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President’s Update: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Todd BurrellBy Todd Burrell, President
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville

Wow, where has the year gone! It feels like just yesterday that we were wrapping up yet another wonderful IACAC Annual Conference; we were celebrating the end of the school year, and looking forward to summer. Now, I am wondering where the fall has gone. Just a few days ago, we were welcoming new students to our institutions; gearing up for another school year and for many, hitting road for the travel season. Personally, I feel like it has only been a few short days since I took over as your President. I guess the saying is true; time does fly when you are having a great time. And, I honestly can say I am enjoying my role as President of IACAC and the opportunity to connect with so many both on the state and national level. It is an honor to be able to represent IACAC and be a part of so much that is going on within our association.

So far, in this new IACAC year, we have continued great programs while providing new opportunities for members as well as others within education. From the Middle Management Institute, to Summer Institute, to Camp College to Articulation Unplugged, IACAC committees and members reached out to so many people providing wonderful professional development opportunities. In September, we featured the first ever (to my knowledge) movie screening of “First Generation.”  This effort put on by the Human Relations Committee attracted a big crowd to Niles North High School that not only saw a great movie, but also got to hear and participate in some wonderful discussion. In addition to these activities, the Executive Board of IACAC and Committee Chairs began working with the new board structure. This new opportunity is proving to work very well; allowing the board to focus on some great new issues; while giving committees the ability to lead their many efforts for members. I truly feel this structure allows more IACAC members to showcase their strengths and talents, and the true benefit is what is given back to IACAC and all members. I would like to say a big thanks to our visionaries who worked hard on this process, and to the new board and committee chairs who are helping to make this work.

As stated above, the board has been discussing some new efforts to benefit members, and I encourage you to check the IACAC website and read the listserv for all of the up to date happenings within the association. I would like to share what I deem as an historic moment for IACAC. At the November Executive Board meeting, the board discussed and unanimously voted to approve the first ever IACAC scholarship. I have always felt we should try to give back to the students we assist, and with the help and guidance from so many (a special shout out to the IACAC Alumni for their thoughts and support), we will be able to see this come true at our Annual Conference this May. More details will be on the IACAC website coming January 2013, including opportunities for you to give to this scholarship. Let me just say that your loose change can go far!

So, as we enter the holiday season and the end of another calendar year, it truly is a most wonderful time of the year. We have much to be thankful for even within our own profession. I know I am for one thankful for those in my professional career who have been mentors. I am also thankful for all who I have the chance to connect with on a daily basis. I have always stated that I would not be where I am today without IACAC, and I know that IACAC has provided me with many stories to share. 

Whether you have been in this profession only a few short months, or whether you have served many years (and maybe even have moved on to retirement – to where I know IACAC retirees don’t stop giving back), please take time to reflect on all that you done to impact students and their families. Share the stories, and build your connections. Both IACAC and you will benefit! 

Thank you for the opportunity to serve.

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