Free Online Learning Opportunities for Members

These online learning events are free to anyone at a member institution. Nonmember pricing is $139. If you are uncertain of your membership status, please contact us at

Tech Tools for Efficiency | June 9, 3 p.m. Eastern

This webinar will cover low and high technology meant to assist with time management/organization and how to best use technology to communicate with students and professionals.

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About the Presenters

Nick Board is a marketing and communications supervisor at Wayne State University for the Division of Student Auxiliary Services. He works at the divisional level to support the auxiliary units like the Student Center in telling their story and finding ways to collaborate with campus partners to enhance the student experience. Prior to his current role, Board worked in facility operations for the Wayne State University Student Center.

Hunter Chanove serves as the marketing and media coordinator for both the University Student Union and campus recreation at California State University–San Marcos. Chanove holds a Bachelor of Science in business administration with an emphasis in M=marketing as well as a Master of Arts in organizational leadership. He currently oversees a marketing team comprised of student employees and professional staff members.

Chris “Sparky” Cvikota is a technical specialist at the Norris University Center at Northwestern University. He works primarily with the performance and satellite venues team in supporting events, technology, and operations for seven venues outside of the Norris University Center. His formal training is in technical theater with expertise in electrician work and sound engineering for musicals.

Manica Pierrette is the assistant director of facilities and events at University of West Georgia. She has worked for university recreation for five years and manages the day-to-day operations of the Campus Center. The Campus Center is a 131,000-square-foot hybrid recreational facility and student center.

Filip Pongratz is the associate director of Student Center operations on the Health Sciences Center campus of Temple University. He has been working full-time at Temple University since 2005 and oversees the Student Faculty Center that is responsible for campus activities, 125 student organizations, campus recreation, and a conference center.

The Case for Student Employment in the College Union as a High-Impact Practice | June 10, 3 p.m. Eastern

A 12-member research team was assembled to investigate how the role of the college union contributes to student learning and success in a complex higher education environment. A key finding of the study determined that student employment programs within the college union provided experiences for students that directly contributed to their success both inside and outside of the classroom and prepared them for post-college work environments. Research team members will discuss those findings as well as ways to promote student employment programs as an experience connected to student learning and engagement. This discussion will be moderated by ACUI Chief Executive Officer Dr. John Taylor.

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About the Presenters

Danielle M. DeSawal is clinical professor for higher education and student affairs and the master’s program coordinator at Indiana University. She serves as the primary investigator on the research project, focused on student learning and success in the college union, and has co-edited a New Directions for Student Services monograph on the trends and issues facing the college union. She has been honored by Indiana University with the faculty award from the Commission on Multicultural Understanding, received the Gordon Faculty Award through the Division of Student Affairs, and the Indiana University Trustees Teaching Award.

Daniel Maxwell has over 30 years of experience in higher education and currently serves in dual roles as associate vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Houston system and associate vice president for student affairs at the University of Houston. Maxwell has served two terms as president of the ACUI, and in 2019, he was recipient of the Association’s highest honor, the Butts-Whiting Award. He received an Ed.D. from Indiana University, and his research interests includes campus ecology, physical space, and community building.

TJ Willis, Ed.D., has over 17 years of experience in the college union and student activities field in the areas of operations, programs, and retail, attempting to build synergy between the parts and bring the college union idea to life. He was part of the editorial team that published The College Union Idea, Second Edition and was a member of the ACUI Student Engagement Study Research Team that documented best practices. His experience with construction and higher education allow him to explore issues of organizational change and inclusivity through space management and design. These continue to be major lenses through which he approaches his daily work.

Gender Equality Around the Globe | June 23, 10 a.m. Eastern

The Around the Globe series is a collaborative effort between ACUI, ACPA, and IASAS in recognition of our international membership. This series of webinars provides the opportunity for members in different countries to share how common issues and practices in student affairs are experienced in different parts of the world. This webinar addresses gender equity on campus, the challenges campuses face with regard to gender, and how different campuses face those challenges.

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About the Presenters
  • Jaco Brink, South Africa
  • Beidan Mussa, Zayed University, United Arab Emirates   
  • Nora Montalvo-Liendo, Ph.D., United States
  • Dr. Gemma Irvine
Mentorship in Onboarding | August 6, 3 p.m. Eastern

Whether staff restructuring has employees in new roles or your institution is in a position to bring in new hires, you will need to conduct internal or external onboarding. This webinar looks at the role mentorship plays in successful employee onboarding.

