Who doesn’t love the 80’s?  Okay, so maybe you don’t miss your hairdo and perhaps old pictures make you cringe, but a good 80’s concert is hard to turn down!  With so many festivals and celebrations in San Antonio and south Texas, there are bands, bands, bands, and it’s hard to keep up. During my first year living in San Antonio, everyone kept talking about the Spazmatics; and I kept wondering, what’s the big deal, there’s tons of 80’s cover bands.  Well, as they say, everything is bigger and better in Texas!  I first saw the Spazmatics at Oyster Bake, a signature annual event during San Antonio’s citywide Fiesta celebration.  O.M.G. They are not only spot-on with the songs, but they put on a FUN concert!

In summer 2014, the SoACE Board met in Austin for the first time to begin planning for the 2015 annual conference.  Since they are based in Austin, I knew the Spazmatics play regularly, so I had to check their tour dates and sure enough, they were at an outdoor music venue walking distance from the hotel.  Super excited, I somehow convinced the Board of the group bonding and team building experience this would be for us : )  Skeptics at first from the name Spazmatics, the Board had a great time, loved the band, and brought the idea back to the 2015 conference committee to look into securing the group for that conference closing.  Attempted but not secured, so many of us were disappointed not to share this fun experience with the entire SoACE organization.

Just announced last week, the Spazmatics will be at the “Night in Old San Antonio” closing conference evening in December!  Mark your calendar so you are sure not to miss this especially talented group, as it will no doubt be a fun and memorable event!

Amy Diepenbrock
SoACE Professional Development Director, 2013-2015

Letter from the President – Ray Rogers

Our 10-year anniversary event in December will be quite a milestone; looking back from where we have come since that time and what the future may hold.  We return to the place of our very first conference in 2007, the beautiful Riverwalk in San Antonio. Fittingly, Building Bridges to Opportunities is the theme for this special conference year and precisely captures the essence of our association’s mission. The Conference Committee is busy putting together what I believe will be one of the best SoACE conferences yet. From our keynote speakers, to some unique innovations in educational and networking sessions, you are definitely going to notice we stepped it up this year.  And, if you thought last year’s Tuesday night celebration was exciting, just wait until you see what we have in store this year.  Conference registration is now open and hotel rooms are filling up quickly.  I encourage you to make plans now to attend.

I also wanted to announce some changes within the SoACE board leadership.  Two board directors stepped down earlier this summer resulting from changes in their work roles.  Jamie Gaertner has moved to a new role with Enterprise that would also keep her from fulfilling her role as Director – Diversity and inclusion, and Alicia Jackson left Oklahoma State last month, starting a new position outside of the field that will keep her from being able to complete her role as Director – Membership Development and Retention.  We are extremely appreciative of the time and talent Jamie and Alicia have given to SoACE and will certainly miss them.  I am happy to announce that Kelvin Rutledge, from the University of Georgia, has agreed to step in as Director – Diversity and Inclusion, and Elizabeth Boggs, from Stetson University, will be serving as the Director – Membership Development and Retention.  We are excited to have them on the leadership team.

For many of us, the beginning of the 2017-18 school year will be remembered by hurricanes.  Both Harvey and Irma hit hard within the SoACE footprint.  From first-hand experience from my many years of living in both Florida and Texas, I know how deep the impact of these storms can be, and the toll they can take on our personal and work lives.  My most sincere hope that everyone is safe, housed, and dry.  Here’s to a hurricane-free remainder of the season.

Raymond Rogers
2017-2018 SoACE President
St. Edward’s University
Career & Professional Development


2017 Professional Development Scholarship Recipient – Donna Srader

I have worked in the Texas Tech University Career Center for three years now and anyone who has ever worked with Jay Killough, our director, knows his passion for helping his staff and our students identify their strengths. Two of my strengths are input, a desire for more facts and knowledge, and intellection, a need for intellectual activity. So when Jay urged anyone who was interested to apply for a SoACE scholarship, I jumped on it. I could learn something new and SoACE would pay! Win, win!

Because I am seeing more and more alumni who want to make a career change and current students unsure of their career objectives, I chose to obtain a Career Transition Certification through Career Thought Leaders Association. I gained new ideas, learned new techniques, and developed resources to help students and alumni work through the transition process in this self-paced program.

Of all the useful information I gained, the most valuable was learning to view the loss of a career or, for current students, the inability to complete a major they have worked toward for years, through the lens of the grieving process. This idea of grieving the loss of a job or the failure to complete a goal is not new. However, the suggestions for helping individuals through their grief will be invaluable in creating and implementing a structured process that is flexible enough to meet the in-depth needs of alumni while complementing the services we already offer to our on-campus and distance students.

Of the many different grief/transition models presented in the course, my favorite is the William Bridges Transition Model (http://www.wmbridges.com/index.html). This model begins with the loss or ending which transitions into the Neutral Zone. Most of the students and alumni that I see are in the Neutral Zone between the end of the old thing and the beginning of the new thing. The transition from the old to the new, whether it be a job or a way of life, can be long, difficult, and psychologically distressing. People transitioning through the limbo must mourn the loss of something before they can be comfortable with the change, the new thing.

Working with a career coach to transition through the Neutral Zone can be an opportunity for creativity and development. That ability to help students and alumni through the limbo of the Neutral Zone is my biggest accomplishment in the completion of this certification. Along with a greater understanding of the process of grief and transition, I have gained tangible resources to assist students and alumni.

Over the past three years, I have come to rely on SoACE for exceptional professional development opportunities, from the webinars to the conference each December. Utilizing the SoACE scholarship has broadened my perspectives and strengthened my skill set.

I value the opportunities that SoACE provides for sharing my experiences and learning from others. And I am grateful that I was chosen as a recipient of the SoACE Scholarship in 2017 because I gained new tools, skills, and information that will benefit my colleagues, current students, and alumni. I urge every member of SoACE who is eligible to apply for the scholarship!