Director at Large Position
Kenda Grover Ed.D.
I established membership with AAACE in 2010 and have attended and presented at the conference almost every year since. In 2016 I decided to increase my involvement by taking on a small role on the Conference Planning Committee and this year agreed to lead the planning for Connection Central at the 2017 conference in Memphis. This year I also accepted the invitation to serve on the Awards Committee.
I am certain that one of the best ways to learn more about an organization is to become involved in at least a minimal way beyond that of just being a member. In different aspects of my personal and professional life, this has resulted in experiences that have impacted me in so many positive ways. Through my involvement in AAACE in particular I have gained a better understanding of and appreciation for the field. My involvement has also resulted in my students’ and even a few colleagues’ involvement, which is perhaps one of the most gratifying aspects of my own membership.
I also believe we are responsible for our own professional development. As an assistant professor at a research-focused institution this means finding ways to improve my skills as a researcher and exploring innovative teaching methods. My own continuous learning is critical if my teaching is to be relevant and meaningful for my students. In the cases of both research and teaching, other people serve as my most significant resources. Through AAACE I have made connections with other faculty members across the country whose programs are similar to my own, networked with members to develop my research and teaching skills, and have received advice on projects on which I am working.
The primary reason I have continued my AAACE membership and conference attendance is because I appreciate the developmental culture of the organization. I find other members of AAACE to be encouraging, collegial, and respectful of my efforts to engage in the field. While I do not have a specific vision for AAACE, if prior experience with other groups is any indicator, ideas materialize as I learn more about the direction of the organization. There always seems to be space for anyone looking to impact the direction of the group. One aspect of AAACE I do find valuable and would like to see advanced is a focus on practitioners in the field. Most of the students in our program do pursue faculty roles if they are not already in one; they are in positions where they are planning education programs for adults in other environments. While theory serves as a foundation for what I teach, students benefit from practical knowledge and ways to reach the adults learners with whom they work. It is important for me to play a part in maintaining this particular emphasis of the organization. Beyond that, I am willing to learn about the goals that have been established for AAACE and do my part to advance its mission and purpose.
Statement of Background
Currently I am an Assistant Professor of Adult and Lifelong Learning at the University of Arkansas where I also serve as the program coordinator for the master’s program. This August I will submit my dossier for promotion and tenure. I teach master’s and doctoral level courses for the ADLL program, which is part of the department of Rehabilitation, Human Resources, and Communication Disorders. Before accepting the faculty position, I served as the RHRC Assistant Department Head. My professional involvement includes the American Association for Adult and Continuing Education, where I serve on the conference planning committee and the marketing subcommittee, and now have added the responsibility of planning activities for Connection Central, another element of the conference. In addition to AAACE I am involved with the Eastern Educational Research Association, where I served for many years as the Director of Communication and now as the Director of Awards, and am a reviewer for the Journal of Research in Education.
My involvement in the field includes serving on advisory boards for area organizations as well, including the Fayetteville Adult Education Center and the adult education programs at Northwest Technical Institute and Northwest Arkansas Community College. Other service responsibilities include those at my own institution, where I have been a member of the Graduate Council and the University Course and Program Committee at the university level, and as chair of the COEHP College Course and Programs committee. My research interests include Communities of Practice (CoP), self-directed learning, and adult education leadership.
Click here to view Kenda's vita.