Below is some of last year's conference information for reference. Information about the 2018 Regional Conference will be provided as it becomes available.

Sample Schedule

All times are converted to Eastern Standard Time
Fri, November 17, 2017
2:00 PM


2:00 PM - 5:30 PM

2:30 PM

UMB Campus Center Tours

2:30 PM - 3:30 PM

3:30 PM

Newcomers Welcome & Orientation

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

UMB Campus Center Tours

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

4:30 PM

Opening Reception & Networking

4:30 PM - 5:30 PM

5:30 PM

Dinner & Welcome

5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

7:00 PM

Conference Keynote; Why Matters Now: How Purpose and Passion Inspire Meaningful Success with Justin Jones

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

You may be familiar with the bestselling book by Simon Sinek titled “Start with Why," which focuses on helping organizations and leaders discover their why. It started a movement to help people become inspired by their work and in turn inspire others. Jones-Fosu takes that one step further in his presentation "WHY Matters NOW: How Purpose and Passion Inspire Meaningful Success." Jones-Fosu believes that when you understand your why, it leads you to make better decisions, to say no more effectively, and to persevere when challenges arise. He will also encourage you to examine your now, what is your passion, and how passionately are you living your life right now.

8:00 PM

Case Study Overview & Introductions

8:00 PM - 8:45 PM

Undergraduate participants will be divided into teams and provided with a case study. With the guidance from a graduate student mentor, undergraduate students will reflect on the case study scenario and work together to develop a presentation discussing possible strategies and solutions to the case.

Evening Entertainment: Animal Adventures, Exotic Animal Rescue Center

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Meet and interact with a variety of exotic animals. Ed's Animal Adventures is the only rescue sanctuary in the Northeast for exotic animals. Animal Adventures has taken in exotic animals from countless individuals, numerous institutions. In many cases, it means picking up the thousands of dollars in costs to have the animal flown or shipped legally to their rescue center. Animal Adventures rescues and cares for animals that your local animal shelters are unable or unqualified to take care of. Learn about these exotic animals while supporting their unique mission.

Evening Entertainment: Cocktail Reception

8:00 PM - 9:30 PM

Sat, November 18, 2017
8:00 AM


8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Vendor Expo, Hospitality & Silent Auction

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

8:30 AM

Graduate & Professional Track Keynotes: Research Showcase

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Attendees will have the opportunity to hear both sessions in back-to-back 45 minute presentations.

Retaining New Professionals and Growing the Profession

Jeremy Schenk, Ph.D.

Dr. Schenk's research examines the relationship between the leadership practices of student union and campus activities directors, and professional outcomes of entry-level professionals—how we retain new professionals in the field, what supervisory behaviors make them leave, what supervisory behaviors keep them engaged and part of the profession. Attendees will learn about the importance of intentional focus on departmental leadership and supervision, the vital and important characteristics of being a good departmental leader, and what leadership practices will have a more positive impact on them during their critical time as new professionals. Jeremy's findings challenge our profession to focus on enhancing leadership and supervision skills, while also preparing the next generation of student union and campus activities directors.

Developing Global-Ready Leaders
Shelby Harris, Ph.D.

Hundreds of undergraduates completed a survey, analyzing 44 independent variables impacting pre-collegiate and collegiate experiences. Dr. Harris' results produced a concrete definition of a global ready leader and an accompanying instrument that measures the construct and can guide universities as they implement curricular and co-curricular programs that will support the development of students capable of creating change in an interconnected world.

Undergraduate Student Keynote: Student Leadership & Your Future Career

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

In the undergraduate track, student leaders will attend a presentation by Mathew Power-Koch, Manager of University Internships at the University of Massachusetts-Boston. Mathew will discuss the significance undergraduate leadership experiences has on your future career! Learn how to market your experiences on your resume, in interviews, and when networking.

