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2014 EACE Annual Conference: What First Time Attendees Thought

2014 EACE Annual Conference:

What First Time Attendees Thought

EACE Blog contribution by Jill Milon, College Recruitment &
Career Services Consultant

The 2014 EACE Conference in Annapolis was one of the best yet!  The pre-conference tour of the U.S. Naval Academy and leadership workshop were awesome.  The keynote speaker, Jon Vroman Co-Founder of the Front Row Foundation, was motivating and energizing.  The sessions were educational and thought-provoking.  As always, the conference was fun and was a great opportunity to network and catch-up with old friends.

Since this conference veteran always enjoys the EACE conference, I reached out to a bunch of first-time conference attendees for their thoughts.  I was very excited to receive a tremendous response from first-time attendees.  Here’s what some first time conference attendees thought of this year’s event…

 Alicia Audino

Assistant Director – Career Center, The College of St. Rose

EACE President, Jennifer Barr and EACE President-elect, Scott Rappaport

EACE President, Jennifer Barr and EACE President-elect, Scott Rappaport

“I had amazing experience as a newcomer to EACE. I had previously attended other conferences solo and never really enjoyed myself or felt very welcome, but with EACE, the first thing I did was attend the newcomer lunch and immediately felt like part of the “family”.  Not only was I able to connect with other solo newcomers, but I was greeted by the President Elect Scott and a few other veteran EACE members who really made me feel comfortable and welcomed.  I was able to build lasting networking relationships with other new professionals as well as veterans in the field.  There were great learning experiences inside and out of the sessions.  This was my first, but definitely will not be my last EACE conference!”

Jennifer Barone

Jennifer Barone

Jennifer Barone
Credit: LinkedIn

Career Services and Employment Relations Specialist, Office of Career Services and Internships at University of Massachusetts Boston

“The conference was a wonderful experience.  It provided me with a lot of great ideas and best practices that I can incorporate into my work.  Everyone was welcoming and friendly and I am looking forward to continuing to build professional relationships with those I met at the conference.  The conference reenergized me and I very excited to start planning for the next academic year.”

Brenda Campbell

Employer Outreach Specialist, Endicott College Career Center


Enjoying Annapolis

“This was my first EACE Conference and I was very impressed with the entire program. I especially enjoyed the Keynote speakers and found them very insightful and motivating. I focused most of my time on the Employer Engagement and University Relations breakout sessions and found that at each breakout, I was able to find a couple items to possibly implement here at Endicott College. Even with my previous work experience including the Campus Relationship Manager at Philips North America, I felt the programs were enriching for both the employer and university side with new ideas at each session. But, I have to say the best breakout session I went to was “Turning Followers and Likes into Contagious Content” I think mostly because of the lack of knowledge I have in the social media area, along with how well the presenters at the University of Maryland helped me see that even I can use social media to better engage Students with the Career Center. Thank you for a great conference and great people. Well done.”

Claire Childress

Senior Assistant Director for Job Search and Graduate School Preparation, Virginia Tech Career Services

Living Life in the Front Row

Living Life in the Front Row

“It has been over 15 years since I was a newcomer at a conference, so I wasn’t sure what to expect attending EACE for the first time. I want to thank all of you for the warm welcome. From the preconference visit to the Naval Academy, which was absolutely wonderful, to Jon Vroman’s inspirational keynote to the informative breakout sessions I attended, to the dancing at Philip’s, the conference was a well-organized meeting. Thanks to all who made it possible. I see why several of my colleagues are so involved in EACE. You guys rock. It definitely is “the Teamwork that makes the Dream work for EACE.” Thanks again!”

Anne Marie Gercke

Anne Marie and Katie Damon from Thomas Jefferson University enjoying the EACE @ Ease conference entertainment

Anne Marie and Katie Damon, Thomas Jefferson University, enjoying the EACE @ Ease

Associate Director, Career Services at University of Pennsylvania

“My favorite part of the EACE conference was listening to Jon Vroman’s inspiring speech. He kicked off the conference so well by reminding us to truly commit to our goals and aim to live our lives in the front row. The many creative and informative sessions to follow served as a great supplement to the keynote, giving us the tools to better achieve success and to best serve our students. I feel like I learned so much from the 2014 EACE Conference – I hope I get the chance to attend again!”

Claire Kilbourne, SPHR

Employer Deep Dive Breakfast

Employer Deep Dive Breakfast

Manager, University Relations at The Hershey Company

“This was my first visit to an EACE event. Friday was great and I met some amazing professionals! Thanks so much and I look forward to future events!”

