Quarterly Connector
July 2020


In this Issue

President's Perspectives
AHEPPP Experts Podcast
Summer Hot Topics
Parents and COVID: Communicating/coordinating Opportunity, Value and Information During Crisis
Maximize Your Membership
2020 National Conference
Job Postings
Stay Connected

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, 

We must act.  

The murders of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbury, George Floyd, Rayshard Brooks and the false accusations against Christian Cooper yet again reveal the painful realities and the dangers of being Black in America.

Like you, our students and their families, and so many in our nation, we are heartbroken and believe it's unacceptable that racism and racial injustices still exist.

And yet, even in the suffering we are also realizing moments of optimism that allow us to see that we are motivated to change. These moments of assurance can be seen by:

  • the days of coast-to-coast protests
  • a momentous decision protecting L.G.B.T.Q. people against workplace discrimination 
  • a win for DACA and Dreamers as Justices blocked the current administration's attempt to end the program that protects and hundreds of thousands of Dreamers from deportation
  • Major companies have added Juneteenth as a paid holiday -- and senators including John Cornyn of Texas, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Tina Smith of Minnesota and Ed Markey of Massachusetts have proposed bills to make the day a federal holiday.

This work belongs to all of us. Our shared mission at AHEPPP and our shared values as educators require us to own this work. The Board of Directors began working on new pillars of focus in January 2020. One of those pillars is dedicated to increasing cultural fluency, an infusion of social justice, and inclusion. While on retreat we began working on establishing a sense of belonging for everyone, providing support for our colleagues who serve students and families at HSI and HBCU’s, and continuing to identify the needs and/or areas of concern for our members. We will be partnering with colleagues who have content-area expertise with regard to diversity, equity, and inclusion. And, yes, we have colleagues whose life experiences have much to teach us.  I’d like to thank our BOD work group of Maureen HurleyTasha Talton and Andrea Mitchen for their guidance and leadership to help AHEPPP continue to establish and learn the best ways to create this space for all and to hold AHEPPP accountable to do the work. As we move into the future, we must be clearly and consistently committed to, and invested in, the work of becoming antiracist. 

This spring, in addition to the very important work of diversity and inclusion, the Board took time to reflect on our work around supporting regions, our mentorship programming, expanding our partnerships and sponsorships, and our greater policies and practices. We reviewed and rewrote the bylaws as well as edited some of the amendments. The Board continues to be dedicated to providing the best possible services and engagement as the premier association to serve collegiate family professionals.  

As we navigate the uncertain waters of both the pandemic and confront the pandemic of racism, know that AHEPPP will continue to provide the most robust experience for all of our members and an opportunity to grow and connect. 


Join me as we affirm that Black Lives Matter and Love has no label.  

Humbled and honored,

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

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College Ready 2020 - AHEPPP Experts Podcast

Attending college in the Fall of 2020 will be unlike any year before. And for parents of college students, the run-up to the beginning of school will be filled with more than the usual uncertainty, anxiety, and tough decisions. WiseAction has partnered with AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education to create a podcast series for you to share with your parents and family members. It's hosted by Andrea McCarren and features several AHEPPP members from across the country! Click here to preview and shareEach episode of “College Ready 2020” will help parents of college students prepare for the logistical challenges and the emotional rollercoaster ahead, whether or not their student is going to college for the first time or returning for their senior year. 

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AHEPPP Summer 2020 Hot Topics Roundtables

In response to the rapidly changing circumstances of the Spring and the collaborative nature of our membership, we were excited to host the AHEPPP Hot Topic Roundtables this late spring and early summer. Our topics included Family Weekend, Fall Events, Commencement Celebrations, Supporting your Team Virtually, Summer Events, Engaging Boards and Councils, Move-In, Welcome Week, Budget Creativity, and Diversity and Inclusion. The roundtables provided an opportunity for members to discuss their current plans, garner ideas from fellow professionals, and brainstorm together. Many of us are single person or small offices and the fellowship and knowledge from other members from across the country has added additional support during this tumultuous time. Thank you to everyone that participated! 

Our last roundtable on Diversity and Inclusion was very popular and we will be hosting a Part 2 on Thursday, July 9. Our final roundtable of the summer will be Fall Events Revisited on Thursday, July 16. Both will be at 2 pm ET/1 pm CT/12 pm MT/11 am PT. We hope you will join! 

Our Regional Calls, hosted by our Regional Chairs, will resume in late-July/early-August. Stay on the lookout for an email from your Regional Chair soon about dates and times. They will also be hosting three calls in the Fall as well to keep your Region connected. The Regional Calls are also a great opportunity to connect with others and to garner ideas from your colleagues. 

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Crisis Communication: Parents, Partners and Implications for the Future

In May of 2020 AHEPPP and TorchStar Education conducted a survey titled: Parents and COVID: Communicating/coordinating Opportunity, Value and Information During Crisis survey. Thank you to those who participated!

Results are now available as a Webinar. Review data from more than 140 Parent/Family Engagement practitioners and learn about the impact and effectiveness of our communication to families during the past spring. Explore potential areas for strategic partnerships on your campus, program growth, and resource development. This session contains valuable information for your entire leadership team. Click here to view.

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Maximize Your Membership - By Sharing It!

As we navigate challenging times together partnerships, campus collaborators, and senior leadership support for parents and families is more important than ever. If you have yet to add your supervisor, new hire, graduate assistant, or colleagues in advancement, admissions, or student life to your AHEPPP account, now is a great time to do so! Your institution's membership includes up to four unique logins and additional can be purchased if desired.

Adding new users is easy!  Simply login to, hover over your My Profile tab, then choose the "Your Organization" options that appears. Once you do, you'll be taken to your school's profile. Then, click the "Linked Profiles" tab. You will be able to add/create new linked profiles for the additional members on your campus. Need help? Contact [email protected]

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2020 National Conference

AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education is closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 response by our member institutions and is preparing to transition for what lies ahead. Like you, we are working to adjust our plans for fall in ways that are inclusive, affordable, and safe. Our top priority is the well-being of the individuals who comprise our AHEPPP: Family Engagement in Higher Education community. That said, it’s important for our professional niche to meet and connect. We ask that you please continue to hold the dates November 16-18, 2020 for our National event, "The Magic of Family Engagement" and stay tuned for future updates on how you can be involved regardless of your ability to travel. 

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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.

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