If your work speaks for itself, don’t interrupt. ~Henry J. Kaiser
My first post on this blog reflected on some of the amazing people and presentations at the ACPA 2011 annual conference. As a result of attending the conference this year, I have given a lot of thought to how my interactions and what I learned can shape and improve my work as a professional and development as a person. Here are some ways I plan on being more for the students and professionals I work with, and myself.
Be more informed by reading about topics such as self-efficacy, empowering women, intersecting identities, international student support, and social justice. My goal is to read one personal and professional book a month, read the Journal of College Student Development each month, and reading blogs related to the field. I am also going to challenge myself to read/expose myself to different points of view that I do not necessarily agree with to expand my perspective and appreciation for different viewpoints.
Reflect more on positive and difficult situations. Every month, I will visit with one of the members of my professional “board of directors” and engage him or her in a conversation about different experiences. I would also like to challenge myself to post weekly or every other week, on this blog!
Be more willing to try new things. I made a conscious decision this year to dive head first into the flourishing social media culture associated with Student Affairs. I threw myself into a tweeting frenzy and was surprised at how rewarding this engagement was on multiple levels. Through twitter, I was introduced to a multitude of different professionals who rocked my world. Twitter allowed me to see what others at the conference were learning and share what I was learning. I am still actively involved in twitter, have been inspired to start a blog, and have lurked in my first #sachat.
Empower more. At ACPA, I was empowered to explore my own intersecting identities through joining a standing committee & a commission, purchasing a book about empowerment, researching opportunities to get involved/volunteer/present next year, and networking with outstanding professionals who can provide insight, criticism, and inspiration. I realized last night (when asked to speak to a group of multicultural students about culture) that I am in a position to empower others to explore and recognize their own identities, and their whole, complicated, beautiful selves. On top of this, I shared the message that each individual needs to understand their own complexity and not allow others (or ourselves) to be reduce us to a single uni-dimensional aspect of who we are. The response to sharing this message with others was powerful. (I will talk more about this in another post soon to come.)
How will you move from reflection to action in order to be more for students, each other, and yourself?