This month's volunteer spotlight is Bretton DeLaria, NACEP Accreditation Commissioner and Director of the 1818 Advanced College Credit Program - Saint Louis University.
Best NACEP memory? My best NACEP memory...I believe it was this past year's accreditation institute. I met some amazing programs and people looking to apply and got to share some great laughter. Additionally, I made some meaningful and lasting connections that have allowed me to network and advise in helping programs obtain their accreditation and grow their program.
Advice for first-time volunteers? Put yourself out there and go with it! The NACEP team is amazing and they'll make you feel at home. Volunteering is one of the most rewarding experiences, best ways to give back, and most importantly make meaningful connections. I say get involved early and often. We need you and you'll find that it really is a labor of love and have some pretty great inside jokes later on!
How did you get started volunteering with NACEP? When I first moved into the concurrent enrollment world, I had a sharp learning curve coming from a marketing background. Education is my passion, so in order to grasp the full spectrum of concurrent enrollment I jumped in as quickly as I could to learn as much as I could from people far smarter than me.
How long have you been a NACEP volunteer? Goodness, it’s been 3 years now.
What do you do as a NACEP volunteer? I've served as a peer reviewer, presented multiple times at the conferences, serve actively as an accreditation commissioner, hosted the NACEP Accreditation Commission on my campus, and currently am recording "Ask A Commissioner" video blogs.
Why should someone volunteer for NACEP? The payout...a corvette? Kidding. However, the experience you'll gain is priceless. It also allows you to connect with the NACEP team and leadership on a closer level and begin to establish relationships that you can nurture during future conferences and during the academic year. It's nice to have a Rolodex of contacts to lean on when you need some support or to bounce ideas off of.
What do you do when you are not volunteering for NACEP? NACEP things...they don't loosen my shackles often! In my free time I enjoy playing the piano, swimming, watching mindless television, traveling around the nation, spending time with family and partner, doing home improvements, going to the theatre and symphony, spending time with friends, eating out, watching Shameless, the Crown or the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and adoring Lady Gaga (I'm kind of obsessed). Additionally, I find most of my free time consumed with working on my Ph.D. and running my part-time design firm that works primarily with nonprofits and churches.
What have you learned about NACEP and other concurrent enrollment programs? What we do is meaningful and powerful work. We can easily lose sight of the good work that we are doing when we get bogged down with the day to day requests, nags, problems, and etc. Working with NACEP has provided me the opportunity to refocus and remember that what we do is extremely important and life changing...that is what keeps me doing this work and that is why I am so passionate about NACEP and our programs.
Why do you continue to volunteer for NACEP? NACEP continues to be the most important voice for advocating for concurrent enrollment. I firmly believe in what we do as practitioners and in being an active voice shaping the future for our students. By volunteering I've had opportunities to network and get to know people, learn new practices, advocate for programs, and make some great friends!
Banana Pudding or something else? All the desserts. I love all the desserts. The quickest way to my heart and my affection is through sweets 🙂