Global Conference Brings Colleges Together in Atlanta

Contact: Rebecca Rakoczy
Phone: 678-89-2691
Fax: 678-891-2966
Author: Rebecca Rakoczy

For Immediate Release

Sharing Knowledge from Across the Globe, GPC Hosts International Chair Academy Conference

It was a special four days for GPC on March 26-29, as the college played host to an international Chair Academy Leadership conference and picked up some kudos for its own leadership. The event was held at the Sheraton Atlanta Hotel. With the theme, “ Leading to a Brighter Future,” the conference attracted more 500 deans, chairs and leaders from colleges and universities from the United States, Canada, the Netherlands and Australia.

Recognized with International Exemplary Leadership awards during the conference were Dr. Anthony Tricoli, Dr. Beth Jensen, Jim Rasmus, Dr. Vincent June; Shelethia Champion, Betty Bernardo and Lewis Godwin. All were nominated by their colleagues in recognition of their demonstrated best leadership practices and their commitment to their institutions, their teams and the students they serve. Dr. Tricoli gave special recognition to the college’s information technology team, which managed the entire conference’s IT needs. “They proved they can handle any issue with grace and competence,” he said.

This was the first time a University System of Georgia college has sponsored the international conference and it served as an important way for GPC to showcase its message both nationally and internationally said Tricoli.
With morning music provided by GPC students and musicians, the conference showcased more than 87 concurrent tracks and roundtables for attendees, including presentations from more than 30 GPC faculty and staff.

“This conference was an excellent way for us to share our accomplishments as an institution, as well as learn from other institutions about how they’re tackling similar issues,” said Tricoli, who served on several panels during the conference. Tricoli welcomed the conference attendees during a kick-off event. “The performance of our faculty, our staff and our students has proven time and time again that Georgia Perimeter College is a pioneer in higher education,” Tricoli told the conference leaders. “We are a leader in our community, our state and our nation. And none of our achievements would have been possible without a team of talented individual leaders throughout the college – individuals like yourselves -- who are committed to academic excellence and student success.”

During the four-day conference, panelists had an opportunity to get feedback from attendees after their respective programs. Dr. Lisa Fowler presented along with Tricoli, June, Frank Nash and Richard Beaubien on “Proactively Manage Enrollment: GPC Success Story!”
Said Fowler after the panel, “I talked with the vice president for Academic Affairs from Ivy Tech (Community College) in Indianapolis, and she was particularly interested in the group “make- up” of our Enrollment Management Team – what representatives are on the team and from what areas. She also commented on how the team approach has worked at GPC and has not been tried at her institution. I think that is what I heard most – it was teamwork and not huge amounts of money that led to the improvements at GPC,” she said.
Several first-generation students came to one of the sessions, presenting with Bill Price, GPC Communication professor, Tricoli and Tamra Ortgies Young, director of GPC’s adult online learning initiatives. As part of the panel, Tricoli interviewed the first generation college students.

“It was the perfect pairing,” said Ortgies Young. “Dr. Tricoli (who was the first in his family to attend college) and GPC first-generation students discussed their experiences in college. I believe everyone came away with a greater understanding of the challenges to college success for first generation students. One interesting point was that there were several first-generation faculty were in the audience. It was a topic near and dear to their hearts, and it resonated with them in the same way it did for our president.”

“This was a great conference—with several opportunities for growth, said Tina Philpot, a GPC business chair who presented at a roundtable. “As presenters, we were fortunate to gather many new ideas for programs and practices from this dynamic and focused audience of chairs from around the nation.”

“This year's conference was certainly a special one,” said Tobi Coleman, director of operations for the Mesa, Arizona-based Chair Academy. “Even though we have lost our founder and leader, Gary Filan, we know he was there in spirit. Gary would have loved it—thanks to Anthony Tricoli and the team at Georgia Perimeter College. We had a great experience working with GPC while planning the conference, as well as during the event. Additionally, the music groups that were comprised of Georgia Perimeter College students and faculty were outstanding. We truly enjoyed our conference in Atlanta. It was a wonderful experience that we won't soon forget.”