Deciding to Be More in B’more

As you remember from last week, I had the opportunity to travel to Baltimore for a conference. This wasn’t just any old conference. It was the annual national conference for ACPA (American College Personnel Association).

My name badge with some flair. I loved the Twitter buttons best!

This year’s theme was simply “Be More.” During my 4 days at the conference, I found myself thinking, “How can I be more…involved? aware? thoughtful? reflective? in my current roles of graduate assistant and intern and in my future role as a career counselor?” Since coming home and going back to work, I’ve also started to wonder, “How can I be more present in life outside of work/school?”

  • Involved: joining and participating in MCPA (Minnesota College Personnel Association) when I move to MN in June; participating more on the national level of ACPA with the Standing Committee for Women and possibly also the Standing Committee for Graduate Students and New Professionals
  • Aware: read about topics in and out of my function area; read, enjoy, reflect on, & share my newly purchased book “Empowering Women in Higher Education and Student Affairs” by Penny Pasque and Shelley Errington Nicholson; do a better job of keeping up with news in the higher education sector
  • Thoughtful: keep up connections with people that I met at the conference; don’t accept everything at face value – ask questions when needed (as Penny wrote in my “Empowering Women” book: “Keep changing dominant paradigms!”)
  • Reflective: make time to be reflective (as I’ve realized this academic year, I have some issues with having consistent reflection from week to week) – heck, it took me more than a week to sit down to write this “reflection of ACPA” blog post.
  • Present in Life Outside of Work/School: self-care is the big one here. I’m doing pretty good with self-care this semester. I took the Thursday & Friday after the conference off from work and my internship. Best. Idea. Ever. I was so exhausted from all the traveling related to ACPA plus I hadn’t stayed in one place for a whole day in over 2 weeks. The little vacay was just what I needed! Now that spring is finally arriving in Wisconsin, I’m hoping to spend more time outside soon. There may even be a hike in my near future (or at least a really decent walk or two around Whitewater).

I did have a wonderful time at the conference. I hope I have the opportunity to go again in the near future…maybe next year in Louisville? Next year’s theme is “Create Possibilities” and to me, that just screams career-related programming. I may just have to try my hand at submitting a proposal to present next year. 🙂 If anything, I want to present at the state level during the next academic year, if possible. I’m also enjoying the other book I bought at the conference, “Becoming Socialized in Student Affairs Administration: A Guide for New Professionals and their Supervisors.” I started reading this on the plane ride home and am really enjoying it so far.

Main registration area for the conference.

Me at the Inner Harbor in Baltimore

Residential Baltimore from atop Federal Hill.

A seagull that isn't afraid of people.

I think that my favorite part of the whole ACPA experience was sharing with my friend/classmate/co-worker Steph. The conference would have been so different if I had gone with someone else.

What has been your favorite experience or learning moment from a conference, workshop, or training session?


9 thoughts on “Deciding to Be More in B’more

  1. Shelley Errington Nicholson says:

    Hi Ellen,

    Glad you are enjoying the book. Thanks again for purchasing it and sharing it with others!!


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