Comment Credit: LinkedIn EACE Group

Lewis A. Leitner, Ph.D.

Lewis A. Leitner, Ph.D.

Lewis A. Leitner, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Graduate and Continuing Studies – The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey

“This was my first visit to the EACE conference and it was my first opportunity to present at the conference. I found the “culture” of the organization to be wonderfully open and embracing. Many, many friendly people willing to share ideas and thoughts. I found myself with very participative and engaged individuals who attended my session on “The Next Leadership Problems”. I came away with a very strong impression that this is a high value organization.”

Emma Fridley Maynard

Recruiting Programs Coordinator, James Madison University


Emma Maynard

“I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to represent James Madison University at EACE this year! What an incredible first time experience it was for me. I was able to meet new connections as well as reconnect with some familiar faces in a fantastic and collaborative setting. I not only had the chance to share some of our office’s best practices but took back so many new and interesting pieces of information to share with my colleagues at JMU! Can’t wait for next year!”

Kristian N. McCloud

Kristian and Quayla Allen, George Mason University

Kristian and Quayla Allen, George Mason University

Employment Development Specialist, Office of Career Development and Placement Assistance – University of Pittsburgh

“As a newcomer to the EACE Conference, I had no idea what to expect.  Luckily, I encountered an amazing group of welcoming, supportive folks and ran into some old and met some new colleagues!  I began my journey in career counseling and recently switched to employer relations so I was excited to attend employer-led sessions.  They all provided great insight into what companies are looking for in their target schools and recruiting practices in general.  I look forward to the 2015 EACE Conference in Pittsburgh and I have even volunteered to serve as Co-Chair for the Exhibitors Committee!”

Kelly McVicar

George Washington University colleagues -- all first-timers

Kelly and GWU colleagues
(all first-timers)

Employer Relations Coordinator, Center for Career Services at The George Washington University

“As a first time EACE attendee, I was impressed by the sense of community I felt among the conference attendees.  It was great to hear what other colleges are up to and I came back with some good ideas for marketing our career services events to students.”

Ryan Mooney

Assistant Director of Career Development, Chestnut Hill College


EACE @ Ease

“My first time attending the EACE Conference last week in Annapolis was a great experience! All of the sessions I attended were interesting and informative. I definitely have new ideas to bring back to my office! In addition, by being a member of the Entertainment Committee, I kept myself busy by attending all of the exciting events that we had planned. Waking up for the Historic Walking Tour led by a former Annapolis mayor and Friday morning yoga with Gerald was not easy, but absolutely worth it! In addition, our EACE at Ease Reception at Phillips was a huge success! I especially enjoyed the captain’s hat I got to wear all night! Looking forward to Pittsburgh!”

Justin Oliver

Justin enjoying the hospitality suite!

Justin enjoying the hospitality suite!

Employer Relations & Career Services Coordinator, Office of Career Services at The College at Brockport, State University of New York

“My colleague Chris & I (The College at Brockport) had a wonderful time at the conference. I really enjoyed the great sessions and give TWO THUMBS up to the Keynote speaker. I learned a lot from his presentation and really appreciated his message. My favorite thing from the conference was the people. It was awesome to have the opportunity to make some new friends in the field and I can’t wait for the reunion in Pittsburgh!”

Tiffany Waddell

Tiffany Waddell

Tiffany Waddell

Assistant Director, Career Education & Coaching – Office of Personal & Career Development at Wake Forest University

“As a newcomer (and presenter) I found that everyone I met during the conference was very friendly and willing to share tips and best practices.  It was also very encouraging to have positive feedback on presentation/discussion during the conference – and I have been getting emails with feedback, too.  I loved my EACE 2014 experience!”

Megan Wolleben

Assistant Director, Career Development Center – Bucknell University

Megan, Gerald Tang from Columbia University and Shannon Kelly from UPenn

Megan, Gerald Tang from Columbia University and Shannon Kelly from UPenn

“The whole conference was a highlight. Although it was my first time attending, I felt like I’ve been going for years. The EACE community is so welcoming, friendly, and fun! I thought all the break out sessions I attended were incredibly informative.  I love the chance to network with not only other career service professionals but employers as well. I think I took the most notes during Tiffany Wadell’s presentation and University of Maryland’s presentation, but I didn’t leave any session without at least one page of notes.  I also walked away valuing – as I look at my notes – that I can put names to faces and easily follow up with any of the presenters knowing they will be more than happy to help me and will remember (at least by name) that I was at EACE.”

To see more attendee thoughts on the conference via Storify, check out the links below.


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