Author Archive

Busy Month Ahead…

February 18, 2014 Leave a comment

Know what I have been doing for the past week? Hanging out with a great group of academic advisors talking about technology and assessment. Last week, in Albuquerque, NM, I had the great opportunity to attend NACADA’s Technology Seminar and Assessment Institute.

Great week. Lots of knowledge. Brain full. Didn’t go all Scanners.

More on that in a future post. Yes, I said future post. And more than one. As the stars align I hope to be a bit more active in posting here.

This post however? Just more of really checking in and saying hi. Lots of things flying around right now in the office and with professional organizations. Its crazy to think that as one thing begins to wind down twelve more decide to start up.

On tap…

  • Submission of my research group’s initial findings from our research project that has been going on for the last two years.
  • Presentation of those findings at my campus advising conference.
  • Got a wild hair and decided to submit a proposal to both the state and regional advising conferences. Read more…

Getting Ready For 2013 NACADA Annual Conference

September 5, 2013 Leave a comment

All of you academic advisors out there might have heard about this little thing in Salt Lake at the beginning of October. You know, the 2013 NACADA Annual Conference? And right in my backyard this time around. Should make for a unique experience.

So as we all start to put the finishing touches on those presentations, flight plans, social activities and hopefully somewhere to stay, I find myself starting to plan for the experience of an annual conference once again.

For me an annual conference is comprised of many parts. From education to networking to food, it is always good to come with a plan in place. More than just wake up, attend sessions, eat, sleep, repeat. The annual conference is just that big. If you don’t have a plan going into the week, you are not going to make the most of it.

Typically I plan a bucket list of sorts for a conference, of particular sights, sounds, food and people I want to check out in addition to the concurrent sessions of the conference itself. However, being in Salt Lake this year, not so much out there that I have a need to see and do. Read more…

Checking in

August 5, 2013 Leave a comment

Hi all,

Hope the summer has been splendid for you. It has been quite busy for me it seems. That whole thing about having too much on the plate? I think I basically pulverized the plate.

It is one of those times where too much just overwhelms you. You take it day to day. Finish what is priority right then. Other stuff moves off for just a little longer. In the end, you scramble, you get help, you get it done. But it is hectic to say the least.

So over the summer a couple of things cool have been going on:

  • We are prepping for the NACADA National Conference in October. In my neck of the woods. We are furiously analyzing data on our research to present in a concurrent session.
  • Read more…

NACADA Region X Wrap Up

May 20, 2013 Leave a comment

I have to say Tucson, AZ is hot in early May. Like hot hot.

But it doesn’t matter because another NACADA Region X Conference is in the books. And I honestly must say I think this might have just been the best Region X Conference I have been lucky enough to attend yet. From the sessions to the organization to the colleagues, next year better be ready. Game on Jackson Hole.

Over the last week, advisors from around the Rocky Mountain Region came together for education, networking and region building. Nestled next to the main campus for the University of Arizona, the conference put together a wonderful package of sessions and speakers in a spot-on location.

Now I typically do not anticipate attending the Region X Conference just out of pure logistics. It is so very close to the date of the state conference for Utah advisors and it comes near the end of a fiscal cycle where I most likely have already traveled to another conference. But there were a couple of big factors why I specifically wanted to head to Tucson. Read more…

Catching up with @AcAdvChat, Summer Orientation Best Practices

April 2, 2013 Leave a comment

It takes a unique academic advisor to truly get excited about the impending summer orientation that seems to only be a month or two away. Many of us see it as a cringe inducing time stuck in the middle of a summer that really isn’t all the different from the fall and spring semesters.

The level of participation for academic advisors differs from campus to campus with some advising units solely responsible for orienting their students, to full blown orientation offices that do most of the legwork, logistics and planning.

In just the past week our office has shifted into orientation mode with a couple of orientations in the next few weeks for those starting during our summer session. The calendar invites have been flying in to block off time stretching into July. What this year will look like we do not know. What we do know? Orientation is inevitable. Read more…

My New Year Advisor Resolutions

January 15, 2013 Leave a comment

Oh the turn of the new year. Time for renewal and change for the good. Out with the old and in with the new. And all that jazz.

Oh what a year 2012 was in the advising office. Much of the same, yet so much that is different. Small reorganizations to the office structure. Hiring a couple of new advisors. New duties, old duties. Met some great new colleagues from across the country and in my region. Fired up the research engine and tried to give back as I could. All in all, a very busy year.

