Masters student Alex Lange, presents an update from Day 1 of the 2014 ACPA Conference:

Greetings from Indianapolis! Last night, ACPA 2014 kicked off officially with a re-invented opening session! In TEDTalk style – being dubbed HEd Talks for the Convention – we heard from three amazing speakers with messages that relate to our work in student affairs. Kohl Crecelius, founder of Krochet Kids, discussed what empowerment means and how to empower others to create positive social change. Cathy Bao Bean engaged the audience in a humorous but poignant discussion around multiple identities and how our work as educators must be rooted in a place of understanding. Finally, Erik Qualman discussed social media and how it enhances our work, not replaces it. After the opening session, it was great to see many friends of the program.

I have enjoyed my time so far at Convention, specifically the time I’ve spent with the #saUGA411 family! Just today, I was able to engage with three of our amazing doctoral grads — Dr. Christa Porter ’13, Dr. Tiffany J. Davis ’13, and Dr. Ginny Jones ’14 (graduating in May). Talk about three incredibly fierce women who I am blessed to know and get to call Friend-tors (friends who also are mentors).

I have also been able to spend quality time with Dr. Darren Pierre ’13 and Dr. T.W. Cauthen ’04 ’12, both of whom have such strong presence in ACPA leadership. Darren was recognized last night for his outstanding service as the Chair for the Commission for Student Involvement, which is this year’s recipient of the Distinguished Commission Award from ACPA. Dr. Merrily Dunn, Dr. Danny Glassmann ’12, and Dr. J. Matthew Garrett ’08 ’14 presented their findings from their research study on gay men and faith development during a conference session. The presentation attendees, including myself, were engaged from start to finish. They are just a few of the #saUGA411 members presenting this year. We are everywhere!

As a second-year student in the CSAA-M program, I truly feel blessed to be a member of the #saUGA411 family. I am surrounded by experienced professionals (our faculty, our current doctoral students, and our graduates) who want nothing less than for me to succeed. By becoming a doctoral student in our program, you have the opportunity to work with distinguished faculty while developing your own research and identity as a scholar. In my opinion, one of the hidden gems of the program is having the ability to develop sustainable mentorships and friendships within the program, faculty-to-student and doc student-to-master’s student. Our program is not only about educating individuals, but also, it is about cultivating a supportive community that lasts beyond commencement.

Written by Alex Lange, CSAA-M ’14. 
Alex is a second year Masters student in the CSAA program.  A graduate of Florida Atlantic University’s Honors College, Alex is currently a Graduate Assistant in the Office of Student Leadership and Service at Emory University.  Alex enjoys student development theory and his research interests reflect that.  Most recently, Alex has devoted much of his time to a project focused on understanding the development of students’ multiple dimensions of identity in relation to campus environments.  After the program, Alex hopes to continue his path as a true scholar-practitioner in the field of student affairs.

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