2018 Board of Trustees Election

Candidate profiles for the current Board of Trustees Election are available below. The candidates who receive the most votes for their respective offices will be installed as such in 2018. Eligible voting members received notices regarding voting in the election via email.

The election ran from October 16 to November 14 at 11 p.m. Eastern. Results will be announced in late November.

Candidates in elections have been asked not to campaign on their behalf, and the same is asked of all ACUI members. All of the information below was submitted by the candidates; the content has not been edited by ACUI. You are encouraged to contact candidates with any questions regarding their candidacy.


There are three candidates for the one president-elect position, which carries a three-year commitment. Click on the candidate names below to read their full candidate profiles.

Ian Crone

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
We have entered an important period of opportunity and transition for the Association of College Unions International and all of higher education.  We are entering a time when the community, student learning and the value for dialogue advanced by our profession is more crucially needed than ever before.  Yet, in many communities, the resources that have supported higher education and our unions are in jeopardy. We live in a world that is, at once, increasingly diverse, yet progressively divided.  As college union professionals, we’re being asked to do more with less, and master a rapidly evolving environment.  In this changing climate, we are fortunate that ACUI anticipated these opportunities and challenges, and has outlined a path for the Association to succeed in being “the leader in advancing campus community.”

The increasingly high cost of a college education has caused some to warn that we are witnessing the “higher education bubble burst.”  Meanwhile, technology allows us to deliver content and facilitate learning in rapidly changing ways.  The Association must forecast how these forces will change the face of higher education and help our members to succeed. While students may pursue course content online, physical community will remain important to student learning. The Association should help its members advocate for the value of community and demonstrate empirically the value of our work.   Likewise, the Association should use technology to enhance member engagement, such as with the newly piloted digital badging program.  Embracing these technological changes, and demonstrating that physical community and on-line learning are not mutually exclusive, will help our profession and the Association to remain relevant.

The Association must help our members to improve our intercultural proficiency, and understand how our own identities intersect with the communities we support. The Association should offer tools to help our members to ensure that our campus communities are inclusive for all, and the skills to help us to foster constructive dialogue about difference.  Additionally, we much work to ensure that our Association itself is equally accessible and meaningful for all populations.

As the Association enters its second century of existence, we should continue to invest in research and collect data that empowers members to advocate for their programs and make evidence based decisions. Likewise, we must continue to provide transformative volunteer leadership experiences. Informed volunteer leaders will ensure that our Association successfully navigates these changing times, preserving campus community and facilitating student learning.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
My professional experience, volunteer history within the Association, and natural strengths have prepared me to succeed as the President Elect for ACUI the Board of Trustees.

Throughout my professional journey, I have been fortunate to work in unions and student centers that operate in alignment with the Role of the College Union.   At Indiana University, I worked with leaders of the Association, whose commitment to community, student learning and participatory decision-making ensured that the Indiana Memorial Union was a vital and relevant community center.  My work at Colorado State and the Illinois Institute of Technology exposed me to “both sides of the house,” helping me to understand and appreciate the spectrum of professional roles and competencies necessary to advance a union program. At Elmhurst College, in my duel role as Director and Associate Dean, I was reminded how the union plays a vital role within the broader institutional landscape.  Now, as Director of the Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University, I must advocate daily to preserve for the relevance of a college union amidst State-wide budget cuts.  I fully recognize the crucial importance of telling the union’s story, of portraying for faculty, staff and trustees how the union supports institutional priorities such as retention, development, intercultural community.

In addition to my career experiences, I have been blessed to hold a variety of volunteer leadership experiences with the Association that have exposed me to many dimensions of how it operates.  My work on three annual conference planning teams has helped me to understand both the importance of the conference to ACUI's budget, as well as the manner in which the core competencies inform program content.  My role as a Regional Director, as well as other volunteer roles on Regional Leadership Teams, has helped me appreciate the degree to which our Association remains dependent on the hard work of already very busy volunteers.  For me, it’s the passion of these volunteers, and their commitment to the core values and mission of our Association that ensure it remains an inclusive, caring and vital community. Most recently, in my role on the Board of Trustees, I appreciate for maintaining a broad and long term perspective on the mission and work of the Association, both on our college campuses and in broader higher education.

Because I know how much the Association has done for me, I am deeply committed to serve its best interests.

Candidate Information

Ian Crone is the Director, Holmes Student Center at Northern Illinois University and can be contacted directly at icrone@niu.edu or 815.753.4409.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • Member at Large, ACUI Board of Trustees  2016-2018
  • Chair, 2015 Annual International Conference Program Team Chair 2013-2015   
  • Host Chair, 2011 Annual International Conference Program Team 2009-2011
  • Business Manager, Region 8 2009-20010
  • Regional Director, Region 8 2007-2009
  • Member, 2005 Annual Conference Planning Team 2003-2005 
  • Member, Regional Conference Planning Committee, Region 13 2001 
  • Facilitator, Institute for Leadership Education and Development (I-LEAD)  2001, 2002 
  • Member at Large, Region 9 1998-1999
Educational Background
  • INDIANA UNIVERSITY, BLOOMINGTON, IN  Master of Science in Education, Higher Education and Student Affairs 
  • VALPARAISO UNIVERSITY, VALPARAISO, IN  Bachelor of Arts in English/Secondary Education
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Gallup Strengthsquest Facilitation, Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Northern Illinois University, August 2015
  • Helping College-Aged Men Thrive  March 21, 2017, ACUI International Conference, Boston, MA
  • The Art and Science of hosting a successful Search April 2014, ACUI International Conference, Orlando, FL
  • 50 Shades of Race: A Provocative Discussion March 2013, ACUI International Conference, St. Louis, MO
  • Generation 1.5: Supporting Undocumented Students March 2013, ACUI International Conference, St. Louis, MO
  • New Perspectives on Supporting Men’s Programming  March 2013, ACUI International Conference, St. Louis, MO  


  • Crone, I., & Tammes, E. (2014) “Small College Unions,” New Directions for Student Services, The State of the College Union: Contemporary Issues and Trends, San Francisco, CA: Jossey Bass
  • Crone, I., & Henthorne, M. (2015) “Men’s Development Programming” The Bulletin, Bloomington, IN: ACUI, Volume 83, No. 6, pp. 42-49. 
  • Crone, I., & MacKay, K. (2007) “Motivating Today’s College Students.” AAC&U Peer Review: Emerging trends and key debates in undergraduate education, Washington, DC: Association of American Colleges and Universities, Volume 9, No. 1, pp. 18-21. 
  • Crone, I. “Lawsuits Challenge Student Activity Fee Allocation” The Bulletin, Bloomington, IN: ACUI, Volume 66, No. 6, pp. 18-22. 
  • Crone, I. “History, Execution, and Opposition: Restructuring Higher Education” Journal of the Indiana University Student Personnel Association, Bloomington, IN: Department of Higher Education and Student Affairs, spring 1998, pp. 24-28.
Brenda Evans

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
This is an exciting time for our Association as we continue to grow and change to meet the evolving needs of our community. We must continue to balance the service of mission with our need for organizational sustainability. The restructuring of the regions has strengthened our financial position and poised us to enhance our volunteer experiences, allowing us to be more effective. We must now identify next steps to continue our proud traditions of service, education, development, and stewardship.

A more robust membership development program and increased shared educational opportunities will serve to advance our international partnerships as we move forward to embrace this important strategic opportunity.

I believe our Association needs to continue to creatively examine ways to enhance non-dues revenue. Our plan needs to align with our strategic priorities and continue our current comprehensive diversification strategy. Most importantly, we need to ensure our strategy meets the needs of our membership.

We face the never-ending challenge of rallying ourselves around common goals and objectives, while we watch the world changing around us. As an Association we need to respond to issues impacting our students and staff with innovative programs and compassionate hearts that support our members. Communication of effective and creative programs could be shared in a more timely manner through the use of technology along with a more robust use of our communities of practice.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
My 20 years of experience with the Association has allowed me to volunteer and work with colleagues from around the world, and to grow from a young professional into a leader both on my campus and in our Association. I have had the privilege of sharing lessons learned, growing from challenges undertaken, and each of my multiple roles has broadened my view and understanding of the Association and of our profession.

I have demonstrated my ability to build and motivate successful teams. I am honored to have been allowed to co-chair both the Regional Audit Task Force and the Regional Restructuring Task Force. These two committees, in particular, have positioned the Association to positively address concerns we anticipated for the future.

I believe that effective and creative teams are critical to success, but that to succeed decisions must be led by data and members must be open to radical thinking to lead to positive change.

One certainty in our world is that new challenges always arise, and when they do, we must quickly understand what risks and opportunities they bring. Leadership is in part measured by how nimbly we face these challenges, I am grateful to have been elected to serve our Association as a Member At-Large on our Board of Trustees over the past 2 years.

Stewardship is service. We all prepare, in large and small ways, through the course of every day for tomorrow's challenges. Whether we are building and maintaining relationships, making prudent financial choices, or finding time for reflection and learning we are preparing ourselves and the communities around us for what is to come.

My experiences have provided me with opportunities to serve in new and exciting ways. As a result I have gained a comprehensive view of our Association and its fundamental structure. I find that our work is, and must be, an expression of the joy of service. It is in the discovery and preservation of this joy that I find fuel for my continued commitment to our common work.

Candidate Information

Brenda Evans is the Dean, Student Affairs and Event Services at University of Massachusetts–Lowell and can be contacted directly at Brenda_Evans@uml.edu or 978.259.3384.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience

My journey with the Association has included significant roles at both the regional and international levels over the past 20 years: Regional Conference Committee member, Regional Conference Chair, Regional Business Manager, Regional Volunteer Coordinator, Hate Crimes Task Force Chair, Region VIII Director, Inclusive Excellence Task Force, co-chair of the Regional Audit Task force as well as co-chair of the Regional Restructuring Task Force, and Board of Trustees, At-Large Member.

