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2020 Annual Conference
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 Export to Your Calendar 10/7/2020 to 10/9/2020
When: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
8:00 AM
Where: Virtually via Accelevents

Online registration is available until: 10/7/2020
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          As with many conferences occurring in our region, earlier this summer a decision was made to reformat the NEACUHO Annual experience into a virtual one. We have partnered with Accelevents to provide an online conference experience that will keep the spirit of NEACUHO intact. There will still be opportunities for conference attendees to hear from their peers through online presentations, to make connections across the region and to learn more about our corporate partners. After a very busy fall opening, we encourage you to connect back with your NEACUHO community and learn how we can move forward together.



Professional Staff Rate


Graduate Student Rate (Full Conference)


Wednesday Day Rate


Thursday Day Rate


Friday Day Rate



Interested in being an Exhibitor?

Please visit the  Exhibitor Registration Page for more information.


Dr. Paul Brown

Dr. Paul Gordon Brown is a scholar, consultant, and speaker specializing in residential curriculum and curricular approaches to student learning outside the classroom. Paul has nearly 20 years of professional experience in higher education and student affairs, holding positions within residence life ranging from Resident Assistant to Dean of Students. Paul holds a PhD in Higher Education from Boston College and has taught in the Higher Education Programs at Boston College and Merrimack College. Paul currently serves as a Director at a residence life software company. An experienced presenter, Paul has had accepted and given over 80 refereed presentations at international and regional conferences. Paul has also served as a faculty member for the Institute on the Curricular Approach (formerly the Residential Curriculum Institute) for multiple years, is a faculty member for ACUHO-I’s Professional Standards Institute, and is a graduate of ACUHO-I’s National Housing Training Institute. Paul is a prolific author, writing self-published work on residential curriculum and numerous peer-reviewed book chapters and articles on technology and student learning



Block 1

Title: Balancing Students Needs and Fiscal Responsibility

Abstract: In Residence Life and Housing, our job is to care for and provide experiential learning opportunities for students who live on our campuses. Often times, there is conflict between the education and operations group as we live out this mission. Maslow teaches us that students must feel a sense of security and safety within the spaces they live, before they even begin to engage in becoming active members of their communities. New professionals have been trained to skip the importance of that foundational need. The highest revenue generator, after tuition, is often room and board, so establishing a great foundation helps institutions to fulfill their financial obligations. Balancing the needs of students is our overall goal, but understanding our fiscal responsibility is an important piece of this work.

Presenter(s): Antonio Willis-Berry, Associate Director, Housing & Residential Services, Bentley University

Matt McGrath, Associate Director of Housing Operations and Facilities Management, Suffolk University

Program Emphasis: Fiscal Resources & Control | Occupancy

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals


Title: How to Break Up with Candidates

Abstract: We have all gone through a Higher Ed job search process and we know they can be the some of the longest and tedious processes in the professional world. As a hiring manager you cultivate your candidates guiding them through the process, answering their questions, being their point of contact, and the face of your Institution. In such a small field how can we "break up" with candidates when they are not the ones who get your offer? What can we do support fellow professionals in their job search process? The answer? Honesty.

Presenter(s): Colin Seifrit, Assistant Director of Residential Education, Franklin Pierce University

Program Emphasis: Human Resources

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Mid-Level Professionals


Title: Social Media & You: How to Create an Online Presence for your Department

Abstract: This presentation will cover the techniques, strategies, and implementation of social media accounts for SUNY Geneseo Residence Life.  The presenters will discuss the vision of the department and how this translates to social media.  The presenters will also share the tools (both free & cost-effective) used to develop posts and display content in an inviting way.  The presentation will cover the content that has been created thus far and what ideas presenters have for engaging stakeholders in the future.  What makes higher education and social media successful? Innovation and best practices that have worked at SUNY Geneseo and what other institutions are doing to be successful will be shared and they want to hear from you! Idea sharing and discussion will occur so that attendees will have easy takeaways that can be implemented immediately.

