Victoria Zeppelin Lends Her Talent with the NACEP Accreditation Commission
Whenever an organization has gone under the accreditation process the past few years, one gentle, guiding voice that has been there to help them along the way has been Victoria Zeppelin, Director of College Now at Tompkins Cortland Community College in New York. Victoria jokes, “I live, sleep and breathe accreditation!” She has certainly been an invaluable volunteer due to her many hours of work on the Accreditation Commission and the NACEP Board of Directors.
Victoria has been serving on the Commission for the past five years, along with presenting on the standards and application process at the NACEP National Conference, Accreditation Institutes, and webinars.
Victoria initially got involved as a peer reviewer because she felt it was an important service to NACEP after earning accreditation. In 2011, she presented at the NACEP Conference in Mystic. Then, in 2013, she was appointed to be Vice Chair of the newly formed Accreditation Commission. A couple of years later Victoria became the Chair of the Accreditation Commission.
“I love that NACEP is a ‘big tent’ welcoming members with all kinds of programs. Our common mission is to support high school students in their postsecondary aspirations, but we all go about it differently, based on what works for our colleges, schools, and states. Because of the variety in perspectives, I am always learning something new and being challenged. It's wonderful to be around professionals who enjoy what they do and strive to make their programs the best they can be,” remarked Victoria.
Victoria shared why she likes to volunteer for NACEP, “You get to meet so many wonderful people! It's relatively easy to just stay in your group or do the things you are comfortable doing. Being a volunteer allows you to stretch and grow, personally and professionally. I also found it a great confidence booster as I realized I had something to give that others could learn from. We are all educators at heart and volunteering helps you experience the teaching/learning cycle in another way. You have something valuable to share with all of us!”
Getting involved with NACEP is easy and fun. “I think that easiest ways to get involved with NACEP are presenting at the conference or a webinar, or as a peer reviewer, if you are with an accredited program - it really depends on your comfort level and the amount of time you have. Make sure that your colleagues understand that value of NACEP and why volunteering is beneficial both to you professionally and to the program,” advised Victoria to those considering becoming a volunteer for the organization. “I am an introvert, and being a NACEP volunteer forces me to engage with others in a way that I would otherwise find difficult. I really do not think that I would have learned as much as I have or made the kinds of connections I've made if I were not an active volunteer.”
When asked about her favorite memories about NACEP she remarked, “Walking on the beach in Jacksonville with Jaclyn Dumond and going on a hiking adventure in Utah with Adam Lowe, Marian Borgmann-Ingwersen, and Karen Landry. My best memories involve hanging out with NACEPers ‘after hours.’ We work hard, but when we are done, we like to relax and have fun!”
When Victoria is not busy at work or volunteering for NACEP, she is parenting a 10-year-old boy and trying to keep up with what kids that age like. She also enjoys playing with her puppy, hiking, kayaking and traveling. And, she loves anything with chocolate or berries.