10:10 AM

Embracing Everday Diversity - The Journey from Head to Heart

10:10 AM - 11:00 AM

Tired of the generic and boring diversity presentations, well I am too! Sometimes we have made diversity conversations so complex that people have missed its simple core and foundation. Diversity has also been made into a holding hands exercise where everybody agrees, but it really is more about authentic listening, being open, and respecting others even when we don't agree. We've been talking about “diversity" for the last two decades, and it's lost its meaning. I have pondered how we can hit some of the basics while still honoring the complexity of today's conversation, and I have discovered it's all about learning to embrace everyday diversity!

Core Competencies: Communication , Leadership, Student Learning

Presenter: Justin Jones, Justin Inspires

Local, National, European: Our Duty to Civic Engagement

10:10 AM - 11:00 AM

Stirling University in Scotland tackled four years of intense civic engagement spanning five elections and two referenda. This session offers an interactive discussion on how student organizations, institutions and students can engage in the local community to build civic engagement on a local, national and international level.

Core Competencies: Intercultural Proficiency, Communication, Student Learning

Presenters: Alban Dickson, University of Stirling
Jamie Grant, Univesiry of Stirling

Service Animals and Accommodations: What Union Operations Staff Should Know

10:10 AM - 11:00 AM

What is a service animal? What do student life and student union operations professionals need to know regarding service animals and campus facilities? Is an individual with a disability required to have certification for a service animal? What rights and responsibilities are granted to individuals with a service animal? Join Rita DiNunzio from the Massachusetts Office on Disability Services for an informative presentation that includes an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act as it relates to service animal accommodations. DiNunzio is an expert in this area, and participants will gain a better understanding of the law and learn guidelines which will enhance their union operations and customer service skills.

Core Competencies: Communication , Facilities Management

Presenter: Rita DiNunzio, Massachusetts Office on Disability

Strategies to Address the Breadth of Wellness

10:10 AM - 11:00 AM

This rise of the value of wellness in student life has had many positive influences in higher education, and if it continues as expected, what lessons can we learn from how we practice, how we organize, how we plan spaces to support student needs, and how we can improve student services to be more effective?
Campus partnerships between affinity departments has proven to be a necessary path forward. Wellness as defined by a vast range of services, from clinical to counseling to reflection to recreation to diet, has had much more of a recognized value for students and culture than in the recent past. The ultimate goal is to give students the tools they need to succeed while in college and also into their careers. Join us for a discussion on this timely topic!

Core Competencies: Communication, Leadership, Student Learning

Presenters: David Damon, Perkins and Will
Paulette Renault- Caragianes, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Diana Davis, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Student Unions & Student Life: UK, Ireland & US

10:10 AM - 11:00 AM

This session will provide an overview of higher education, union management and student life in the United States, Ireland, and the United Kingdom. The session will highlight our differences, but most importantly the similarities that bring us together. While there may be differences, we all share one common purpose, to facilitate student engagement.

Core Competencies: Intercultural Proficiency, Management, Student Learning

Presenters: Geoffery Combs, University of Massachusetts Boston
Una Redmond, Dublin City University
Yemi Gbajobi, Londond School of Economics

Your School’s Yearbook as a Way to Support Campus Community

10:10 AM - 11:00 AM

A yearbook is both a factual document that maintains the history of a school, and a very timely document that tells one specific story of one very specific year. A smart campus staff can use the yearbook to both, tie students to the past and to each other, while enhancing a sense of community on campus. In this digital age of individualization, the yearbook is critical to encouraging a sense of community and connectedness that all student activity programs are striving to create. We will discuss the yearbook as historical document, the yearbook that tells a present-day story, and the yearbook as a key to school spirit and community connectedness.

Core Competencies: Communication, Student Learning

Presenter: Tara Anderson, Jostens
Ericka Metevier, Jostens

11:10 AM and the Student Run Integrated Marketing Team

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

How do you ensure that messages are effectively communicated and SEEN by your intended audiences (e.g. students, faculty, staff, families, alumni)? Given the amount or human and capital resources spent on programs and services, many student union organizations spend very little on strategic messaging. This session will share how to effectively get audiences to see your digital messages through the lens of three years of experience operating a student run Integrated Marketing Team and the important lessons learned, and the plans to evolve this important resource on campus.

