Hello again from your co-chairs, Jemilia and Christina. Now that you have created your new year’s resolutions, we want to continue the art of reflection through our interview with previous co-chairs, Marguerite Bonous-Hammarth (M) and Leanna Fenneberg (L).
Enjoy our final part of this two-part series!
Q: What did you learn from being a SAPAA KC Co-Chair?
M: I was always an organized person, but the SAPAA leadership made me more so. I was amazed at how many projects and activities could be accomplished through collaborative planning, and I gained even deeper regard for my co-chair, Leanna, my KC leadership team, and the colleagues around NASPA who worked so diligently on behalf of the organization. The connections within and across the organization really provided me with a richer context surrounding the profession and professional development issues, grounded evidence about approaches and potential interventions which supported volunteers and projects, and opportunities to stretch and lean in about ideas and activities that were important to me. I hope that I also was able to reach back to mentor as much as I reached forward and always found helpful hands for support.
L: As a Co-Chair for SAPAA, I learned so much about the NASPA organization and association volunteer leadership, and delved deeper into literature and best practice models for an essential area of our work - Student Affairs and Academic Affairs partnerships. But what I gained most was the professional and personal relationships that were established through our work together - relationships that are long-standing and contribute in an ongoing way to collaborative presentations, writing, campus support and other networking opportunities.
Q: Any imparting wisdom for us as current co-chairs?
L: Times flies! As volunteer leaders for NASPA Knowledge Communities, our two-year appointment terms go quickly. Clarifying key goals at the start of the term can help you work towards accomplishments and leave your legacy on the KC. Don't under-estimate the value of relationships with your leadership team, and realize that every moment you invest in them strengthens those relationships and the future of the KC. Lastly, time spent on succession planning will help you leave the KC in a better place than you found it. Having worked closely with so many of the current SAPAA leaders over the years, I am proud to see the strong leadership, energy and ideas and look forward to future contributions of SAPAA to the field and their members.
M: There are no words to express my support and admiration of your creativity, commitment, and integrity in this role. I have no words of wisdom to offer as you were on the journey with me and provided as much insights to listening to our members, serving their needs, and collaborating across KCs to ensure the most innovative and engaging programs for our stakeholders. I offer support as you go forward in this journey with your team and colleagues and encourage you to enjoy the travels as they will take you far!
Are you continuing to challenge yourself as a professional both inside and outside of your position? Through taking on additional challenges (whether that be in your current position or volunteering through NASPA), you can stretch your skills even further as Marguerite experienced. If you engage further with NASPA, you can also learn more about the profession and gain a better understanding of best practices as Leanna learned.
The world of volunteering for the profession changes constantly. The opportunities to make an impact come quickly. In order to keep the organization moving forward, NASPA has term-limits. There is a cycle of volunteer opportunities through NASPA and SAPAA.
As you reflect on the state of your resolutions, take some time to really delve into the profession both inside and outside of your position (as time allows). What will you do with your time?