Skip to Main Content
Navigation Buttons Waves News Committees WACUHO Home Membership Waves Header

winter 2012

Main Content

table of contents


Letter From the president


This year my dog, Maddie (she's a five-year-old French Bulldog) and I decided to get professional pictures taken for the recent holiday season. Actually, it was my idea and she just went along with it (like she had a choice!). Haha. It's amazing how pets, children, and those we love help give us insight and perspective especially in a new year. We look back at 2011 admiring our accomplishments while gaining wisdom from our missteps. I hope you've taken some time to look back at all the great things you accomplished in 2011 personally and professionally.

With this edition of the WAVES, we are less than seven weeks away from WACE!!! You can almost feel the excitement build as we get closer and closer to our annual conference and exposition. The annual conference committees had less than 10 months to hit the reset button and get ready for this year's WACE. My hat is off to their tremendous accomplishments as we are about to head down the final stretch. This conference is April 1-4, 2012 in Pomona, CA hosted by the University of Redlands and Cal Poly Pomona with the theme, "Redefining Basics: WACUHO at the Fair." If you haven't registered, I want to encourage you to do so to reserve your spot for this wonderful experience. "On time" registration is open until February 29, 2012.

In February and March, our region is putting on two of our smaller and more intimate conferences, Western Training Institute (WTI) and Pacific Management Institute (PMI). WTI occurred January 29 through February 1 at the Westminster Retreat Center in Alamo, CA with the theme, "Sustain U: Identifying Resources to Sustain Yourself, your Department and your Career." PMI is being held March 1-2 at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA with the theme, "Managing from the Middle, an Art: Not just a Place on the Chart." Both committees have been hard at work preparing for these institutes to enhance one's professional development.

Finally, ACUHO-I is coming to CALIFORNIA! The ACUHO-I Annual Conference will be held in Anaheim, CA on July 7-10, 2012. If anyone is interested in participating on a committee (your choices are: Local Arrangements, Exhibits, Host, Programs) please send me an e-mail at to let me know which committee you would like to be on, and I will forward your request on the appropriate person.

I'm looking forward to an exciting WACE less than two months away to catch up and see all my WACUHO friends and family, and of course meet new ones along the way!


Dr. Dana Pysz (and Maddie)
WACUHO President

Photo of WACUHO President Dana Pysz and his dog Maddie.


This is a call to the entire WACUHO membership requesting submissions of suggested by-law changes. If you feel that a by-law needs to be updated or changed, please submit your suggested by-law change to the WACUHO Vice President, Josh O'Connor at by Feb 21, 2012.


Greetings WACUHO! Already it's 2012 and WACE will strangely enough be coming just around the corner less than 2 months to go! Have you registered yet? WHAT? You haven't? Well, what are you waiting for? The Priority Registration Deadline is February 29th. Online registration is live right now at!!

As you get your information together to register, we're excited to share with you information from the conference committees:

The WACE Program Committee is extending the Call for Programs deadline until February 15. Please consider presenting this year and submit your proposal today! The professional development aspect of our conference cannot exist without your expertise, so share your knowledge with the region!

We are also very excited about our amazing line-up of speakers for this year's conference. We are also adding a wellness workshop for all conference attendees on Tuesday morning before Exhibits to provide a keynote experience every day of the conference! Please take the time to read about all of these amazing presenters on the website:

Registration is live for the 2012 WACUHO Annual Conference and Exposition! Please visit and click on the WACE 2012 link to register today! We still have a few discounts available for New Professionals, so make sure to indicate if you are a New Professional to receive $50 off your registration total. When you register through RegOnline, this is for attending the conference only. There is a separate link on the Registration page for hotel accommodations, so make sure to book your rooms right away. We are anxiously waiting for April, and our Host team has been working extremely hard to give you a wonderful time in Pomona, CA. We hope to see you there!

