Member Perspectives…

Interested in learning more about how other SCCPA members got involved? Please check out our member perspectives for insight about why other professionals chose SCCPA, what has been the most valuable part of their SCCPA experience, and stories from their involvement with the association.


 

Linda Jameison
Assistant Vice President for Student Support and Engagement
Tri County Technical College

Why did you choose to join SCCPA?  When I moved to SC and started the M.Ed. program at Clemson, I was a “seasoned” professional, and one of the older students in the cohort. I was planning on staying in SC and knew that I needed to get connected in the state early in the program so that when I was ready to graduate, I would have made connections with people who knew me and my ability to help college students in SC. Joining SCCPA was, and is, a fantastic networking and relationship building organization.

What has been the most valuable part of your membership?  Knowing that there is a group of professionals in the state that I can contact to help me do the best I can to serve the students.

What is your favorite part about being a member of SCCPA?  Having friends that help me grow personally and professionally. I have just started a new position at Tri County Technical College, and this opportunity would not have been possible without having friends that encouraged me to apply and provided references.

Share a favorite memory or experience that resulted from your membership in SCCPA.  Getting a job offer! When I was driving to the Spring conference in Charleston, as I was about to graduate, I got a call from Dr. Bill McDonald at Presybterian College, who I had met and networked with through SCCPA. He offered me the position I was hoping for and made the entire conference experience a happy blur!


 

Chelsea Tirrell
Graduate Assistant, Clemson University
PR Chair / SCCPA Liason for the Student Personnel Association (SPA)

Why did you choose to join SCCPA?  As a first year in Clemson University’s Counselor Education/Student Affairs program, we were highly encouraged to join the Student Personnel Association. I truly didn’t need much convincing. With so many opportunities for professional development, social gatherings, and gaining perspectives on what others in the cohort were doing, it seemed like a no-brainer. At our first meeting, we were further encouraged to join SCCPA. Our executive board took the time to explain the many benefits of joining a local organization, and actively marketed the upcoming conference. It seemed like a great, easy way to connect with other professionals in my region. Further, I was excited to be a part of something so large, but small enough where everyone knows your name, and says it with a smile.

What has been the most valuable part of your membership?  Thus far, I have found the fall SCCPA conference to be incredibly valuable. As a first tear graduate student, I had not been to a professional conference. SCCPA was my first and I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Everyone felt like family. I felt like I belonged. I never felt overwhelmed or anxious – even as a somewhat introvert! Not to mention, I learned a ton from each of the presentations I attended.

What is your favorite part about being a member of SCCPA?  Though I have already mentioned it a couple of times, my favorite part of being a member of SCCPA really is the feeling of family. Whether you are attending a conference, sitting in on a conference call, or networking at a social, it never feels like you are out of place. It truly feels like every member of SCCPA is on your team. They want the best for you and they will do what they can to get you there.

Share a favorite memory or experience that resulted from your membership in SCCPA.  My graduate assitantship is in Civic Engagement and during the most recent fall conference, I was sitting in on a brief presentation that discussed how to retain students in active service. It talked about the process of service, and how civic engagement is widely misunderstood. At the time, I was having a hard time figuring out what I wanted to do with my position. I had told my supervisor that I wanted to leave something behind whether that was a program, initiative, etc. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what that was just yet, though. Following the presentation was a roundtable discussion. I sat with the presenter and a few others and we just casually discussed the possibilities of civic engagement and how we could make a difference. After processing a few ideas and engaging in that conversation, I was inspired. I left that conference, specifically that presentation, with an idea of what I wanted to aspire to. It was conferencing in action, if you will. That experience showed me just how valuable every conversation is.


 

Pam Havice
Professor, Clemson University

Why did you choose to join SCCPA?  I chose to join SCCPA over 15 years ago to become better acquainted with other student affairs professionals in the state.

What has been the most valuable part of your membership?  The most valuable part of my membership has been networking with professionals across the state. This networking has proven to be invaluable to me over the years. I feel like SCCPA is one of the best organizations for new professionals to get connected in the field. Many people who are active in SCCPA are well networked across the country so this is aspect of the organization is helpful for graduate students, too.

What is your favorite part about being a member of SCCPA?  One of my favorite parts of being a member of SCCPA is the level of collegial support I have felt from others and for others. This has been phenomenal aspect of SCCPA. I feel like this is one of the best organizations for assisting people in gaining experience in a professional organization and as well as developing their professional ethos.

