Conference Recap: National Academic Advising Association

This past week, Rachel Onishi, Michael and I had the great honor of attending the 39th Annual NACADA Conference. With over four-thousand attendees and hundreds of sessions, the conference offered great opportunity for professional growth. The sessions I attended ranged in topic from fostering positive parent relations, supporting students with communication apprehension, utilizing motivational interviewing, advising students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and cultivating resiliency.

I went to a particularly energizing session about Tom Rath’s and Dr. Donald Clifton’s theory of “How Full Is Your Bucket?“. This philosophy is basic in principle yet powerful in practice. In summary, we all have invisibles buckets and dippers. When interacting with others, we can either fill or empty our buckets. Positive emotions not only fill others’ buckets but our own. And likewise, negative interactions drain our buckets.

The presenter provided five strategies for increasing positive emotions in the work place that in turn fill our buckets. 1. Prevent Bucket Dipping 2. Shine a Bright Light on What is Right 3. Make Friends 4. Give Unexpectedly 5. The Golden Rule. It is important to recognize that bucket filling needs to be individualized. In being more intentional and uplifting through our interactions with others, we can brighten lives.

Here in the TECHniques Center, we intend to fill buckets. We encourage, motivate, support and inspire our students each and every day. Tutoring and academic counseling sessions are positive and fulfilling. We are constantly evaluating our Positive Impact and implementing individualized supports for our students. My time at NACADA truly filled my bucket and refreshed my perspective on the power of Academic Advising.

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