In all of the roles, but especially while serving as Regional Director, I learned what it really takes to bring individuals and ideas together and see our plans become tangible programs. My tenure came during a time of significant change for the regions. I was privileged to co-chair the Regional Audit Taskforce with Jeremy Schenk. We were charged with determining the most effective and efficient way to deliver regional programs and services to the Association’s membership and to recommend the necessary changes to enable the Association to accomplish this delivery.

Working on this task force gave me the opportunity to learn a great deal about the other regions and the various challenges we all faced. I became, and remain convinced that the unique qualities and voices of our regions form the foundation of our Associations strength. Together we make each other stronger. The greatest gift of this work was the time it allowed me to reflect on who we are and the impact we have. Moving forward I believe our work has prepared the Association to face tomorrow's challenges.

Through this well-rounded volunteer experience I have seen change, grown to embrace it, and learned how to lead it.

Regional Involvement

  • Regional Director 2011-2015
  • Regional Volunteer Coordinator 2012
  • Regional Business Manager 2003-2011
  • Hate Crimes Task Force Chair 2001-2003
  • Regional Conference Chair 2000
  • Regional Conference Committee Member 1998-2003

International Involvement

  • At-Large Member Board of Trustees 2016-2018
  • Regional Restructuring Task Force Co-Chair 2013-2015
  • Regional Audit Committee Co-Chair 2011-2013
  • Inclusive Excellence Task Force 2009
Educational Background

University of Massachusetts Lowell, MA

  • Master of Arts, Criminal Justice Administration June 1996
  • Bachelor of Arts, Psychology June 1995
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • “The 2016 Presidential Election: Lessons Learned and looking Forward”, ACUI Region VIII Conference, University of Massachusetts Lowell 2016
  • “How Space Can Enhance Community and Generate Revenue”, ACUI Region VIII Conference, University of Massachusetts Lowell 2016
  • “Creating Community out of Chaos at UMass Lowell”, ACUI Annual Conference, San Antonio 2015
  • “Lessons Learned: New Facility, Multiple Perspectives”, ACUI Region VIII Conference, University of Vermont, 2015
  • “Fundamentals of Fundraising in Student Affairs”, ACUI Annual Conference, Orlando 2014
  • “DifferenceMaker Student Entrepreneurship Program”, ACUI Annual Conference, Orlando 2014
  • “Changing Campus Culture: DifferenceMakers at UMass Lowell”, National Collegiate and Inventors Alliance Annual Conference, Washington DC, 2013
  • As part of the Regional Audit Task Force and Regional Restructuring Task Force, I attended and presented an educational session at Regions 1, 5, and 13 to collect feedback.
Jennifer Zamora

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
As ACUI examines its strategic priorities to positively impact the future of the Association, it will be imperative for the Board of Trustees to concentrate on some key areas.

Maintaining Relevance. In order to continue serving as the Association of choice for so many – or become such for those who have not yet found a home within ACUI – we must remain responsive to the needs of our members, provide programs and services that enhance learning, and develop new methods to engage non-members. Making data driven decisions is a part of this process, as is refining programs, policies, and procedures in response to both emerging trends and the needs of members. It is critically important to tell our story, build our brand, and enhance our reputation as leaders in the field.

Innovating the profession. Whether discussing student employment or renovation projects, sustainability or advising, the Association must be on the cutting edge of technology, research, and revenue generation. Expansion of a successful digital badge pilot program, continued work to both engage and grow our international membership, increased attention to research initiatives and development of new methods to deliver educational content to our members will uniquely position us to serve as international innovators in higher education.

Serving as good stewards of our resources. Finances continue to be a driver for decisions, and ensuring that ACUI remains a worthwhile investment for members is paramount. In addition to maintaining our own financial stability and examining cost effective ways of operating, we must seek out other opportunities to collaborate with our peers and corporate partners to maximize joint assets, continue to find leads for Atria, our association management company, and expand our global reach. Financial resources, however, are a small piece of a larger picture. People, however, are our most valuable resource and the Association must continue to provide an open and inclusive community that cultivates all members, encourages volunteer involvement, and develops tomorrow’s leadership.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
I have worked at both small private and large public institutions in very different parts of the country and have successfully navigated the cultures of each. No matter the campus I have been on or the position I have held, I have served in some sort of volunteer capacity for ACUI nearly every year for the entirety of my professional career. Through all of those experiences I have learned that success is based on the partnerships you create, the trust you build with others, your ability to prioritize, and your willingness to delve deeply into the work you are doing even – and most especially – when the work is difficult. Each of these professional and volunteer experiences has broadened my scope and helped me realize that while an institution or organization’s goals may be similar, the methods for accomplishing them look very different based on location, access to resources, and prevailing culture. I believe I am capable of doing just that.

Moreover, one of my most significant takeaways from my previous service on the Board of Trustees is the reminder that while the majority of our members and volunteers are campus professionals, the Association itself is not a campus. ACUI’s peers are not institutions and the ways in which we frame issues and challenges within the Association, conduct business operations, and make important decisions can consider how we do each of these things on our campuses, but must ultimately focus on what is best in an association management context. I know that I can approach the strategic priorities of the Board of Trustees through a variety of lenses and know that I can work closely with the staff, campuses, countries, and corporate partners that make this Association great.

I believe in making data driven decisions, holding myself accountable, listening to the perspectives of others, and learning from my mistakes. I am serious about what I do without taking myself too seriously, and I am 100% committed to advancing the work of ACUI.

Candidate Information

Jennifer Zamora is the Director, Student Programs at University of Texas–Austin and can be contacted directly at jzamora@austin.utexas.edu or 512.475.6630.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • Member, Education Council March 2017-present
  • Member, Board of Trustees 2015-2017 (Finance Chair, 2016-2017)
  • Host Institution CUPSI 2016
  • Host Director, San Antonio Annual Conference Program Team 2013-2015
  • Member, ACUI Envisioned Future Work Group 2013
  • Volunteer, ACUI Collegiate Clay Target Championships 2012-present
  • Campus Life and Program Management Co-Chair, Region 1 Leadership Team 2010-2012
  • Regional Conference Program Team, Region 1 (Bryant University), 2010
  • Member, Anaheim Annual Conference Program Team 2007-2009
  • ILEAD Facilitator 2005 & 2006
  • Member, ILEAD Curriculum Development Team 2005
Educational Background
  • Bachelor of Science, Interdisciplinary Studies – Texas A&M University
  • Master of Science, Higher Education and Student Affairs – Indiana University
  • (In progress) Doctor of Philosophy, Educational Leadership and Policy – The University of Texas at Austin
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Gavillet, R. & Zamora, J. (2017) review of Global Perspectives on Higher Education for Resenha Educação (Brazilian education publication)
  • Taylor, Z., Zamora, J., & McArdle, A. (2017). A positive spin on a negative narrative: How the media portrays fraternities and what fraternities can do about it. Submitted to ORACLE, under review.
  • Somers, P., Canelo-Pino, X., Gavillet, R., & Zamora, J. (2017). Actionable research for educational equity and social justice. Book chapter, under review.
  • Affirmative Action Policy: Inclusion, Exclusion, and the Global Public Good (October 2016), Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) Annual Conference, Columbus, OH
  • Being a Man of Principle (July 2017), Beta Theta Pi Fraternity 178th Convention, Salt Lake City, UT
  • Facilitator, John and Nellie Wooden Institute for Men of Principle (May 2016, June 2017), Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, Oxford, OH
  • Facilitator, Keystone Leadership Conference (February 2016, 2017), Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, Tulsa OK
  • Your Strengths and How You Use Them (June 2016), Young African Leaders Institute, Austin TX
  • The Future of ACUI: Our Next Strategic Plan (November 2015), ACUI Region II Conference, Lawrence KS
  • You’re hired! Now what? (March, 2014), ACUI Annual Conference, Orlando, FL

At-Large Member

There are 14 candidates for the three at-large member positions, which carry a two-year commitment. Click on the candidate names below to read their full candidate profiles.

Deepti Chadee

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
As a member of the Association, I see the establishment of the new strategic plan as one of the biggest tasks for this upcoming year. As we approach the new plan, I believe there are three strategic focuses that we must consider.

First, we must commit to strengthening membership. With the new brand of the Association launching earlier this year, it is now on us to communicate that our commitment to building community remains ever true. This message is critical to share with former and current members to ensure stability. We also need to seek out new members by telling our story about the Role of the College Union and by displaying the work the Association and its members do to “Advance Campus Community”.

Next, it is extremely important that we are keeping up with the constant change of our campus communities. Higher Education is in a continuous state of change as it relates to innovation, finances, and student needs. As an Association, we must highlight and honor the unique ideas our members are implementing, whether it be on their campuses, through online platforms, or in professional development opportunities. Budgets on campuses are getting tighter and the need to do more with less is ever-present. It is important for ACUI to think about offerings that provide value to members who are unable to attend in person conferences and institutes, due to budget constraints. The students’ needs and ways in which those needs are communicated are constantly evolving. As an Association, we must provide our members with the knowledge base to provide the best support they can to their students.

Finally, we must focus on providing support to ACUI members. Amidst all that is occurring in the world, the members of ACUI are looking to their community (the Association) as a place for support. As an association, we must continue to provide that compassion and empathy by fostering more opportunities for research, providing spaces for dialogue, and reaching out to our members to say, “we are here for you”.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
The opportunity to serve ACUI as a member of the Board of Trustees is a humbling and exciting prospect. I am eager to approach this experience and make an impact on my colleagues on a larger level. I am a person who is hardworking, dedicated, and thoughtful in what I commit to; therefore, I give my all to ensure that I have left each role I pursue better than when I found it.

I have been involved in ACUI both regionally and internationally since my time as a Graduate Student in 2009. Some of my experiences have included serving on RLTs, Regional CPTs, and also the 2016 Annual CPT. Each of these opportunities has given me a chance to learn more about the Association and share that knowledge with others. Serving on the Region II RLT after the new regional restructuring occurred was a role I found both challenging and ultimately rewarding. We knew as a team that there was going to be some skepticism and hesitation to get members of the former regions involved and help them transition. I took my responsibility as a member of the RLT seriously, by talking to my colleagues about their concerns and articulating to them that the mission and vision of the Association remains the same, and that we are now provided with a broader network. On an international level, my involvement with the 2016 CPT, allowed me to contribute on a broader level, while also seeing the number of teams that this program works with in order to provide a comprehensive development experience for its attendees. Through each of my roles as a volunteer, I have been able to experience ACUI through multiple lenses. As a member of the Board, I would use this knowledge to advocate for the volunteer experience and communicate the direction and goals of the Association with members.

