A SEM Leader Honored by her Peers

April 5, 2022
  • AACRAO Consulting
  • AACRAO SEM-EP
  • SEM Leadership
Golden award trophy on light green background.

By Jody Gordon, Managing Consultant, AACRAO Consulting

It is not often that one has the pleasure and the privilege to write about the impressive accomplishments of a colleague and friend. I have known Alicia Moore for over ten years now. Despite living and working in two different countries (me in Canada and her in the United States), we managed to meet and stay connected thanks to yearly regional (PACRAO) and annual (AACRAO and AACRAO SEM) conferences (and social media, of course). This connection began thanks to a mutual colleague and mentor, the late Bob Bontrager. I am so grateful that Bob took the time to introduce me to Alicia. Since meeting her, I have been so impressed with her compassion for students, willingness to connect and share her ideas with other colleagues, and fantastic sense of humor. And now, her colleagues in the state of Oregon have spoken out about just how much they, too, appreciate Alicia’s collegiality, innovative attitude, and inclusive approach to leading.

Alicia currently serves as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Central Oregon Community College (COCC). Alicia began her higher education journey back in 1994 at COCC and continued to hold progressively responsible positions leading to her role as a VP.  Alicia’s accomplishments at COCC are extensive: development of a comprehensive strategic enrollment management plan; a one-stop service center; and a first-year experience program to name a few. In addition, her particular skill in developing strong partnerships led to strengthening relationships with local high schools and universities.

Getting Beyond Local

Alicia’s positive influence reaches well beyond the Oregon state lines. For the past ten years, Alicia has also worked as a Senior Consultant for AACRAO Consulting. In addition, she has supported her colleagues at other post-secondary institutions stretching from Oregon to Pennsylvania. With her efforts, she has helped colleges develop SEM plans, streamlined service offerings, and improved the overall experience for students living and learning on those campuses. Alicia is also an accomplished author and presenter at conferences. So, her colleagues were pleased to nominate her for the 2021-22 Cam Preus Award for Outstanding Leadership to Oregon Community Colleges. Alicia was successfully selected to receive the award to honor her extraordinary commitment to community colleges. This statewide honor is named after the former Commissioner for Oregon’s community colleges. It recognizes an Oregon community college employee, current or former, who has made a significant impact in the community college sector on a local and larger level, with at least 15 years of career service.

Upon learning of the honor bestowed upon her, Alicia and I sat down to chat (via Zoom, of course), and I asked her to reflect on her outstanding career. When asked what decisions she made early on in her career led to such impressive service to higher education, she recalled being involved with PACRAO – her institution’s regional ACRAO. She made sure to meet people from her home state while she was there and was brave enough to lead a conference presentation as a young professional. And that ties nicely into her advice for young professionals – take some risks. Walk up and meet a presenter at a conference; write an article; nominate yourself to present; serve on a committee outside of our institution. In other words, be involved and build connections.

Leading through any change can be challenging but also uplifting. Being honored by your peers for your strength as a leader, especially given these past two years, is simply remarkable. And like the strong equity-minded servant leader that she is, Alicia attributes her successes to those who stand next to her. Those connections and strong working relationships have allowed her to do her very best for every student every day. On behalf of our profession, Alicia, we congratulate you on this prestigious award, and we thank you for inspiring us all.

See all of our past and present AACRAO award recipients and nominate yourself or a colleague for an award.