If you were following me on social media the past week, you undoubtedly know that I was at the 2015 ACPA Convention in Tampa, FL. This marked my 7th ACPA Convention (2000 in Washington, DC with NASPA; 2010 in Boston; 2011 in Baltimore; 2012 in Louisville; 2013 in Las Vegas; 2014 in Indianapolis; and this past year) and the first one in three years where I was not serving on the convention planning team. While my time was not filled with convention planning team fun, it was filled with other incredible experiences.

1. ACPA Digital Task Force – Meetings and Initial Report


The ACPA Digital Task Force, co-chaired by Tony Doody and me, convened the group prior to the start of convention to go through our initial report and discuss its emergent themes. The Task Force’s sub-groups all did thoughtful and meaningful work leading up to convention and provided our scheduled time together with spirited dialogue and conversation around the complexity of the use of digital technology in higher education. Certainly, we were proud to have an updated version of Erik Qualman‘s book ready for the convention: “What Happens on Campus Stays on YouTube” which served as one of the books of the ACPA 2015 Convention common read program.

Tony and I did meet with the ACPA Governing Board during convention and presented our team’s initial findings and themes, which were met with such excitement that we have are¬†pushing up the timeline of our final report so the Board can act quickly to begin implementing some of the great ideas to move digital technology forward in our work. Once we have an updated report in place, we will be broadly sharing it for feedback and recommendations before final submission. Stay tuned for more details ūüôā

2. Presentations

I had the pleasure of presenting two sessions at this year’s convention, one at the Convention “Genius Labs” entitled, “Twitter: Beyond the Basics” and one with Paul Brown entitled, “Educators Selfie: Analysis and Suggestions for Institutional Social Media Implementation.” Both sessions were received well¬†with some great discussion both in person and online. Over the coming weeks, I’ll be sharing some posts on common questions I got during both sessions as a way to break down the information a bit deeper with more ways to operationalize it on your campus.

3. Receiving a Diamond Honoree Award

Last fall, I received a Google Hangout call from both Heather Shea Gasser and Rachel Beech that they had nominated me for an ACPA Diamond Honoree Award and that I had been selected. During the convention, I received the award in front of over 200 colleagues and friends that I deeply respect and admire. In particular, I was grateful for the love and support of the folks who sat at my table along with Heather, Rachel, and I, including Dr. Cathy Holbrook, Brian Salvaggio, Tony Doody, Teri Bump, Dr. Ann Marie Klotz, Josie Ahlquist, and Valerie Heruska¬†(pictured above).¬†I do not take the significance of this honor in my professional career for granted. I remain humbled and will continue to make contributions in leadership and action to the higher education profession as long as I am able. I am grateful to Josie for capturing the moment so I could share it with my family and friends… and all of you!

Final Thoughts

This year’s ACPA convention did not disappoint. The opening/closing speakers and general sessions that I got to sit in were emotional and thought provoking (more on this in a future post); the Genius Labs and Social Media Command Center continued to serve a meaningful (and very cool) purpose; and I got reconnect with many members of the #SAchat, #SAdoc, and #SAfit communities. I remain¬†grateful to the leadership at Bridgewater State University, who continue to invest in my professional development. I hope that what I learn at these events have manifested itself through excellent work both on and off campus.
credit: @ericakthompson
However, in the end, as it is every year for me, it’s about the people, the relationships… the evolution of connections both newly formed and well established. For me,¬†these events recharge¬†my¬†soul, helping me continue to do good work for our students and staffs. My hope is that folks who attend these events also find these connections and can build meaningful, sustained relationships.
Oh, and finally… not that need any additional motivation, but it is exciting to think that at next year’s convention, I could be “Dr. Cabellon” ūüôā #fingerscrossed
Whether you were there with us in Tampa or online following the hashtag or the online offerings… what did you learn at this year’s ACPA Convention? How was your experience overall?

One Comment

  • Thank you so much for this post! I was unable to attend because of financial and academic reasons, but I loved reading this. Are there specific hashtags for your sessions? I would love to see some of the discussion that happened during them!

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