One of my strongest skills is my ability to relate to multiple individuals, and this stems from a place of caring. I place priority on making sure that those individuals who I work with understand how much I value their roles on the team. I am an advocate of simple acts of kindness and appreciation. Those simple acts speak volumes to others, as they know that I am always there to support them! I see all of these skills and experiences as assets to the Board of Trustee Team.

Candidate Information

Deepti Chadee is the Associate Director of Student Activities & Special Events at Texas A&M University–Commerce and can be contacted directly at deepti.chadee@tamuc.edu or 903.886.5821.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • Region 12 Leadership Team, Graduate Student Project Team Leader 2009
  • Region 12 Leadership Team, Conference Host Chair, 2011-2012
  • Region 12 Leadership Team, Education Coordinator, 2012-2013
  • Region II Leadership Team, Education Programs Coordinator, 2013-2014
  • 2016 Annual Conference Program Team, 2014-2016
  • Region II Leadership Team, Regional Conference Coordinator, 2017
  • Educational Research Fund Donor
Educational Background
  • Master of Education in Higher Education Administration and Student Affairs, May 2010 Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management, December 2007 North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Workshop: Inspiring a Shared Vision (September 2017) Student Organization Training, Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Workshop: Establishing a Co-Curricular Transcript Program (June 2017) Texas Student Activities Department Head Drive In, Waco, TX
  • Workshop (Co-Presented): Creating Personal Mission Statements (January 2016) Latin American Male Mentorship Program, Texas, A&M University-Commerce
  • Workshop (Co-Presented): Student Development Theory One, September 2011, September 2012, September 2013 Graduate Assistant Experience, Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Workshop (Co-Presented): Transitioning from Graduate Assistant to Professional (March 2011) ACUI Annual Conference, Chicago, IL
  • Instruction: Freshman Success Seminar (Fall 2015) Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Facilitator: [I} Experience Leadership Program Small Group Facilitator (Spring 2013, Fall 2014)
  • Facilitator: NCSU LeaderShape Institute, Cluster Facilitator (Summer 2013)
  • Article: Student Organization Advisor Involvement and Retention (September 2010) The Bulletin, Association of College Unions International
  • Thesis: Contributing Factors of Student Organization Advisors Involvement and its Influences on Retention
Sarah Comstock

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
Recently an article published in Inside Higher Ed noted that a survey of Admissions Directors found that only 34% of schools met new student enrollment projections on May 1, the “traditional date by which schools like to have their classes set”. Unlike the rollback in enrollment during the recession, schools are facing myriad reasons for the enrollment decline. I believe that the biggest factor is not new to ACUI and is one that will be faced for the next few decades – What is the value added for membership? Colleges and universities can show data numbers that tell stories of higher lifelong earnings, but I wonder if ACUI is able to do the same? Anecdotally we are a strong international higher education association, recognized for our family-like atmosphere and the willingness for people to stay engage in the Association because of deep connections with other members. That network is incredibly important, and yet, how are we demonstrating its value? As enrollments shrink, and budgets become leaner, we need to ask how are we telling our story in ways beyond the anecdotal? We collect data about programs and services; how is data collected coming back to the membership in ways that strengthen the value added conversation on our home campuses? How does ACUI show that it is worth the money?

ACUI also needs to begin examining how we fit into the larger conversation of the current definition of dialogue. A study done in August of college aged students by the Brookings Institution showed that “one-fifth of undergraduates say it’s acceptable to use physical force to silence a speaker who makes ‘offensive and hurtful statements’”. Furthermore, the study showed that 4 in 10 students have an incorrect understanding of what the First Amendment protects. Our membership contracts with speakers frequently, and as such, ACUI needs to consider what role we play in changing the framework of discourse, and if we do play a role, what core value are we aligning that with – unconditional human worth, integrity, caring community? There is no easy answer, but we need to challenge ourselves to at least start the conversation.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
Currently we have a tremendously talented and dedicated group of people on the Board of Trustees. Talented and amazing as they are, there are a couple of viewpoints missing from the group – school size and geographical location. I hail from a small (less than 2500 students) school. Small schools don’t have more or less issues than big schools, just different ones. To fully represent the Association, we need to have a broad range of viewpoints which includes the issues that small schools face. For instance, how does an increase in membership fees affect a Union manager from a small school? Are there even union managers at small schools or is there a person who fulfills that responsibility while also overseeing conduct and three other tasks? And how are we supporting professionals at small schools to get involved in volunteer roles when there isn’t travel money available? These are big questions that have a significant impact on small school professionals and without someone on the Board that can leverage that perspective, the Association is not truly representing the entire membership.

I also hail from one of the largest geographic regions in ACUI. With over 2 million square miles of land, it is sometimes hard to express the mileage between schools which often equates to wildly different school experiences. As ACUI talks about and plans for ever harder conversations, understanding the vastness of regions that cover big areas is incredibly important. While we know that decisions at the 30,000 foot level will never make everyone happy, there should always be someone on the Board that can speak to and help others consider decisions in relation to these large geographic areas.

Finally, as a strategic thinker in just about every personality type test given, I believe that I have the ability to think about how decisions make sense not just for ACUI today, but also the ACUI that we need to evolve into over the next ten years.

Candidate Information

Sarah Comstock is the Associate Dean of Students & Director of Student Union & Programs at University of Puget Sound and can be contacted directly at scomstock@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3931.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience

I feel really fortunate to say that I believe that I’ve had all of the relevant experience needed to participate fully as a Board Member. I’ve been a volunteer at every level and been through every circumstance of appointment – volun-told, elections, appointments, and interviews. Throughout those experiences I’ve been able to take a learning moment, or moments, with me that will help me represent ACUI to its fullest at the next level.

  • Region 14 Membership Coordinator
  • Region 14 College Bowl Coordinator
  • Region 14 Regional Director
  • 2011 Conference Planning Team – Chicago!!
  • Volunteer Development Team Member
  • Volunteer Development Team Chair
  • Campus Shooting Dialogue Team Chair
Educational Background
  • Bachelor of Arts, English, 1996 – University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • Master of Arts, Professional Communication, 2000 – University of Alaska Fairbanks
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Difficult Conversations
  • Becoming a Safer College Campus
  • Active Threat Preparedness and Response
  • Creating & Implementing a Student Employee Evaluation Process
  • Student Affairs and Parenting
  • Supervising Volunteers
  • Front Line Boot Camp
James Contratto

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
We have accomplished a lot in four years as the new era of ACUI. We have successfully transitioned into our eight regional structure, welcomed a new CEO, and launched a new brand to give this era a new identity. We have a lot of excitement to continue the movement to make ACUI the association of choice for Union and Activities professionals.

It all starts with membership. Our members and volunteers will tell the story of ACUI’s impact. Recognizing the diversity of institutions and members help strengthen us as a organization. However, we can be stronger and some institutions are missing from our family. We need to research the institutions that we are missing, build a relationship, and encourage them to become members. By analyzing why membership is not accessible for some institutions we can take steps to make membership more inclusive. When new members join we need to celebrate and welcome them with open arms.

Without ACUI’s dedicated volunteers our high quality programs don’t exist. In order to continue this level of quality we need to be able to recruit and mentor new volunteers so we don’t see a decline in quality or programs offered. We need to make sure every member has the opportunity to volunteer with the association, continue to promote association volunteerism, and create new ways of involvement.

We are coming to an end to the 2016-2018 strategic plan. We will be working towards a new plan to propel us to the next level. The Generation Z students have arrived. We need to develop a plan to stay ahead of the current trends in education and be able to address the needs of this next generation of students.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
In my 12 years of professional experience I’ve dedicated myself to create memorable college experiences for our students. I oversaw programming boards, advised multiple student organizations, and lead leadership retreats to develop whole students. I truly believe in the the student union as the place where students find themselves and build valuable connections. Whether it’s from student's involvement or attendance at events I’m passionate about helping them find a connection on campus. I believe in the power of community and the impact it has in growing student’s lives.

Two of my top strengths is developer and maximizer. I’ve created new initiatives and built programs, events and systems from the ground up. I have the ability to see projects from all angles and maximize our resources. I believe I can bring these strengths to the team to make us strong.

My involvement with ACUI has been very rewarding. I’ve served regionally as a Poetry Slam Coordinator, Leisure Programs Chair, and on regional conference planning teams both in the old and new structures. On a national level I served as the Recreation & Leisure Programs Chair on the Student Programs Team. In that position I successfully oversaw the transition from the regional recreation model to the current sectional model with our tournaments. All of these capacities required strategic thinking, planning, and creating meaningful experiences. I would love the opportunity to use my community building strengths to create memorable association experiences for ACUI.

Candidate Information

James Contratto is the Associate Director for Student Activities–University Programs at University of South Alabama and can be contacted directly at contratto@southalabama.edu or 251.460.7144.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • 2017 - ACUI RIII Conference Planning Team Ed Sessions Chair
  • 2012 - 2016 - Recreation & Leisure Activities Program Team Chairperson
  • 2011 - Region 5 Conference Planning Team Special Events Chair
  • 2010 - 2012 - Region 5 Leisure Programs Chair
  • 2007 - 2010 - Region 5 Poetry Slam Coordinator
Educational Background
  • 2003 - Florida State University - Bachelors of Science in Accounting & Finance
  • 2005 - Eastern Illinois University - Masters of Science in College Student Affairs
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • 2016 - ACUI RIII - Uniting Student & Academic Affairs Through Common Read
  • 2016 - ACUI RIII - The Balancing Act: Work & Wellness
  • 2016 - ACUI National Conference - Retreat Planning 101
  • 2015 - ACUI National Conference - Tournament Planning: Community Through Competition
  • 2014 - UNC Charlotte LeaderShape Facilitator
  • 2012 - ACUI Region 5 - There’s Nothing Weak About Weekend Programs
  • 2012 - ACUI Region 5 - A Stress Free Guide to Leisure Weekend
  • 2007 - ACUI National Convention - Will Work for College Credit
  • 2007 - NACA South - Poetry Slams: The Perfect Programming Series
  • Publication: “Slam! Poetry For The Masses” Campus Activities Programming Magazine - Back To School 2008
Alistair Cowie

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?

