ACHE West regional meeting was March 4 - 6, 2019 in Tucson, AZ. The conference proved the theme, The West is the Best!
We opened with a keynote presentation from Dr. Jenni Murphy, Dean at the College of Continuing Education at Sacramento State. She discussed how her path to success did not follow a straight line. She was the first in her family to earn a college degree, and used her education and restaurant experience to climb the corporate ladder. Her talents in hospitality led her to become a corporate trainer, opening restaurants and entertainment centers across the nation and overseas. During a career transition, she applied for a program manager position at CCE and fell in love with it. Over 15 years later, with several leadership positions and a doctorate from Sacramento State under her belt, Murphy went from associate dean to interim dean and on June 1 took the helm as dean – serving as a living, breathing CCE success story. She is passionate about the role of continuing education for our regional workforce, as well as across the nation.
Next, Dr. Larry Galizio, CEO of the Community College League of California spoke how his statewide association is supporting and advocating for all 114 California community colleges. Prior to this, Dr. Galizio was president of Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Oregon. From 2004-2009, Galizio served three terms in the Oregon Legislature which included chairing the Ways & Means Committee on Education. Dr. Galizio was also the Director for Strategic Planning for the Chancellor’s Office of the Oregon University System, and for 16 years was a full-time faculty member and director of debate at Portland Community College.
Lastly, we met Dr. Sheena Brown, Assistant Professor and Director of the Human Services, University of Arizona - South. We learned about her work assisting both documented and undocumented migrants plays a key role in human service work. Understanding the current political environment (local, national, and global), and addressing public misconceptions concerning migration issues are core concepts necessary for all future human services professionals. Understanding the learners, and the community in which they intend to serve allows us to close the gaps between human services practice and education. Working relationships between the human services program, the students, and the community stakeholders ensures program development meets the needs of the community. Dr. Brown is interested in the intersections of ethnicity, gender, class, and colonialism, and how these factors contribute to marginalization and oppression within higher education. Research aims to provide insight into understanding the characteristics of ‘reentry’ learners within an online learning environment, with a focus on social and cultural backgrounds. The inclusion of innovative adult-learning strategies aims to create a supportive environment for all reentry adult students, by better accommodating their needs for retention and successful degree completion.