HECMA’s 5 for Friday


The HECMA Roundtable that I attended in 2010 hosted by UT-Knoxville was life changing. Well, okay, more like “professional life” changing. Yes, Knoxville is beautiful. The sessions were wonderful. Our Hosts were very welcoming. And significantly, the Knoxville agenda has set the template for all future Roundtables. But more than that – it was the camaraderie. It was connecting with colleagues who over the years have become friends. It was developing my round table, my circle of “go to” folks; for advice, consultation, and perspective. And the humor. We laughed a lot. I hope the following tips help each of you reinvigorate or even establish your round table.

  1. Strengthen Relationships.

    Take the time to network. Whether it’s someone you already know from prior conferences or someone whose listserv posts intrigue you or even someone you found out works in your area of the country. The beauty of HECMA is our willingness to share, inspire and help each other grow stronger professionally. It also doesn’t hurt that this may be the largest gathering of professionals who actually “get” what you do on a daily basis. Bring plenty of cards so connecting after the RoundTable can be even easier.

  2. Choose the Right Sessions.

    The HECMA RT offers a plethora of options. And these are geared on three tracks: clinical case management, administrative processes and/or policies, and non-clinical case management. While it may be tempting to “stay in your professional lane” – think about sessions that can take you or your program to the next level. Where will you be in 2-3 years? What challenges might you need to be thinking about or which seeds might you need to be planting on campus to address? Feel free to ask a conference host or member of leadership if you are trying to make a choice between two sessions. Also – ALL session slides and materials will be available for all Roundtable attendees, regardless of which sessions you actually do attend.

  3. Be Smart about Your Smartphone.

    Many higher ed case managers will be coming to the conference with active cases in play back at their institution. Or still serving as the campus “go to” for risks and distress. Plan ahead as much as you can so you can “be here now.” As Case Managers you excel in multitasking. We get that. But for these few days, set limits where you can. And channel your internet urges into following the HECMA RT on twitter. @HECMA_org #HECMA_2016

  4. Ask Questions.

    The RT will be filled with people who manage programs and services for students in distress and who work diligently to create plans to assist student in being successful. So ask for.. input, advice, solution ideas. In addition to sessions Q&A, the RT has built in Discussion group sessions; these are often based on functional area, institution size, and regions. While it may not be an exact fit for your campus or your situation – the path through the challenges in the field continue to be Shared Resources and Collaborative Networking.

  5. Find Balance.

    This is Florida. And all that that means. Enjoy your conference down time. Go out to dinner with new and old friends. Take a late night swim. Sit on the lanai and enjoy the stillness. Quiet your own mind and refresh your soul. And remember – Even if it starts to rains, given it a minute and the weather will change.

Inspired? Register now. Round Table Registration ends May 20th.


See you June!

JJ Larson
Higher Education Case Managers Association