Anyone can ask for a donation to be made for a charity, but holding an event that promotes wellness and exercise on top of using it as a fundraiser was a fantastic, philanthropic choice.
By Sonia Fisher
Conference Grant Recipient
Southwestern Illinois College
IACAC is not just an organization in which admissions professionals can be involved, but it is a community of professionalism, friendship, networking, philanthropy, knowledge building, and most of all…fun. When I first began in admissions, almost ten years ago, I made some great friends and colleagues through the IACAC Annual Conference. As I have transitioned in my career, I was unable to participate in the annual conference for a few years. During this time away, I realized how much you miss and how many changes happen when unable to attend the conference.
This year was the first conference that I have attended since 2007 and it did not disappoint. There was a great selection of sessions offered during each time slot geared toward the diverse group of attendees. As someone who went from recruiting at a four-year institution to recruiting at a community college, I found the information at many of the sessions to be useful for both types of institutions. I would have to say that my favorite session was the institutional-type break-out sessions held on the Friday morning of the conference. The ability to meet and discuss topics specifically geared toward community colleges gave me the opportunity to learn about what other schools are doing and ask questions regarding items I am interested in pursuing.
Not only is IACAC important for professional development, but this organization does great things to give back to the communities we serve in Illinois. The IACAC scholarship is such an extraordinary way to show support to the students with whom we work. I felt it was fantastic to have the students (if they were able to attend) accept their award at the conference. It was a great way to reward the student and the guidance counselor who made the nomination.
I must say, as an overall impression of the conference, the 5K was possibly one of my favorite highlights. Anyone can ask for a donation to be made for a charity, but holding an event that promotes wellness and exercise on top of using it as a fundraiser was a fantastic, philanthropic choice. The event was filled with fun, camaraderie, and maybe even a little competitiveness. Most of all, those who participated seemed to have a great time and cheered on all the rest of the participants as each crossed the finish line.
Overall, the conference was a great experience. Not only did I bring back ideas that can be put into practice, I also developed professional contacts, new colleagues, and friends. I hope to continue my involvement in IACAC as well as attend future conferences. There are always great experiences and new knowledge to gain when attending such a well run conference by such a dedicated organization.