Corporate Relations
The annual conference provides several opportunities for our Corporate Partners to be recognized for the support they provide to WACUHO. All partners are invited to an exclusive breakfast hosted by the Chief Housing Officers. Most of the Corporate Partners also choose to be Exhibitors. Platinum and Gold Level members will have signage at their Exhibit booth recognizing their level of participation and also have opportunities to provide additional support for popular WACE events such as the Opening Reception, Karaoke Night, and Wellness Breaks. WACE Activities for Corporate Partners ends on Tuesday with the presentation of the annual R.W. Gang Award, given to the Corporate Partner who, through dedication to WACUHO and the collegiate housing profession, made significant personal contribution to our Association.

The Exhibits and Displays and Corporate Relations committees identified almost 200 potential partners to invite for 2012. Jointly, emails were sent to companies, both former and potential partners, encouraging them to consider the Corporate Partner program and exhibiting at WACE 2012. Registrations are already rolling in, with 10 booths sold and 5 Corporate partners within the first 48 hours of registration being available! However, we have plenty of space this year, and the most effective way to encourage business participation with WACUHO is for you, their client, to urge them to join. Share with them that WACUHO is an opportunity for cultivating new and existing relationships, a place where they can find out the direction the field is headed in, and just a wonderful, fun time! The priority Exhibitor WACE registration date is February 7th, but we will continue to register Exhibitors as long as we have space available.

Laura Dorfman and Kris McPeak
Annual Conference Co-Chairs

Pacific management institute 2012

We invite you to join us for Pacific Management Institute! PMI is a two-day workshop held for mid-level and aspiring mid-level professionals who work in all areas of Housing and Residential Life.

This year's theme is "Managing from the Middle, an Art; Not Just a Place on the Chart". Our Scholars for the Institute, Lovellie "Happy" Cimenski-Almogela and Stephen Fleischer, are organizing an in-depth program to assist attendees in developing their skills as practitioners in the field; and with learning that management at all levels is an art, you need to understand and hone those skills to be successful.

PMI is limited to 25 participants to allow for a close and intentional environment for attendees to learn about their management style, gain new skills as a mid-level manager and to connect with each other.

The Institute committee is excited to be able to provide you with a workshop that that is not only going to benefit you and your department but is also easy on your budget. PMI will cost only $80! This cost includes workshop materials, lodging and meals. Don't miss out on this cost effective and high value institute.

The Institute will be held on March 1 and 2, 2012 and is hosted by UCLA. We hope that you will be able to attend!!

For up to date information, we invite you to our Facebook page:

ACUHO-I Foundation is in Action...Are You?

The ACUHO-I Foundation has been, is, and will be there to invest in your professional development.

Below is some information on how The ACUHO-I Foundation investing in people who make a difference in the campus housing profession worldwide:

494 - Number of openings offered through the 2011 ACUHO-I Housing Internship Program
51 - Number of students participating in the ACUHO-I Internship Program who received financial assistance
32 - Number of Participants in the first South Africa Housing Training Institute
56 - Number of individuals in the 2011 Star College graduating class
110 - Number of James C. Grim National Housing Training Institute attendees since 2000, that received scholarships
576 - Number of individuals who have taken an ACUHO-I course online

WACUHO members who have recently won ACUHO-I awards:

Stan Dura - 2011 Conference Series "Best Of" Award
Mayra Alcala - 2011 New Professional Award
Jacques Zalma, Sunny Reiner, and Ko Kowashara - 2011 "Best of the West" Award

The work of the ACUHO-I Foundation is possible due to the contributions of hundreds of housing professionals like yourself. Click here to learn more about the ACUHO-I Foundation and how you can contribute: http://

Frank Montana
WACUHO's Regional Representative to the ACUHO-I Foundation

Equity & Diversity Awareness (E&DA) Committee Updates

Those of us on the E&DA committee are looking forward to another great year! But before we move forward, we would like to take this opportunity to look back and recognize some amazing work surrounding issues of diversity within our WACUHO community. Please join us in congratulating the following students who received "Equity and Diversity Awareness Awards" for their diversity programming at our Northern, Central and Southern RAPs:

Northern RAP Award Recipients

CSU Chico Eryn Sullivan The Weapon We Have Is Love
CSU Chico Tibisay Escobedo A Date with the Dead
CSU Sacramento

Daniel Ragland, Christina Ridley,
Kaamil Al-Hassan

The Secret Life of American Pop Culture: Unfolding the Truth
Humboldt State University Adrian Pedroza "It's Racist, But Hey, It's Disney"
Mills College Alexis K. Redeemer G.O.D (Growing Our Diversity)
Mills College Sarah Jeanne Lombardo What's in a Name? Organizing White Anti-Racist Allies on College Campuses
Mills College Bianca Louie How to be an Effective Ally
Mills College Ana Sanchez But I'm Both: Multiracial Identities in Students and Student Leaders
Mills College Gema Cardona Got Self-Love?
San Francisco State University Scott Mai Gays, Glue, & Glitter
UC Berkeley Henna Sawhney Henna Night
UC Santa Cruz Sarah Mollenbrink Sutorius Working with student with disabilities in residential communities

Central RAP Award Recipients
UCLA Cristina Chang The Dollar Campaign
California Lutheran University Harrison Sands Cultural Music Night
California Lutheran University Jodie Smith Walk in Someone Else's Shoes
California Lutheran University Quinn Stone Move on Malaria
CSU Channel Islands Justin Cortez What the frijoles is Dia De Los Muertos?
CSU Channel Islands Kelsey Mahoney Give Hope
CSU Channel Islands Tanya Yancheson Peace by Piece
CSU Northridge Destiny English Get A Life!
Mount St. Mary's College Tina Torres Pin Me Up Beauty
Mount St. Mary's College Maria Sandoval Fold Your Way to Happiness
Mount St. Mary's College Angela Mooney A Taste of Hawaii
Mount St. Mary's College Tiana Bradley Dream On

Southern RAP Award Recipients
Cal Poly Pomona Fernando Marquez, Kat Courtner, and Marlene Belmar Harry Potter and the Deathly Stereotypes
Cal Poly Pomona Tamara Mitchell, Taylor Zumstein, Julie Thorpe, and Spencer Fennik Combatting Stereotypes
Cal Poly Pomona Denise Cisneros and Karla Enriquez Dia de Los Muertos
Chapman University Allie Knox and Lane Frantzich Art in World Cultures
Chapman University Aileen Yoon and Malina Fagan Blind Date
Chapman University Kourtney Allen, Adam Monson, and Jai Cheema Celebrating Cultural Diversity
CSU San Bernardino Porsha Johnson, Robert De Cormier and Michael Villavicencio What is Stereotyping
Soka University of America Chelsea Dugger and Kazuhiko Imai Celebrating Diversity of Residents
University of La Verne Albert Trujillo and Schelcy Nava Supporting Students with Disabilities
University of La Verne Breana White Human Sex Trafficking Passive
University of La Verne Jena Walls and Andrea Sotosainz "Hello" in Many Languages Passive
University of La Verne Kevin Greene and Albert Trujillo AIDS Is Not a Gay Disease Passive
University of Redlands Christopher Young Mission to Outer Space: Building a Superhero

Now, as we look forward, the Equity & Diversity Awareness Committee is excited to start preparing for the WACUHO Annual Conference & Exhibition (WACE) in Pomona, CA.

We want your input!!! We have been brainstorming ideas for our annual Dessert Social. If you have any suggestions please email Michele Davis at

As always, we are providing scholarship opportunities to attend the Annual Conference. We will be handing out three (3) scholarships/awards:
1. $650 Annual Conference Scholarship (Individual)
2. $100 Diversity Award (Individual)
3. $200 Diversity Award (Institutional)

E&DA Annual Conference Scholarship
This year's $650 Annual Conference Scholarship award will be given to an individual to be used toward registration, travel and hotel for WACE 2012. Please see below for selection criteria and application requirements:

Selection Criteria
The award recipient will be selected based on their commitment to diversity above and beyond the requirements expected of them in their current position. Evaluation based on originality, creativity and quality. The recipient will be required to present a diversity program at WACE.

