Cheers to 20 Years!
By Tracey Hanton, Community College of Philadelphia
It was a great opportunity to attend this year’s conference and being awarded a grant to do so. My department rarely has any funds for professional development so when my former Dean made it possible for me to attend last year in Philadelphia, it seemed that in order for me to go applying for the grant would be the best way to defray the cost since it was such a distance. When I informed my new Director, that I had received the grant she was pleased with my initiative and located monies to assist as well. What motivated me to want to attend again? First, I had met such fantastic colleagues the year before and I wanted to see them again. Second, I have never been to Niagara Falls and it seemed like an opportune time to go! Third, since it was my first time serving on a committee, it seemed like I should be there. I was glad to have been awarded the scholarship to attend.
I arrived on the 20th so that I could be relaxed for our early morning community service at Worksource. The early arrival gave me an opportunity to walk around the area beforehand and scout out places to eat!
On Wednesday, I participated in the community service project. It was a great experience being at WorkSource in Niagara! I got to work with colleagues from various colleges and universities, most were new to the conference. I recommend to anyone who can participate to do so, it is a great way to meet conference attendees and also help the community that you are visiting. Even though it’s only a couple of hours, I think it is impactful to the attendees. We facilitated a workshop on Networking; helped participants develop elevator pitches and answered career related questions. I assisted a gentleman on developing his own brand for a company/organization that he wanted to launch.
Jodi Glickman kicked off the conference with a new perspective and energized us to continue moving forward. I even had an opportunity to chat with her a bit during the networking reception.
Thursday was an educationally packed day. But before the day got started many of us took a nice walk to the Falls! Simply breathtaking! What a way to get charged up for the many workshops that would await us. The topics ranged from working with international students to tips on how to become a Director. There was something for everyone! Even things that one may not have been thinking about. It was also a chance to gather with like-minded professionals and exchange some best practices with each other.
It surely was not all work- because we got to tour the Culinary Institute! What a fabulous place and of course, we danced into the night while eating pastries made by the students. It was a great way to unwind after the jam packed day we had in sessions. I had an opportunity to tour the area with some other colleagues. Our tour guide was fun and energetic and we met a lovely couple from Australia and even though it was a rain soaked day we enjoyed the tour!
I have already begun implementing some of the information that I gathered from the conference. I cannot possibly put everything that I learned in this blog but I hope that I gave you a picture of what to expect from this conference. I am excited about Reston, VA 2018!!
Tracey Hanton is a recipient of a 2017 EACE Professional Development Grant. She was able to attend the 2017 EACE Annual Conference in Niagara Falls, NY.