Letter from AHEAD President: Jamie Axelrod

Dear Friends and Esteemed Colleagues,

Welcome to 2017! The last year has been very interesting on many fronts, and I hope that over the holiday season you had some time to reflect on the year that was but also look forward to the year ahead. I find that, for me, having a good understanding and perspective on my past helps me move into the future more grounded and focused on my objectives.

Another thing which helps me is to recall my core values and the reasons I do the work I do. With that in mind I thought I would take the opportunity to remind people of the core values that AHEAD has adopted as an organization.

AHEAD values the following:

  • Diversity: We believe in creating and promoting diverse educational communities to foster the exchange of ideas and perspectives, offering the opportunity for individual growth and developing a forum in which we honor the disability experience
  • Equity: Recognizing that equality is NOT the same as equity we believe in developing resources and fostering attitudes that provide a truly equitable experience that is responsive to individuals' strengths, weaknesses, and differences
  • Respect: We believe in providing everyone with an opportunity to express individual thoughts, feelings, ideas, and needs; we listen and honor the individual's right to be heard, even if we do not agree.
  • Inclusivity: We believe in creating an inclusive community that encourages participation of all members, colleagues, practitioners, students, and stakeholders in an environment of mutual respect, opportunity for development, and honoring of personal experience.

I hope that you can take a few minutes to reflect on these and your own core values. I also hope, if these values are a good fit, they can help guide you in your work for the year and serve as a reminder of why, when difficult situations arise (and they will), you do this work.

In the upcoming months, AHEAD will be seeking your input and participation in a number of important ways. First, we will be seeking your nominations for our annual awards. We are confident that every AHEAD member knows at least one qualified professional and/or student who is deserving of recognition. This is an opportunity for you to draw public attention to the exceptional work and leadership that we see around us every day; please take a moment to bring deserved recognition to the professionals and students with whom you work. Second, we will be seeking nominations for seats on the Board of Directors. In the past few years many members have stepped forward and indicated a strong interest in serving the organization and our field by running for the Board. I encourage all of you who are interested to consider running or running again. Your input is crucial to the success of AHEAD. To all that are current or past Board members, I thank you for your hard work and dedication. As always, AHEAD is here to help you develop professionally and to connect with other members and resources. Remember to check out the upcoming educational opportunities

The 2017 Management Institutes, February 1-3, in sunny Las Vegas, Nevada
https://www.ahead.org/meet/conferences/2017-management

AHEAD to You! and Spring Technology Webinars
https://www.ahead.org/learn/virtual-learning/webinars-spring-17

On-Demand Files for Past Webinars
https://www.ahead.org/learn/virtual-learning/on-demand#2015

Thank you all for your contributions as part AHEAD and have a wonderful new year!
Jamie Axelrod President, Association on Higher Education and Disability