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!”
Since February 2018, HESA student Patrick Rogers (’19) has been one of three graduate students nationally serving on the planning committee for the 2018 Annual Conference for NODA (the Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education). The conference took place in San Diego last week, and Patrick checked in to tell us about his experience. Both the planning process and the conference itself, says Rogers, were fantastic learning and professional development experiences. “I was able to network with other professionals on the committee as well as throughout the country,” he says. “I learned so much about this field while also helping with on-site logistics. This was a great experience for me as I look forward to seeking a position working with first year students in the next few months!” Congratulations, Patrick!
Congrats to Lexy Parrill being awarded the Gretchen Laatsch Grant and Scholarship at the 2017 ACUI (Association of College Unions International) Annual Conference in March. The work being recognized was part of her Fall 2017 practicum in the UConn Programs Office.
In order for me to gain experience and commit to being the international leader that I strive to be, studying abroad in the summer was the right decision for me. While my program does great work on educating us about student affairs in the US, we don’t do much of comparing and contrasting to other Higher Ed systems abroad. For my experience abroad, I was able to travel to Glasgow, Scotland and do a three week assessment project at the University of Glasgow with two of my cohort mates.
Danielle has been an outstanding source of support and guidance for her staff since the first day of the semester. She has been devoted to checking-in with each RA regularly ever since. Before she even met the Hilltop Halls staff, Danielle wrote a welcome note to each RA, and continued to hand-write thoughtful messages throughout the semester as she learned more about each RA. Additionally, Danielle has made snacks and baked desserts to give staff members for the sake of making others cheerful. The notes and random snacks are just a couple out of many ways Danielle has made the Hilltop Halls staff smile and feel supported. These actions demonstrate Danielle’s dedication to fostering a happy staff. Danielle also cares for her residents. She led a planning committee of RAs to organize a Fall Festival in Hilltop Halls to give residents a fun way to get involved with their community. Danielle offered great advice during the planning phase of Fall Festival that resulted in a very successful area-wide social program. Outside of organizing programs, Danielle is very accessible to the community should any community members need help with a roommate conflict, or just want to chat about what’s going on in their lives. Danielle’s accessibility provides the Hilltop Halls community with another level of support that we all appreciate greatly.
Christian Price (HESA Class of 2017), Abigail Smith (HESA Class of 2017), and Jeronima “Niimo” Nix (HESA Class of 2017), will be presenting at the 2016 NACADA CT Drive-In Conference. The theme of the conference is “The Greatest Advising on Earth: Mastering the Balancing Act.”
Price and Smith will be presenting, “Beyond Academic Advising: An Approach to Supporting African American Male Student Athletes at Predominantly White Institutions.” The pair will focus on the contexts and lived experiences of African American male student athletes, and how to assist students in maximizing their potential as both students and young adults.
Nix’s presentation will focus on incorporating social justice theory with academic advising philosophies. Using case studies and some interactive activities, Nix hopes to highlight the importance of embracing cultural differences in advising practices, and share resources that may prepare students and advisors to build more engaging relationships.
Additional details about the NACADA conference can be found at the conference website: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2016-nacada-ct-drive-in-conference-tickets-21017743637.
Elizabeth Rapoport (Class of 2011) was recently selected to serve on the NACA Mid Atlantic Regional Conference Planning Committee as the Volunteer Center Coordinator; her fourth consecutive year serving as a part of the RCPC for this region. Elizabeth would be more than happy to connect with any students who are interested in a career in Student Activities to share with them how to leverage NACA as a graduate student and young professional!
Courtney McKenna (Associate Director, Student Center & Campus Life, Quinnipiac University) and Greg Fink (Assistant Director) were honored with the Outstanding Change Initiative Award at the 2013 Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Annual Meeting. Additionally, McKenna and Fink presented their 2-year transition for the fraternity and sorority community toward a university-centered learning paradigm. Below is the presentation description:
“As institutions of higher education are forced to prove their value through scrutiny of what a college education currently provides, some institutions have begun implementing a learning paradigm–a philosophy that asks all community members (faculty, staff and administrators) to reexamine and rework policies and practices to ensure that student learning is at the core. Presenters will provide insight into practices taken for a fraternity/sorority community to align itself with an institutional learning paradigm while simultaneously ensuring fraternities and sororities are reliable student learning vehicles. Just as an intentional focus on values congruence can elevate a fraternity and sorority community through position actions, intentional focus on enhancing student learning can highlight why fraternities and sororities exist, while also supporting an institutional mission. ”