NEWSLETTER / October 2020

Navigating Back to School and A Turbulent World of Work

Dear MCDA Friends and Members,  

Time is slippery and the months pass by quickly.  Everything seems different and I miss seeing you all in person.  I know many of you are busy navigating the return to school with your families or helping clients and students navigate the turbulent world of work. We, at MCDA, are putting our focus on delivering content and programming that we hope you find valuable and that unites us. The Zoom webinars and Career Cafes have helped me feel connected and thoughtful about my career counseling practice. How about you?

I would love to hear from you. How can we best support you now? Please contact me through email anytime.

Please renew your membership and also join us for our Career Cafes and the amazing Fall Workshop we have planned with Farouk Dey of Johns Hopkins on Nov 13th!  Don't miss our member spotlight below! Who knew we had members from states so far away?

Respectfully, Holly Smevog, President 


Fall Workshop 2020

October Career Cafe

National Career Development Month Art & Poetry Contest

See below for more info about these events, read our member spotlight and discover regional programs.


MCDA Fall Workshop:

Friday, November 13, 2020

Life Design for Navigating Change

Re-Imagining the Career Experience in a Post Covid19 World

Farouk Dey, Ph.D.

Vice Provost for Integrative Learning & Life Design, Johns Hopkins University

TEDx Speaker 2019 | LinkedIn Top Voice in Education 2018


  • Identify the new themes that define how people achieve their life purpose.
  • Ideate future directions for educational institutions, sole practitioners and workforce development and hiring organizations in order to achieve equity for all candidates.
  • Prototype solutions and tools for challenges we will face tomorrow.

Click here to learn more & register!

Join us for the 


Oct. 27th, 8:30-10:00am

Zoom Link Will be Announced Via Email & Website

A monthly discussion among career service providers to share best practices, build networks and discover ways to improve client service. 

In September, 50 people joined the Career Cafe to discuss COVID and how it has affected our lives and work as career practitioners.  The Career Cafe on Tuesday, October 27th will be even more interactive with breakout rooms to allow for conversation and networking.

This is a FREE event, open to the public.

NCDA promotes career development through its annual celebration of National Career Development Month.

Help us celebrate with the 55th Annual Poetry & Art Contest! 

55th NCD Month Image

This year's theme is 

"My Future Career: Imagine the Possibilities"!

View the contest flyer for details and deadline: MCDA Contest Flyer (1).pdf or contact our coordinator Tara Kierstead at [email protected].

Entries will be judged on how they celebrate and inspire career development with a positive tone while emphasizing the national theme.  Your ideas are valuable and worth celebrating! Every adult and student enrolled in school is eligible, as well as adult practitioners who are not in school.

Entries may be either poetry or art.

Member Spotlight: Steve Myers

Michelle Tullier connected with new member Steve Myers, a Service Learning Resource Teacher for Fairfax County Schools in Virginia.

How did a career development professional from Virginia come to be a member of MCDA?!

I attended the NCDA virtual conference this past summer and viewed Jim Peacock and Mark Danaher’s session on How to Market Your Career Services, which included a free 30-minute conversation via Zoom after the conference. I took them up on that offer and learned a lot. I shared that I had been on the executive board for the Virginia Career Development Association (VCDA) for a few years and was beginning my term as president-elect. Jim was very gracious during our virtual conversation and shared about his experience with MCDA and other state CDAs. I learned that MCDA had recently updated their website, which I was very impressed with, and I was impressed with all the virtual opportunities offered, so I thought that joining MCDA could help me both as a career development professional and aspiring leader with VCDA.

Tell us about your role as a Service Learning Resource Teacher.

I am a former school counselor who transitioned to this role in July 2019. I support all elementary, middle, and high school students in Fairfax County Public Schools (FCPS) with service learning initiatives. FCPS is the tenth largest school system in the country and we have approximately 189,000 students. I really enjoy working with schools to identify authentic service learning experiences and helping students make connections to career development. I am a strong believer in providing authentic work-based learning experiences for students that can be connected to their strengths and interests.

What is the accomplishment or innovation you’re most proud of in your current or recent roles?

When COVID-19 first arrived in Virginia, and we shifted to virtual distance learning, there were a lot of questions of how service learning would look moving forward. But during this time of dealing with COVID-19 and the racial injustices our country is grappling with, there has never been a more important time for our young people to remain engaged and find ways to serve. We are identifying safe forms of service, including student-led advocacy efforts, to help increase student voice and their belief that they can make a difference.

What sort of collegial support would you like to offer to MCDA members who could benefit from your experience and knowledge?

What I love about NCDA and being part of a state CDA is that we are all career development professionals from a variety of settings. However, I am surprised at times when I am one of the few K-12 counselors/ educators present during a career development event. I do believe that the future of education needs to involve business and industry partnerships, especially as we strive to increase work-based learning and service learning opportunities. If anyone from MCDA is looking to connect with a K-12 professional or wants to learn more about what career development looks like in the elementary, middle, or high school setting, please do not hesitate to reach out. And likewise, I always enjoy learning new and innovative practices in career development. 

Any plans to come visit us in Maine once we’re out on the other side of the pandemic?

Before COVID-19, my wife and I had begun researching and making early plans to visit Maine with our young son during the summer of 2020. Obviously, things changed and we have stayed home through this pandemic. But we are hopeful to make the trip. We have never visited Maine even though my wife completed her master’s degree (online) from the University of New England based in Portland. If anyone has any suggestions on places to visit, please feel free to reach out!

Steve can be reached at [email protected].

Thank you, Steve, and welcome to MCDA!

Career Convergence Highlights

The October issue includes a book review of A Field Guide for Career Practitioners by our own Jim Peacock!

Those of you in higher education career services might find this article relevant as you help students be prepared for working in uncertain times:

Integrating Mindset and Happenstance Learning Theory in a Post-Secondary Setting by Rachael C. Marshall and Erin Bennett 

The world of work is constantly evolving just as workers are changing. Career professionals in a post-secondary setting will need to create space in career advising and counseling sessions to allow students to grow in mindset and better understand the world of work. Mindset integrated with Happenstance Learning Theory can help students adjust and grow in uncertain times.

Also of interest for anyone working with veterans is this use of Bridges' transition model:

Navigating the Transition Wilderness: a Model for Coaching Veterans and Other Humans by Paulette M. Risher

Career development practitioners are often called upon to support those in the throes of major life transitions. The nonprofit, Still Serving Veterans (SSV) uses an adaptation of William Bridges three-phase transition model as a framework for sense-making, dialogue, and action for their Veteran clients.

Please join MCDA!

MCDA Member Benefits:

  • Accessible and affordable professional development opportunities
  • Monthly news and resource e-mail updates, and access to on-line professional development resources
  • Professional networking for sharing information about issues, opportunities and announcements from other organizations that might be of interest to members
  • A hub and resource for development and support of regional chapters throughout Maine and New England

Recordings of our 2020 Conference webinars are now available

to current MCDA members

in our brand new "members only" section of our website!


MCDA Members May Register for Regional Events at Member Rates!

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