Presenter(s): Marissa Schlitter, Area Coordinator, SUNY Geneseo

Christopher Rivera, Area Coordinator, SUNY Geneseo

Program Emphasis: Information Technology | Residential Education Services

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Mid-Level Professionals


Title: Wearing Many Hats: A Roundtable on Housing and Residence Life in Small Colleges

Abstract: Small institution housing and residential life programs are agile, innovative and creative. The allure of the small school is that you get to wear many different hats and grow your skill set to an overarching generalist approach to institutional awareness. But what is it really like working in these types of environments?  This roundtable discussion will be led by 3 housing professionals working in 3 different small residential life programs across NEACUHO and will provide space for discussions on this topic. Participants are invited to discuss, share and reflect on their experiences in a place that values truth, honesty and openness.  For those who are presently not at a small school, please join us anyway if this is of interest! Listen, learn, and reflect as you think about your professional trajectory and where it might take you.

Presenter(s): Tommy Tressler-Gelok, Director of Residential Education & Retention Spec, Wagner College

Myra McPhee, Director of Residence Life, Sarah Lawrence College

Trish Loring, Director of Residence Life/Auxiliary Services, NHTI – Concord’s Community College


Program Emphasis: Evaluation & Planning | Leadership

Program Style: Roundtable

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals



Title: Matching Values: Using Data to Adjust Trainings and Attitudes in Staff to Meet Departmental Goals

Abstract: In the Spring of 2020, Suffolk University’s Residence Life Dept conducted a survey asking three major questions to their RAs and professional staff. What do you value? What do you spend your time doing as an RA? What do you think the department, as a whole, values?   Why did we ask this? We wanted to use this values assessment to move the needle on what our RA staff values as major components of their job and needed to make sure we were on the same page and that we were training effectively to make those changes.   This presentation reviews the survey, data, and implementation of the results in our department and how we want to continue to use this in our curricular development. 

Presenter(s): Danielle Remigio, Associate Director of Res Ed & Comm Standards, Suffolk University

Program Emphasis: Evaluation & Planning | Residential Education Services

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals, Mid-Level Professionals


Title: Mastering Your Time at the Bottom of the Inverted Pyramid

Abstract: We’ve all seen it, some of us have experienced it, and others are just hearing about it for the first time. Student affairs and in our case, Housing, is an inverted pyramid. There are a lot of entry level positons and less and less roles as you move up the structural ladder. This can lead many professionals waiting in entry level roles for longer than they should. So what can you do to make your time more productive and valuable? How can you leverage those years into positive attributes on your resume? Come learn about my journey and engage in a discussion on how you can make the most out of your time and emerge a better and more marketable job candidate.

Presenter(s): Cayla Salazar, Residence Coordinator, Purchase College

Program Emphasis: Human Resources | Leadership

Program Style: Roundtable

Audience: Mid-Level Professionals


Title: Show me the Money: An Introduction to Fiscal Resources and Controls

Abstract: This session will provide participants with an introductory overview to higher education, and more specifically, housing and residence life fiscal resources and controls.  Topics discussed will include the historical context associated with higher education finance, higher education as a public versus private good, fiscal resources typically available to traditional residence life and housing programs, the budgeting basics, and differentiating the roles of accounting versus finance. In addition, we will examine fiscal policy making and fiscal controls including compliance, audit, and risk management.   This session supports professional competency development in fiscal resources and controls. 

Presenter(s): Glenn Cochran, Ph.D., Associate Dean of Students, Student Life, Framingham State University

Program Emphasis: Finance | Budgeting

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Mid-Level Professionals


Title: The Power of I: Introverts on a Team

Abstract: Soft-spoken, cautious, withdrawn, and modest are all synonyms for introverts. Those are not necessarily negative words, but they can be. In a team, introverts can be looked over sometimes just because the brain is processing things differently. Through this engaging session, attendees will learn the power of I. Introverts are part of our identity and we are introspective, intelligent, and imaginative individuals who are integral parts of any team.

Presenter(s): Matthew Carney, Residence Director, Emerson College

Program Emphasis: Equity & Inclusion | Leadership

Program Style: TED Talk Session

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals


Block 3

Title: Intersection of Residence Life & Retention: A Transformational Dialogue

Abstract: In the post COVID-19 world and the pending 2025 enrollment changes expected, the Northeast's housing and residence life programs have to adapt and transform.  This session aims to examine how residence life and retention work intersects to promote institutional growth, sustainability and growth.  A primary case study of Wagner College’s retention efforts will be used, with opportunities for others to share policies, procedures and practices of retention experiences at multiple institutions regardless of size, locations or budgetary flexibility.  Looking at intersection with this work is not about changing everything housing and residence life professionals do, rather it is about demonstrating the way in which the work we already do can enhance institutional retention and persistence services. This presentation has been adapted and changed since it's initial delivery at the Housing Operations Conference in February 2020.

