ACPA 14 – Reinvent in Indy

Hello all! Last week I had the great privilege of attending my third ACPA (American College Personnel Association aka College Student Educators International) National Convention. I’m still in the process of digesting and reflecting upon the conference. I’m hoping to legitimately put some new ideas from this conference into practice. This year’s national convention took place in Indianapolis. I arrived on Saturday afternoon, just in time to enjoy some nice weather for a few days. I even broke out capris and sandals! Sunday afternoon was the official opening to the convention. The president of the association spoke briefly, followed by 3 keynotes who gave TED style talks (18 minutes around a singular idea).  Of the 3 keynotes, my favorite was Erik Qualman – the author of Socialnomics.

Indy from capitol steps

Here are some ideas I thought were worth sharing – right from my notes.

Shape + achieve + lead = our students thriving

I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever met. What am I offering to them? –> This thought is very similar to one shared by one of my professors during grad school. We are just one part of a person’s journey, for how ever long they need us, and vice versa.

Empowerment is not a single interaction.

Cultural journeys don’t happen all at once.

How do our own identities help or hinder our work?

IN with sandals

The rest are from Erik’s part of opening.

Social media networks are not technology tools. They are relationship tools (Amen!)

We each have a digital stamp. Our digital stamp equals our digital footprint (what we post ourselves) plus our digital shadow (what other people post about us).

Digital leaders are made, not born.

Be FLAWsome. Basically, own up to our mistakes and take measures to correct them.


Overall, opening was great. Very inspiring, as always. There’s so much energy when you’re around a couple thousand people who do similar work as you and you’re all committing a few days to think big, learn, and reflect upon that work. As I process and reflect upon the rest of the conference I hope to share those thoughts here.


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