A board’s first job is to develop the strategic direction; its second is to hand that strategy to the staff to enact. ACUI Trustees are in a unique position to understand the relationship with staff because it mirrors what happens on their individual campuses. Life's good when directors and staff trust each other to do their jobs. Understanding the difference between strategic direction and operational implementation is understanding the difference between an association that exists and one that flourishes.

I believe ACUI has 4 strategic priorities:

  1. Financial sustainability and organisational probity
    The most important strategic issues for ANY organisation are financial sustainability and good governance. Without them we cannot fulfil our mission: creating (and delivering) progressive education, training, and research that meets member needs, impacts student learning and enhances campus communities across the world. Board’s task is to ensure Association dollars are funding only strategies that keep us on track. The membership must be confident that its leaders are acting appropriately, in members’ best interests and in accordance with our articles of association, our core values and the law.
  2. Diversity, inclusion and intercultural development
    As a membership association, fiscal health and membership cannot be separated. We need members who are engaged ambassadors for ACUI and feel valued, respected and rewarded. There are many organisations like ours. Board needs constantly to seek member feedback so staff can develop programs, services, educational and networking opportunities that are relevant and accessible. If not, members will go elsewhere. Our Core Values are our point of difference and must underpin everything we do.
  3. Membership growth and satisfaction
    The Council for Diversity and Inclusion has already done terrific and important work. A vital issue facing campus across the globe is diversity of thought. How are we providing leadership for our campuses to ensure respectful dialogue is encouraged, not shut down? If the “I” in ACUI stands for ‘International’ then it’s vital that there’s non-US representation on the Board of Trustees. International membership growth is a very obvious target for ACUI. If we’re serious about our “I”, we need to do more to make non-US colleagues feel welcome.
  4. Staff and Volunteer recognition and well-being
    Symbols matter. Public acknowledgement of our Central Office staff and our outstanding volunteers is integral to who we are as an association. Opportunities to better reward outstanding contributions (e.g. scholarships) should always be on the Board’s agenda.


Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
I am a respected, experienced professional with over 30 years’ experience in student affairs. I’ve been a student volunteer, student board president, staff member and, now, staff director. I’ve a very special understanding of the relationship between directors, staff and volunteers, because it’s my everyday experience. For the past fifteen years I’ve sat at the board table (as a staff director) of Australia’s first university union, The USU. During that time, I advised boards on strategic direction, finances and governance. In 2015, for my “extraordinary service” over a “considerable period”, I was awarded Honorary Life Membership – USU’s highest honour. I’m immensely proud to be an ambassador for my union, my university and my profession.

As a volunteer, I’ve served on the boards and committees of my country’s student affairs professional bodies including NACAA, ACUMA and TAG. My and colleagues’ work on these bodies has had far reaching, beneficial impacts on areas as diverse as the national student band competition to annual conference education session structure. Any one who knows me will not be surprised to learn that for the past decade (at least) I’ve been MC at national conference dinners.

For ACUI I’ve had the privilege of serving on our International Education Council and attending and speaking at National Conferences. I'm particularly proud of the conference proposal assessment process that the Ed Council has developed with the Regional Directors. It will deliver a better, fairer process that will result in better, more relevant education sessions.

In 2015 the Chair of the Academic Board of the University of Sydney appointed me to the Diversity and Inclusion Working party. This four-person group was charged with the development of “achievable but impactful” tactics to provide concrete examples of the University’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. Several of our recommendations were adopted, including practices for Indigenous Acknowledgement, the adoption of non-gendered class roles and advertising ALL positions as flexible.

As an active and passionate ACUI member and volunteer I have lived experience in non-US universities. The growth of international membership is an obvious goal for ACUI; there are thousands of Universities and colleges to whom we could reach out. If we’re serious about our “I”, we need to do more to make non-US colleagues feel welcome. It’s important for non-US members to be able to look at our Board and see themselves.

Candidate Information

Alistair Cowie is the Director of Sales, Marketing Membership and Facilities at University of Sydney and can be contacted directly at a.cowie@usu.edu.au or +61 411 742 315.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
ACUI is built on volunteerism. What I have done is not insignificant, but – and this is why ACUI is SO important – it is not unique. Nevertheless, for the purpose of this exercise, for the past three years it has been my honour to serve on the ACUI International Education Council. During this time, I have worked with colleagues to:
  • Better educate members about the existence of the ACUI Core competencies and Education Plan
  • Better educate members about how to better use the Core Competencies and Education Plan in their own education and development
  • Through internal association research develop the next iteration of the ACUI Education Plan, ensuring that the Plan met the needs of the greatest possible number of members.
  • Reviewed ALL (!!) Annual Conference Education Session submissions a mammoth undertaking that has afforded me a great insight into the educational needs of the membership.
  • Developed with the RDs and Central Office Team a new method of reviewing the Annual Conference Education Session submissions that will ensure a fairer assessment and a better program.
In addition to my Education Council work I have written occasionally for the Bulletin and the Commons. I have presented at the last four Annual Conferences where I have also packed amenities kits for homeless people, made flower-bomb-mud-pies, assembled BTM registration kits, written encouraging notes to school kids, run up 38 floors in the service stairway and, for one proud night, been the Voice of God at the Philly Conference Dinner.

Educational Background
  • 2014 Graduate Diploma of Business Management
  • 2012 Master of Marketing (University of Sydney)
  • 1994 Bachelor of Arts (Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at the Edith Cowan University) major in musical theatre
  • 1991 Bachelor of Arts (University of Sydney); double major in English Literature and Philosophy
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • 2017 - Weekly class - Masters of Project Management students – Sustainable Practices on Campus
  • 2017 - Weekly class - Bachelor of Business students – Sustainability and Marketing on Campus
  • 2017 (and every year) - USU Board Induction
  • 2017 - ACUI Annual Conference - Education Session Proposal Writing 101
  • 2017 (and every semester) - Volunteering 101 – Communication module (USU volunteer training)
  • 2017 (and every year) – New Student Staff Induction
  • 2016 - ACUI Annual Conference 2 – Education Council: Education Summit
  • 2015 - ACUI Annual Conference– Paying Homage: Ideas Stolen & Used to Our Advantage
  • 2014 - ACUI Annual conference– What If Student Fees Were Illegal?
Jonathan Duke

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
As ACUI advances campus community, leadership strives to grow in both diversity and faith in membership. A balance is needed to both serve the member institutions and individuals and progress the association priorities. As a board member, I will push forward a focus of core competencies in an effort to improve the membership experience and connect mission to action. The three strategies I would champion are:

  1. Incorporation of Core Competencies in strategic planning and membership education. The core competencies act as both an education guide and call to action for leadership. As the educational sessions chair for the 2017 CPT, a focus on the competencies guided the team in creating a well-rounded program to serve the membership and connect to ACUI’s mission. As the association moves forward in strategic planning, the competencies should both guide and be part of the planning process with the board reflecting on the value and breadth of the competencies. The end goal of the process is to provide guiding and living documents that reflect the spirit of the association.
  2. I would like to see a rise in involvement of new and mid-level professionals to reflect the varied and diverse backgrounds of the newest members of the association. As our membership grows and both acclimates to and incorporates our colleges and universities cultures, so must the association. Traditional recruitment methods for volunteers are not as productive as they once were, despite rising generational tenants of increased volunteerism and community action. How can the association meet the needs of these new and mid-level professionals and recruit their strengths of leadership into our volunteer roles?
  3. As we advance community, the world advances in technology. Technology connects all member levels and professional types in the association – from Coordinators to Executive Directors and meeting schedulers to late-night programmers. ACUI works deftly with our strategic partners to keep our member institutions abreast of “what’s next,” but how can we help our members best stay informed and find affordable solutions for both retrofitting and renovating spaces with the newest tech? An exploration of how to bring technology to our members is in the association’s best interest and brings forth possibilities of increased outside revenue from our associate members.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
My journey in student unions and student affairs is not traditional. After graduating with an Industrial Engineering degree from Georgia Tech, I spent several years as an engineering consultant and project manager. My quarter-life crisis brought me into higher education where I’ve been able to introduce engineering principles of logic and order into my work environment. From advancing my office culture into productivity and customer satisfaction to improving building resource utilization to reduce staffing and energy costs, industrial engineering principles of efficiency and maximization of resources guide my thinking. Additionally, I have been involved in strategic planning initiatives for both my institutions, division, and external non-profit board work in the Atlanta community. The strategic planning experience at multiple higher education and non-profit organizations provides a varied-perspective on not just how to move the association forward, but how to take and incite action in membership.