Presenter(s): Tommy Tressler-Gelok, Director of Residential Education & Retention Spec, Wagner College

Program Emphasis: Evaluation & Planning | Occupancy

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals, Mid-Level Professionals


Title: Shame on Me?

Abstract: Fitting in isn’t always easy and one can often find themselves in a competition to prove that they have what it takes to be the best and thrive. Some say competition can be healthy, and in small doses it certainly can be. However, when competition shifts to competitive comparisons of one professional to another shame can quickly sink in. Did I do it right? Am I good enough? I can’t believe they did it that way, I could have done it way better! In this session harness strategies and techniques to fight the “Shame Persona”. Through utilizing self-advocacy, reaffirming values and beliefs, and setting a strong focus we will work to strengthen and create a guiding foundation to stop shame dead in its tracks.

Presenter(s): Kevin Conn, Assistant Director, Residence Life, NYU

Leiry Santos, Residence Hall Assistant Director, NYU

Program Emphasis: Human Resources | Leadership

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals


Title: The Hero's Journey to Recognizing Privilege

Abstract: In higher education, placing an emphasis on diversity and inclusion has become more important than ever. Part of doing this is raising awareness of these issues and recognizing one’s own privilege in their identities. Specifically from predominantly white institutions, conversations with students of privilege are important in their own journey to becoming an ally for people of affected and marginalized identities. In this presentation, we will discuss how the cycle of socialization and liberation connect to recognizing privilege. Through the lens of the literary structure, “the hero’s journey”, we will explore ideas on how to engage students in the path to becoming strong allies.

Presenter(s): Emiley Dionne, Residence Director, Siena College

Spencer McBreairty, Residence Director, Siena College

Program Emphasis: Equity & Inclusion | Student Behavior

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals


Title: Influencing Change as a Mid-Level Manager

Abstract: Being a mid-level manager can be challenging. Additionally, learning to influence change from the middle can present its own set of obstacles. Attendees will be able to learn some of the challenges that come with proposing and moving forward with change in a department. Attendees will walk away from this session with tangible actions, rooted in both literature and personal experiences, that they can use when proposing new ideas or processes while influencing those changes to occur

Presenter(s): David Grimes, Associate Director for Residential Education, The New School 

Program Emphasis: Leadership

Program Style: Traditional Presentation 

Audience: Mid-Level Professionals


Block 4

Title: Creating an Anti-Racist Culture within Your Department

Abstract: Systemic racism is alive and well in institutions of higher education and our residential life and housing departments. Our leaders and teams need to take bold steps to understand the impact of racism on our departments and communities, and plan for long-term, sustainable change to work towards being actively anti-racist organizations. While the effects of racism on our students, staff, and institution are not new, the current civil rights momentum across our country demanding change makes it even more important to embark on progressive change to become actively anti-racist in our work. Pace University-Pleasantville Office of Residential Life and Housing has started work on a 26 point action plan to combat racism and its devastating effects on our communities. These action items span a variety of areas within our department and also range drastically in expected time spent to accomplish. We will go over the action items, timelines, expected results and metrics within this presentation.

Presenter(s): Vincent Birkenmeyer, Associate Director, Pace University

Abigail Smith, Residence Director, Pace University - Pleasantville

Program Emphasis: Equity & Inclusion | Evaluation & Planning

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Mid-Level Professionals


Title: Evolution of Title IX: Impact on Prevention and Practice in Higher Education

Abstract: Since April 2011, sexual assault on college campuses has become one of the most pressing issues that college leaders face in their efforts to maintain a safe campus community. In Fall 2018, the Department of Education (DOE) under Secretary Betsy DeVos announced a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for Title IX; after nearly two years and 120,000+ comments later, the DOE released Final Regulations for Title IX in May 2020. The purpose of this session is to provide a historical overview of Title IX legislation and how higher education has subsequently responded. Using the example of Title IX guidance and legislation adjustments, participants will consider how legislation can impact their institution's policies and practices.

