Student Leaders Attend National Advocacy Conference in New Orleans

by Alana J. Mauger

A delegation of three student leaders from Montgomery County Community College recently returned from New Orleans, La., where they spent three days discussing critical student issues at the American Student Association of Community Colleges’ (ASACC) National Leadership, Citizenship and Advocacy Conference.

The College’s representatives included Grace Pusey, West Campus Student Government Association (SGA) President; Shaina Goldberg, Central SGA Senator and Executive Assistant for the ASACC Student Leadership Team; and Christine Chiodo, Central SGA Senator. They were accompanied by the College’s Director of Student Leadership and Involvement Chris Coia.

“ASACC gave me the practical tools for connecting to my teammates and motivating others to develop and contribute their skills,” said Grace, a sophomore Liberal Studies major. “Each workshop focused on a different facet of effective leadership and communication, and students worked collaboratively to creatively, quickly and resourcefully solve problems.”

In addition to participating in discussions with 150 other community colleges students from across the country, Grace, Shaina and Christine earned student leader certifications in ASACC’s L.E.A.P. program (leadership, education, advocacy, planning and service). They also participated in meetings and workshops on such issues as meeting management, conflict resolution and influencing the legislative process.

“Student Governments are essential to the welfare of college communities, and ASACC gave me the knowledge, networks and resources to reach out and address key issues for community college students nationwide, such as Pell Grant funding and the DREAM Act,” said Grace.

Christine, who is a freshman Liberal Studies major, described the experience of attending the conference as a privilege. “I met amazing people from all over the country, learned new ways to fundraise and how to make SGA a force to truly be reckoned with. I hope to integrate what I have learned to improve how the College and SGA work together.”

Shaina, who is majoring in Nursing at the College, has been involved with ASACC since 2009 when she was elected as the organization’s national Vice President of Student Leadership. Last spring, she had the opportunity to meet with Mary Ellen McGuire, President Obama’s senior advisor to education on the Domestic Policy Council.

For more information about ASACC, visit

Director of Student Leadership and Involvement Chris Coia (left) stands with students Shaina Goldberg, Christine Chiodo and Grace Pusey.

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