Candidate Information

Jonathan Duke is the Associate Director of the University Center & Director of Meeting Services at Emory University and can be contacted directly at jonathan.duke@emory.edu or 678.472.3610.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • Ad-hoc: Future of Annual Conference Educational Sessions Timeline, Fall 2016
  • Philadelphia Annual Conference Program Team, Educational Sessions Chair, August 2015-March 2017
  • Atlanta Regional Conference Program Team (Region III), Keynote Chair, January 2014-November 2014 (Georgia State University)
  • Ad-hoc: I-LEAD Curriculum Review, Fall 2013
  • I-LEAD, Small Group Facilitator, July 2013
  • Marietta Regional Conference Program Team (Region 6), Student Programs co-Chair, January 2013-November 2013 (Southern Polytechnic State University)
  • Region 6 Regional Leadership Team, Recreation Programs Chair, November 2012-March 2014
Educational Background
  • Ed.D. Student Affairs Leadership, University of Georgia, Expected: May 2018
  • M.Ed. College Student Affairs Administration, University of Georgia, 2008
  • B.S. Industrial Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2002
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Dissertation: Experience of Campus Sexual Violence Investigators Surrounding Student Trauma, in progress
  • Building the Future on Top of the Past, Education Session, NACAS C3X, November 2017
  • Submitting a Great Program Proposal for the Annual Regional conferences, ACUI Webinar, June 2016
  • Supporting Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Students in the College Union, ACUI Webinar, June 2015
  • Money Doesn’t Grow on Student Affairs’ Budgets, Education Session, ACUI Annual Conference, April 2015
  • Money Doesn’t Grow on Student Affairs’ Budgets, Education Session, ACUI Region III Conference, November 2014
  • Establishing and Reinvigorating Student Advisory Boards, Education Session, NACAS, October 2014
  • Taking the Next Step: A Panel of Rising Mid-Level Professionals, Education Session, ACUI, April 2014
Hayden Greene

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
These are watershed moments in our nation. There are "truths" that we have espoused for generations that are slowly being peeled back and re-examined. In addition, our demographics are changing and, as a result, so are the demographics of the student bodies of our institutions. This is also true of the professionals in our field. We, as an association, cannot be caught be surprise by these changes. The Association must be at the vanguard of conversation, research, and implementation of best practices, that properly prepare our members for the ever-changing climate in this country and the increasingly global climate that we find ourselves in. This translates into a dedication to multiculturalism, diversity, inclusivity, and equity, but it has to be supported by sanctioned initiatives that have real and measurable outcomes for all identities.

ACUI also need to exhibit bravery when it comes to developing leaders who will combat the social injustices that our students will face, notwithstanding the fact that we, as professionals, may be facing the same hurdles. Our country has diverted away from the path of productive discourse and growth is being stagnated because the exchange of ideas is now met with distrust and aggression. We can stand at the crest of a movement to bring our campus back to becoming citadels of critical thought but it will take a measure of courage.

We are also seeing technology dictate that way the ideas are spread and awakening to a world where serious philosophy and conscientious thought occupies the same place as false narratives and misinformation. It is, at the very least, difficult for our students to discern what to listen to and what to dismiss. Our message can get lost in that jungle of data if we don't pivot our digital position to be in synch with the way that information is being consumed. ACUI has committed to being digitally savvy and that needs to continue and be extended to formally discounted methods. As we recognize how our students and our colleagues are parsing out the information of the world, we need to be nimble in the way that we stay current. We need to leverage the creativity of our members, both professional and collegiate, to ensure that work that we do gains the proper attention from Association members and the general public.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
Through my entire career in Higher Education, I have been living the core values of the Association. That fact is the reason that I was so attracted to become and stay active on the regional and national level. When I recruit people to join ACUI, the first thing that I tell them is that we are a family: a group of thoughtful professionals dedicated to creating a caring community. I tell them about the hugs in the hallways and the engaging, elevated discussions in random nooks at our Annual Meeting as well as regional conferences.

I am known as personable professional. I enjoy speaking, presenting, and interacting with new people and I do so every chance that I get at ACUI events and initiatives. As a member of the 2018 Annual Conference CPT, I have had the pleasure of talking to vendors in an effort to encourage them to attend the conference. Our association virtually sells itself when I speak about the diversity of our membership. This diversity is much broader than the average professional organization as well. We boast of a membership that includes a wide variance in gender, race, age, and many other identities. One of the greatest areas of diversity in ACUI is in professional designation. At an ACUI event/conference it is not uncommon to have members who are charged with designing a new union, a professional who is in charge of programming in that union, and a member who makes sure that the HVAC and Aux Services all run smoothly, all interacting together. One of my greatest skills is being able to connect with all of them in a way that validates their role in the Association. I truly believe that all of our members should feel that they are valuable to the work that we do and the student worker, as well as the University Vice President, should feel invested in our mission. It will take someone who can speak everyone's "language" to convey that message.

Lastly, I am extremely flexible to the needs of the Association and put those at the forefront of priorities. I always go where I'm needed the most without concern for whether it results in advancement in ACUI. My colleagues know that they can always count on me, regardless of the task. I have no fear of getting my hand dirty.

Candidate Information

Hayden Greene is the Director of Multicultural Affairs at Manhattan College and can be contacted directly at hgreene01@manhattan.edu or 718.862.8112.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience


  • 2018 Annual Conference CPT
    • Battle of the Regions Co-ordinator
  • Catholic College and University COP Chair
  • Episodic Volunteer - Region VII
    • Regional photographer
    • Communications team


  • Region 3 RLT member - Poetry Slam coordinator (Various years)
  • Region 3 CPT member serving as Conference chair, ed sessions coordinator, vendor coordinator, and entertainment coordinator. (Various years)
Educational Background
  • Bachelors in Business Administration Baruch College, City University of New York
  • Masters in Counseling/ Higher Education Administration Montclair State University
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • All Of Us Leadership retreat - Fall 2017
    Coordinator/Lead facilitator
    A two day retreat for Manhattan College students which entailed identity exploration, team building through low ropes courses, values exploration, and discussions on social justice. The retreat ended with actionable items which the facilitators will be following up on.
    Claryville, NY
  • "It's a Zoo out there!"
    This workshop looks at social justice and bias development using the film "Zootopia" as a framework for discussion.
    - Presented at the 2017 Annual ACUI Conference, the 2016 Region VII conference, and multiple times on the campus of Manhattan College.
  • "Career Advancement for Men of Color in Higher Ed"
    A look at how men of color in this field have faced different challenges than their counterparts. The session looked at the psychological and social impedance and presented strategies for success.
    - presented during the 2016 Men of Color Pre-Con for the ACUI Annual Conference
  • "Got a story to tell"
    A conversation on the art of story telling and its effectiveness in conveying our messages. Telling our stories also humanizes us and increases communications while overcoming barriers.
    - presented as the keynote for the NEACUHO EDI retreat - Feb 2017
    - published as an article in the Bulletin - Fall 2016
    - published as an article in the Region VII newsletter - Fall 2016
    - scheduled to present at the 2017 Region VII conference.
  • "Leadership, as told by Pixar"
    Presenter Animated movies often have multiple layers for various viewing demographics. This workshop looks at all of the leadership lessons that can be gained from the many films produced by Pixar.
    - presented at the 2016 Region VII conference and multiple times at Manhattan College as part of the Leadership Development Program.
  • "Use What Ya Got"
    This article looks at being creative with the tools that you have at your disposal, whether it be human resources or your own talents and skill set. It provides a look at the way some of our colleagues are creating programs that are impactful by using the immediate world around them.
    - published in the Spring 2017 Region VII newsletter.
    - scheduled to present a case study of this idea at the 2017 Region VII conference.
Krista Harrell

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
Staying relevant and innovative:
It is a momentous time for the Association. As we are on the other side of our 2nd century, it’s critical for us to stay relevant and innovative in the ways we support the profession, champion diversity and inclusivity, utilize technology, engage members, and design experiences. The Association must keep pulse on trends, establish new partnerships, solicit regular member feedback, support related research, & continue to be a trailblazer. The Board will continue to lead the Association by shaping the vision, based on our core values, which will guide us into the next century.

Creation of new knowledge to continue to advance the profession:
ACUI must sustain and expand the focus on Education and Research. The Education Council and the Research Program Team have made tremendous strides grounding our work in intentional competencies and advancing scholarly practice in the Association. Educational programming is a strong pillar of the Association. Future initiatives and priorities must maintain a foundation rooted in best practice, learning outcomes, data-driven assessment, and respect for others’ ideas. I know the value of scholarship and have an understanding of research in our field, identifying potential opportunities, and engaging colleagues in the sharing of knowledge.

Funding/financial stability:
The Board’s responsibility for ensuring the Association’s financial stability & strength is no small feat. Current & previous Board and staff leadership have done a remarkable job maintaining the Association through challenging times. ACUI must continue to develop new partnerships and strategies that expand revenue streams. Shared, ethical leadership must remain a critical tenet for those accountable to safeguard assets, prepare and oversee a complex budget, and keep the membership informed of Association’s financial status.

Member engagement:
The Association is vibrant because of the diverse representation & involvement of our members. We must engage current members & outreach to potential members to expand our community. So many of my ACUI colleagues refer to ACUI as “their family”. We owe it to our members at all levels the chance to make deep connections which will sustain throughout their journeys in ACUI. This takes each of us reaching out to bring someone into the fold, mentor them, encourage them to volunteer & become a leader, & recognize their contributions. The Association needs to continue to support our volunteers in their experiences. We must provide dynamic opportunities for growth & development unique to our profession & acknowledge & celebrate their accomplishments.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
I engaged in meaningful personal reflection about who I am as a professional, the talents I have to share with colleagues, and the responsibilities I have to serve the Association that has given me so much. I had a sense of how my friends and close colleagues would describe me, but again I took the opportunity to ask and not assume. It reminded me of the wonderful circle of people I have in my life and that I am better for knowing – many because of ACUI. I was humbled and appreciative of the attributes they noted: Determined, enthusiastic, relentless, joyful, a visionary, energetic, optimistic, organized, caring, funny, concerned, reliable, resilient, generous, responsible, dedicated, inclusive, positive, driven, energetic, compassionate, persistent, inspiring, and hard-working.

I have the skills and the passion needed to be a strong asset to the Board of Trustees, to the Association, and to our individual members. I am a good balance of being the “idea” person and the “get it done” person and I know when I need to step up and lead, sit back and listen, and raise my hand and ask questions. I was reminded of these traits throughout each of my leadership roles on the Ed Council, on the Sustainability Community of Practice, and on the 2015 Annual CPT. I’m thankful to my ACUI family for helping me become an even stronger professional and team member. I value shared leadership and understand the responsibility for the maintaining the Association’s operations, guiding policy and activities, and shaping vision for the membership rests with the Board and the ACUI staff. I recognize how important providing innovative and valuable education and services is for our students and colleagues and the opportunities the ACUI offers are unique. I work from a foundation of best practice, research, and respect for others’ ideas. I know the value of scholarship and have an understanding of research in our field, engaging colleagues in the sharing of knowledge. If given the privilege, I will proudly represent the diverse membership to the Board and the Association with fellow higher education associations. I will bring the best I have to give to my role on the Board.