Core Competencies: Communication, Leadership, Technology, Marketing

Presenter: Ed Cabellon, Bridgewater State University

Ghosting Koyaanisqatsi

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

Ghosting Koyaanisqatsi is the process of dodging, what in the Hopi language means, an “Life Out of Balance." The student affairs profession can be known for long hours, at times crushing any attempt for a personal life. Through personal stories from the presenters, and the challenging of participants to explore their own personal experiences, this session strives to focus attendees vision of their own life, both work and elsewhere. From hot air ballooning to garlic farming, the presenters will share how they have been successful in finding, at times, a balanced life.

Core Competencies: Human Resources Development, Leadership

Presenters: Patrick Brown, University of Vermont
Lina Balcom, Univeristy of Vermont

Jedi Masters & Padawans: The Powerful Force of Mentorship

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

A Long Time Ago, At a College Far Far Away... there was a realization of a mystical energy field that helps to guide and coach students through their own personal and intellectual development, we have come to know this Force as a Mentor. Students need professional mentors just as much as every Padawan needs a Jedi Master. Mentoring may come in the form of guidance throughout college, post-graduate decisions, or even learning the ways of the Force. This session will guide participants through an understanding of what to do when you find yourself becoming a mentor to someone new and when you are looking for someone to mentor you, all while connecting in some very fun and interactive ways to the Star Wars Saga.

Core Competencies: Communication, Human Resources Development, Leadership, Student Learning

Presenters: Mark Metevier, Curry College
Abby Pieger, Tufts University

Leading Others with Their WHY and Now

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

Would you like to see your staff more motivated and inspired to do the work that really matters? If so, in this session Justin will help you have the conversations that matter and create environments where their why's and your goals can both succeed. In this session you will learn:
-How to determine the frequency of your why conversations
-How to walk your team members through the Clarifying Cycle of Success Model
-Practical ways to provide environments where those you lead feel respected and valued
This session will be interactive, engaging, and simply practical for you to take back and apply what you have learned!

Core Competencies: Communication, Human Resources Development, Management,

Presenter: Justin Jones, Justin Inspires

More Than Just Surveys: Making Assessment Work For You

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

The ability to demonstrate the value of your work to your institution is increasingly important as colleges and universities search for ways to make higher education more affordable, often at the expense of student affairs offices. Quantifying the impact your office has through the assessment of often intangible competencies (leadership, self-confidence, etc.) is a relevant skill considering the current socio-political climate. Grounded in CAS standards and College Student Leadership Competencies, this workshop will focus on feeling comfortable with the basics of assessment, creating an office-wide assessment plan, understanding the basics of creating a rubric, increasing your own assessment self-efficacy, and understanding that assessment can be fun!

Core Competencies: Communication, Management, Marketing

Presenters: Linda Bernazzani, Wentworth Technical Institute
Lauren Tyger, Wentworth Technical Institute

Navigating Campus Politics: Insights from "Seasoned Professionals"

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

No matter the size of an institution or the position held, the art of navigating campus politics is real when trying to accomplish department goals. Join four ACUI professional staff, with more than 100 years of combined experience, as they explore case studies, expand on their professional experiences and share recommendations and insights for student affairs professionals.

Core Competencies: Communication, Human Resources Development, Management

Presenters: Bruce Hamilton, University of Rhode Island
Rober Grier, Notheatern University
Gail Olya, Northeastern University
Donnchadh O'hAodha, University College Cork
Chuck Morrell, University of Conneticut

Transatlantic: Student Affairs and Student Life Trends from the UK

11:10 AM - 12:00 PM

What does student affairs and student life mean in the UK? Want new ideas from your neighbors across the pond? This session will discuss some of the big conversations in the UK including mental health, diversifying the workforce and student activism.

