2023 Region VIII Conference

November 17–18, University of Connecticut

Save the date for the 2023 fall conference! More details to come soon!

Join us in Lowell for the 2022 Regional Conference. This will be an opportunity to reCONNECT, re-FRESH, and re-START. Connect with colleagues from across the United States, Ireland, and the United Kingdom to share diverse perspectives, participate in meaningful educational experiences, and celebrate community.

Known as the cradle of the American Industrial Revolution because of its textile mills and factories, Lowell is full of rich history and vibrancy. The 2022 Regional Conference will be held in University Crossing in the heart of UMass–Lowell's urban campus.

Educational Content

Share your knowledge and experience with us! As we come together to re-ENGAGE and re-IGNITE our college unions, our roles, and our teams we want to hear from you! Submit and Educational Session Proposal!

Educational Session Proposal

RegionVIII Conference


REGULAR (through October 24)
  • Professional Member – $275
  • Professional Nonmember – $358
  • Graduate/Undergraduate Member – $255
  • Graduate/Undergraduate Non Member – $332
  • One-Day Member – $150
  • One-Day Nonmember – $195
Late (October 25–November 11)
  • Professional Member – $300
  • 0Professional Nonmember – $390
  • Graduate/Undergraduate Member – $280
  • Graduate/Undergraduate Non Member – $288
  • One-Day Member – $175
  • One-Day Member – $233

Conference Schedule

Friday, November 18, 2022

  • 8:30 a.m. – Registration Opens
  • 10 a.m. – Optional BTS Tour and Lunch
  • 10 a.m.–1 p.m. – Tours of UCrossing, Wellness Lounge Opens, Silent Auction Begins
  • 1 p.m. – All-Conference Student Panel
  • 2–2:10 p.m. –Break
  • 2:10–3 p.m. – Education Block 1
  • 3–3:10 p.m. –Break
  • 3:10–4 p.m. – Education Block 2
  • 5–5:10 p.m. –Break
  • 4:10–5:30 p.m. – A Re-UNION: The Good Old Days: An Afternoon of Storytelling with Some of ACUI's Greatest
  • 5:30–8 p.m. – Reception Sponsored by Perkins and Will
  • 8 p.m. – Evening Entertainment in the Fox Common

Saturday, November 19, 2022

  • 8 a.m. –  Silent Auction and Wellness Lounge Open
  • 9–10 a.m. – All Conference Wellness Panel
  • 10–10:10 a.m. – Break
  • 10:10–11 a.m. Education Block 3
  • 11–11:10 a.m. – Break
  • 11:10 a.m.–12:10 p.m. – Keynote Barbara Fienman: reIGNITING the field (see bio below!)
  • 12:15–1:30 p.m. – Hot Topic Roundtables, Lunch, & Meeting of the Members
  • 12:15–2:30 p.m. – Student Experience and Lunch
  • 1:30–2:30 p.m – Networking Break, Silent Auction Closes
  • 2:30–3:20 p.m – Education Block 5
  • 3:20–3:30 p.m. – Break
  • 3:30–4:20 p.m. – Pechakuchas
  • 4:20–6 p.m. – Break
  • 6–9 p.m. – Closing Dinner and Awards Ceremony
  • 9 p.m. – CAREaokee

Keynote: Barbara M. Fienman

Barbara M. Fienman is a student affairs professional with over 30 years of experience in higher education administration. During her career, Fienman held full-time positions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Wentworth Institute of Technology, and Mount Ida College in the offices of residence life, student activities, and student affairs administration. Since 1995, Fienman has served as an independent contractor conducting department, program and division reviews and has developed a specialty serving in interim positions for colleges and universities who are seeking temporary assistance. Fienman has served as an interim associate provost for student affairs, dean of students, director of graduate programs, registrar, dean of enrollment management, director of a career center, regional admissions counselor, financial aid counselor, director of student conduct, director of residence life and director of international student services.