Candidate Information

Krista Harrell is the Associate Dean of Students & Title IX Coordinator at University of South Alabama and can be contacted directly at kristaharrell@southalabama.edu or 251.460.6452.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
I currently serve in my third year on the Education Council, acting as co-conveyor. It has been a tremendous experience to work closer with my colleagues over the past two and a half years to ensure the education plan for the Association is communicated, marketed, understood, and practically applied in our work. The Ed Council has made great strides in helping to streamline the annual conference ed session submission and review process, of which I directly assisted. Collaborating with the Research Program team, the Regional Directors, and other special appointments on the leadership team have been important priorities for Ed Council and I feel confident that these connections have been strengthened during my time on the Council. With the leadership of Missy Burgess (my co-conveynor), the Ed Council this year is taking on the development of a new Ed Plan, a Core Competency review, Digital Batch learning outcomes, and supporting diversity and inclusion efforts. Along with Charlotte Bonner, ACUI member from NUS, I serve as the co-lead for the Community of Practice on Sustainability, established in late 2015.

I also served as the Education Program Coordinator for the 2015 Annual Conference Program Team. The Conference Program Team offered me the chance to work with colleagues from all the regions to create a conference that exceeds attendees’ expectations and provides invaluable experiences. With the CPT’s support, I encouraged members to submit educational sessions for 2015 that offered a range of topics and tracks that covered the core competencies. I am proud to have been part of a CPT who hosted a conference which reflected innovation and the needs of our membership.

I have attended ACUI regional and national conferences since my days at the UNC Wilmington in various volunteer roles. In October 2016, my current institution, the University of South Alabama, served as the Region III host site. I was privileged to receive the Gretchen Laatsch Scholarship in 2010 and am grateful for the honor and support when I was a doctoral student. In April 2014, I was honored to have my dissertation recognized as the Dissertation of the Year. Currently, I’m working on a new study related to my study and I champion research in our field. My ACUI volunteer experiences thus far have provided invaluable networking and connections across the Association and extraordinary knowledge. I want to continue to be as active as possible in the Association!

Educational Background
  • Doctorate of Philosophy, Higher Education Dec 2012
    Dissertation Title: “An Examination of Green Student Centers’ Influence on the Campus Environment”
    Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Comparative Higher Education Abroad Program – Hong Kong--Spring 2011 & Italy--Spring 2012
  • Master of Science in Education, Higher Education Administration Dec 2003
    Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
  • Bachelor of Science in Human Services Counseling May 2001
    Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Virginia
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • 2017 Annual Conference, “Sustainability Lessons Learned: Union Directors Panel”, with P. Brown, E. Esch, T. Willis.
  • 2016 Regional Conference,
    “Sustainable Unions as ACTIVE Learning Centers”, with D. Campbell.
    “Exploring the Benefits of Forming Partnerships with Institutions in Your Region”, with M. Marshall.
    “It’s Easy Being Green: Sustainability on Campus; Union Transitions.”
    “Title IX and Gender Identity”, with M. Adams.
  • 2016 Annual Conference, “Sustainability on Campus: Learnings from Launchings”, with C. Bonner
  • 2016 Annual Conference, “The “I” In ACUI: Global Partnerships and Networks”, with M. Kitchie, A. Dickson
  • 2015 Region III Conference Closing Keynote Speaker – “Title IX: It's On Us, but is it enough?”
  • 2015 Region III Conference, “ACU’I’” I Have a Story to Tell”, with S. Payment, D. Isaacs
  • 2015 Region III Conference, “Do You See What I See?”, with S. Payment, D. Isaacs
  • Harrell, K., Liss, A., & Moffo Simpson, T. (2015, Sept/Oct). Reflections on the Region VIII Scotland Study Tour Experience.
Heidi Lang

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?

ACUI has had a profoundly positive impact on my career. The Association has provided me opportunities to deepen my understanding of the role of the College Union, make lasting connections with others passionate about this work, gain new insights and give back in meaningful ways. ACUI will need to be strategic in providing those same opportunities for members in the future and in striving to remain the professional organization of choice for newly emerging professionals. In order to do this, ACUI will need to be seen as accessible, relevant and responsive to member needs. Some specific ideas on how to do so are outlined below.

  • In service to our community building role, ACUI should further explore the ways in which it can advance our ability to quickly connect across institutions during times of unanticipated challenges and crises. Given the serious situations we are experiencing on our campuses and in our communities, ACUI has a role to play in assisting in the transfer of knowledge, resources, awareness and support.
  • Related, ACUI might consider new ways to bring members together to explore important ideas of the day, share knowledge and engage in innovating problem solving outside of the conference setting so that our international members and those with financial or travel constraints can still find value in their membership.
  • It is also import to continue to invest in the skill development and awareness building of its membership by expanding how ACUI creates a learning culture within the association. ACUI should focus on ensuring its members have the skills sets needed to use resources creatively; create socially just and forward thinking community centers; remain up to date on new trends, technologies and issues facing higher education; and to mobilize when needed to support change that reflects and protects the values of ACUI and its members institutions.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
I truly believe in the core values of the association. I have experience working to advance those values through my volunteer roles with the association and on my home campus. I have a reputation for being calm, supportive and following through in a timely manner on any task I have accepted. I also think critically, am a positive force for change and, I hope, enjoyable to work with! I would also understand, and fully embrace, my role as a member of this board which would be to advance the mission and vision of ACUI.

Candidate Information

Heidi Lang is the Assistant Director for Program and Leadership Development at University of Wisconsin–Madison and can be contacted directly at heidi.lang@wisc.edu or 608.262.7860.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • Association of College Union International, 2017 Philadelphia Conference Planning Team, 2015 – Current
  • Association of College Union International, Regional Conference Planning Chair, 2011 – 2012
  • Association of College Union International, 2008 New Orleans Conference Planning Team, 2006-2008
Educational Background
    Higher Education Administration
    Psychology and Interpersonal Communications
  • Currently pursuing an Educational Doctorate degree from the University of Wisconsin - La Crosse in Student Affairs Administration.
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Learning Centered Dialogue Education, 2017 Staff Training, UW Madison
  • Student Staff Partnership, 2017 Student Leader Retreat
  • Enhancing Student Learning Through Powerful Partnerships, 2016 IPDS Presentation
  • Creating a Space for Student Activism, 2016 IPDS Presentation
  • Creating a Space for Student Activism, 2016 ACUI Annual Conference Pre-Conference Session
  • Importance of Leadership, 2016 Leadership Seminar Conference Keynote, UW Madison
  • The Student Leader Experience at the Wisconsin Union, 2016 training for UW Madison Library System, UW Madison
  • Leadership and Followership, 2015 Presentation, UW Madison
  • UW Madison's Leadership Framework, 2013 Presentation, UW Madison
  • Developing Tomorrow's Leaders Today, 2009 ACUI Annual Conference Presentation
Keith McMath

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
Important challenges facing the ACUI Association are limited resources and time. We are continuously challenged with the issue of limited "people power" to help continue moving the association forward. With the number professional associations serving the field of higher education, members can be pulled in many directions. Finding people to serve in our association can be a challenge for this reason. Furthermore, the issue of limited resources does not stop with the lack of available of persons. Funding resources also pose a challenge. With the increase in the number of available high education institutions, including on-line schooling, the availability of funding has changed significantly forcing departments to reallocate their limited resources. Lastly, our largest challenge is time. Though as professionals we manage time between job responsibilities, campus commitments, community involvement and personal lives, time seems to always be a resource that we can never get more of.

We address and handle the issues of limited resources by reaching out and seeking others to share their knowledge and talents with our association while (temporarily) stepping way from other associations to allow our participants the opportunity to learn and grow from these professionals. Furthermore, we reach out and encourage those professionals who cannot participate to allow those under and around them to participate while still providing representation and involvement from institutions. As for limited funding challenges, we need to be more creative in sharing resources between institutions in close proximity. An example of shared resources is contracting a coach bus to take several institutions of delegates to a single conference site.

If we can focus on encouraging our colleagues to step away on a short-term basis to serve with us, the potential for increased participation and knowledge sharing may present itself. Furthermore, if we find additional ways to share funding resources, we can increase participation opportunities for our member and possibly new institutions.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
The greatest skill I offer is patience. It is important to listen to what others have to say in order to accommodate others' needs. Allowing the input of the team of participants affords you opportunity to gather as much information as possible before applying a solution or drawing a conclusion. Furthermore I offer critical thinking to allow for looking at an issue multiple ways in an attempt to identify potential solutions to a challenge.

Candidate Information

Keith McMath is the Assistant Director–Facilities and Operations at University of Nevada–Las Vegas and can be contacted directly at keith.mcmath@unlv.edu or 702.895.4449.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • Currently serving first year of second term as Business Manager for Region I
Educational Background
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Management from Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Master of Science in Administrative Recreation from Southern Illinois University Carbondale
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • UNLV Student Union Rebel Way Training 2017, 2016, 2015
  • UNLV Student Union Rebel Skill Builders 2016
  • UNLV Student Union Emergency Preparedness Training 2017, 2016, 2015
Kent Mire

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
The most critical strategic issues facing the Association today, in my opinion, is the intersection of free speech and the desire to create inclusive, diverse, and safe spaces inside our campus unions. Shaun Harper spoke at the 2017 Annual ACUI Conference on the topic of how race matters to college unions and student activities, and we cannot lose sight of that message.

It is imperative that we, as college union and student activities professionals find ever evolving ways to provide space and programs that are accessible, safe, and approachable by all of our students, but also ensure that we are challenging the "status quo" at the same time. College is a time for growth and development for our students and we play a vital role in that development, but we must also ensure that all feel welcome and our programs and spaces are inviting to all students.

Universities are a microcosm of our larger world, and as college union and student activities professionals we should take the opportunity placed in front of us to ensure we are leading our students through a society of inclusion, diversity, acceptance and tolerance.