Core Competencies: Intercultural Proficiency, Leadership

Presenter: Yemi Gbajobi, London school of Economics

12:00 PM

Break Time and Silent Auction Bidding

12:00 PM - 12:30 PM

12:30 PM

Conference Lunch

12:30 PM - 1:50 PM

2:00 PM

Region VIII Meeting of the Members

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

Student Leadership Connections

2:00 PM - 2:50 PM

Hear from a panel of past student leaders! Learn how they used skills they developed throughout their undergraduate experience and transformed them into professional practice.

This year's panelists:
Andrade Fearon, Student Organization and Signature Event Manager, Northeastern University
Carian Diaz, Hall Director & Student Activities Coordinator, Clark University
Fakisha Fabre, Enrollment and Match Support Specialist, Big Sister Association of Greater Boston
Abby Pieger, Operations Graduate Intern, Tufts University
John Wescott, Assistant Director for Campus Life, Programming, Tufts University

3:00 PM

Attention Students - Your Voice Matters! - ACUI Student Focus Group

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM

Calling all students! ACUI wants to hear from you! Join us to learn about the unique opportunities ACUI has for undergraduate and graduate students, and discuss ways the Association can serve you better through these programs and more.

Core Competencies: Leadership, Student Learning

Presenter: John Wescott, Tufts University

Is This My Job or Yours? A Perspective on Collaboration in Multi-Use Spaces

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM

Do you work in a building with a large amount of stake holders? Do the decisions that you make often have an effect on offices outside your own? This session explores the diverse perspectives of stake holders in a student center and how you can take steps to build relationships and collaborate effectively so that you can accomplish your goals big or small!

Core Competencies: Communication, Facilities Management, Student Learning

Presenter: Adam Dunbar, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Personality Styles - Orange, Gold, Green or Blue: Which Color Are You?

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM

What is your personality style? How does it connect to the way you communicate and lead? Join us for a colorful and interactive discussion about communication and leadership styles. In this session, you will learn about your own unique personality style, and how our differences can be used to build better teams.

Core Competencies: Communication, Leadership, Student Learning

Presenters: Erin Farrell, University of Massachusetts Boston
Allison O'Connor, Curry College

Supervising? Yup, It's a Challenge

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM

Supervising is one of the most challenging and rewarding responsibilities for students and staff. In this interactive session, you will learn techniques and strategies that will help you succeed in this role. Whether you supervise students, professionals or both, this session is for you.

Core Competencies: Human Resources

Presenter: Lina Balcom, University of Vermont

The Ultimate Balancing Act: Your Life

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM

Does the perfect day land you on a beach with your work laptop? How about being in the office while face-timing your therapist? We teach our students about work-life balance but are we practicing what we preach? It's time to check in with yourself, figure out what isn't working, and make a plan to get yourself back to your best self. Connect with other new graduate students and professionals to reflect and put your best foot forward.

Core Competencies: Communication

Presenters: Heather Wyatt, Curry College
Alyssa Orlando, Merrimack College

Using Positive Psychology Interventions: Helping Undergraduates Do College Like They Give a Damn!

3:00 PM - 3:50 PM

This workshop will educate higher education professionals on positive psychology and positive psychology interventions that can help college-aged students thrive and succeed throughout their college experience. Through discussion and interaction, attendees will learn what positive psychology is and they will explore positive psychology interventions that they can use with their students. The research and interventions presented during this session will help professionals teach students the foundational skills and tools necessary to mindfully create a personal positive college experience where they overcome their challenges (emotional, mental, relational) and lead lives filled with greater positive mental health and psychological well-being.

Core Competencies: Communication, Leadership, Student Learning

Presenter: Bailey Reagan, Harvard Business School

4:00 PM

All-Conference Town Hall Discussion: Mental Health & Wellness

4:00 PM - 4:50 PM

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Wellness is the state of being in good health, especially as an actively pursued goal. Collectively, mental health wellness is important at every stage of life, from childhood through adulthood. Join us for an eye-opening and candid conversation about mental health and wellness on college and university campuses. What are the current trends in programs and services? What are your fellow students and colleagues doing to address mental health and wellness concerns? Come ready to talk, listen and learn.

