Quarterly Connector
April 2020

In this Issue

COVID19 - Article Round Up
Job Postings

We would love your feedback! Send us suggestions, member profile nominations and job postings. Please email us at [email protected].

President's Perspectives

Greetings AHEPPP family, friends and collaborators,

How are you? No, really, how are you? Stop and think, and allow yourself to answer. How are you?

I’ve been reflecting over the last few weeks (thought it feels more like months) on how I'm truly doing and how others are likely doing too. It's been so easy to be wrapped up in the heartbreaking news flashing on our screens. For me, living in Washington state (the start of COVID-19 in the USA) meant for a while that everyone was watching us first -- I’ll admit I was lost and struggling.  So, starting this week I decided that it is okay to be just okay or even to NOT be okay. I allowed myself to stop training for my next race (I’m trying to complete 50 running races by 50 in all 50 states). I gave myself permission to run my own race instead... and you should run your own race as well.  Give yourself permission to pause on the unimportant and to shift to the important.  In our work we are often asked to care for others and provide "the calm" for so many, but it is equally important to be the calm for yourself and for your loved ones.

Another turning point this last week was watching our AHEPPP Facebook group, so many of you engaging and sharing the best work and giving resources freely, words of wisdom or a funny meme and I actually could feel my sprit lift and receive "the calm."  But the pièce de résistance was AHEPPP virtual happy hour (shout out Lindsey Bray) for creating space to be with one another. This association is so much more than sharing ideas and resources, it truly is a family and we will support one another and the families we serve even if it is from our home offices.

If you haven’t already now is the time to engage with AHEPPP. I know most of us have never looked forward to a conference as much as we are looking toward Orlando in November! We are going to need to be together once this is over to reconnect, support, and NOT social distance anymore! In the meantime, and until we can be together here are ways to stay connected and continue to provide one another with professional development:

  • Join and post in the Facebook discussion group – post, like, share. - ( I heard a rumor another virtual happy hour is in the works!)
  • Share your thoughts with all of us and write for the AHEPPP Blog
  • Jump on a regional call and learn from others or a webinar 
  • Present at the National Conference
  • Submit an award nomination for your great work or nominate another colleague.

AHEPPP Family, in the coming weeks remember to run your own race and be well. 


Humbled and honored,

Amy Swank
President, AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education 
Director, Parent and Family Relations - Gonzaga University 

AHEPPP Names Executive Director

AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education Board of Directors are pleased to announce Lindsay McKinney has been appointed to the position of Executive Director.

Lindsay has served AHEPPP for over five years, first in the position of Coordinator and then as the Director of Membership & Operations. Lindsay has been crucial in the development of new resources, the growth of the association’s membership, and the strength of our national conference. In this new role, Lindsay will work to continue to partner with the Board of Directors to further our association’s brand and impact in the Higher Education community.

“Lindsay has long been the heart of our organization and I am thrilled that she has accepted this new position. Having an Executive Director to work with the Board and lead our initiatives will greatly benefit AHEPPP as we continue to grow and support the families at the center of our work,” says Chelsea Petree, President-Elect. 

Lindsay shares, “The past five years have been extremely rewarding as we have experienced monumental growth in both membership numbers and resources offered. I am thrilled to serve the association in this new capacity and look forward to further partnering with our our members, leaders, and supporters to ensure AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education is recognized as the industry standard.”

Lindsay’s contact information remains:

Lindsay McKinney
[email protected]
AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education
4409 Hoffner Ave
Ste. 324
Orlando, FL 32812

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2020 National Conference Location

Join us November 16-18, 2020 in Orlando, Florida for our most magical National Conference yet! Make plans to celebrate family engagement with AHEPPP as we explore best practices and trends in the field. 

Come discuss The Magic of Family Engagement with AHEPPP this year at the 2020 Family Engagement in Higher Education Conference. The conference will take place at the Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista, located just steps away from Disney Springs and minutes away from the Magic Kingdom. 

AHEPPP has a negotiated rate of $189 per night. Guests reserved in the designated group block will not be charged a Resort Service Fee and will receive complimentary guest room internet. Space is limited, so please reserve early. Once the block is full, we cannot guarantee this rate or space at the event venue. Conference registration must be completed separately and opens May 1.

Please utilize this link to reserve your accommodations. 

Hilton Orlando Lake Buena Vista – Disney Springs® Area
1751 Hotel Plaza Boulevard
Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 

Educational Proposal and Awards Applications Now Open!