Presenter(s): Ange Concepcion, Assistant Dean of Campus Life, Wagner College

Program Emphasis: Crisis Management | Student Behavior

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Mid-Level Professionals, Upper-Level Professionals


Title: Learning Outcomes for the RA role - Theory to Implementation to Practice

Abstract: Beginning over the summer of 2019, we developed learning outcomes to assist in the development of the RAs while in their role using the Learning Partnership Model (Baxter Magolda & King, 2004). We tied the learning outcomes to training and training sessions throughout our August 2019 and January 2020 RA training for the RAs see the connection and the larger purpose. We revamped the RA evaluation process based on the learning outcomes during both our fall and spring evaluation processes for the 2019-20 academic year. As the RAs saw the learning outcomes coming into play in their work, they began to ask for how individuals training sessions fit into the learning outcomes as a way to better understand the purpose.  We want to share the process with you and think through an action plan for implementing it on your campus. If you’re thinking about learning outcomes for your RAs, this is the session for you!

Presenter(s): Kim Garrison, Assistant Director, Cornell University

Devan Carrington, Assistant Director, Cornell University

Program Emphasis: Human Resources | Leadership

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals, Mid-Level Professionals, Upper-Level Professionals


Title: Best of the RES OPS Conference: Lions and Tigers and Small Horses- Navigating the ESA Process on Your Campus

Abstract: Emotional Support Animals continue to impact our students and facilities in our Residential Facilities. We have seen a growth in the number and types of requests received for ESAs from students and staff. This program will examine how Stony Brook University navigates the ESA process with some important campus partners. We'll also solicit feedback from participants about best practices in place on their own campuses.

Presenter(s): Catherine-Mary Rivera, Director of Residential Education, Stony Brook University

Alan deVries, Director of Housing Administration, Stony Brook University

Program Emphasis: Equity and Inclusion / Residential Education Services

Program Style: Roundtable

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals, Mid-Level Professionals, Upper-Level Professionals


Block 5

Title: Embracing Change: Re-envisioning Residential Life Programs

Abstract: This roundtable will encourage all participants to look at the 2020 year as an opportunity to grow and learn from all of the challenges we have faced as housing professionals, universities, communities and as a nation. From a pandemic, political unrest, enrollment declines, economic stressors and more, we as a field need to recognize that 2020 can’t be #canceled we need to use this opportunity to fuel change and leverage this change to better meet the needs of the students that attend our universities and the future leaders of our nation.

Presenter(s): Kat Dougherty, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Franklin Pierce University

Program Emphasis: Equity & Inclusion | Evaluation & Planning

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Mid-Level Professionals, Upper-Level Professionals


Title: Campus Partners: Who Are They & Why Do We Need Them?

Abstract: The development of a specialized living learning community comes with forging relationships with a number of key stakeholders and campus partners. The development of an affinity based living space on campus comes with an additional layer of involving important campus support systems and navigating these partnerships. At Cornell University, we recently opened an LGBTQ+ living learning community, Loving House, that has become a home for LGBTQIA+ and allied identifying students. This program will review the process by which the space was developed in terms of navigating campus partner relationships as well as provide a framework institutions can use to forge these partnerships to their living learning spaces.

Presenter(s): Taylor Bouraad, Residence Hall Director, Cornell University

Program Emphasis: Residential Education Services | Student Behavior

Program Style: Roundtable

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals, Mid-Level Professionals


Title: Booking Your Future Learning: Reads for Ongoing Development

Abstract: Many of us know the popular books in higher education for reading, but what higher education adjacent books should you be paying attention to? Come learn about some of the readings an entry-level professional and a mid-level professional would recommend for ongoing development in your leadership and management style, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and more. This session, geared towards graduate students and new professionals, but also anyone who wants to expand their reading library, will review several books.

Presenter(s): Tyler Bradley, Residence Director, UMass Amherst

Kristen Dedrick, Assistant Director for East RFYE, UMass Amherst

Program Emphasis: Equity & Inclusion | Leadership

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Graduate Students, Entry-Level Professionals


Title: Facilitating a Leadership Certificate Program in the Residence Halls

Abstract: Are you looking to incorporate more leadership development for students in your residence hall community? Growth Opportunities for Leadership Development (G.O.L.D.) is a no credit leadership certificate program targeted for first and second year students at Stony Brook University. This session will review the G.O.L.D. certificate program, creating student buy-in and implementing a similar program in your residence hall community.

