Last year's final post  included several people who continued to play an instrumental role in 2011 in guiding, mentoring, teaching, and challenging me. With 95 blog posts (more than that if I add up posts from other blogs that I've written), a 3,000-mile cross country move , multiple speaking engagements, 25 episodes of Student Affairs Live , and a renewed interest in running, this year was full of experiences that make me extremely optimistic for 2012. As I wind down 2011, and prepare for 2012, I want to acknowledge some of the wonderful folks who made this year shine brightly:
- Seth Odell : Seth created HigherEdLive.com , challenged all of us to think outside the box and became one of my personal higher education heroes.
- Gwen Dungy : This was Gwen's last full year as the Executive Director of NASPA. She retires in March of next year and we all will miss her leadership, wisdom, and awesome sense of humor.
- Jennifer Joslin : One of the smartest leaders in academic advising. She served as president of NACADA this year. Connect with Jennifer if you need insight about how to be an effective leader in the advising profession.
- Jeff Lail : While we didn't always get along in 2011, I'm really glad that we challenged each other numerous times. I know that I'm a better thinker because of Jeff's queries.
- Lisa Endersby : When I asked Lisa to co-facilitate a social media unsession with me in March, she never hesitated. Her leadership is astounding and I predict big things from her in 2012!
- Joe Sabado : Joe's blog  should be required reading for everyone in Student Affairs. Yep, it's that good. His wisdom can catapult this profession into a place where technology is one of our primary competencies. It was a true pleasure getting to meet him at this year's #NASPAtech conference .
- Jess Faulk : I love meeting people who have amazing ideas. Jess Faulk is right on the edge of bringing her amazing ideas to fruition!
- Jenny Mackintosh : One of many terrific professionals at Boston University, Jenny has been instrumental in helping me get connected with folks in Boston.
- Ann Marie Klotz : AMK is a consummate professional who makes everyone better. Her critique of my business cards still sounds in my head as a reminder that we all can do better.
- Michael Stoner : Freely sharing his wisdom, Michael may not be known to many in Student Affairs, but he is a major player in the higher education sphere. Kindness emanates from him.
- Mallory Wood : Mallory included me in a song that she co-wrote . It made my day and perhaps a large part of my year. In all seriousness, Mallory is a rising star for sure!
- Lauren Landry : When I moved to Boston, I immediately started reading BostInno. Lauren covers Education  for the site and I'm consistently impressed with her writing and work ethic.
- Georgy Cohen : Part of the unofficial higher education Boston welcome committee, Georgy is a rock star and her content-driven consulting endeavors are rising to new heights with the launch of her new digital communications business .
- Mike Petroff : Mike created eduTweetups  and co-hosted this year's eduTweetup event. His contributions to the community were epic. I can't wait to see what Mike makes in 2012.
- Leslie Dare : Leslie has been an inspirational figure in the student affairs technology scene for a very long time. Reconnecting with Leslie this year was a wondrous experience. She is one of our core leaders when it comes to technology and student affairs. More people need to recognize her amazing contributions.
- Levester Johnson : I first met LJ when I was a new professional at UIC in 2005. Reuniting in 2011 at two different conferences was a true delight for me. LJ's leadership at Butler University and for NASPA solidifies his status as one of the emerging pillars of the student affairs profession.
- Deb Schmidt-Rogers : Deb and I don't often get to talk, but when we do, I tend to listen more than I talk. She is one of the most-caring, insightful, and inspirational people in our profession. Deb's humility gives her a wisdom that most of us spend a lifetime trying to achieve.
- Ardith Feroglia : As the lead-tweeter for Student Affairs Live episodes, Ardith showcased her awesome writing style, sense of humor, and technical capabilities. Thanks ALF for making each show a memorable experience. (Rachel Luna  - when ALF was away, you stepped in and did a great job of tweeting too!)
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