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Highlights from 2012 AIA National Convention

A New Staff Member’s First Experience

By Kristen Albertsen

On May 17, the AIA welcomed members, providers, practitioners and product manufacturers from around the globe to our hometown of Washington, DC, for the AIA 2012 National Convention.  Convention attendees were invited to keynote speeches by the likes of Pulitzer Prize winner David McCullough and Secretary of Housing Shaun Donovan, tours of such landmarks as Capitol Hill and the Washington Monument, and education sessions and friendly receptions sponsored by our valued providers and exhibitors.  The sense of shared passion and purpose among members and the wider AIA community was palpable, and from the perspective of the CES team the convention was a resounding success.

As a first-time attendee and, in fact, newest member of the AIA CES team, the convention experience was fascinating, exciting and galvanizing.  It was an eye-opening introduction to emerging technologies and best practices in the field, and a warm and collegial welcome to the AIA and its constituent community.  Moreover, it was a thrilling perspective on all that the CES team and our providers have done to date, and all that we plan to and can do in the future.

As a professional educator, this last component is particularly exciting for me. I joined the AIA CES team as a Consultant, and will be working closely with the provider training team.  I have a Master’s in Education and experience in higher, adult and vocational education, both in classroom instruction and curriculum development.  I am especially interested in the CES’s cutting-edge approach to distance and online learning, and am excited to explore with you opportunities afforded by the CES Discovery platform.  Like my fellow members of the CES team, I believe that improved understanding and open communication between the AIA and our providers is key to offering the best possible materials, training, and knowledge advancement to our members.  To that end, I believe that my past experience in education and curriculum design will serve our mutual objectives well.

The first initiative I will be facilitating is a webinar scheduled for Tuesday, June 12 at 2 PM entitled ‘AIA CES for New Providers.’  This is a recently updated version of the course we offer to all new providers (and refresher for existing providers) and will provide a comprehensive introduction to the CES program and Discovery platform.  It will also allow for a Q&A session during which we will respond to ad hoc questions and generally encourage an open dialogue between the CES team and our new and existing providers. More information and registration can be found here:

The spirit of communication, cooperation, and knowledge building that I witnessed at the 2012 AIA National Convention is something that we at CES hope to cultivate with our providers and our members year-round. To kick that off, I encourage you to let us know about  your convention experience via Facebook at  Please feel free to share experiences, anecdotes and even photos with other convention providers on our Facebook page as well.   In sum, I look very forward to getting to know and working with you in the coming year, and hope to see you at AIA 2013!


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