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AACC NCHE > News and Events > Events > Convention > 2012 Virtual Totebag > 2011 Annual Convention Blog
AACC Convention is in Full Swing!
The AACC convention opened with a blast on Saturday. Below are some pictures from the exhibit hall grand opening reception.

Welcome banner outside of the Ernest Morial Convention Center.

brass band leading attendees into the exhibit hall.

Brass band leading attendees into opening reception.

Stiltwalker outside of exhibit hall.

Be a Part of the Recovery

by Tavia S. Cummings, Director of Convention/Meetings, AACC

Here are some ways you can be part of the recovery while you are in New Orleans.

Take a Tour of the Lower Ninth Ward
The Lower Ninth Ward, a community devastated by the flooding of Hurricane Katrina, is a neighborhood in New Orleans that is still recovering. It’s a must-see for all who visit.

Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation is helping to rebuild the Lower Ninth Ward, with an initial goal of constructing 150 affordable, relatively hurricane-resistant homes (makeitrightnola.org). More than a million people have donated elbow grease, money, and time, and the state of Louisiana has a website—volunteerlouisiana.gov—for people looking to lend a hand. Also, be sure to check out AACC's list of community service opportunities during convention. It's as simple as donating children's books to the local Boys and Girls Club of Greater SE Louisiana.

Support Local Artists
Visit the local flea market (open daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.), retail shops and farmers market (open daily 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.) located in the French Market. The French Market District encompasses six blocks on the riverside of the Lower French Quarter. The district includes more than 20 unique retail shops, performance venues, restaurants, cafes, a flea market and a farmers market. In addition to the recreational shopping opportunities and ongoing free special events, the District boasts historical monuments such as Washington Artillery Park (across from Jackson Square) and New Place de France (home of the Joan of Arc statue), as well as public art, scenic walkways, and convenient riverside parking.

Participate in AACC's Community Service Projects
Take a look at the opportunites to give back while at the AACC Convention.

The Convention Comes to You!
This year’s opening session promises to be noteworthy. On Saturday, April 9, at 5:00 p.m. ET, AACC’s President and CEO Walter Bumphus will speak about the new AACC 21st-Century Initiative. Dr. Bumphus will discuss what he heard from college leaders during the recent Listening Tour events, and what the next year holds as the 21st-Century Commission considers the future vision for community colleges.

Missing the convention doesn’t mean missing this great event. AACC will be live streaming the opening session so you can watch from anywhere. If budget restrictions or obligations keep you from New Orleans, simply go to the AACC Convention website. The link to view the session will be on the left bar.

And that’s not all. You can get even more convention access with the new virtual meeting package. The virtual meeting allows you to access 50 hours from preselected forum sessions and video from spotlight sessions. About the only thing you can’t access online is the New Orleans cuisine. Registration for this package is $249.

Follow You? Where are We Going?
Don’t know anything about social media? Still wondering, “What’s a tweet?”  Are you intimidated by the thought of creating a Facebook profile? Start your journey of becoming a social media master at the new AACC Social Media Bar!
Located in the AACC Learning Lounge (located in the rear of the exhibit hall), the Social Media Bar is where you can be formally introduced to a more connected way of life. AACC staff will be available to answer questions and help attendees create their online presence (including profile photos) on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
If you are already a social media master, be sure to connect to AACC on Facebook, TwitterLinkedIn, and YouTube.

Learn to Lead for Less

Get a jump start on your professional development. Preconvention workshops are a great way to enhance your convention experience and your leadership skills. Learn how to work with a board of trustees, build institutional capacity, and fundraise effectively. There’s also a workshop designed to help aspiring presidents get the job and keep it.   


Workshops are scheduled for April 8 and 9. The cost is $250 per workshop. The lessons learned? Priceless.   

Why I Love the City of New Orleans and Why I'm Proud to Call it Home

by Tavia S. Cummings, Director of Convention/Meetings, AACC


When I tell a new friend that I'm from New Orleans, LA (NOLA), they know who I am.


