#FloridaACE18 Drive-In


Flyer 2018

The 2017 Drive-In Conference on November 3rd is a time for making connections and networking with Florida ACE members.  Register now so that you can connect with new people and meet up with old acquaintances.

We are excited about Florida State University hosting the event this year at their new career center in Tallahassee!  Tours of the facility will be offered during the lunch break and we will hear from FSU staff about implementing industry best practices and the many innovative career readiness initiatives at the university.  If you attended last year’s Drive-In at UCF, then you know how much information Florida ACE packs into the sessions and discussions.

We encourage member schools and employers to reach out to other colleges and businesses in your area to promote this must attend event. It is a great way to introduce the resources of Florida ACE to new people in the field.  Registration is limited to the first ninety people who sign up!

FloridaACE Drive-In Conference Registration

“Urgent! You Need to Show Your Work!”

Ben HeinsBen Heins – Coordinator, Internships and Service Learning – USF Sarasota-Manatee

Early in my time at USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Career Services, it was revealed that I studied, read, and wrote poetry fairly extensively ever since I was in my early twenties. My then-supervisor bought me a very thoughtful gift soon thereafter: a book that grounded many work-related philosophies I held and taught me several new ones that I practice every day. Unbeknownst to her, that book – Show Your Work by Austin Kleon – was written by a poet who taught me the craft of erasure, one of my favorite poetic styles. It was one of life’s full-circle moments that made a deep impact on me as a professional and as a person.

In Kleon’s book – a follow-up to his bestselling Steal Like an Artist – the goal is to work in 10 new “ways of operating” to more effectively tell your story. When applied to the work we do as practitioners of career services, Kleon’s suggestions help prioritize and publicize data collecting, which in turn amplifies our narrative without losing the human, collaborative element. In each of the 10 sections, he keeps the language approachable and easy to internalize. Let’s check out the chapters:

  1. You Don’t Have to Be a Genius
  2. Think Process, Not Product
  3. Share Something Small Every Day
  4. Open up Your Cabinet of Curiosities
  5. Tell Good Stories
  6. Teach What You Know
  7. Don’t Turn into Human Spam
  8. Learn to Take a Punch
  9. Sell Out
  10. Stick Around

Each of these 10 parts have excellent, pertinent strategies we all can use. Little nuggets abound – some more relevant than others, depending on what speaks to you. For example, every day, I still seek touch points with my “scenius” – a scene of like-minded individuals whose collective of ideas is greater than any single member’s; an “ecology of talent,” as Kleon puts it, that is critical to forward movement. I take time every day to give credit where credit is due because it leads to stronger relationships and new, fruitful connections. At a low cost, these lessons and many more are available now and can help elevate the quality of our work to a new level.

Alternatively, email me, and I’ll gladly mail you my copy to borrow. (heins@sar.usf.edu)


Carmen Ellis and her first-timers takeaway! #FloridaACE17

Carmen Carter, M.S. – Assistant Director for On Campus Recruitment – Career and Talent Development – FIU


FloridaAce was such a wonderful conference, as a career service professional it is always invigorating listening to other institutions and learning about the programs and initiatives that they’re implementing to help students. I received so many takeaways and cool ideas that I plan on using at Florida International University. I valued meeting colleagues from other institutions as well as hearing from employers/ recruiters on ways we can work better together.

2016 New Member Award – Kelvin Rutledge

Megan Hollis, Senior Assistant Director, Experiential Learning – FSU

Kelvin has been an active member of FloridaACE since he joined in 2014. After graduating with his Master’s degree in Higher Education and starting as a professional Kelvinstaff member at Florida State University, he jumped in ready to contribute by presenting at the annual conference in 2015 and 2016. He also stepped up to chair the Evaluations Committee for two years in a row, using his extensive skill and passion for research and evaluation.

In his role at Florida State University, Kelvin coordinates our Mock Interview Program, offering 500+ face-to-face, phone, skype, and panel interviews to undergraduate and graduate students each semester, and trains and supervises 10+ Mock Interview Mentors to make this happen. He is also pursuing his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration.

Kelvin is passionate about career services and creating dialogue among peers to further advance the field and bring people together. These characteristics and actions are what we hope for in new members, and give us confidence for the future of our profession!

Kelvin joins the ranks of our past New Members of the Year, including Stacy Lanigan (2015), Tara Stevenson (2014), Valerie Kielmovitch (2013), and John Sheehy (2012).

Lights. Camera. Destination Miami

Lights. Camera. Destination Miami. The 2016 Florida ACE Annual Conference provided a space to re-frameflorida ace picture-page-001 and examine current career service practices and enrich the future through conference programming. The conference evaluation is designed to give attendees the opportunity to provide insight and feedback to their experience in addition to provide suggestions to improve the 2016 annual conference. Thus, the purpose of the following report is to illustrate the survey results for the conference and to be utilized as an objective marker to help plan, enhance, and maximize future conference experiences.

The conference evaluation survey consisted of 18 questions where participants were given the opportunity to rate the overall conference, programming, and events, and provide feedback on what they found to be most and least useful and/or effective. A rating scale of Excellent, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor, and N/A were used in conjunction with open-ended questions for comments and suggestions. The survey received 58 total responses yielding a 48% response rate. Overall, over 86% of conference attendees who participated in the survey described the conference as “very good” or “excellent.”  Additionally, the publicity and promotions, conference programming, and conference location were well received by conference attendees.

