It is a great pleasure to extend a warm invitation to the 2017 ACUI Region VIII Conference, November 17-19 at the University of Massachusetts—Boston.  

The conference will provide a wonderful forum to enhance your knowledge base and explore innovations and research in field of student unions and student life. Attendees will represent more than 45 universities in New England, Canada, Ireland and the UK, providing networking opportunities with professional colleagues, student employees, and exhibitors. The Conference Planning Team has planned a robust schedule, including educational sessions, workshops, speakers and entertainment. Conference highlights include:

  • Preconference Programs: JFK Presidential Library and Museum and Boston-area union tours
  • More than workshops and educational sessions
  • New York-to-Boston Program: A unique two-city experience for delegates from the UK, Ireland, and Canada
  • All-conference Town Hall discussion on current affairs
  • Leadership tracks for undergraduate and graduate students and professionals
  • Vendors and service providers expo
  • Regional awards and Murder Mystery Dinner
  • Sunday morning roundtable discussions and coffee


International Experience

2017 Region VIII Conference Logo

Volunteer for the Conference Management Team! This is a great opportunity for undergraduate or graduate students looking to enter the field of student affairs. Applications are due by September 27.

Learn More



(through September 15)
(September 16–October 30)
(October 31–November 13)
Professional Member$225$250$295
Graduate or Undergraduate Student Member$205$205$280
One-Day (Saturday) Registration Member$105$140$155
Professional Nonmember$290$340$375
Graduate or Undergraduate Student Nonmember$245$245$345
One-Day (Saturday) Registration Nonmember$140$180$190




At this year's conference, we plan to provide a variety of excellent educational content including keynote speakers, town hall forums, educational sessions, and Pecha Kucha-style talks. More information will be available as we get closer to the conference.

Pecha Kucha

Keynote: Justin Jones-Fosu

Your WHY is important, but so is your NOW! You may be familiar with the bestselling book by Simon Sinek titled Start with Why. The book focuses on helping organizations and leaders discover their why. It started a movement to help people become inspired by their work and in turn inspire others. Justin Jones-Fosu takes that one step further in his presentation "WHY Matters NOW: How Purpose and Passion Inspire Meaningful Success." Jones-Fosu believes that when you understand your why, it leads you to make better decisions, to say no more effectively, and persevere when challenges arise. Jones-Fosu will also encourage you to examine your now, what is your passion, and how passionately are you living your life right now. 


Justin Jones-Fosu
Murder Mystery


Find the tentative schedule below. More information will be provided as it is solidified.

Ed's Animal Adventures
Friday, November 17
  • 10 a.m.–1 p.m. — Preconference Tour: JFK Library and Museum and/or EMKI
    Enjoy a guided tour of the Presidential Library and get a special behind-the-scenes look at their operations and event spaces. The $30 tour fee includes admission to the library and lunch. Please indicate any dietary requirements.

  • 10 a.m.–1 p.m. — Preconference Union Tour: Northeastern and Emerson
    This tour makes stops at Northeastern University’s Curry Student Center and Emerson College’s Max Mutchnick Campus Center. The $30 tour fee includes a one-day Charlie Card and lunch. Please indicate any dietary requirements.

  • 2–5:30 p.m. — Registration

  • 2:30–4:30 p.m. — Campus Center Tours (2:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.)

  • 3:30–4:30 p.m. — Newcomers Welcome & Orientation

  • 4:30–5:30 p.m. — Opening Reception & Networking

  • 5:30–7 p.m. — Dinner and Welcome

  • 7–8 p.m. — Keynote: Justin Jones-Fosu

  • 8–8:45 p.m. — Case Study Overview & Introductions

  • 8–9:30 p.m. — Evening Entertainment: Animal Adventures Family Zoo and Rescue Center
    Ed's Animal Adventures is the only rescue sanctuary in the Northeast for exotic animals. Animal Adventures has taken in exotic animals from countless individuals, numerous institutions, as well as leading authorities including Tufts VeterinaryHospital, Harvard Museum of Natural History, the MSPCA along with many others. Their rescue facility never turns away animals. In many cases it means picking up the thousands of dollars in costs to have the animal flown or shipped legally to their rescue center.

Saturday, November 18
  • 8 a.m.–10 a.m. — Registration
  • 8 a.m.–5 p.m. — Silent Auction, Hospitality, Vendor Expo Open
  • 8:30–10 a.m. — Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional Track
  • 10:10–11 a.m. — Block 1 – Educational Sessions
  • 11:10 a.m.–Noon — Block 2 – Educational Sessions 
  • Noon–12:30 p.m. — Conference Break – Silent Auction Bidding, Vendor Expo
  • 12:30–1:50 p.m. — Conference Lunch
  • 2–2:50 p.m. — Region VIII – Meeting of the Members
  • 2–2:50 p.m. — Student Leadership Connections
  • 3–3:50 p.m. — Block 3 – Educational Sessions 
  • 4–4:50 p.m. — All Conference: Town Hall on Bystander Intervention
  • 5 p.m. — Hospitality and Silent Auction Closes
  • 6:30–7:30 p.m. — Reception/Delegation Photos/Live Auction
  • 7:30–9:30 p.m. — Murder Mystery Dinner and Awards
  • As you enjoy a wonderful dinner with your colleagues, you will also get a chance to enjoy a three-course of mystery, thrill, and murder. Every individual in the room will play a role in the campus mystery. From the moment you walk through the door, the plot will unfold and someone will drop dead (in a comedic way, of course). As the night continues, you will get to interrogate the suspects, gather the clues, and work with your team to help the mystery experts crack the case before the killer gets away! And clues might be as close as the person in front of your table. So watch your back and be aware of the smiles you see.

