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.
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.