Northwest Association of College & University Housing Officers

NWACUHO Scholarship Reflections: ACUHO-I STARS College

By Sonya Dauncey

This June, I was given the amazing opportunity to attend the ACUHO-I STARS College Conference with the help of a NWACUHO scholarship. This conference, as many know, gives participants more knowledge and excitement for heading into the field of Student Affairs. Such a conference attracts a lively bunch of undergrads all looking forward to their potential future in this field. The community built from this likeminded group paired with the plethora of information provided by our amazing faculty made for an unforgettable experience.

This year, the conference was held in Toronto at the University of Toronto Mississauga campus. Because of this placement, there was a higher focus on and more conversation surrounding the I in ACUHO-I. On top of the greater mention of the Canadian system and how the path to Student Affairs looks from a Canadian perspective, globalization and internationalization were topics also discussed in a breakout session. This session, presented by faculty Chad Nuttall, provided some amazing insight into how not only University of Toronto Mississauga approaches internationalization, but also how other universities in different countries also approach this same topic. For Chad Nuttall’s university, international students make up one of the greatest populations on their campus. He explained some of the processes that had to be changed in order to make University of Toronto Mississauga better for these international students – such as eliminating the fee to stay over winter break. Looking at the rational of internationalization and analyzing why countries like Australia have one of their largest exports being education, as well as how universities can better support their international students was incredibly eye-opening.

Following this theme, STARS also was visited by a group of about 15 international Student Affairs professionals visiting several university campuses in Canada. For one of our lunches, we sat at a table with one or two of these guests and were able to ask questions and answer their questions about our universities and how each one approached Res Life. It was incredible to be able to compare not only how each of our universities within the United States and Canada organized Res Life on our campuses, but also compare that to Res Life outside of our continent. One of these guests was from the UK and was describing the difficulty in getting people interested in being Resident Advisors based on the culture surrounding their campus life. Another guest from South Africa described the housing separation by gender to keep with the expectations of the culture. A guest from France described the Residence hall distinctions between private and government owned, which I then was able to experience as I studied in France right after STARS College. The insights that these international professionals were able to bring as we discussed differences and similarities in our systems provided another unique insight that I would not have been able to gain without this experience.

Of course, these were not the only things discussed at STARS – history, grad school and assistantship prep, bias, residential curriculum, and more were topics also examined. However, this idea of the international stage that many universities reside in is important to consider as a part of Res life. Because of this experience, I will not only be able to better service the students as a Resident Advisor this year, but also the students I will have going into my grad school and professional life. I am extremely grateful for NWACUHO for supporting my journey to STARS and I look forward to what lies beyond as I enter this field.

Sonya is the 3rd from the right, next to middle



Sonya Dauncey is entering her last year of undergrad at Eastern Washington University and will be attending grad school for Student Affairs in 2020/21. Please feel free to continue this conversation at sdauncey@eagles.ewu.edu!




Learn more about Scholarships & Awards through NWACUHO!


Each year, NWACUHO supports professional development for its membership through multiple scholarship opportunities to attend regional and national conferences and training.

For the NWACUHO Annual Conference, we accept applications and nominations for the below scholarships. Visit the individual scholarship page to learn more about the scholarships, and click on each form below the scholarship list to nominate an applicant. All scholarship nominations are due December 2, 2019 at 11:59pm Pacific. Recipients will be notified via email the week of January 6, 2020.

We will accept applications and nominations for the below scholarships each spring.


NWACUHO Awards recognize the work of members in our region in a multiple areas of experience and expertise. Nominations are collected and reviewed before annual conference. At the conference, The Best of the Northwest program award is selected by conference attendees, and the Annual Conference Case Study Competition winners are announced.

Specific information on each award and the criteria used for selection are listed below:

Nominate someone for any of these awards here!  Nominations are due Monday, December 2, 2019 at 11:59PM Pacific.

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