Share a favorite memory or experience that resulted from your membership in SCCPA.  Some of my favorite memories are of our annual conference at the beach. For a number of years the conference was held in April at the beach, either the Charleston area or Myrtle Beach, SC. What a great time for mixing professional development and developing long-lasting personal relationships. To this day, some of my favorite people in the field of student affairs I met through SCCPA and I still go to them for advice, celebrate their accomplishments and empathize with their sorrows.


 

Tony Cawthon
Professor, Clemson University

Why did you choose to join SCCPA?  I joined SCCPA as it allows me to interact and network with those in the state as we struggle to improve the quality of higher education. I was taught early on in my career that while it was great to participate in regional and national association, we all have a responsible to serve on the state level.

What has been the most valuable part of your membership?  The friends I have made over the years. So many individuals began as professional colleagues but over the years have become such personal friends to me. Consistently being involved in SCCPA allows for those relationship to grow.

What is your favorite part about being a member of SCCPA?  My favorite part are the conferences. Both the conference and the drive in provide excellent programs and allow colleagues opportunities to engage in dialogues about the critical issues facing our campuses and our students.

Share a favorite memory or experience that resulted from your membership in SCCPA.  One of my earliest memories is when the spring conference was held at Myrtle Beach. Each year in mid April, we made the trip to North Myrtle Beach. The timing of the conference came at such a great time in the academic year for all of us. The relaxed atmosphere was what we all needed. I remember clearly the years we had opening receptions overlooking the ocean and we took one afternoon of the conference off so folks could enjoy the beach.


Stacey Garrett

Why did you choose to join SCCPA?  After starting my professional career in another state, I was highly involved with my state associations. I joined SCCPA to find a new professional home in the state where I work.

What has been the most valuable part of your membership?  I think I have been able to challenge myself to take on leadership roles even if I didn’t think I was quite ready. Someone nominated me for a board position during my first year working in the state and even though I didn’t get it, I was able to serve in an appointed position and I’ve been serving ever since.

What is your favorite part about being a member of SCCPA?  I feel like I’m a part of something and making a difference even from behind the scenes.

Share a favorite memory or experience that resulted from your membership in SCCPA.  The best thing so far was the opportunity to hear from Vicky Triponey at the 2013 Fall Conference. She is truly a remarkable woman and I was so impressed by her.


 

Brian Joyce

Graduate Student, Clemson University

 Why did you choose to join SCCPA?

I moved to South Carolina in 2012 with an established and strong network of professional colleagues, mentors, and friends from previous institutions in Florida and Texas. I was looking for similar relationships in South Carolina, and I found it in SCCPA.

What has been the most valuable part of your membership?

The most valuable part of membership in SCCPA for me has been the opportunity to get involved. There are opportunities to present at our Fall conference or Spring Drive-in, get involved in leadership positions on the executive board or a conference committee, or get to know colleagues throughout the state better through our many networking opportunities. I’ve taken advantage of all of those opportunities and I know I am a better Student Affairs professional because of it.

What is your favorite part about being a member of SCCPA?

My favorite part is attending and engaging in the professional conferences offered by SCCPA. The conferences are a time for me to catch up with old friends, meet new ones, and engage in dialogue and thought on current issues in the state and in the field of higher education in general.

Share a favorite memory or experience that resulted from your membership in SCCPA.

My favorite memory is my first SCCPA conference in Charleston, SC. I vividly remember feeling a sense of belonging and connection, and knowing I found an organization that would meet me my professional development needs. Plus, it was a great time to recharge before getting back to work!


Kara Ferguson

Director of Service Learning and Community Engagement

Why did you choose to join SCCPA?

I moved to South Carolina for graduate school in 2005 and immediately was connected to SCCPA through SPA. After graduating, I moved out of state for my first job. I returned to SC in 2009 and immediately knew I wanted to reconnect with SCCPA because of the relationships I had made while in graduate school.

What has been the most valuable part of your membership?

The most valuable part of my membership in SCCPA has been the relationship building and opportunities for growth and learning. I have met colleagues from across the state and have had the opportunity to serve in many different leadership roles. That is the best part of SCCPA—you can get involved from the very beginning and there are many different options for growth as a professional.

What is your favorite part about being a member of SCCPA?

Professional development opportunities. The annual conference and drive-in are both great ways to learn more about our field and to have meaningful conversations with colleagues from our state, and being involved in the organization has opened doors for me to get involved at the regional and national level within our profession.

Share a favorite memory or experience that resulted from your membership in SCCPA.

My favorite SCCPA moment would probably be presenting at a SCCPA conference while I was in graduate school. This was my first time presenting at a professional conference and the support I received from SCCPA and the conference committee eased any nerves that I had. SCCPA is extremely supportive in making sure that graduate students and new professionals growth is fostered.

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