In addition to interim management, Fienman is a frequent presenter on Gallup Strengths, generations in the workplace, and professional development for staff. Fienman is also on the board at Spelman Johnson an executive search firm assisting higher education institutions with identifying senior leadership. Fienman received her bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts–Amherst, an Ed.M. from Boston University, and a Ph.D. from Boston College in higher education administration, where her dissertation focused on suing colleges for negligence. Fienman is involved in a number of professional associations including NASPA, ASCA, ACPA, and NAFSA. Fienman has taught in the masters degree programs at Salem State University, Northeastern University, Merrimack College, and Suffolk University, where she has taught for 30+ years. In 2012, Fienman was awarded the Outstanding Contribution to Higher Education Award from NASPA Region I, was named a Pillar of the Profession at the 2013 national NASPA conference; and in 2017, Fienman received the Distinguished Service Award from the Association for Student Conduct Administrators (ASCA). Fienman is a certified Gallup Strengths coach and is certified to administer and interpret Hogan Assessments.


Preconference Experiences

Preconference Behind-the-Scenes Tour @UML

On November 18, take part in an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of some of UMass–Lowell’s marquee venues. Join professional staff across campus including the Office of Transportation Services, the Difference Maker Program, Student Activities and Leadership, Aramark, and Spectra as we tour our entrepreneur space called the Maker Space, our radio station, the Tsongas Center and our campus hotel the Inn and Conference Center. The tour will conclude with a catered lunch at the ICC.

  • 8:30 a.m. – UCrossing Lobby (Check in Desk)
  • 8:45–9 a.m. –Depart for North Campus
  • 9 a.m. –Tour Maker Space and WUML Suite
  • 9:45 a.m. –Depart for Tsongas Center
  • 10 a.m. – Tsongas Center Tour
  • 10:45 a.m. –Depart for Inn and Conference Center
  • 11 a.m. –Inn and Conference Center Tour
  • 11:45 a.m. – Lunch at Inn and Conference Center
  • 12:30 p.m. – Depart for UCrossing


To register for the behind-the-scenes tour, be sure to add this to your conference registration.

  • $40 member price
    $50 non-member price
Preconference Mentorship Program

Participants in this program should be graduate students who are looking to pursue a career in student affairs or higher education and new professionals within the field of student affairs/higher education (1-3 years of experience). 

Participants in the ACUI Region VIII Preconference Mentorship Program will experience three unique sessions. Participants will discuss relevant topics with guided questions from facilitators. All sessions will be held virtually with large group and small group discussions. 

The purpose of this program is to create a space where graduate students and new professionals in the student affairs profession are able to get together and discuss important topics and current events in the field. We are hoping that participants will connect with the facilitators and their peers through guided discussions and sharing personal experiences. We are also hoping that as participants, graduate students and new professionals can connect across ACUI Region VIII, making friends and building a network early on in their career. 

Participants do not need to be registered as members of ACUI to attend the program’s virtual session;  however, those who do register for the in-person conference at UMass–Lowell on November 18–19, 2022, will be able to attend planned events and social gatherings with other participants.

Register Now


What is a Mentor?

  • Subtopics: Participants will discuss what they might be looking for in a mentor or why they feel a mentor would not be ideal for their work style.
  • Goals: Participants will be able to articulate what they might be looking for in a mentor or why they feel a mentor would not be ideal for their work style.
  • Date: Mid-September

Re-Discovering Your Why

  • Subtopics:Participants will discuss why they decided to work within the student affairs profession. They will also discuss how they might reconnect with their passion for the field or how to navigate times of feeling disconnected.
  • Goals: Participants will be able to articulate a few strategies they have learned from facilitators and other participants surrounding how they could reconnect with their passion for the field or how to navigate times of feeling disconnected.
  • Date:Mid October

Deconstructing Professionalism

  • Session Sub-Topics: Participants will discuss their own personal definition of professionalism and how that could differ from others’ definition. They will also explore how to navigate conversations surrounding professionalism with supervisors and supervisees.
  • Session Goals:Participants will understand their own personal definition of professionalism and how that could differ from others’ definition.
  • Date: Late October

Preconference International Experience

Virtual Preconference Experience – Tuesdays at 10 a.m. Eastern/3 p.m. GMT

This is a free no cost program that includes three virtual sessions that will allow participants to learn and network with colleagues from the US, Ireland, and the United Kingdom.

