Monday, March 24, 2014

Reflecting on Our Past, Visioning Our Future: Celebrating 30 Years of Men & Masculinities Work in ACPA

Daniel Tillapaugh, Ph.D. @dtillapaugh
University of Maine
Chair, Standing Committee on Men & Masculinities

            In 2004, Harry Cannon, one of the founders of the then-Standing Committee for Men, wrote a lovely retrospective article of the SCM’s first 20 years.  The article – a brilliant history lesson on the founding of the SCM within ACPA’s organizational structure and other key aspects of the tensions between the feminist men’s movement with those within the men’s rights movement – provides a helpful reminder about the power of place.  Cannon (2004) writes:
The Standing Committee for Men has been ‘built into’ the institution that is ACPA.  The
            committee members not only find strength in each other, but have – over two decades –
            continued to make a difference in the lives of men on their home campuses. (p. 2)
A decade later, these sentiments still ring true.
              Over the past ten years, five chairs have led this organization and its work along with many dedicated and engaged directorate and leadership team members.  Matt Helm (2004-2006), Mike Strong (2006-2008), Paul Brown (2008-2010), Z Nicolazzo (2010-2012), and myself (2012-2016) have had the privilege of serving as chair of this organization, and even in a decade, the organization has continued to evolve.  The founders of the SCM were clearly supporting a pro-feminist perspective (Cannon, 2004), and that continues today.  Several years ago, the SCM’s leadership team reaffirmed the organization’s vision statement “to be a preeminent clearinghouse of information, knowledge, and professional development on issues related to men’s identity and development for all student affairs educators” (SCMM, n.d.).  We continue to aspire to this vision, and we are working proactively to reach this every day.
These past ten years have brought along new mile markers in our work to attain our vision statement.  In 2007, the inaugural Conference on College Men (CCM) was launched in collaboration with NASPA; the CCM has continued to be a biannual event with work already beginning for the next CCM in 2015.  In 2010, we saw the establishment of our Scholar-in-Residence program, which has provided opportunities for the dissemination of research and scholarship on college men and masculinities work by emerging scholars.  Throughout that time, we have been honored to have Chase Catalano (2010-2011), Dr. Brian D. Reed (2011-2013), and Dr. Brian McGowan (2013-2014) serve in this role, each with their research that provides an intersectional perspective of gender and other social identities.  Over the past few years, we have maintained a wonderful partnership with our colleagues in the NASPA Men and Masculinities Knowledge Community through three joint publications.  In 2012, we saw our name change officially from the Standing Committee for Men to the Standing Committee on Men and Masculinities with wide support of our members and the ACPA Governing Board, and the publication of an excellent publication on men and masculinities issues from a group of graduate students and new professionals.  2013 brought about increased opportunities for leadership involvement within the SCMM through Coordinator positions, one year appointed leadership roles.  Additionally, we launched our SCMM blog, which has continued to serve a vital role in the dissemination of knowledge for our members.  Personally, I was proud as both Chair and my role as a professor in the Higher Education program at the University of Maine to have the graduate students enrolled in my College Men & Masculinities course this Fall publish thoughtful and insightful blog posts here on the SCMM blog. 
This year brings a great deal of celebrating our past, present, and future.  We hope that you’ll continue to check out this space over the coming months to read the terrific insights of scholars and practitioners as well as some recognition of our 30 years of history.  Our social and awards ceremony at ACPA on Monday, March 31 from 6 – 7 p.m. in the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown – Boston will serve as a formal time to have our members come together and honor this momentous occasion.  However, our celebrations will happen outside of convention as well.  We have plans for a new webinar series that will be free to our members which will be launched this Spring, and we have established a partnership with ACPA’s quarterly online publication, Developments, which will publish a series of articles relating to issues of intersectionality and college men and masculinities.  We look forward to all of these opportunities to connect with you around these important issues within our community.
What comes next?  We have so much potential for our collective work in this next decade ahead.  The Standing Committee on Men and Masculinities is lucky to have a membership that is passionate about the work that we do and who supports our collective work.  Whether it’s connecting with us via Facebook or Twitter, in open meetings at convention, or other avenues, we welcome your involvement, input, and insights.  As we look forward to our 40th anniversary in 2024, I hope that our collective work continues to be informed by excellent research and scholarship, outstanding practices that aim to help support our college men, and partnerships that can move our field forward.  Thank you for your engagement, involvement, and support.  I look forward to connecting with many of you who will be in attendance at Indy ’14. 

Cannon, H. (2004).  Back when…  Men on campus: Standing Committee on Men Newsletter. 
            Washington, D.C.: ACPA.
Standing Committee on Men & Masculinities (n.d.).  Vision Statement.  Retrieved from

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