Congratulations to Katrina Camerato (‘19) whose group recently placed first for the Northeast Association of College and University Housing Officers (NEACUHO) New Professionals Case Study Competition! The annual competition, which takes place during the NEACUHO Annual Conference in October, offers new professionals (including qualified graduate students) an opportunity to put their skills to work and network with other new professionals.
This year’s case study was an “all-encompassing case for HESA practitioners,” says Katrina. While the case focused broadly on addressing increasing mental health issues in residential spaces, it also included obstacles such as budget cuts, an overworked staff, and issues with student satisfaction. Katrina was partnered with her group members on the first day of the conference, and they presented their proposal on the conference’s final day. The group proposed a year-long initiative that involved both campus and community partnerships in order tokeep their intervention low-cost.
Katrina says she has her HESA program assistantship at the UConn Department of Residential Life to thank for helping her develop the practical skills and knowledge that allowed her to succeed in the competition. “UConn has a flourishing Department of Residential Life, and I have really learned a lot from my time working with colleagues and students there,” says Katrina. She also credits her practica at Title IX offices for giving her practical experience, as well as her law and ethics class (EDLR 5119) for teaching her “how to properly read a case, find the holes, and propose solutions.”
For other students interested in getting involved in a case study, Katrina recommends reaching out to supervisors and colleagues. With her assistantship in Residential Life, Katrina was a member of NEACUHO and learned from professionals in her department that she could apply for funding through NEACUHO to cover conference costs. After receiving full funding for the three-day conference, she began looking into what else the conference had to offer and found the case study competition. “I highly encourage students to look deeper into their professional organizations,” says Katrina. “Whether they are involved with NODA, NASPA, ACPA, ACUHO-I, or another organization, many of these professional organizations offer these types of opportunities!”