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Community Commitment

April 02, 2021

ACPA Virtual Conference

More than 90 Lasell University faculty, staff, and students attended the American College Personnel Association’s (ACPA) 2021 virtual conference in March. The three-week virtual event offered an equitable experience for Lasell attendees, most of whom would otherwise be unable to attend an in-person event of this scale. Given the event’s significant focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), the University’s Donahue Institute and Office of the Provost purchased seats for community members to attend.

“It is often cost-prohibitive to send a big group to any kind of national convention,” said Thomas Morgan, assistant director of the Donahue Institute, “But in this case, the all-virtual setup made our participation possible. The opportunity gave Lasell community members the opportunity to easily learn from higher education experts across the country.”

ACPA offered more than 150 virtual educational sessions, with topics such as campus intercultural competence, multilingual student advising, gender-inclusive housing, creating inclusive environments on social media, and addressing structural inequalities in higher education.

“One session I attended discussed issues around intersectionality, from both the speaker’s personal experiences and within a scholarly, evidence-based background, which was very informative,” said Joann M. Montepare, director of the RoseMary B. Fuss Center for Research on Aging and Intergenerational Studies at Lasell

President Michael B. Alexander saw the ACPA conference as an opportunity to uphold some of Lasell’s institutional values, including “Inclusion and Intercultural Competence” and “Empathy, Kindness, and Mutual Respect.”

“These sessions were a wonderful opportunity for all of us to expand our understanding and sharpen our skills in these areas,” he said.

Alexander encouraged staff supervisors to allow their teams time in the workday to attend ACPA sessions of their choice.

“I see this kind of professional development as central to our individual and collective responsibilities to our students and our institution,” he said.