Programming was viewed as a quality component of the conference experience. The opening and closing sessions framed the multi-faceted nature of the work well. Additionally, breakout sessions engaged and developed multiple conversations across institution types. The top rated breakout sessions were as follows: Educating Students about Professional Dress in a Gender Inclusive Manner (4.71/5.0); On Campus Brand: The Road to Success (4.64/5.0); and SITE – The Senior Insight and Transition Event – Aka: The Senior Career Conference (4.57/5.0). Roundtables, special events, meals, and receptions were well received by the general membership as well.

The Florida ACE Board of Directors and Conference Committee members is always willing to receive feedback for conference planning purposes. Should you have any comments or questions, please feel free to contact any Board of Director.

I decided to “come to the Dark Side”

– a.k.a. higher education administration – after wrapping up a Visiting Assistant Professor of Writing contract, wherein I realized that educating students on professionalism was truly my calling. My transition led me from the Northeast to Florida’s Suncoast, where I have been fortunate enough to find my home at the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee.

Not knowing what to expect from my first FloridaACE conference, and having only seen (a version of) Miami when playing Grand Theft Auto: Vice City or bingeing CSI: Miami, I decided to go in with open expectations. After all, these were my new colleagues – an even broader cohort than the one I already shared on the West Coast.

Although the days, much like any exceptional conference, were filled with engaging and frequently enlightening presentations, the down time was where this experience truly came alive. The lighthearted, down-to-earth atmosphere of the conference afforded its participants a level of comfort I had not felt in (non-Career Services) academic conferences, and when that comfort mixed with hot Miami nights and a cocktail hour or dancing, all of a sudden, we were all on top of the world.

All of this personally culminated in an amazing tour of South Beach’s nightlife on the eve/day of my birthday, June 24. I had the time of my life with colleagues I just met literally less than 48 hours earlier, and we celebrated like we had been friends for years.

During the final excellent breakfast of FloridaACE 2016, after only two hours of sleep, I felt tired but elated. My year of transition was capped by a magical meeting of the minds in one of the coolest cities in our country. My notebook was stuffed with awesome ideas, my phone was updated with several important new contacts, and Miami was a symbol of promise – all these new experiences were exactly what I had hoped for, and more were on the way. The Dark Side never seemed so sunny.

Ben Heins – Internship Coordinator, Career Services
University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee

Congratulations to the 2016 John T. Brownlee Leadership Award Recipient, Tracy Joinson

Alicia Smyth, 2016-17 President, Florida Association of Colleges & Employers

Tracy Joinson, 2016 Brownlee Award RecipientThe Florida Association of Colleges & Employers is proud to announce that this year’s John T. Brownlee Leadership Award recipient is Tracy Joinson. Tracy currently serves as Coordinator for the Career Center at Palm Beach State College, where she has worked for the last 18 years. Tracy served on the FloridaACE Board of Directors from 2006-2016. She spent four years as the Member-at-Large, School before serving terms as Secretary, Vice President, President, and Past President. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from Keene State College and a Master of Science in Higher Education, Student Affairs from Florida State University. Additionally, Tracy was among the first members of FloridaACE to receive the President’s Award when it was established in 2012.

In order to be considered for the Brownlee Leadership Award, a member must receive two letters of nomination. Those who nominated Tracy spoke of her commitment and dedication to the association and to the career services profession. Many of Tracy’s accomplishments were cited, including her important role in helping to implement MemberClicks, the successful conference she chaired in 2013, and most importantly, her charge to change the name of our association from the Florida Career Professionals Association (FCPA) to the Florida Association of Colleges & Employers (FloridaACE), as we know it today. Of Tracy’s many accomplishments, the latter is considered her most profound, as it allowed for our association to better align with our regional (SoACE) and national (NACE) associations and started a trend of increased membership, conference attendance, and pride for the association among members.

The John T. Brownlee Leadership Award was established in 1987 by the Florida Association of Colleges & Employers (FloridaACE) in recognition of John T. Brownlee’s contribution and tireless efforts on behalf of the organization. It is the highest honor that a member of FloridaACE can receive and the list of recipients is a “who’s-who” of outstanding career services and human resources professionals who have led the way to make FloridaACE the exemplary organization that it is today.

Excerpts from the nominations Tracy received:

Over the course of many years, Tracy Joinson has “quietly” served the members of FloridaACE through her leadership on the Board as well as less visible interactions as both a volunteer and mentor. Tracy truly leads by example and is not the type of leader that will seek recognition for her efforts, nor, knowing her, want it. I have witnessed many times, her ability to listen attentively to a deep group conversation and then very naturally summarize and bring the topic to effective action. This form of leadership is crucial in setting goals for an organization like FloridaACE, in order to serve its members while continually moving it forward.
– Mark Colvenbach, Director, Office of Career Services, The University of Tampa

Tracy embodies everything that FloridaACE could want in a member and in a leader, and accomplished many remarkable things during her tenure on the Board. … Even though Tracy is no longer on the Board, she has continued to positively impact FloridaACE by serving as chair of the vendor committee and by offering her assistance anytime we are in need. She has served as a sounding board for me on many occasions – more than I can count – and I value and trust her sound judgement and thoughtful approach to solving problems.
– Alicia Smyth, Executive Director, Career Services, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Tracy’s “steadfast leadership without the expectation of recognition” and the positive impact that Tracy has left in her wake, both on and off the Board, make her truly deserving of this prestigious award. On behalf of FloridaACE, congratulations to Tracy for her many accomplishments with sincere gratitude for her service, dedication, friendship and leadership.

The call for nominations for the 2017 John T. Brownlee Leadership Award will be announced in the fall. Please consider nominating a FloridaACE member who has made a significant contribution to the association and/or the career services or university relations/college recruiting professions. A list of past award recipients and selection criteria can be found on the Brownlee Leadership Award page of the FloridaACE website.