Presenter(s): Derek Wills, Residence Hall Director, Stony Brook University

Program Emphasis: Leadership | Residential Education Services

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Para-professionals, Graduate Students, Entry-Level Professionals


Block 6

Title: As the Black Squares Fade and the Hashtags Stop Trending: Why White Folks Must Continuously Engage in Racial Justice

Abstract: So much of what we do as student affairs practitioners focuses on our work with students, yet so often we forget that racial justice and liberation must start with ourselves.  Using a format that combines a formal presentation with storytelling, radical vulnerability, and interactive activities, we will highlight journeys of growth, learning, and unlearning of individual and systemic racism. We will emphasize the impact strong allies can have on the path to liberation and how individual and departmental accountability is crucial for progress. Participants, especially white folks, will learn how to ensure the shared burden of advancing racial justice and liberation is not solely on POC colleagues. Our goal is to provide food for thought, tools, skills, and activities which attendees will be able to utilize in their own personal and professional spaces.

Presenter(s): Sam Benson, Residence Hall Director, Cornell University

Perdita Das-Humphrey, House Assistant Dean, Cornell University

Program Emphasis: Equity & Inclusion | Leadership

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals


Title: Using Discord to Create Digital Common Spaces in the Time of COVID-19

Abstract: As departments begin the task of kicking off a new academic year, questions remain about how to bring students back to campus in a safe manner while allowing them to connect and build community in our new COVID reality. Common room spaces and floor lounges have reduced capacities, forcing Residential Life staff to come up with unique ways to help students connect; enter the digital common room. Powered by Discord the “proprietary freeware instant messaging and VoIP application and digital distribution platform,” professional staff and resident assistants at St. John Fisher College have created digital spaces for students to connect and build relationships while maintaining social distancing. While nothing will be able to replace face-to-face relationships and connections fostered through residential life programming, use of a digital platform provides students with a chance to interact with other residents, attend programs, and create friendships like any other year. 

Presenter(s): Nick Becker, Residence Director, St. John Fisher College

Program Emphasis: Residential Education Services

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals


Title: The Game Plan: Navigating Politics, Relationships, and Common Ground between Housing and Athletics

Abstract: The collegiate student-athlete experience will vary from a traditional residential student.  Between the increased time commitment to required practices and competition, their identity is often rooted in their sport and the expectations within.  With that in mind, the dynamic between Athletics and Housing is one that requires regular communication and a shared understanding of goals to best support this unique population.  This program will explore ways to effectively navigate conversations, important timelines, shared goals, and commonly used language in both spaces to aid housing professionals at all levels with a chance to learn meaningful strategies to build and maintain this complex relationship. 

Presenter(s): Reilly Schaefer, Residential Student Services Manager, Wagner College

Tatum Colitz, Senior Associate Athletics Director for Compliance & Student-Athlete Development and Senior Women's Administrator, Wagner College

Program Emphasis: Ancillary Partnerships

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Mid-Level Professionals (3-7 yrs exp)


Title: Resident Student Attrition

Abstract: Resident student attrition is a problem that all colleges and universities face much like student retention at the institutional level. This interactive workshop will explore factors that affect the retention of resident students, and some of the reasons that students do not stay at an institution, and specifically in residence. We will briefly touch on student development vectors, student development theory, and barriers to retention as it pertains to resident students. We will explore our own identities, and discuss how those identities can be leveraged positively to impact the student experience in both community and relationship building. The session will conclude with a discussion of recommendations to increase retention in our residence halls. This session would be great for professionals and para-professionals at all levels as retention is truly a collaborative effort.

Presenter(s): Colby Chaput, Residence Director, NHTI, Concord's Community College

Program Emphasis: Occupancy | Student Behavior

Program Style: Traditional Presentation

Audience: Entry-Level Professionals, Mid-Level Professionals








2020 Annual Conference Committee Members

Conference Co-Chair

Johnny Hurley

Conference Co-Chair

Sarah Tyrell

Experts in Residence

Melody Smith

Programming Chair

Trevor Dority

Case Study Chair

Matthew Carney

Corporate Relations Chair

Colleen Debeasi

Spec. Events & Local Arr. Co-Chair

Allison Gagne

Spec. Events & Local Arr. Co-Chair

Philip D Badaszewski

Registration Chair

Amanda Hemond

Communications Chair

Sam Buote

Hospitality Chair

Dan Duzy

Technology Chair

Gregory Madrid

Website Chair

Garrett Highland



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