First Year Programs would like to congratulate Julie Larsen for spearheading the 2016 Region 8 NACADA: the Global Community for Academic Advising Conference. NACADA has over 13,000 members around the world. This event was focused on Northwest Region 8— Alaska, Alberta, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington and the Yukon Territory. This year, the event was held in Seattle and was a great success.
The regional NACADA conferences offer affordable professional development opportunities to higher education professionals around the northwest. While the majority of the attendees are Academic Advisors and Advising Administrators, the conferences draw professionals specializing in student success and retention initiatives, orientation programs, and TRiO/Student Support Services as well. For many attendees, it is the only opportunity to participate in continuing education each year. Conference offerings include 35 concurrent sessions focused on a variety of topics relevant to our attendees, as well as 5 longer pre-conference workshops and two keynote speakers.
This year, Julie served as Conference Chair, leading a 20-member conference planning committee through all the preparations for the event. This includes marketing and publicity, concurrent session solicitation and selection, scheduling, catering and AV needs, contracting with keynote speakers, registration, hospitality, and coordinating networking events. Julie’s involvement also included several public speaking opportunities during the event.
Normally, the conference calls for two people to co-chair these conferences as they are an enormous amount of work to manage on top of your day job. Julie’s co-chair had to leave the committee early on, and Julie graciously took on the sole leadership role. Julie was responsible for guiding a wonderful group of volunteers on the planning committee, as well as taking individual responsibility for countless details. As a result of her capable, thoughtful leadership, we had the largest and most successful conference in the history with 577 attendees!
Julie’s commitment to equity, inclusivity, and professionalism are the hallmarks of her leadership style. The University of Washington is lucky to have her, and we are grateful for her significant contributions to our organization.
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