Friday, November 8, 2013

Committee Chair Spotlight: Professional Development Day Co-Chairs Justin Brady and Alanna Bitzel

       Professional Development Day Co-Chairs
           Justin Brady and Alanna Bitzel


Alanna Bitzel, Academic Counselor – Reading and Writing Programs, Intercollegiate Athletics – Football
Justin Matthew Brady, Senior Academic Advisor, School of Nursing

What committee are you chairing? 

A: I am co-chairing Professional Development Day with the wonderful and well-coiffed Justin Brady from ACA, and from APSA, the lovely Beth Andre and Melissa Wommack.

J: I serve as the co-chair for the Professional Development Day committee, along with the fabulous Alanna Bitzel! We plan the annual ACA/APSA Professional Development Day conference, along with two wonderful co-chairs from APSA.

Why did you want to chair this particular committee?
A: I began working as an Academic Counselor for Football in 2011.  As a new advisor, I have greatly benefited from my involvement in ACA and my interactions with fellow advisors on campus. I wanted to help facilitate a positive learning experience for ACA and APSA members and create an opportunity for members to network with each other.

Justin: I believe that engaging in professional development is crucial to the work and advancement of staff, and I believe that staff at UT-Austin are doing fantastic things! Serving as the co-chair provides me with an opportunity to help encourage and foster professional development among our colleagues. I had the opportunity to serve as the co-chair for the 2011 PDD as a representative from APSA. Being new to ACA, this provides a fun and meaningful way for me to plug in to the advising community.

Why do you think this committee is important to ACA and/or the university?

A: Professional development is important for new and veteran advising professionals. We can always learn something from each other, and PDD creates a supportive time and space for exchanging ideas and best practices and connecting with professionals on campus and beyond.

J: We can certainly learn a lot from what our colleagues in academic advising and student affairs are doing around campus, and Professional Development Day provides an opportunity for us to share with each other, and network with each other. With the high costs associated with attending national and regional conferences and the budget challenges that each unit faces, PDD provides a unique and cost-efficient way for staff to engage in professional development.

What is one thing that you would like the membership to do to support your mission this year? 

A: I want to encourage members to submit proposals to present at PDD and to, of course, attend PDD in February!

J: If by one thing, you mean two, here are my TWO things I'd like the membership to do to support our mission.
  1. Submit a proposal to present at PDD! Think about the fantastic things you are doing in your office, and/or things that you've learned through other conferences, and consider writing a proposal. We have so much to learn from each other!
  2. Network with and get to know the colleagues in ACA and APSA during the conference! There are really remarkable people who work at UT-Austin, and PDD provides you with the opportunity to branch out of your C/S/U. The more we get to know each other, the better we can collaborate and help make this campus even more wonderful!
Is there anything else you want us to know? 
A: In addition to serving as an academic advisor for student athletes, I oversee the in-house writing center for Football.

J: I transitioned into my Advising role a little over six months ago, after spending 3 1/2 wonderful years with the UT Leadership and Ethics Institute (LEI) in the Office of the Dean of Students. Having been on the Student Affairs side, I've had the privilege to work with truly fantastic colleagues all over this campus, and I've been so pleased with the warm welcome I've received in the Advising community.

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