Some examples of outstanding diversity projects may include:
- Coordinating a special project or event
- Initiating a program that fosters a greater understanding of under-represented groups (i.e., your response or responses to a negative cultural event that happened at your institution)
- Active participation in either local or national multicultural/diversity based organizations

Application Requirements
Please submit the following materials directly to the E&DA Chair, Michele Davis (, by Monday, February 20, 2012.

I. A maximum of three (3) typewritten, double-spaced pages which respond to the following:
-Address the selection criteria by describing how you have gone above and beyond in your current or previous position to further the ideals of diversity at your institution and in your community.
- Discuss how you plan to continue to integrate the theme of diversity in your future professional goals.
- Describe what you hope to gain from the conference and how you will incorporate what you have learned at the conference to improve diversity in the field of student affairs and the WACUHO organization.

II. A copy of your current resume.

III. Your program idea for WACE. Please include the Program Title, Program Abstract (describe your program for the conference program booklet in 75 words or less), and Program Description (that reviews the program's relevance to the conference; no longer than 500 words. It should include an outline, goal, time allotments and overview of the program). The program proposal deadline for WACE is February 15.

IV. A letter of recommendation from a direct supervisor (preferably your current supervisor) addressing the selection criteria, including impact and results.

V. A coversheet that includes the Name, Position, Institution, Address, Telephone, Fax, and E-mail of both you and your current (or former) supervisor.

E&DA Committee Annual Cash Awards
In addition to the Annual Conference Scholarship, we have two (2) cash prizes to award to an institution and individual who are exhibiting good diversity practices. $100 will be awarded to an individual and $200 will be awarded to an institution. To nominate an institution, individual, or yourself, please submit the following materials directly to the E&DA Chair, Michele Davis (contact information is listed below*) by Monday, February 20, 2012:

I. A maximum of three (3) typewritten, double-spaced pages that address how the institution or individual has gone above and beyond in furthering the ideals of diversity in the workplace and/or community.

II. A coversheet that includes the Name, Position, Institution, Address, Telephone, Fax, and E-mail of both you and the institution/individual you are nominating.

*Submit Materials to:
Michele Davis
WACUHO Equity & Diversity Awareness Chair

The E&DA Committee strongly encourages email submissions, but if you need to submit materials via mail, please email me & I will provide you with a mailing address. Good luck!

E&DA Institutional Cash Award

San Francisco State University was awarded one of the WACE 2011 Equity and Diversity Awareness Cash Prizes from WACUHO to support efforts to promote diversity and social justice in the department and on the campus. SFSU was excited to receive this award and immediately worked to research different materials that could be purchased to best meet the needs of students and professional staff. The hope was to start to build a library of materials, in various forms that could be used to challenge, inform and increase knowledge and discussion around a variety of topics related to diversity, equity, and social justice. With this goal in mind, various books were purchased along with DVDs for use by the staff. All materials were purchased and added to our department library to enhance our current selection of materials available to students and professional staff.

Some of the printed materials purchased included:
-147 Practical Tips for Teaching Diversity by William M. Timpson, et Al.
-Learning to Teach for Social Justice by Linda Darling-Hammond, et Al.
-Ouch! That Stereotype Hurts by Leslie C. Aguilar
-Promoting Diversity and Social Justice by Diane J. Goodman
-The Diversity Toolkit by William Sonnenschein
-The Diversity Training Activity Book by Jonamay Lambert, et al.

DVDs purchased included:
-American History X
-Higher Learning
-Joy Luck Club, The
-Laramie Project, The
-My Family
-The End of Poverty? Think Again
-The Other Side of Immigration

We intend to use these tools in an ongoing training session for all of our staff and student organizations, and hope to share these resources with our colleagues in SF State's Division of Student Affairs.