The Association, and its members, have a responsibility to respond in a way to supports that endeavor and our students. This can be accomplished through programs, education and dedication to our core values as an association. The core competencies of ACUI expound on Role Modeling, Integrity and Political Adaptedness, but at the same time a major core competency has to do with Intercultural Proficiency, focusing on Cultural Awareness and Sensitivity. As an Association, ACUI should ensure that all of our members are proficient in these areas and produce programs that are geared towards education and proficiency in these areas.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
Taking into consideration the position description for the At-Large Board of Trustee members, I feel that I have various skill sets and experiences that would lend to being a successful and effective board member. Over the years I have been a part of the Student Affairs Division at TCU, I have held various spots on committees and leadership opportunities.

Most recently, I am serving as the Co-Chair for a committee on behalf of the Chancellor of TCU. I have also served on the regional leadership team for ACUI, as well as for NASPA. I have also been a dedicated volunteer for my fraternity, Beta Theta Pi, serving as the Regional Director for the SouthCentral Region, overseeing 14 individual chapters at universities throughout the region.

I have also shown myself to be a driven and reliable staff member at TCU. I began my career as as Night Operations Coordinator and over the years have earned various promotions, ultimately to be named as the Interim-Director of the University Unions at TCU. I have the ability to manage various projects, tasks and endeavors at one time and feel that I am a positive and integral piece to the teams and committees that I have the pleasure of serving.

Finally, I feel that I am a great team player, with the ability to understand the role that I should play, based on those individuals that I am with at the current moment. Understanding your team and the role that is needed on that team is important and, in my opinion, a good indicator of a successful team and team members and that would be valuable to add to an executive team.

Candidate Information

Kent Mire is the Director, University Unions at Texas Christian University and can be contacted directly at k.mire@tcu.edu or 817.257.7927.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • Served on the ACUI Region II Board as an at-large member from 2009 - 2011
  • Served in the NASPA Regional Board from 2015 - 2017
Educational Background
I attended Louisiana Tech University from 2003 - 2007 and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in 2007. Following that I enrolled in graduate school and received my Masters in Science in 2008.

Finally, I plan to attend the Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University beginning in the Fall of 2018.

Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Title IX certification workshop 2016
  • Ally trained, 2015
  • Inclusion and Diversity Committee at Texas Christian University
  • How to Support International Students in an Ever Changing Society, First - Fourth Year.
  • Employment of International Students, a How-To Guide
  • Politics and political correctness on College Campuses
Heather Nunes

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
I am very proud of the recent re-branding of ACUI with the new tagline of “Advancing Campus Community,” and would like to see the Association continue to work towards achieving this vision by remaining abreast of and responsive to all issues and trends facing our work, campuses and students. As the Association continues to look forward it will be important to implement the various current work group and task force findings including the updated Role of the College Union Statement to ensure the Association is meeting the needs of its current and future members. The Association should continue to allow space for task forces and work groups to develop in order to remain current to the needs and voices of the membership.

Additionally, the Association should continue to strive in expanding its membership base as outlined in the current strategic plan. This could be achieved through continued marketing to potential members outside of the traditional union building. The Association has some incredibly strong seminars and institutes that sometimes non-members do not realize are associated with ACUI. Continuing to expand our membership base is one method to broadening our revenue stream so that we can continue to provide the services and programs our membership needs.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
I have been an active volunteer with ACUI throughout the past 10 years and have a strong foundation of knowledge of the work of the Association. I have served on the leadership team for four years, participating in the development of the current strategic plan, creation of I-LEAD® Connect, and as a representative of the Association to other groups such as the IMPACT Conference. I am used to conducting and participating in online meetings, managing volunteers virtually, programmatic budgeting, writing for ACUI publications, and presenting at conferences.

Candidate Information

Heather Nunes is the Assistant Director, Center for Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at Virginia Commonwealth University and can be contacted directly at hnunes@vcu.edu or 804.828.3208.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience

ACUI Campus Shooting Dialogue Team Member March 2017-present

  • Research and present educational initiatives surrounding campus shooting dialogues
  • Support association wide programs in prevention, intervention, and reflection

ACUI 2017 Conference Program Team Member June 2015- March 2017

  • Planned and executed 2017 ACUI Annual Conference
  • Ensured ACUI core competencies are included through annual conference educational sessions and keynotes
  • Developed unique and outstanding conference experience for international membership at annual conference

ACUI College Unions Poetry Slam Invitational Host March 2015

  • Provided logistical support for over 60 competing teams at Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Supported judge and bout manager recruitment and training

ACUI Student Programs Team Leader March 2013-March 2017

  • Lead the strategic development of all ACUI student programs including a new student leadership program, I-LEAD® (Institute for Leadership Education and Development) Connect
  • Educated professional, student, and associate members about ACUI student programs
  • Facilitated the establishment of consistent standards and procedures for participation
  • Aligned student programs to further the mission and strategic plan of the Association
  • Represented the interests of student programs to the international ACUI Leadership Team
  • Member of I-LEAD® Curriculum Review Committee

ACUI I-LEAD® Program Team Leader Spring 2011-Spring 2013

  • Facilitated annual I-LEAD® program to student leaders from across the country
  • Chaired promotion, selection and training of 12-24 professional staff small group facilitators and student interns

ACUI Region 6 Leadership Team Member Spring 2011-Fall 2013

  • Coordinated student scholarship application process and selection
  • Collaborated with other leadership team members to develop regional conference
  • Developed student leadership track for regional conference

ACUI IMPACT Conference Program Team Leader Fall 2009- Spring 2011

  • Served on the IMPACT conference planning committee
  • Developed promotional content specific to ACUI members and students

ACUI I-LEAD® Facilitator Summer 2010 & 2009

  • Facilitated I-LEAD® program to student leaders from across the country
  • Co-facilitated small group of 12-14 students in developing leadership skills through activities and discussions
  • Aided students in exploration of the role of the student union and community on their campus
Educational Background
I earned my Bachelor’s of Science degree in journalism and mass communication from Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa and my Master’s of Science in Educational Administration from Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas.

Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Nunes, H. (September 2017). Leadership Foundations, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.
  • Nunes, H. (June 2017). Peer Leadership, Virginia Commonwealth University, Division of Student Affairs, Richmond, Virginia.
  • Halligan, R. & Nunes, H. (September 2016). Plunging Into Leadership Through Short-Term Experiential Learning Programs, ACUI Bulletin Magazine.
  • Knight, S., Peters-McBride, J., & Nunes, H. (March 2016). College Student Food Insecurity: Lessons from Three Campuses, ACUI Annual Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • Nunes, H. & Halligan, R. (October 2015). 5 Practices of Exemplary Leaders in Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia
  • Nunes, H (November 2014, April 2014, April 2013). What Can Student Programs Do For You?, ACUI Region VI Conference, Virginia Tech and ACUI Annual Conferences.
  • Duke, J., Knight, S., & Nunes, H. (April 2014). Taking the Next Step, ACUI Annual Conference, Orlando, Florida.
  • Nunes (Magalski), H. (March 2010). Sometimes Bigger is Better: Large Scale Programs, ACUI Annual Conference, New York City, New York.
  • Nunes (Magalski), H. (October 2009). Sometimes Bigger is Better: Large Scale Programs, ACUI Region 6 Conference, University of South Florida.
  • Nunes (Magalski), H. (March 2009). Crafty Connections in the College Union, ACUI Bulletin Magazine.
Anthony Otero

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
The landscape of this country is changing and ACUI should continue to be on the forefront on issues that affect our students and volunteers and so I believe the most important strategic issue is membership engagement. This profession that we’ve chosen to be a part of keeps us in engrossed within our campuses and while that is a good thing, we could be doing a better job at meeting the needs of our members, without always polling them for answers, to keep them engaged with the Association.

ACUI should celebrate and recognize that we are all active in our communities. If the past few Keynote speakers are any indication, we should be walking the talk when it comes to diversity and inclusion. We should be making sure that when we preach about gender neutral bathrooms that all our host sites for conferences actually have them. I would like to the that voice that advocates for those that do not have seat at the table.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
I have served on a few boards, although nothing of this magnitude, I do have a basic understanding of protocol and procedure. I am the type of person that has to understand everything and therefore, I question everything. I’m also a processor and very observant so I may appear be quiet but once I digest information I can express my thoughts and opinions. My perspective on everything I do revolves around common sense. I do not believe in complicating matters because that is how people lose interest but at the same time, I love to solve problems in spite of said complications.

With that being said, I am very flexible individual that can thrive in many different roles provided that I am trained to serve in those roles. I am eager to learn what I do not know and willing to train others in what I’ve learned. I am effective when it comes to engaging people. I rarely take myself too seriously which make me very personable and allows me to keep my cool in any situation. I am most successful when I feel that my voice and the voices of those I advocate for are heard.

Candidate Information

Anthony Otero is the Associate Director at Barnard College and can be contacted directly at aotero@barnard.edu or 917.699.5472.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • Inclusivity Coordinator Region VII, 2016-2018
  • Co Leader for Multi – Ethnic Professionals and Allies Community of Practice – 2014 – Current
  • Social Media Coordinator – Region 2 2010 - 2011
Educational Background
I have a BA in English from Syracuse University.

Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Invisible Latinx (Panel discussing representation of Latinos in Media) 10/7/17 New York Comic Con
  • Our Right, Our Fight (Civic Engagement Workshop) 9/16/17 Syracuse University CBT Reunion
  • Men of Color Workshop – ACUI Preconference 3/18/17
  • “What’s Your Contribution?” Post in ACUI Commons 4/21/16
  • Alter Egos: Helping to Realize Your Passion – Co Presenter 11/11/16 ACUI Region 7 Conference, Pittsburgh PA
  • Navigating and Creating Your Network – Co Presenter 11/11/16 ACUI Region 7 Conference, Pittsburgh PA
  • Branding and the Millennial Woman (moderator) 1/22/15 Lubin House, New York City
  • “What Role Does Higher Education Play to Help the Unempowered Youth?” Huffington Post 7/18/2012
  • Are You a Real Fraternity Man? (Workshop on Masculinity) 11/5/11 Syracuse University Values Academy
  • Creating a Latino Heritage Month in a PWI 3/21/08 American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, Annual National Conference, Costa Mesa, CA
Benjamin Perlman

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
We need to cross-collaborate more to achieve our strategic goals. For instance, engaging corporate partners and associate members in ACUI’s research agenda, and giving undergraduate and graduate members more opportunities at the international level, on items related to governance, and with councils. Emphasizing collaboration will assist in adding to the volunteer pipeline, improving supplier diversity, and growing our leadership in higher education.

