Entry-Level Professionals Workshop Review

On Thursday, September 28th, 2017, NECPA, BACHA, and MA-NASPA co-hosted the 2017 Entry Level Professional Workshop (ELPW) at Fitchburg State College in Fitchburg, Massachusetts. This local, annual workshop, co-hosted by NECPA, BACHA, and MA-NASPA is an opportunity for Student Affairs professionals, whether brand new to the field or with a few years’ experience, to engage, learn, and grow through educational sessions and opportunities to network within the region.

Dr. Susan Marine, Associate Professor and Program Director of the Merrimack College’s Higher Education Master’s Program was the keynote speaker.  Dr. Marine talked about how student affairs educators are transforming our college campuses.  Presenters came from Boston College, Boston University, Bentley University, Becker College, Berklee College of Music, Mount Wachusett Community College, UMass Dartmouth, UMass Lowell, and Lead365. There were thirteen sessions covering supervising, career longevity, wellness, professional development and advocacy.

Fifty-six new, mid-level, and senior professionals attended the conference. Conference Co-chair and BACHA New Professionals Co-chair, Jen Stone, summarized the experience best:

“In such a busy time of year, it is incredible to see so many professionals of different levels coming together to develop themselves when it would be easier to not take a day off and stay at their jobs to get work done. Attendance is higher this year, and it shows that professional development is valued in the region. It’s nice to know that a small conference like ELPW can be impactful for professionals of all levels.”

SA Camp 3.0

I am thrilled to have the opportunity to be on the planning committee for Student Affairs Camp 2017 (aka SA Camp 3.0). As a grad student, I participated in the very first SA Camp in 2014 and as a first-year professional I presented as a “Camp Counselor” during SA Camp 2.0 in 2016. It is by far my favorite professional development opportunity.

You may be curious about why anyone would want to spend a weekend, in the summer, at a conference… Well, the entire point is that SA Camp is actually based on an unConference model. SA Campers do yoga, hike, meditate, and enjoy the New England weather. We do these activities while having conversations that range from casual to intense, but are all meaningful, intentional, and encourage us to get outside of our comfort level. Seriously, it is adult summer camp! After each SA Camp I have felt refreshed and ready for the fall semester to begin.

The connections that I have made during SA Camp have had a major impact on my life, professionally and personally. Little did I know that just six months after my most recent SA Camp experience, I would run into a fellow camper during an interview! I knew Brianne worked at Endicott College, but I didn’t realize I would see her. Sure enough, as I walked in the Student Center, Brianne’s office was right in front of me. I knocked and she gave me a huge hug while welcoming me to her campus. I could not have asked for a better way to start a daylong interview, or to feel more welcome at a new institution. The day of my interview started on such a positive note by seeing Brianne and sure enough I’ve been fortunate to work at Endicott ever since! The true beauty of SA Camp is that campers come from all over and you never know what new connections you will make.

Please join me this summer in Keene, NH for SA Camp 3.0. If you have questions, feel free to reach out via email!

For more information and to register online please visit the event page at https://newengland.myacpa.org/event/sacamp2017/.

Jillian Toce, M.Ed.
SA Camp Planning Committee
Area Director, Endicott College

Directorate Board Friday: Matthew Denham

Matthew Denham, Graduate Student Liaison

Current Title and Institution: Associate Director of Campus Life for Student Engagement at Montserrat College of Art

What do you do as the Associate Director of Campus Life for Student Engagement?
I am responsible for orientation, student programming and leadership development.

What do you love about working at your current institution?
I am new to the institution but I already love how friendly and welcoming all the staff, faculty and students have been.

How did you get involved in the New England College Personnel Association (NECPA)?
While in graduate school I didn’t know a whole lot about ACPA so I attended a social hosted by NECPA to help me get a better understanding of what the ACPA conference was and who was going from our region.  After that I stuck with the NECPA group and attended their geo-socials while in ACPA as well as their drive in conference.

