing skills.  I also have years of note taking experience.  Seriously, though- this position is important for keeping track of all the information that is shared and communicated through ACA and I would be honored to work with the Executive Committee representing advisors and student affairs professionals on campus.

Secretary Candidate: Jennifer Jordan

I have been with UT for 9 years and have served as a career advisor and as an academic advisor. During the majority of this time I have been a member of ACA, and involved with various committees over the years. I have served as a committee member for Professional Development Day, Advising Expo, the Scholarship Committee, the Holiday Planning Committee, and I was involved with the Advisory Council for two years.  Experience working on these committees provides me the perspective of the type of quality leadership ACA requires, keeping it a respected organization. My mission as Secretary would be to maintain this organization’s integrity, respect and professionalism.

I also have been a strong supporter of professional development for advisors and appreciate all ACA has been able to offer in terms of helping us stay on top of our game. Being in an office, I would strongly support this work. ACA also takes on issues around the campus, which is something I would look forward to becoming involved with. Having experience working in a Dean’s office and now a departmental office provides me with knowledge about student and academic services, which I believe would contribute to this organization.

The spirit of ACA is such that you can’t help but feel support and appreciation by a great group of people. Because of ACA’s heart and spirit and this interesting and potentially challenging role I would enjoy the opportunity to serve as an officer. In an effort to “give back” some of this spirit I offer my leadership and energy, and ask for your vote as Secretary.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 2011 ACA General Meeting

The May 11, 2011 ACA General Meeting, sponsored by New Student Services in the Office of the Dean of Students, featured updates regarding Summer Orientation 2011, the announcement of the 2011 NACADA Award Winners, the announcement of our ACA Student and Professional Scholarship recipients, as well as speeches from our ACA Executive Officer Candidates for the 2011-2012 year.

The May meeting was moved to the afternoon to accommodate the complicated May calendar.  In an effort to celebrate SUMMER and take advantage of having a post-lunch ACA Meeting, New Student Services provided Amy's Ice Cream and toppings as an afternoon treat.

New Student Services Summer Orientation
The team from NSS graciously sponsored our May meeting and used the meeting as an opportunity to update the advising community on the changes taking place for Summer Orientation 2011.  Cristi Biggs, Assistant Dean of Students, attended a meeting earlier in the school year to preview the proposed changes, so this was an opportunity for ACA members to ask questions prior to the beginning of orientation in June.
Cristi Biggs, Kyle Clark, and Esmer Bedia present to ACA

ACA Awards and Recognition

2011 NACADA Awards
Wendy Boggs, ACA Awards & Recognition Chair, announced each of the UT NACADA Award recipients who will be recognized at the annual conference in Denver, CO in October 2011:

Mark Bernstein, College of Communication: Certificate of Merit – Outstanding Faculty Advisor
Aida Gonzalez, College of Communication: Certificate of Merit – Outstanding Academic Advising- Primary Role
Brad Popiolek, School of Undergraduate Studies: Certificate of Merit – Outstanding New Academic Advisor
Longhorn Link, Division of Diversity and Community Engagement: Certificate of Merit – Outstanding Advising Program
Wayfinder (coordinated by Brad Popiolek), School of Undergraduate Studies: Certificate of Merit – Advising Technology Innovation

ACA Student Scholarship
This year, we were able to award three student scholarships. All three were present at the ACA Meeting to recieve the scholarship.

Doan Phan, Psychology senior - Peer Advisor for the Bridging Disciplines Program (UGS)
Grisel Perez, Advertising junior - Peer Advisor in the Center for Strategic Advising (UGS)
Rene Garcia, Undeclared junior - Peer Advisor in the Center for Strategic Advising (UGS)

ACA Scholarship Recipients Doan Phan, Grisel Perez, Rene Garcia

ACA Professional Development Scholarship
This year's ACA Professional Development Scholarship was awarded to Andrea Chytil, Senior Academic Advisor in the McCombs School of Business Undergraduate Program Office.  Andrea currently serves in the role of Secretary for the Academic Counselors Association.
Andrea Chytil receives her Professional Development Scholarship
Thanks to Wendy Boggs and the committee of people who assisted with Awards & Recognition this year.  Additional thanks to all of you who took the time to nominate the candidates for the awards. 
Wendy Boggs, ACA Awards & Recognition Chair

ACA Executive Committee Elections/Speeches
ACA Members wishing to lead our organization for 2011-2012 were given the opportunity to run for office.  This year, 5 of the 6 election positions were given a "pass" because they were running uncontested.  The membership agreed to elect the unopposed nominees, and as a result, did not get an opportunity to give their speech (next time you see one of them, maybe you can get a personal reading).  The one contested office was for Secretary, so candidates Christine Anderson and Jennifer Jordan for this office were asked to give their speeches. 
The rest of the Executive Committee will include:
  • President:  Theresa Thomas (after serving as President-Elect for a year)
  • President-Elect: Nathan Vickers
  • Vice President/Program Chair: Valeri Nichols-Keller
  • Treasurer: Jay Guevara
  • Public Relations Coordinator: Kristin Tommey
  • Co-Historians: Lovelys Powell & Yesenia Sanchez