As always, this date marks departures from and additions to the HECSE leadership board.
We welcome Pam Williamson as the new secretary. I’m grateful to Pam for joining the Board and taking on this important role. Like many of us in this field, we’ve known each other for years, but this will be our first time formally working together.
You may not know that Jackie Rodriguez, our outgoing secretary, actually accepted a midterm appointment to this busy role at the 2018 Winter Summit. HECSE secretary is one of those absolutely vital behind-the-scenes positions that no one really thinks about (until things go wrong :). As she does with all things, Jackie stepped in with enthusiasm, vigor, and lots of ideas for how to better carry out this role. HECSE is grateful for your service! While I’d like to say that we will miss you, Jackie, I suspect you will continue to be an important part of, or partner with HECSE, for years to come.
Welcome to Sarah Nagro, who begins her term as one of our 3 at-large positions. However, Sarah’s contributions to the Board and organization have been evident for a number of years now. She has been Jane’s junior partner with HECSE’s annual short course for doctoral students, improving both the processes (e.g. short course applications) and follow up (e.g., short course impact studies).
Sarah replaces Cindy Vail, who moves into the president-elect position. Cindy also has an strong history with HECSE and its Board, most recently leading the taskforce to update the doc program quality indicators. Welcome Cindy!
Silvia Correa-Torres has also joined the Board in an at-large position. Sylvia has already been actively involved with the Board, particularly in helping us put together what is going to be a very cool 2019 summer Institute in Vail later this month. Can’t wait!
It is bittersweet that I thank past-past president Cynthia Wilson for her many years of service to the HECSE Board. She has been mentor, friend, and a driving force behind numerous HECSE initiatives. Her address to the TED-HECSE meeting in Lexington, KY, 2016, is forever etched in my memory as an example of authentic courage. My hope is we can keep Cynthia active on the Board for at least a few more years (but HECSE is competing with her more recent, FAR more important role as Gigi).
I’ve also been pleased to get to work more closely with our new HECSE president, Lisa Monda-Amaya, these past several years. Lisa is an amazing collaborator. I remember sitting with her at a conference shortly after her election to the HECSE presidential line and someone coming up to us saying something like, “Lisa, We were planning to nominate you to the Board of ‘such and such’ organization.” HECSE had good timing on that one and we are lucky to have her!!
Between Lisa and Cindy, the organization is in good hands for years to come.
There are so many others to thank, many of whom I will forget (sorry) today and then kick myself later. My appreciation goes to a long line of HECSE presidents. For me, this goes back to Chriss Walter Thomas, who reached out to me during my very first Summit (I suspect after listening to an interesting interaction I had during a session with the first director of the just-created IES). For some reason, Chriss thought I’d make a good HECSE Treasurer.
I’m also grateful to Marcie Rock, who, as the president of TED, asked me the following question: “What if we turn the annual TED-HECSE meetings at both TED and CEC into panel discussion sessions on topics currently impacting the field? Brilliant!
Big kudos to Ashley White, who served as HECSE Intern for both Cynthia and me. I’m not sure I would have successfully navigated my first year as president without Ashley’s gentle but constant counsel (“Dr. Anderson, don’t forget you need to do ‘such and such’ by ‘this date’”). I was pleased when IU’s own John Andresen agreed to follow Ashley as the HECSE Intern (not coincidently, both are Short Course alum).
Finally, can anyone ever talk about HECSE’s many accomplishments without a huge shout-out to Jane West, mentor, friend, advocate, and policy sage!
Of course, HECSE’s real achievements are the direct result of each of you, representing the member institutions. Every time we visit the Hill, reach out to our elected officials, federal and state offices and officers, or sign onto a coalition letter of support, HECSE’s weight is supporting the field of special education! As someone who got into this field to ‘make a positive difference in the world,’ HECSE has been a perfect fit. Even better, HECSE Boards are the epitome of collaboration, commitment, and collegiality. As I’ve grown fond of saying, “It takes a Board.” Thank you all
It’s been a privilege.
Jeff Anderson, Past President
Higher Education Consortium for Special Education
HECSE Board (July 1, 2019 – June 30, 2020):
Lisa Monda-Amaya, President (Univ. of Illinois)
President-Elect: Cindy Vale (Univ of Georgia)
Jeff Anderson, Past President (Indiana)
Treasurer: Trey Vasquez (University of Central Flordia)
Secretary: Pamela Williamson (UNC-Greensboro)
Member at Large: Silvia Correa-Torres (Univ. of Northern Colorado)
Member at Large: Sarah Nagro (George Mason)
Corey Pierce, Member at Large (Northern Colorado)
HECSE Intern: John Andresen (Indiana)