Northwest Association of College & University Housing Officers

9 Things to Look Forward to in Spokane

By Kate Gannon-Cullinan

Hey folks! As we approach our 2017 Annual Conference, I wanted to give a sneak peek at the amazing things the Board of Directors and Local Arrangements Committee have in store for you. Once our Guidebook posts in the next week download the guide for NWACUHO 2017 and start creating your schedule. Enjoy this week’s post, and go ahead and pop some of these into your plans for attending the conference in Spokane!


1. Pre-Conference Options! We have expanded our selection to 3 different opportunities: Senior Housing Official, Facilities Management, and Residential Education (sorry, no vacancy left on this one!) – all with the chance to have great, roundtable discussions with peers in those areas or folks interested in that career path.

2. Case Study Competition. Each year we invite new professionals to participate in this collaborative educational opportunity. You’re given a case study, split into small groups, and then work to prepare your solution to our judges and other upper-level professionals. A great way to get some practical thinking to broaden your scope when dealing with tough situations within our profession. We recognize the participants and winners at our closing banquet too. Look forward to an upcoming blog post with more details on the benefits of participating in our case study competition!

3. The Mid-Level Challenge. A new opportunity this year, we are engaging our mid-level professionals in an activity alongside our vendors. This event aims to show folks who may soon be in the position to manage purchasing for their departments and/or institutions.

4. Featured Speakers. This year, our programming committee has selected a handful of featured presentations to also be streamed live from the conference. Even if you’re not able to join us in Spokane, you can tune in and learn from afar. These featured speaker sessions allow for a larger attendance and more shared learning among attendees. Look for the live streaming link on the website as we begin the conference.

5. Keynote Speaker. Our 2017 Annual Conference is proud to announce damali ayo as our welcoming keynote speakers. Her commitment and message surrounding diversity and inclusion echo that of NWACUHO’s. damali ayo and her work have been featured in publications world-wide including Harpers, the Village Voice, Salon.com, the Washington Post, Seattle Times, Chicago Tribune, Redbook Magazine, The O’Reilly Factor, and Book TV. As a keynote speaker, she travels the country, engaging audiences to think, feel, and heal through difficult community and personal challenges. You can read more about damali’s career on her website.

6. Program Interest Sessions. 80 presenters. 48 interest sessions. Roundtables. So. Much. Learning. We have 6 different program tracks this year as well: Supervision, Leadership, Diversity/Social Justice, Residential Educational Services, and Facilities Management. At check-in we will have session lists by track so you can plan your conference by focus area if you wish.

7. Professional Networking and Idea Sharing. It’s a given that in attending the annual conference you will be able to connect with professionals within our Northwest region. You will also get to meet and chat with new folks, exhibitors, members of the Board of Directors and committees, and senior housing officials. Making connections, regardless of your future geographical career plans, is a great way to help inform your practice within student affairs. Grab the name ribbons at check-in that best suit your involvements, and look for the ones of other attendees. Not sure how to start? Find one of us with Board of Directors ribbon and chat us up; we are here to serve our members and want to connect with as many folks as possible!

8. The Affinity Social. Organized by the Diversity & Inclusion committee, this event encourages everyone to come together during the annual conference. Connect with other colleagues around the region while asking questions, having small group discussions, and sharing your experiences in a casual setting that best supports both your personal and professional development! Join us on Tuesday, February 7th from 6pm-7pm in Terrace Room East. To help the committee prepare for the social, please take the following survey to indicate your interest: https://wsu.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_beFfzCI6rYviK8Z. If you have any questions or need accommodations, please contact washington@nwacuho.org.


9. Food. NWACUHO does its best to provide time for colleagues across our region to connect and share ideas, research, strategies, and more. One way that we are able to do that is by providing a handful of meals, included in your conference registration, along with scheduled time to hang with exhibitors. In addition, food is awesome – especially at the conference hotel, the Davenport Grand. Check out the list of meals provided here.

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