posted on August 24, 2020 01:02
Charlie Nutt, NACADA Executive Director
Who would have predicted a year ago when we started planning to celebrate NACADA’s 40th Anniversary, that we would be in the midst of a year marked by global pandemic which has brought terrible destruction to so many lives? In the midst of fear, stress, financial worries, and concern for loved ones, we cling to family, friends and all that brings us a sense of normalcy. Some days it feels like we are standing on shifting sand, trying to find our footing, only to be bowled over by an incoming wave. As I watched the tides come in and out on the beaches of Coastal Georgia, it was so clear we are responsible for how we handle these turbulent times as we can’t stop or change then.
As The Global Community for Academic Advising, NACADA has supported academic advisors for 40 years by creating professional connections which often turn into personal friendships. Our ties with colleagues around the world inspire us to do our best work to support student success through academic advising. At the same time, our connections feed our souls. Whether in person or virtually we all belong to this wonderful, dynamic community of academic advisors. #NACADAFamily is not simply a statement, it is a reality for many of us. And it is important that our association keeps working with our Inclusion and Engagement Committee, our Social Justice Academic Advising Community, our Race, Ethnicity, and Inclusion Work Group, and our Region Review Implementation Team to make #NACADAFamily a reality for all our members and not just a few.
A colleague earlier this year informed me that throughout their professional life NACADA had served as a lodestar, guiding them through tough times, both professionally and personally, and inspiring them to achieve in ways they never dreamed possible. What this colleague failed to mention is that they in turn served as a lodestar to other NACADA members as it is all about learning, sharing, and growing together.
Attending a NACADA event is often the first introduction to connecting with like-minded professionals who support, challenge, and help us become our best selves. Whether through a virtual event, an in-person experience or within the framework of Regions, Advising Communities, or committee initiatives, members engage, learn, and share their expertise. While this year has certainly brought about changes in the ways that we connect, we are resolved to strengthen our Global Community and provide ongoing commitment to you, our members.
A special initiative in NACADA’s 40th anniversary year is member engagement, not only through the work of Joan Krush, Assistant Director of Member Engagement, who has surveyed, contacted, highlighted, and communicated with hundreds of NACADA members, but also through leadership and staff efforts across the association. It is important that our numbers grow and that we never lose the core principle of connection with each other.
NACADA grew out of a compelling vision 40 years ago that continues to this day to create, nurture, and grow a caring and creative community of academic advising professionals who are committed to student success. The field has moved from transactional to transformational and is at the heart of student success. Our ability to respond, especially in the midst of difficult and challenging times, is a hallmark of the association. Today we honor those pioneering spirits 40 years ago who saw a need for a community to come together, share experiences, expertise and develop professionally in order to support students. Today we honor our members who carry on that tradition supporting current students, institutions, and the academic profession.
Be a part of NACADA as we work towards the next 40 years of academic advising and student success.
Charlie Nutt, Executive Director
NACADA: The Global Community for Academic Advising
Cite this article using APA style as: Nutt, C. (2020, September). From the executive director: Honoring our past and looking forward to our future. Academic Advising Today, 43(3). [insert url here]