Northwest Association of College & University Housing Officers

The Excitement of Conferences

By Ian Schultz

[introduction by Kate Gannon-Cullinan]

As the ACUHO-I Annual Conference & Exposition is just around the corner, we wanted to take an opportunity to remind folks the power of the conference experience. Whether you are attending for the first time, or a seasoned professional known by name as you enter the exhibitor hall, there is much value in the connections and education possible at conferences. Following is a recount of on of our scholarship winners and their experience attending NWACUHO back in February. We hope that you’ll share their excitement as you journey across the way to Providence, Rhode Island. And while you’re in town, please stop by our regional social, co-hosted with WACUHO, AIMHO, and the RLPA. Safe travels, and enjoy this week’s post…



I was privileged to be one of the recipients of the NWACUHO New Professional Scholarship, which provided me with funding to attend this year’s NWACUHO 2017 Annual Conference, which was held at the Davenport Grand in Spokane, Washington. I knew I was in for an amazing few days of learning, networking and fun- and this year’s Conference certainly delivered!

What I loved most about the NWACUHO conference was the variety of sessions, connection points and activities which are available to delegates. I felt that there was no shortage of opportunities for me to learn valuable insights about the student housing profession, or make connections with passionate individuals in this field. Whether it was through the formal program sessions, lunch-time town halls and business meetings, or the evening socials, the busy days were intentionally designed to ensure that delegates were given every opportunity to make the most out of their conference experience.

A highlight of the Conference for me was definitely the Case Study competition. Designed for new professionals at the conference, the Case Study competition paired delegates from various institutions and challenged them to develop an intentional and well-developed solution to a hypothetical, student-housing related issue. As an individual who is still quite new to the student housing field, it was incredibly valuable to make connections with my group members and to work collaboratively to solve the problem at hand. As each group member worked at a different institution, many of them quite different from my own, it was very interesting to get an idea of how everyone’s background shaped their idea of how best to solve the issue and it was very fun to use everyone’s insights in order to come up with a conclusive solution.

I am incredibly grateful to the local host committee and the NWACUHO Board of Directors for designing such a fun and engaging conference. From the beautiful venue, to the thoughtfully designed conference program, there was not one moment that I did not feel welcomed, valued and “at home” at the NWACUHO 2017 Annual Conference. So much of this was due to the hospitality and intentionality of the conference’s hosts and organizers, whose passion for creating a memorable conference experience was evident throughout the whole experience.

I had a blast at the NWACUHO 2017 Conference and I have been very excited to use many of the insights that I learned from my conference experience in my day-to-day work. To all new professionals out there, I encourage you to look into the variety of scholarship opportunities available to attend next year’s conference in Victoria, BC. I am sure you’ll be glad you did!

Ian Schultz is a Residence Coordinator at the University of Alberta (North Campus). He is passionate about creating a well-rounded experience for students in residence and is excited for a (hopefully) long career in student affairs. Outside of work, you can find Ian at the movies!

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