When you aren’t working or focusing on your NECPA role, how do you spend your free time?
In my free time I am either at the movie theater or out trying to find something fun to do with my girlfriend.  I also do like to run but that is typically before I go to work, not as much during my “free time”.

Who inspired you to get involved in Higher Education?
The individuals who really got me inspired to go into higher education were my first advisers and supervisors while at Anna Maria College, Sarah Brethauer Johnson and Brian Quinlan.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?
The most valuable lesson I have learned so far is to make sure I respect my work-life balance.  While I feel I am still very early into my career I believe I need to find the appropriate balance for myself being a new professional.

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?
I can’t say I have much yet on my higher ed bucket list being so fresh into things besides getting the mentorship program going for NECPA (for now of course!)

Why should professionals in New England get involved in NECPA?
I believe professionals should get involved with NECPA because it is a growing chapter of ACPA and I think it really has the potential to offer a variety of resources to the whole New England area where we can all benefit from the experience of each other.

Directorate Board Friday: Ben Lamb

Ben Lamb, President

Current Title and Institution: Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Involvement at Williams College

What do you do as the Assistant Director?
I oversee our recognized student organizations, our programming board, our student run business ventures, leadership programming, and am a collaborator on a number of larger projects such as our first year experience, sophomore year experience, our alternative spring break programming and a smattering of other pieces and parts.

What do you love about working at your current institution?
I love the diversity of my role, in that I wear a million different hats and at any given point a new challenge or opportunity may arise to be tackled or appreciated.

How did you get involved in the New England College Personnel Association (NECPA)?
I started off my involvement my first year in Grad School as a member of the Massachusetts College Personnel Association. I helped setup their conference in the wee hours of the morning and got hooked immediately. It became a professional “home” for me where I could hone my networking skills for larger conventions and always could find friendly faces to collaborate or commiserate with. Before I knew it I was running for a member at large, co-chairing our drive-in conference and then eventually running for President. At the time of running for President was also when we as an organization decided to broaden our reach and become inclusive of all of New England, so one could say, I was there for the birth of our organization.

When you aren’t working or focusing on your NECPA role, how do you spend your free time?
Free time is a funny phrase to me. When I’m not focusing on NECPA or working at Williams, I am the City Council President of the City of North Adams, a homeowner/husband/dog-parent, a PhD student at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, until recently was the owner of a cafe, and am an expecting parent. I’m also a gardener, traveler, and spicy food afficionado. The key to life and adventure is a full tank of gas, and discovering the 25th hour of the day.

Who inspired you to get involved in Higher Education?
I had a few mentors along the way, but my advisor at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Celia Norcross, probably played the biggest role in my eventual decision to leave my life of luxury as a Chemist/Biologist and leap back into the higher education community. That said, I’ve been mentored and inspired by dozens of people since making that decision and through to this very day.

What is the most valuable lesson you have learned in your career (so far)?
Innovation doesn’t always mean forgetting the past. Much that is new, has been. It’s just a matter of doing your research, developing your context, being willing to fail, and giving it a go.

What is on your Higher Ed bucket list?
Get published. Get my PhD. Teach for credit bearing courses. And heck, why not…be a college president someday.

Why should professionals in New England get involved in NECPA?
We all know that the large conventions and organizations are sort of that shiny object that people want to be connected to and with, they are the places where you’ll meet the most faces. At times, however, those organizations can feel cliquey and somewhat insurmountable in terms of finding your way to showcase yourself. NECPA on the other hand, is a home. It’s a space where whether you are a long term member or a brand new introduction, you are embraced with open arms. You can get as heavily involved as you want, and nobody is going to stop you. You can connect with leaders in the field, but they feel like long-time friends. You can leave, come back, and leave again, but we will always be there ready to greet you as a colleague and peer. NECPA will develop your body, heart and mind through meaningful connectivity, unique opportunities, and inclusive compassion.