Sunday, November 19

9–9:50 a.m. — Case Study Final Prep
9–9:50 a.m. —  Roundtable Discussions
10–10:50 a.m. — Case Study Presentations
10–10:50 a.m. — Block 6 – Educational Sessions
11–11:50 a.m. — All Conference – PechaKucha 20 x 20 Talks
Noon–1 p.m. — Brunch and Conference Wrap-Up


A rate of $165/night has been secured at the conference hotel. Rooms may be booked here; use group name "ACUI Regional Conference" when booking.

Doubletree Boston Bayside Hotel
240 Mt Vernon St., Boston, 02125

The hotel services and amenities include:

  • Accessible rooms
  • Multilingual staff
  • Marketplace Café
  • Daily breakfast buffet ($15.95)
  • Hotel bar
  • Shuttle service to airport
  • Gym w/ cardio and free weights


Parking at the hotel is $15 per day. Free parking is available at UMass Boston Bayside lot immediately adjacent to hotel.

Conference Planning Team

Discover what volunteer are planning the various aspects of your conference experience.

Conference Education Team

Education – Coordinator:  Joe Campo, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Responsible for distributing call for programs; recruiting session presenters and planning schedule of sessions; all communication with session presenters; coordinates technical needs with host institution. Corresponds with educational programs and online learning programs coordinators; serves as lead for Conference Education Team.

Education – Professional and Graduate: Dezanae Boston-Bernier, UMass Lowell
Works as part of the Conference Education Team; focuses primarily on educational sessions, leadership track and programs for professional staff and graduate students; collaborates with student engagement for mentor/mentee program.

Education — Student Engagement: Kylie Bowen, Northeastern University
Works as part of the Conference Education Team; coordinates sessions focused on student interest (i.e., leadership track, case study program, mentor/mentee program, educational sessions, etc); works alongside registration, volunteer, scholarship, and entertainment Conference Planning Team members to help ensure programs are student focused.   Works in collaboration with the student regional director as needed.

Conference Programming and Communications Team

Programming and Communication Coordinator: Alyssa Frey, Merrimack College
Coordinates publicity for conference; conference booklet and guide; works with communication coordinator for publicity; coordinates social media, conference slide shows, social media challenge. Collaborates with social media and web coordinator.  Team lead for Conference Programming and Communications Team.

Registration/Volunteer/Entertainment: Nora Molloy, University of New Hampshire; Daphney Voltaire, UMass Boston
Plans and oversees online registration and on-site registration alongside Central Office; provides participation lists for events; coordinates volunteers at conference, works collaboratively with volunteer coordinator; oversees Conference Management Team member recruitment; works collaboratively with host institution for logistics of entertainment and engaging/utilizing student/local talent.

Exhibits/Vendors/Hospitality: Mark Metevier, Curry College
Works as part of the Programming and Communications Team; recruit, coordinate, and host exhibitors and vendors; coordinates hospitality suite at conference, develops and leads newcomer orientation/program; may develop other programs/exhibits that facilitate idea-sharing. Works in collaboration with corporate partnerships coordinator.

Scholarship/Fundraising: Eric Bouchard, University of Connecticut
Works as part of the Programming and Communications Team; coordinates activities that will raise funds for scholarships; coordinates and implements both silent/live auctions; may develop other programs/initiatives to support scholarships/fundraising.  Works collaboratively with awards and scholarship coordinator.

Conference International Team

Preconference Program for Non-U.S. Delegates: Adam Dunbar, UMass Lowell
Develops, organizes, and leads program for non-US delegates; develops welcome/orientation; serves as liaison during conference; manages hotel, caterers, and bus logistics; arranges visits with colleges/universities; works with publicity and communication, registration, educational coordinators to ensure seamless program in the U.S.

2018 Conference Chair: Linda Bernazzani, Wentworth Institute of Technology
Assists the current conference chair with logistics, special projects, and other duties as assigned.

Conference Host Team

Conference Coordinator: Geoff Combs, University of Massachusetts–Boston
The regional conference coordinator provides leadership in the planning efforts for the premier educational and networking event of the region. The coordinator is responsible for recruiting, selecting, and leading a committee to plan the regional conference; establishing a planning team from the host institution in support of the conference committee; providing a cost-effective, educational, and engaging experience for professionals and students that supports and advances the mission of ACUI; working closely with the business manager to prepare a budget for the conference; collaborating with other members of the Regional Leadership Team for their needs related to the regional conference, including awards presentations, corporate involvement, membership, regional communications, volunteer recognition, and website; assisting the regional director in recruiting future regional conference locations.

Host Chair & Committee: Erin Dayharsh, UMass Boston and Team
Primary liaison to the university; liaison to hotel regarding contract and other needs; planning/liaison for catering and meals; organizes local transportation information and support; on-site logistics, space needs, signage, and AV support; collaborates with campus programming board/student organizations/departments for entertainment, support, or donations; gathers local information for distribution to conference attendees; plans any local regional trips/excursions alongside entertainment coordinator.