The 2019 AHEPPP Annual Conference Survey and the 2019 National Survey of Parent/Family Programs revealed that AHEPPP members are most interested in learning about these trends. 

  • Addressing Student Mental Health & Wellness With Families 
  • Serving Diverse Family Populations
  • Creating Inclusive Environments for Families
  • How Generational Trends/Research Impacts Parent/Family Work
  • Communication Best Practices 
  • Fundraising/Sponsorship Strategies
  • Promising Practices for Parent Giving/Philanthropy
  • Professional Development & Self-Care

Special consideration will be given to proposals that: Feature collaborations with other university departments outside of parent and family programs (i.e. Dean of Students, fundraising, counseling services, orientation, etc).

AHEPPP Award Categories:

Best Institutional Initiative – Small College/University (up to 5,000 students)
Best Institutional Initiative – Mid-Sized College/University (5,001 to 15,000 students)
Best Institutional Initiative – Large College/University (more than 15,001 students)
Excellence in Publication
Powerful Partnership Award
Outstanding Graduate or Undergraduate Student
Outstanding Contribution to Research and/or Literature
Outstanding New Professional (0-4 years of experience)
Outstanding Mid-Level Professional (4-8 years of experience)
Outstanding Senior-Level Professional (9 or more years of experience)
AHEPPP Founders’ Outstanding Professional Award (10+ years of experience)

Conference Registration Opens May 1!


New Webinar Added: Moving Beyond Orientation Online

Join New Student & Family Programs at CU Boulder to learn how they shifted family engagement and education tactics after launching new student orientation in an online format a few years ago. Outreach to families includes informative mailers sent to family homes, a biweekly newsletter for new and returning families, and an extensive online “Buff Family Resource Hub.” This webinar is open to both members and non-members of AHEPPP. 

Thursday, April 9 
1pm EST
Click here to register

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Article Round Up

COVID-19 has reshaped the spring for our members and friends. We've rounded up our favorite encouraging articles and opinion pieces for you to share with your parents and families and for you as we navigate a "new normal" with students back at home. 

For Parents:

A Message for Parents of College Students Working From Home (Including Myself), From a Faculty Member

10 Ways for College Students to Succeed During COVID-19

Tips for a Job Search During the Coronavirus Pandemic

When Your College Student Needs to Complete the Semester at Home

Parents, Now Is the Perfect Time to Extend Grace to Your Returning Students

For Campus Practitioners:

Don't Cancel Commencement

15 Ways You Know if You're Spending Too Much Time in Zoom

Why You Should Ignore All That Coronavirus-Inspired Productivity Pressure

Covid-19: The Crisis That Launched 1,000 Student Surveys

What ‘Middle’ Administrators Can Do to Help in the Coronavirus Crisis

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Job Postings

AHEPPP is happy to post job openings for all institutions regardless of membership. Positions will be posted on the website, posted in our members-only Facebook group and will emailed out to the AHEPPP membership. There is no cost and job information can be posted by emailing [email protected]. Positions will be posted for 60 days unless otherwise noted or requested.

Orientation Manager, Western Washington University
Assistant Director for Family Orientation & Events, University of Texas at Austin
Transfer Success Coordinator, Fresno State University
Associate Director of New Student & Family Programs, University of Arkansas
Program Manager (Assistant Director) for Peer Advising Program, Florida International University
Assistant Director of Family Programs, George Mason University 

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From our Partners at CAS 

To provide our users with tools as they plan for current and future implementation of CAS, we are providing additional resources for free to all who register through June 30. Free resources will include six white papers to help implement CAS. More details will be provided once you register at

Finally, we are interested in how those of you who lead CAS focused self-assessment are approaching program review processes during this time. While staff are adjusting to working remotely, the process of self-assessment and program review can continue given the technology to conduct online meetings; manage evidence collection, organization, review, and evaluation of materials; and perform most other functions necessary for completing your processes (including external review work). Knowing how people are responding during this time will help us plan for the future and best serve our users. If you are currently implementing self-assessment and program review using CAS, please take five minutes to complete our short survey about your next steps.

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Census Information for Parents

We are excited to announce that we are partnering with the U.S. Census Bureau to support the 2020 Census. As a partner, we will be working to make sure our community is accurately represented in the upcoming decennial count. Please share with your parents and families! 

The 2020 Census is critical even in this time of flux. Students who normally live at school should be counted at school, even if they are temporarily living somewhere else because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students are counted where they normally live so that accurate responses impact how billions of dollars in federal funding will be distributed to their school’s community for services like school safety, mental health services, and Pell Grants.

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