Jenna DeCeault, Heather Harris, Laura Schoenike, and Ella Hopkins, all undergraduates from the University of Wisconsin–Whitewater, attended the 2012 ACUI annual conference in Boston. Among the 8.6 percent of undergraduate attendees at the event, these students had the opportunity to participate in a sought-after privilege among students.
Kim Adams, assistant director, described the process the University Center developed for choosing which students to send to the annual conference:
- Students who are interested submit an application.
- In 2012, 10 students applied to attend the annual conference in Boston
- The field is narrowed down, and students are asked to submit essays about why they want to attend.
- In 2012, six students submitted essays.
- Based on these essays, students are selected to travel to the conference with professional staff.
- In 2012, four students attended.
- Upon returning from the conference, each student writes a paper sharing what was learned and offers a presentation on key takeaways at a staff meeting so others can benefit as well.
These four student leaders in various organizations took advantage of the opportunities ACUI’s conference offered, making the most of their experience.
Heather Harris, a Cru Leadership Team member and soon-to-be lead graphic artist for the University Center Graphics and Marketing Department, loves sharing her expertise and impacting others’ lives. Being in a leadership position, Harris hopes to implement new ideas to help create a better campus experience.
“[In Boston], I gained a better understanding of both myself and my role in helping to create a space on campus for students to thrive during their college experience,” Harris said.
Administrative Assistant Laura Schoenike is involved in organizations that have special significance to her. She said her mentors and role models have been her single most important resource, providing guidance and positive experiences. Schoenike recognizes leadership is about the relationships you build with other people and utilized that knowledge to build new ones in Boston.
“As a student, a major benefit of attending the conference was being able to relate the knowledge and competencies I was developing to my future profession,” she said.
Jenna DeCeault, a lead worker at the University Center’s Hawkcard Office, said her most memorable experience with a campus group was at the ACUI annual conference in Boston. As a student leader, DeCeault has improved her responsibility and confidence, while helping others.
“I am honored that I was chosen to have this amazing opportunity handed to me, and I took absolutely nothing for granted,” DeCeault said.
A student manager of Roberta’s Art Gallery in the University Center, Ella Hopkins chooses to be involved for the breadth of experience, enjoyment, and responsibility.
“The most valuable piece of information that I received was how other people go about running their unions and their art galleries,” Hopkins said about her trip to Boston.
Through her leadership experience, Hopkins has learned how to work well with others and utilize them to get the best product.
Each year, students are exposed to profession through the ACUI annual conference. What protocol do you have in place for choosing the students who attend? How do you promote this event to your student leaders?
is the Publications Intern at ACUI.
Morgan Smith is an undergraduate at Indiana University–Bloomington, studying journalism and anthropology. Her interests include cycling, traveling, and eating ethnic food. As publications intern at the ACUI Central Office, she hopes to gain experience in the magazine field before entering the real world.