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About the Presenters

Neela Patel is the senior director, student centers and event services at Rutgers University. Patel has worked in the field of student affairs for 20 years and has served in several volunteer roles within ACUI.

Susan Buckenmeyer is the associate dean of students and director of special projects in the Office of the Dean of Students at the University of Texas–Austin. Buckenmeyer has worked at the university for 13 years, with much of that time spent in student activities working with student organizations.

Upcoming Online Courses

ACUI offers online courses that allow you to obtain a badge or micro-credential to demonstrate competence in a specified skill set and receive recognition for continuing your education and advancing your career.

Courses cost $199 for members and $259 for nonmembers. The registration deadline is one week prior to start date.

Leadership Development Theory (June 1–August 2)

The purpose of this course is to understand leadership development theories and how these can be applied to practice.

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  • Leader Centric Theories
  • Group/Relationship Centric Theories
  • Outcome Centric Theories
  • Theory to Practice

The textbook for this class is Dugan (2017) Leadership Theory: Cultivating Critical Perspectives. You will need to obtain a copy of this book on your own. Your institution may offer a print or e-book edition you can use.

Audio-Visual Bootcamp (June 1–July 26)

This training will provide easily accessible, important foundational knowledge concerning a variety of audio-visual equipment, including sound systems, data projection systems, and event technology. Participants will learn the basics concerning setup, use, maintenance, repair and replacement cycles, etc.

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  • Module 1: Audio 
  • Module 2: Video 
  • Module 3: Lighting 
  • Module 4A: Event Management & Customer Service 
  • Module 4B: Aesthetics & Safety 
  • Module 4C: Maintenance & Management

Subject Matter Experts
  • Bradley Plesz, Program Manager for Event Production, University Center and Event Services, University of Colorado–Colorado Springs
  • Stephen Snipes, Assistant Director for AV & Technical Services, University of North Carolina–Charlotte
Online Accessibility (Ongoing)

This training covers a variety of online communication methods, and how to make each more accessible. Covered topics include websites, PDFs, e-communications, and video.

This is a mini-course that only costs $99! This is a self-paced program, has no set dates, and does not require you to connect with faculty or peers. 

Please note, this course is structured so that students can participate as part of their virtual employment.

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Contracting (TBD)

This training will provide valuable content related to developing, negotiating, and executing contracts on behalf of a union at public and private institutions. Topics covered will include activities/events contracts, tenant agreements, facilities/service provider contracts, and banquet event orders, as well as signature authority, involving students, and mediation.

Subject Matter Experts
  • Jason Levy, Director, Student Centers & Conferences, Temple University
  • Zane Reif, Senior Director, Purdue Memorial Union, Purdue University
  • Susan Pile, Senior Director, University Unions and Auxiliary Services, University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
Find Out What to Expect from an Online Course

Participants should complete the work in the week it is scheduled. Participants must reach out to the instructor of that module to request an exception.

Course Format

These courses consist of six to eight weeks of online learning. Some aspects are asynchronous (done on your own time) and some are synchronous (done as a class).

Courses includes high engagement, not only with the content, but also with your peers and faculty. Assignments and knowledge checks are included throughout the course. In addition to reading and viewing content, students will engage in class discussions through discussion boards and attend regularly scheduled virtual classroom sessions in real time. These virtual classroom sessions will be recorded for those for whom attendance is not possible.

Students who successfully complete the course will receive a certificate and digital badge.

Method of Evaluation and Grading Policy

The final grade will be based both on the assignments and participation. Participation includes completion of all aspects of the course, full participation in the discussions, and attendance or viewing of virtual classroom sessions. Faculty will grade all assignments and provide feedback.

Netiquette Expectations

It is expected that all participants actively participate in the Discussion Board and Virtual Classroom and that all participants are respectful to each other and adhere to all ACUI policies.

Prerequisite/Technical Requirements

There are no prerequisites for courses, but a computer with high-speed Internet connection will be required to submit and participate in course activities. A webcam is strongly encouraged for virtual classroom meetings.

Program Evaluation and Feedback

You will be contacted mid-course to collect feedback on your experience with the course. You will also be able to fill out the survey at the end of the course with opinions on the program and suggestions on how we can improve going forward. Please take notes as you go through this program and share with us your perspective on how we can better serve you in future.