Around four months ago, I packed up my car and headed north to Indianapolis. Many of my friends scoffed: “What on earth will you be doing in Indianapolis for three weeks?” Quite honestly, I wasn’t truly able to explain—professional development seminar sounds so boring! And about history museums? No wonder my friends were confused.
Now that I’m back home in Dallas, I can’t stop talking about my experience at SHA, the friends I made and the lessons I learned. I’ve given little talks about SHA to the board, staff—and scoffing friends. I’ve used SHA-proven exercises during strategic planning sessions, discussed some articles with staff, and had them do the work-style quiz. In other words, the giant SHA notebook comes off the shelf about once a week.
Though I’m confident that deciding to apply to SHA was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, it wasn’t without risks and sacrifices. Putting your life on hold for three weeks is hard. And when the annual professional development budget for a department is half what SHA costs, the expense itself can be risky for an institution with a tight budget. Winning the Denny O’Toole Scholarship removed my financial risk in attending SHA. I’m very conscious of the investment AASLH and the other partners put into me and my institution through this gift. And I’m more than ready to give back!
Think of giving to the Denny O’Toole Scholarship Fund as a way of saying thank you—for all the conversations, meals, beverages, jokes, and moments of inspiration. You’re not just providing an opportunity for someone to have the SHA experience—you’re investing in the future of the field.
Thank you for your support—and I hope to see you in the Twin Cities this fall!
PS: Act soon, contribute to a colleague’s life-changing experience through the Denny O’Toole Scholarship!