5:00 PM

Free Time

5:00 PM - 6:30 PM

6:30 PM

Reception, Delegation Photos, & Live Auction

6:30 PM - 7:30 PM

7:30 PM

Mystery Dinner Theatre & Awards Program

7:30 PM - 9:30 PM

Dinner on Saturday will be transformed by mystery, thrill, and intrigue. Every individual in the room will play a role, from the moment you walk through the door, the plot thickens and villainy unfolds before your eyes. As the night continues, you will get to interrogate the suspects, gather clues, and work with your friends and colleagues to help the detectives crack the case before the criminal gets away! The clues might be as close as the person at your table. So watch your back and enjoy an evening of mystery and suspense.

Sun, November 19, 2017
8:00 AM


8:00 AM - 10:00 AM

Hospitality will be open on Sunday morning with coffee, tea, and muffins.

9:00 AM

Case Study Final Prep

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Changing Paths: How to Use Your Learned Skills in Other Functional Areas

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

No matter your professional track, a career in higher education produces transferable skills to other functional areas and career paths. The presenter did grad work in campus life, marketing, and recreational sports, and is now working full-time in graduate enrollment management. She will explain how she uses non-related experiences in her day-to-day work and how working in other parts of higher education have made her a better employee. She will also explain how to effectively communicate those transferable skills to others who may not understand a non-linear career path.

Core Competencies: Leadership, Management

Presenter: Alyssa Orlando, Merrimack College

Easy Budgeting for Tough Times

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Do you want to gain a better understanding of department booking keeping and university budgets? Session attendees will learn how to account for annual purchases, short and long-term budgeting techniques, and how to create a department budget that reflects actual fiscal needs. Most budgets reflect three types of line items, salaries, benefits, and departmental spending. Attendees will learn how to craft multi-year budget forecasts and methods for tracking, recording, and keeping financial data.

Core Competencies: Fiscal Management

Presenter: Rob Tedesco, Tufts University

Empowering Your Student Organizations (Societies)

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

At many colleges and universities in Ireland sports-based clubs are by their very nature stronger that traditional student organizations (societies). Session attendees will explore why sports-related clubs succeed and excel, while learning strategies to empower and support student organizations (societies). Participants will learn how the University of Limerick helped to craft a strategic planning process for student organization development and the methods they employ to empower student volunteers.

Core Competencies: Planning, Student Learning

Presenter: Michelle Whyte, University of Limerick

Leadership: Turned down? Then Turn In

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

Do you feel tired? Not that everyday tired, but that weary worn tired of someone trying to make a difference? Do you ever feel discouraged or frustrated as a student leader? Do you ever think you are the only person to feel this way? Join this reflective session to take stock of your goals, successes, barriers and support systems. This session will explore the meaning of failure, renegotiating with your inner critic, and building a personal leadership board of directors to guide you.

Core Competencies: Communication, Leadership, Student Learning

Presenter: Amy Liss, University of Massachusetts Lowell

Self-Linked Identities: An Intersectional Approach to Mental Health

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

This session will explore my theory of self-linked identities and how they intersect with each other and contribute to personal mental health. The session will seek to redefine mental health and provide my personal experiences and observations. All are welcome, regardless of professional level, position, or any other identity

Core Competencies: Intercultural Proficiency, Leadership

Presenter: David Waller, University of Rhode Island

Shaping ACUI's Strategic Plan

9:00 AM - 9:50 AM

ACUI is in the middle of its three-year strategic plan: 2016–18. Attend this session to learn about accomplishments to date and what is underway for the future. Members will also be invited to contribute to a discussion about a new strategic planning process and priorities for the coming years. This is a convenient, face-to-face opportunity to engage with Association leaders during the regional conference.

