AACRAO Leadership answers: What I learned during my tenure

December 11, 2020
  • AACRAO Leadership and Governance
  • Voting

Voter turnout was higher in 2020 than it has been in more than a century. More people are coming to understand the importance of civic engagement and the cost of political indifference. 

AACRAO encourages you to harness some of this energy and attention and direct it toward your professional association. Voting matters and your participation can make a difference.

AACRAO Votes, our month-long voting window, began last week for the 2020 AACRAO Election, so now is the perfect time to learn about open positions and meet the slate of candidates. 

It’s also a good time to survey outgoing AACRAO leaders. Their stories of service to AACRAO can help pass on institutional knowledge, offer perspectives to professionals considering service, and demonstrate the importance of these roles and the importance of active involvement in the association.

Below are thoughts from outgoing volunteers in each of the following positions. They shared what they learned while serving, and also what skills and competencies they think are important 

VP at Large

“Many of the same skills and competencies we utilize every day in our admission, registrar, and enrollment management role are valuable in serving on the Board of Directors: collaboration, problem solving, inclusion, communication, strategic planning, and professional integrity.

“I learned about many of AACRAO’s intricacies, everything from the financials, to Board of Director committees, to working closely with the dedicated AACRAO staff. My major takeaway is the strength and commitment of AACRAO’s volunteer membership. Countless members make our journals, articles, caucuses, webinars, committees, online courses, institutes, and conferences happen. We must continue to nurture existing membership talents as well as cultivate and engage new members to participate in our many opportunities.”

— Rhonda Kitch, University Registrar, Cornell University

VP for International Education

“I think it is important to have the confidence to actively engage in discussions on a variety of topics with a group of people with diverse backgrounds, both personally and professionally. It is also important to be an active listener and to be open to new ideas. I learned that there are so many important things that go on behind the scenes at AACRAO of which the average member may not be aware.”

— Jennifer Minke, Assistant Director of Admissions, Tarrant County College

N&E Committee

“To serve in this role you need to be organized, forward-thinking, collaborative, patient, and you must have critical thinking skills. I highly recommend this committee, you learn a great deal and you connect with your peers from throughout the country which was a great experience for me.”

— Roslyn Perry, University Registrar, University of Tennessee - Knoxville

“I learned that you have to have an open mind and be willing to listen to others’ opinions. What looks good on paper may not be good in real life. I also learned don’t be afraid to speak up.”

— Melissa Lenhart Young, Associate Registrar, DeSales University

“[Skills needed for this role include] working knowledge of AACRAO and its organizational structure, knowledge of state and regional organizations and the state and regional relationship to AACRAO, collaboration skills – the willingness to voice opinions while also having the ability to accept others’ opinions, and the ability to evaluate colleagues neutrally.

“This was a very rewarding experience for me. It further validated my appreciation of and for those who serve our organization. The amount of time and energy put into AACRAO by all the candidates is extraordinary. It was very difficult at times to make that final selection of the slate. The nominees were excellent!”

— Amy Gleason, Assistant Registrar for Compliance and Reporting, Duke University