  • Tuesday, October 04, 2022 – Remember – Take a look back with us. Hear from others about their past international and U.S. attendee experience. Hear about their unique experiences, perspectives, lessons learned, relationships made, and some fun stories shared.
  • Tuesday, October 18, 2022: Reflect – We will take a deeper dive into higher education. The parallels and differences between the U.S., Ireland, and the United Kingdom. Join us as we share our diverse perspectives on our student unions, societies, student leaders, and field.
  • Tuesday, November 01, 2022: Relax – Take the “work” out of work-life balance. Facilitators will share how they find balance, relax, and recharge.
  • Tuesday, November 08, 2022: Meet and Greet for In-Person Attendees


In-Person Preconference Experience

The in-person experience is designed for our International Attendees. You can expect dynamic tours, interactive learning, networking, exploring, and unforgettable experiences. Join us as we travel through Rhode Island and Boston. We will visit four institutions where we will explore student support, information services, student leadership/governance, sports and organizations/societies, events and entertainment! There will be time to eat, shop, and explore in both locations! We are excited to come together for this unique opportunity before the regional conference kicks off.

To register for the in-person experience, be sure to select the preconference international experience in the regional conference registration. The preconference registration cost includes your conference registration, lodging, some meals, and ground transportation for both the preconference and regional conference experience.

Register Now


Tuesday, November 15, 2022
Arrival in Boston, Massachusetts

  • 3 p.m. – Check into hotel in Boston
  • 2–5:30 p.m. – Optional lunch, campus visit, sightseeing, etc. for early arrivals
  • 5:30 p.m. – Conference Kickoff - Casual dinner or drinks

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

  • 9 a.m. – Bus departure from hotel to URI (90 minutes)
  • 11 a.m.–1 p.m. – Campus Visit 1: University of Rhode Island
  • 1–2 p.m. – Lunch
  • 2–3 p.m. – Travel from URI to Providence College (45 minutes)
  • 3–5 p.m. – Campus Visit 2: Providence College
  • 5–7:30 p.m. – Exploring Providence, dinner, sightseeing
  • 7:30–9 p.m. – Bus transportation back to Boston

Thursday, November 17, 2022

  • 9 a.m. – Travel to Tufts via MBTA Depart Hotel in Boston
  • 10 a.m.–Noon – Campus Visit 1: Tufts University
  • Noon–1 p.m. – Lunch
  • 1–2 p.m. – Travel to Harvard via MBTA
  • 2–4 p.m. – Campus Visit 2: Harvard
  • 4–4:30 p.m. – Travel from Campus to Hotel
  • 4:30–5:30 p.m. – Hotel to change, relax, get ready for dinner
  • 5:30–6 p.m. – Travel from Hotel to UMass Club via MBTA
  • 6–9 p.m. – UMass Club Reception and Dinner

Friday, November 18, 2022

  • 10 a.m. – Bus Transportation to ICC Hotel in Lowell
  • Remainder of Day – Regional Conference

Saturday, November 19, 2022

  • All day – Regional Conference

Sunday, November 20, 2022

  • 10 a.m – Bus Transportation to Logan Airport


Hotel Information

Sonesta Select Boston Lowell Chelmsford

30 Industrial Avenue East

Lowell, MA 01852


Booking link: ACUI Regional Conference

The priority deadline for this block is October 18.


Holiday Inn Express Chelmsford

8 Independence Drive

Chelmsford, MA 01824


Booking link: ACUI Region VIII Conference at UMass Lowell

The priority deadline for this block is October 17.


Element Chelmsford


25 Research Place
North Chelmsford, MA


Booking link: Book your group rate for ACUI Region VIII Conference

The priority deadline for this block is October 17.


Tier 5



In Kind Donations

Fun Enterprises

Tier 3




Tier 5


In Kind Donations

Minuteman Press

Tier 1