Core Competencies: Communication, Leadership, Planning

Presenter: Jeremy Schenk, Northwestern University

10:00 AM

Case Study Presentations

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Getting Involved: Volunteer Opportunities within ACUI and Region VIII

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Volunteers are the heart of ACUI. Get involved, volunteer through ACUI! Through a variety of volunteer positions and opportunities, ACUI gives undergraduates, graduate students and professionals the opportunity to network, learn and engage with each other through volunteer service. Session attendees will hear from current ACUI volunteers, learn about the benefits of volunteer service, as well as the large variety of volunteer opportunities currently available for students and professionals.

Core Competenices: Communication, Leadership

Presenter: Erin Morrell, Albertus Mangus College

Global Student Leader Network

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

International partnerships can provide wonderful learning opportunities. The session will introduce the partnership between the Universities of Stirling (Scotland), Lehigh (Pennsylvania) and South Alabama and how a regular online network has broken down geographical boundaries and promoted student leadership and professional development for its participants. We extend the invitation for others to join our group!

Core Competencies:Intercultural Proficiency, Leadership, Student Learning

Presenter: Alban Dickson, University of Stirling

Google It: Using Google Apps to Improve Operations and Efficiency

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Technology is great, but not always affordable for small schools. Learn how Western Connecticut State University and Fordham University's Rose Hill Campus utilized Google's free app suite to resolve operational difficulties and improve efficiency. Learn how these two universities approached their unique problems and solved them using Google's free tools. See demos of Fordham's QR based inventory tracker and WCSU's Concessions control sheet. Learn how to utilize these free apps to improve your operation while keeping costs down and how to train your student staff to get the most out of these applications.

Core Competencies: Facilities Management, Fiscal Management, Technology

Presenters: Mark Gegeny, Western Conneticut State University
Stephen Clarke, Fordham University

I've Been Asked to Assess, Now What Do I Do?

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

Professionals in our areas are sometimes given the task to assess (or evaluate) our respective programs, but sometimes we don't know exactly where to start. Assessment and evaluation may seem complicated but with understanding the methods may help get you started. Learn how you can pull together assessment work and plan better for future efforts.

Core Competencies: Management, Student Learning

Presenter: Joseph Rios, Mount Ida College

Mental Health & Wellness - Unique Ideas, Programs, & Services

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

How are universities in the U.S. providing mental health and wellness support? This workshop features 50 unique ideas and programs gathered from student union professionals, publications, newspaper articles and universities throughout the U.S. The workshop promises to deliver unique and creative program ideas you can implement on your campus.

Core Competencies: Communication, Planning, Technology

Presenter: Geoffery Combs, Univarsity of Massachusetts Boston

River Hawks Analyzing Whiteness: Exploring a White Affinity Group on Your Campus

10:00 AM - 10:50 AM

River Hawks Analyzing Whiteness is a semester-long program created to educate white students about the concepts of race, privilege, white fragility, and how to utilize this knowledge to be an ally to people of color. This session will explore mission, stakeholders, challenges, and successes.

Core Competencies: Intercultural Proficiency, Leadership, Student Learning

Presenters: John Romano, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Amy Liss, University of Massachusetts Lowell
Brenda Evans, University of Massachusetts Lowell

11:00 AM

PechaKucha Presentations: Mental Health & Wellness in Higher Education

11:00 AM - 11:50 AM

Victoria Minervino, Central Connecticut State University Erin Dayharsh Farrell, UMass Boston Niall Behan, Dublin City University Kerry Keating, University of New England Alyssa Orlando, Merrimack College Tim St. John, Clark University

12:00 PM

Brunch & Closing Session

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM


(through September 15)
(September 16–October 30)
(October 31–November 13)
Professional Member$225$260$295
Graduate or Undergraduate Student Member$205$205$280
One-Day (Saturday) Registration Member$105$140$155
Professional Nonmember$290$340$375
Graduate or Undergraduate Student Nonmember$245$245$345
One-Day (Saturday) Registration Nonmember$140$180$190