My May column is always an interesting one to write because I have so much to share regarding what has been happening. At the same time, I’m looking toward the close of ACA’s fiscal year at the end of June and, of course, thinking about our student members. Many of them will be moving toward the New Professional category of membership in the association.
Elsewhere in this issue of Counseling Today, you will read about (and see) things that happened during the ACA Annual Convention in Detroit. Despite planning for 2,400 attendees, we were overwhelmed (and quite happy) to welcome more than 3,000 professional counselors, counselor educators and students to the big event. Over the course of several days, a great deal of networking, career building and socializing took place. A great deal of information was also exchanged, whether informally or through attendance at Education Sessions. While some of us may have looked a bit lost at times in navigating the Marriott Hotel or the COBO Convention Center, we usually found where we needed to go. The energy and general atmosphere of the convention was very positive.
I will say there was one sad note during the convention. Jack Cloud, a longtime member of ACA and a great supporter of the counseling profession, especially to those just starting out in the field, unexpectedly passed away while we were in Detroit (see p. 48). Given Jack’s love of our organization, its people and its mission, he clearly was among some of his closest friends when he died.
Shortly after the convention concluded, his family very graciously designated the ACA Foundation as a place to make donations in Jack’s memory. If you would like to donate to the Jack Cloud Memorial Fund, send your contribution to: ACA Foundation, Jack Cloud Memorial Fund, 5999 Stevenson Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22304.
Believe it or not, the staff and leadership have already begun plans for the 2008 ACA Annual Conference in Honolulu, March 26-30. In fact, while we usually expect about 200 people to sign up for the “extremely early bird” registration at each convention in anticipation of the next one, we had more than 550 people sign up for Honolulu while we were still in Detroit! Something tells me that the various conference registration discounts, our ability to lock in a wide range of affordable hotel room rates and, of course, the location will help to bring many people to the event next year. Keep reading Counseling Today and visiting the ACA website at www.
counseling.org/conference for updated information.
I noted that May is also a time when we see many of our student members transition into life as recent graduates. As ACA President-Elect Brian Canfield says, students are our “colleagues in training.” It is our hope that ACA will be there for all of our new professionals as they move from the challenges of classwork, research and dissertations to the world of work as a professional counselor. This is an exciting time. I know it may also be a time of concern, trepidation and anxiety. Again, ACA wants to be here for all of you. If you are one of these new professionals, we hope you will contact us for help.
To all of you who have completed your studies and will now be moving beyond your institutions of higher education, we congratulate you! We look forward to your continued involvement with ACA, whether it is for help in your career, your need for continuing education or your desire to stay connected to your colleagues, professors and mentors.
So, as I begin to store my winter clothing (which stayed out for an extended period of time this year) and look forward to warmer days here on the East Coast, I want to make sure that I thank all of you — students, professionals and retired members of ACA. Your continued dedication to helping people as they face many of life’s challenges is something that is always an inspiration to me. Thank you for all you do.
As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions, comments or suggestions by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 800.347.6647 ext. 231. Thanks and be well.