My home is known for its food and hospitality: red beans and rice on Monday and Festival year round; Mardi Gras parties, beads and "Second Line" umbrellas; Jackson Square; haunted cemeteries; the mighty Mississippi River; street cars; Dirty Rice and Dirty Politics; and let's not forget the humidity.


People here treasure family and friends, great food and equally great music. You’ll come to New Orleans a stranger, but the city will greet you like a returning friend.


While you're here I hope you get a chance to tour New Orleans' neighborhoods. 


Faubourg is a French term that literally means 'suburb' or neighborhood. One of my favorite neighborhoods is the Tremé. America's oldest African American neighborhood, the Faubourg Tremé—or as it is more frequently referred to, Tremé—was the site of significant economic, cultural, political, social and legal events that have literally shaped the course of events in Black America for the past two centuries. Yet, few outside of New Orleans except for scholars and historians know its enormous importance to Americans of African descent. Today, Tremé is the locale for visitors and natives alike to celebrate the achievements of African Americans. Scholars and historians have shared their immense knowledge with New Orleans residents and now Tremé is home to several museums dedicated to African American life, art, and history, as well as Armstrong Park, a memorial to the great jazz legend Louis Armstrong.


If there’s time, take a leisurely walk through one of the city's unique neighborhoods and find a myriad of styles, including a shotgun house - a narrow, often one-story affair with each room situated behind the other. (The idea is that if you fired a shot at the entrance, it would travel through every room and out the back.) The city's shotguns tend to be colorfully painted; a row of them strikes a picturesque pose. Driving through the Upper Ninth Ward, Bywater, Faubourg Marigny, Irish Channel, Uptown, and Riverbend neighborhoods provides concentrated viewing.


I hope you will love my city as much as I do because Hurricane Katrina also taught me what it truly means to miss New Orleans. Every time I leave, my heart breaks a little, because I don't know when I'll be back; for my soul, it feels like leaving home again.

AACC Room Block Availability

AACC Convention hotels are filled to capacity. We have been receiving cancellations, so we do suggest you keep checking back as the hotel of your choice might become available.

onPeak stampIf you are having trouble finding a hotel, onPeak, our official housing partner, will continue to help you find lodging at prevailing hotel rates.

To connect with OnPeak, visit the Hotel page.


Win Prizes In AACC’s Exhibit Hall!

Visit the AACC Exhibit Hall!Network with exhibitors, learn about new campus solutions, and participate in the “golf” game to be eligible to win great prizes! Simply pick up a golf course map, visit participating exhibitors to get your map stamped, enter to win, and then be in the hall at the designated times. It’s as simple as that!


  • One day of free golf at the 2012 AACC Annual Convention
  • A $1,500 gift certificate from Goldsmith for golf clubs or equipment of your choice OR a 51” flat screen television
  • iPads
  • Kindles

For details on how to play check out the On Par with Community Colleges golf challenge flyer under the Tote Bag Stuffer link.

How do you feel about the games AACC plays in it's Exhibit Hall? Do they attract you to come visit the Hall? If not, what does entice you to visit a exhibit hall when you go to a meeting? We'd love to hear your comments.

Try the AACC Personal Scheduling Tool!

The AACC Personal Scheduler is a planning tool that allows you to create your own schedule of events for the AACC Convention! With this tool, you can search or browse for events, add events to your schedule, add notes to each event, and download your schedule to your smart phone.

Navigating the AACC convention has never been so easy! Start creating your schedule now!

So what do you think about our new scheduling tool? We'd love to hear your comments!

You've been R.O.C.K.'dEverybody knows that you will get the soul of Jazz in New Orleans, but did you know that you could also get R.O.C.K.’d there?
R.O.C.K.’d stands for Random Opportunities for Convention Kindness. Throughout the convention, AACC will show you how much we think you ROCK! by giving out prizes to randomly selected registered convention attendees.
We appreciate your attendance and contribution to the 2011 Annual Conference, and we want to let you know it. So get ready to get R.O.C.K.’d!
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