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Grant Recipient Applies Learning to Work in Continuing Education

February 23, 2018 9:01 AM | ACHE Home Office (Administrator)

Ms. Nicoletti's recognition at the 79th Annual ACHE Conference and Meeting by 2017 ACHE President Clare Roby

Kathie Nicoletti
University of Oklahoma

2017 ACHE Memorial Staff Development Grant Recipient

ACHE's Memorial Staff Development Grant

In 2015, ACHE lost two champions of continuing higher education just prior to the Annual Conference and Meeting in St. Louis: Charlee Lanis of East Central University in Ada, Oklahoma, and Don Devilbiss of Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. But Charlee and Don were not just champions of the students they served. They were also champions of supporting their staff in obtaining key professional development needed to do the important work of serving adult and non-traditional students. In honor of the spirit and character of Charlee, Don, and other ACHE champions of continuing education who have passed away, the ACHE Board of Directors authorized establishment of the ACHE Memorial Staff Development Grant to assist with funding participation of continuing education unit staff in professional development activities.

Each year, ACHE will award one grant in an amount not to exceed $1500 for a continuing education staff member to attend an ACHE professional development event - to include the annual or a regional conference, leadership training, or other type of activity as seems appropriate to the needs of the selectee - to further their professional development growth and hone their skills. 

The 2017 recipient was Kathie Nicoletti, a member of the Southwest Center for Human Relations Studies (SWCHRS) at the University of Oklahoma.  SWCHRS is host and coordinator of the National Conference for Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE®), and Kathie is the NCORE Logistics Coordinator.  Here is her story!

Key Learnings and Applying New Knowledge

Attending the 79th Annual ACHE Conference as a Memorial Staff Development scholarship recipient was a tremendous honor. My two consistent goals in life are to find ways to continue my education and to share what I have learned with others when appropriate. I was so fortunate to be able to attend, and I tried to make the most of the opportunity.

I chose sessions of various topics during the conference to learn the latest trends, to open my mind to new ideas, and to take away bits of knowledge that are useful for myself and others. I took notes and have been sharing ideas at our staff meetings when it is my turn to facilitate. We are charged with providing an educational component in addition to run-of-the mill work updates; the content shared by presenters at ACHE has proven to be very effective in this area.

For example, wisdom and experience tells us that communication is a vital factor as we strive for success in our daily work and as we tackle common projects. This means crafting and tailoring your words when sending email, making phone calls, and speaking in person. Learning how to identify communication styles amongst team members is an important factor when determining successful communication. I learned one should pay attention to the communication style of individuals and try to match that style as closely as possible in order to be effective. For instance, if a person is particularly concise with their words but you speak in a more elaborate manner, you should go against your normal style and use fewer words. Doing so will meet that person where they are most comfortable and they will receive the message better.

Lifelong learning is a passion of mine and I enjoy sharing what I have learned with colleagues and friends. I believe we are only able to navigate through life by communicating with others and I was fortunate to learn this aspect of effective communication at ACHE. 

Special thanks are in order for the generous support of ACHE members in establishing and maintaining the Memorial Staff Development Grant. Although I did not have the pleasure of knowing Charlee Lanis and Don Devilbiss, their commitment to helping staff acquire critical professional development is evident with this grant. While I learned many interesting concepts at the conference, I will also take with me Charlee and Don’s ideas to become a champion for those I work with to continue their own professional development.


Make an Impact in 2018

You can make an impact on the life of a continuing education professional’s career trajectory by giving to the 2018 ACHE Memorial Staff Development Grant.
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