And 2013, underway for a couple of weeks now, promises to be full of much to look forward towards. And what would a new year be without new year resolutions? It’s a seemingly futile annual exercise for myself on the personal side, but perhaps, just perhaps, some advising resolutions I can truly keep.

So without fanfare or bluster, here are just a couple of things I resolve for 2013. Read more…

This Week in @AcAdvChat, Quick, Cheap & Easy Morale Boosters for Advisors

October 31, 2012 Leave a comment

I have always held to the notion that the workplace is a place of business, but there is always time to stop and laugh. A little room for fun and games every now and then. You know, all work and no play makes Jason something…something.

Now if it is just me, alone on an island, doing all the joking, it might be kind of awkward. So hopefully you are surrounded by a team of colleagues that will join you in a bit of frivolity every now and then. And even better if those above you buy in as well (also known as chipping for a bit of the cost and time if needed).

So yes, finding morale boosters as an advisor is a must. Cheap and easy is even better. So it was wonderful of @AcAdvChat to talk about that very subject this week.

Q1: How much importance does your institution put on morale currently? How much importance do you give it?

The University of Utah, as an institution, seems to invest in both the mental and physical well being of students, staff and faculty. Read more…

The State of Journalism

October 22, 2012 Leave a comment

Pardon this interruption to your normally scheduled programming.

The past couple of years have not been kind to the newspaper world. The advent of this thing called the Internet has really been a thorn in the side of print journalism.

Social media has played a role in taking a few shots as well. Journalists subscribe to the thought of KISS, or keep it short and simple (or my fav keep it simple stupid). But in a world of 140 character status updates in real time, how does one keep the profession of journalism alive.

As I was ending my time as a sport reporter at the small outfit of The Kerrville Daily Times, the world of online journalism was exploding. I was part of early incarnations of websites devoted to regurgitation of the previous day news.  The Internet evolved to present the news instantly. As that happened, newspapers quickly became old news. Readership dwindled.

Cities with multiple newspapers went away over the later half of the 20th century. And now even cities with single newspaper cities are starting to feel the crunch on if a paper newspaper is really all that feasible.

So do newspapers exist down the road? I would venture to say yes. The old guard will hold onto their paper and coffee in the morning. Just like books. Books will be around. There is a need.

But the next couple of years is going to be very interesting to see on how they evolve to meet the needs of their readers. Will more move to an entirely online format (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)? Do print journalist need to adjust their writing style to expand on the bigger picture rather than the immediate facts?

And the bigger question I suppose is how do all the j-schools out there adjust to the nature of the beast? Does digital journalism play a much bigger role in how journalists are educated?

Whatever the direction, it is interesting to sit back and watch where journalism is headed. Definitely a marriage of traditional ideals vs. future technology.

Catching Up with @AcAdvChat, #NACADA12 Conference Wrap Up & Taking Info Back to Campus

October 9, 2012 Leave a comment

What can I say? NACADA 2012 treated me well. I thoroughly enjoyed every aspect of the conference except for maybe lunch. It was great making new connections and restoring old ones. Energy renew as stated before.

Something else that needs to be restored? My ability to join my fellow academic advisors for the weekly @AcAdvChat. So until I somehow get my staff meeting moved or the chat time changes or I create a rip in time, I suppose I will get back to regaling you with my after thoughts.

Just this afternoon @AcAdvChat wrapped up an hour devoted to looking back over the past weekend and seeing just what academic advisors do with the bevy of overflowing information in their heads when they return back to their home institution. So if you would allow me my two cents…

MOD: Today’s #AcAdv Chat topic is #NACADA12 Conference Wrap Up & Taking Info Back to Campus.

Q1: Does your office/dept have a set plan for sharing information when advisors go to conferences?

There is nothing set in stone, but there is an expectation that should an advisor run into something that would benefit the whole they should share that with the rest of the office. Read more…

Thanks NACADA 2012-Nashville

October 8, 2012 4 comments

Another year, another NACADA national conference down. And just when I start to think I should expect the same, it throws me a curve and my eyes are opened to a whole new set of possibilities.

In the past I had fully focused in on presentational themes, trying to pick and choose a group of sessions over the conference to take an idea or two back to the office. A little education for others and possibly a test run on some ideas.

I had a few themes this time around:

  • Peer advising
  • Hiring new advisors
  • Becoming an advising director

But I quickly found that this conference was going to be about the solid networking connections I would be making. From the #advtech group to fellow practitioner scholars to members of the NACADA executive office, it was a great experience. It showed me where some of the real power of a conference lies. But fret not, ideas a plenty I did take away! Great sessions.

So a quick recap of the past couple of days.

Day 1 Read more…


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