I think making sure our membership is accessible and representative of all community builders in unions and student activities is vitally important. For me, that means working with under-represented institutions to present a value proposition for their membership that they can engage in. It means working with faculty to get them invested in ACUI’s research agenda so they can engage with the rest of the membership. At the individual member level, I think ACUI has made great strides in inclusion, and as a board member I would also want to continue to support that movement.

ACUI should continue to explore our value in providing excellent professional development opportunities. The development of core competencies have been an amazing resource for our members. I believe the next step is to explore how ACUI may play a role in acknowledging that, by engaging in ACUI programs, members have developed those competencies. Whether that be a badging program, a certification program, or some other sort of competency-based record of professional development, I believe that in order to keep pace with ACUI’s peers in higher education and to continue to provide value in membership we need to start to look at what would work best for ACUI in this arena.

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
In my current professional role, I have gained experience in skills related to serving on the board of trustees. I advocate for strategic initiatives at the university level, lead the assessment activities for our student affairs division, and have developed large operating and project budgets. I love strategic planning and needs assessment, and have coordinated an external CAS review of our department, so I understand how to look at operations with a microscope and how to present constructive criticism in a way that is engaging to a diverse set of stakeholders.

As an ACUI volunteer, my experience lies chiefly in two areas, membership and our research agenda. I have had lots of challenging conversations with members about the value of ACUI. I understand the diverse priorities of our institutional members, and am motivated to make sure that as professional community builders, we practice what we preach by making sure all institutions feel they have a voice in our community. I understand ACUI’s research agenda and how vital it is to our strategic direction. As a member of the Research Program Team, I have worked with faculty, students, and scholars to advance it.

I bring the institutional perspective I have gained working at a small to midsized private institution, as well as the perspective of someone whose career has included engagement in multiple professional organizations. That experience has shown me that I want to invest my time and service with ACUI, but I have also learned about and experienced different perspectives in professional organization management and strategy.

Candidate Information

Benjamin Perlman is the Director, University Center at Emory University and can be contacted directly at ben.perlman@emory.edu or 404.727.5355.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience

Currently serving:

  • 2nd term on the Research Programming Team
  • Chair, Community of Scholars

Previously served in Region III as:

  • Membership Chair
  • Online Learning Coordinator
Educational Background
I have a bachelor's degree in International Studies from Emory University, an M.S. in Higher Ed. Administration from Florida State University, and a PhD in Education from the University of Georgia. I am a Certified Auxiliary Services Professional and QPR Suicide Prevention Instructor.

Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Perlman, B.M., Shell, S., & Baltimore, S. (2017). Competition-based designer selection. Presented at the Association of College Unions International Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Knight, R., Perlman, B.M., Konda, K, & Hollis, W. (2017). Recreation vs. leisure: Living well in the union. Presented at the Association of College Unions International Conference, Philadelphia, PA.
  • Perlman, B.M. & Wilson, A. (2017) How members can further ACUI’s research agenda. The ACUI Bulletin, 85(2), 50-51.
  • Duke, J., Grinvalds, J., & Perlman, B.M. (2015). Money Doesn’t Grow on Student Affairs Budgets. Presented at the Association of College Unions International Conference, San Antonio, TX.
  • Perlman, B. M., & Furhman, D. (2015). Establishing and reinvigorating student advisory boards. On-campus Hospitality, February 2015.
  • Perlman, B.M. (2014). Minding your Ps and Qs: The successful creation of a request for qualifications or request for proposal. The ACUI Bulletin, February 2014.
  • Perlman, B.M., Bowden, B., Vest, B, & Lovitz, A. (2014). Considerations for Going Back to School. Presented at the Association of College Unions International Conference, Orlando, FL.
  • Bymaster, E., Furhman, D., & Perlman, B.M. (2014). Assessing Auxiliary Services. Presented at the National Association of College Auxiliary Services International Conference, Montreal, CA.
  • Furhman, D., Perlman, B.M., and Duke, J. (2014). Establishing and Reinvigorating Student Advisory Boards. Presented at the National Association of College Auxiliary Services International Conference, Montreal, CA.
  • Bymaster, E., & Perlman, B.P. (2013). Creating Cultural and Identity Affirming Spaces. Presented at the National Association of College Auxiliary Services International Conference, Anaheim, CA.
Terry Weber

Statement of Candidacy

What do you believe are the most important strategic issues facing the Association and how should the Association effectively respond?
Membership, as it relates to funding in higher education, rises to the top of my list of important strategic issues. In Missouri, we have already seen several cuts to higher education funding in the past year, with more anticipated in the coming years. Other states have seen similar state-wide funding issues, as well. The impact on ACUI could loom large, as institutions evaluate their priorities and where to best spend their money, potentially impacting institutional membership. ACUI needs to continue to investigate ways to diversify its revenue streams, while simultaneously keeping membership dues at a reasonable cost. ACUI cannot price itself out of being the association of choice of student union and student activities professionals.

Coupled with funding challenges, student affairs units continue to have to prove their worth and “tell their story.” Successfully doing so enhances our efforts to be seen as important and equal partners with academia. That is why it is imperative to continue to pursue research and assessment avenues demonstrating the impact and importance of the work done by student affairs units, such as student unions and student activities. This is highly consistent with the new tagline for the association “Advancing Campus Community.”

Given the position description, what skills and perspectives do you possess that would contribute to your success as an effective board member?
I have had the opportunity to work in multiple student affairs functional areas. In addition to student unions, I also have significant work experience in Residence Life and Fraternity/Sorority Life. These work experiences led to volunteering for both the Upper Midwest Region – Association of College & University Housing Officers (UMR-ACUHO) and the Association of Fraternity Advisors (AFA). In turn, these experiences allow me to bring a diverse perspective in terms of other professional associations and functional areas, how ACUI compares, and how our association can take the lead in developing professionals.

Our association has many interconnected constituents, which contribute to the overall success of ACUI. Building relationships with these constituents is vital to keeping one’s finger on the pulse of the association and is something I learned firsthand in each of the volunteer positions that I have held. Whether it was managing peers, communicating with Central Office staff, or connecting with corporate partners, I made it a point to forge relationships to be the best asset I could be. This skill would continue to be a strategy of mine to be an effective member of ACUI’s Board of Trustees.

Candidate Information

Terry Weber is the Director, Plaster Student Union at Missouri State University and can be contacted directly at terryweber@missouristate.edu or 417.836.5886.

Relevant ACUI Volunteer Experience
  • Annual Conference Program Team Member (Philadelphia, 2017)
  • Regional Director Convener (2015)
  • Regional II Director (2014-15)
  • Region 11 Director (2013)
  • Region 11 Educational Programs Coordinator (2009-12)
Educational Background
  • Masters of Arts, College Student Personnel, Bowling Green State University (2004)
  • Bachelors of Arts, Business Administration, Truman State University (2001)
Relevant Workshops, Teaching, Research, or Publications
  • Instructor, GEP 101, First-Year Foundations, 2-hour class, 2010-2016
  • Weber, T (2015). How to work “Whentowork.” ACUI online program
  • Weber, T (2014). How to work “Whentowork.” ACUI Region II Conference, Louisiana State University.
  • Weber, T (2013). Strategy in the Union Environment. ACUI Region 11 Conference, Emporia State University.
  • Weber, T (2013). How do we get them? We’ve got them! Now what? Student Organization Leadership Development Program, Missouri State University
  • Weber, T (2012). How do we get them? We’ve got them! Now what? Student Organization Leadership Development Program, Missouri State University
  • Weber, T. (2012) Recruiting and selecting staff. ACUI Online Program
  • Weber, T. & Ready, K. (2011). Using strengths with staff. ACUI Region 11 Conference, University of Missouri – Kansas City
  • Weber, T (2011). How do we get them? We’ve got them! Now what? Student Organization Leadership Development Program, Missouri State University

President-Elect Candidates

Below are the three candidates for the one president-elect position, whose full candidate profiles are provided above.

Ian Crone
Northern Illinois University

Brenda Evans
University of Massachusetts–Lowell

Zamora, Jennifer
Jennifer Zamora
University of Texas–Austin

At-Large Member Candidates

Below are the 14 candidates for the three at-large member positions, whose full candidate profiles are provided above.

Chadee, Deepti
Deepti Chadee
Texas A&M University–Commerce
Comstock, Sarah
Sarah Comstock
University of Puget Sound
Contratto, James
James Contratto
University of South Alabama
Cowie, Alistair
Alistair Cowie
University of Sydney
Duke, Jonathan
Jonathan Duke
Emory University
McMath, Keith

Keith McMath
University of Nevada–Las Vegas

Perlman, Ben
Benjamin Perlman
Emory University
Greene, Hayden
Hayden Greene
Manhattan College
Mire, Kent
Kent Mire
Texas Christian University
Weber, Terry
Terry Weber
Missouri State University
Harrell, Krista
Krista Harrell
University of South Alabama
Nunes, Heather
Heather Nunes
Virginia Commonwealth University
Lang, Heidi
Heidi Lang
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Otero, Anthony
Anthony Otero
Barnard College

There are many situations in which ACUI members are asked for their vote. For instance, Board of Trustees or regional director elections and some new initiatives or bylaw changes that require member approval. To be eligible to vote in any ACUI election, you must be a member at an institution in good standing. Regional elections are limited to those members in the particular region holding the election.

If you have any questions regarding ACUI elections, please contact the ACUI Central Office at 812.245.2284 or acui@acui.org.