Last week, I had the opportunity to interview ACPA President and Master of Higher Education Administration and Doctorate of Education Program Director Gavin Henning about leadership opportunities and getting involved with ACPA. I asked Gavin if he wanted to take our video chat live so I could share it all with you, and he happily accepted! I’m glad he did, because there are so many great resources and words of advice in our short conversation. We really packed it in!
The biggest takeaways from my conversation with Gavin came from his leadership story as well as his advice to new professionals and graduate students. Gavin’s involvement with ACPA grew through making connections, taking the initiative to lean in and sign on to different projects within the commissions, and step up into leadership roles when they were made available to him. We might not always think we’re ready to step up and lead, but Gavin’s story highlights the fact that sometimes, our mentors and colleagues know us best, and with their challenge and support, we can take the leap and begin our leadership journeys. (His story about running for ACPA President is an inspiring one, and had to be my favorite part of his answer to my first question!)
Gavin shared a wealth of resources with us in the question-and-answer session, and I wanted to pass on some of the links to you. The ACPA Ambassadors program is a fantastic one, and I encourage new professionals to check it out! The Next Gen Convention has been opened up to student affairs professionals who are working full-time in the field but have not yet pursued graduate studies, which is an incredibly exciting opportunity for some of our colleagues to explore. As Gavin and I both mention in our conversation, mentoring is one of the most important aspects of anyone’s leadership story, so I would encourage each of you to check out ACPA Grow, or find a mentor through one of the other ways to get involved with the organization!
Here’s some more information on each of the initiatives mentioned in the conversation:
If you missed our live session, please feel free to watch the entire conversation below. Thank you again, Gavin, for taking the time to share your experience (and a few laughs!) with me, as well as provide our graduate students and new professionals with many opportunities to grow, serve, and lead within ACPA. What steps have you taken to invest in your professional development? Have you considered these initiatives through ACPA?
Originally posted at Leadership Development & Life in the Yellowhammer State.