Three ACUI Regions Elect New Directors

ACUI members from Regions III, V, and VII have elected new regional directors. James Contratto of the College of Charleston will represent Region III, Mary Russell, from the University of Wisconsin–Madison, will represent Region V, and Rutgers University’s Chrissie King will represent Region VII.

Contratto is the executive director of student involvement at the College of Charleston and has an M.S. in college student affairs from Eastern Illinois University. He is the 2024 Region III Conference chair; previous volunteer roles include 2022 Annual Conference Planning Team, various regional roles, and frequent educational session presenter at Regional and Annual Conferences.

Russell is director of education and art programs at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Student Union and has an M.A. in education from the University of Northern Iowa. She is currently the Region V business manager; previous volunteer roles include 2023 Annual Conference Planning Team, 2023 Region V Conference chair, and planning team member and presenter at Region V Conferences.

King is assistant director of the Rutgers University–Camden Campus Center and holds an M.A. in special education from the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. King is the student involvement coordinator on the Region VII Regional Leadership Team; previous volunteer roles include 2019 Regional Conference Planning Team and multiple years as the regional sponsorship coordinator.

Each will begin their terms of office at their region’s respective 2024 conference. The Region III Conference will be October 22–25 at the University of Alabama–Birmingham, Region V will gather at the University of Wisconsin–La Crosse from October 27–29, and Region VII will gather at West Chester University from November 7–10.

In other regional news, Lauren Gyurisin of Virginia Commonwealth University was approved by the ACUI Board of Trustees to serve as Region VI director through November 2025, completing the term left vacant by the resignation in February by Hether Wagoner of Virginia Tech.

The elections were held for open positions from April 22–May 13. Region III had 52 out of 173 eligible voters participate (30.1%); Region V had 48 out of 156 (30.8%); and Region VII had 58 out of 191 (30.4%).

Ranked Choice Voting was used for the election, which means voters could cast their ballot for all of the candidates, ranking their top candidate first, followed by other candidates according to their preference for selection. A more detailed description of ranked choice voting can be found here, and a YouTube explanation is here.

Learn more about ACUI’s regional structure here.


  • Steve Chaplin

    Steve Chaplin is managing editor of ACUI’s The Bulletin and manager of the ACUI College Union and Student Activities (CUSA) Evaluation Program. A former newspaper writer, editor, and manager, he has volunteered as a student mentor as a member of the National Association of Science Writers, and received awards for his writing and reporting from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, the Kentucky Education Association, and the Kentucky Press Association.

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