The Residential Life Staff of SF State is grateful to WACUHO for this award and for its continuing commitment to fostering the dialog and learning around issues of diversity, social justice and inclusion.

Shimina Harris and Kevin Kinney
San Francisco State University

New Professionals Committee Updates

Greetings from the New Professionals Committee and Happy New Year!

Our sub-committees have been hard at work to make this an active year. The mentorship committee just finished up its pairing for the Mentorship Program. WACUHO professionals from all levels and from across California were matched together to share ideas, experiences and apprehensions. If you are still interested in participating in our mentorship program as a mentor or mentee there is still plenty of opportunity to do so before WACE! If you are new to the field (three years or less) please fill out this survey: If you are more experienced in the field (three years or more) please fill out this survey: We would be happy to continue placing people. This program has been very beneficial to WACUHO members so you are encouraged to participate.

In December, we awarded the Joan F. Mortell WTI Conference Award to Diontrey J. Thompson from Stanford University. There were many great applicants for this award, which comes with a $500 scholarship for the Western Training Institute, and we decided that Diontrey had an outstanding application the demonstrated great initiative for furthering his personal development. If you happen to know Diontrey, please congratulate him!

The New Pros committee has also been working on planning some socials. Though we will sponsor some events at the annual conference please be on the lookout for regional events in your area. With WACE 2012 around the corner, we will now begin to plan conference events for new professionals as well as other related endeavors.

Finally, the New Professionals committee will be starting a reading group on the Forum in February. Every two weeks a committee member will upload an article or post a discussion topic and WACUHO members are encouraged to comment and give feedback as an easy way to engage in professional development.

We welcome any ideas or suggestions you have!


Chad Myers
New Professionals, Co-Chair
Occidental College

Brian Rountree
New Professionals, Co-Chair
University of Redlands

New Professionals Case Study Competition

Calling all New Professionals: What Would YOU Do?

You are the Associate Director of Residence Life at a private mid-size institution. A Resident Advisor shares concerns that her Residence Hall Director doesn't like her and that the RHD has his favorites on staff. This is causing her a lot of stress. The next day, you witness one of the Complex Directors (the person who supervises RHDs) treating one of the new Complex Directors as if he did not know how to do his job. Having just attended a session on Workplace Bullying, you wonder if that is happening within your department and ponder what you need to do about it.

Does the scenario interest you? Scare you? Excite you? Intrigue you? All of the above?

Do you want to experience a real-life critical and ethical issue faced by senior-level professionals?

Participate in the 2012 New Professionals Case Study Competition! It is an opportunity to exercise your presentation skills, your critical thinking skills and your ability to link theoretical knowledge to practical experience.

When is it? It will be held during WACE 2012, Redefining Basics: WACUHO at the Fair on April 1st - 4th, 2012. Details regarding specific day, time, and location will provided at a later date.

Past winners include:
David Trujillo (2011)
Theodore Tsau (2009)
Chris Williams (2008)
Kohsuke Kashiwazaki (2006)
Christine Bender (2005)

Details, registration information or desire to express interest, please contact Happy Cimenski-Almogela ( or Alex Belisario (

Placement Committee Updates

"I'll go anywhere as long as it's forward."
~David Livingstone

Change is a constant that needs to be managed in every organization. From leadership change, student culture, and use of technology, it is a transition that is managed with success and challenges. What do you do when change is something that's not clear? How do you manage job searches then?

Many institutions are going through reorganizations and some are going through these transitions through the fog of vagueness. How do we manage searches to find the right organizational "fit" as a candidate as well as an organization? As we approach "Job Search Season," have you discussed it as an organization? How will you decide when you get an offer what is a must and what can you negotiate?

What do institutions value?

"fit" can be a factor of your own internal gut check- on whether you feel that the environment/institutional culture fits with your personal values and professional development needs. Some good questions to ask would be *how can I assist the department through transitional phases?, or *what opportunities does this position have to impact program development or departmental change?, particularly if you are a person who wants to make a difference and leave a legacy where you are working. Do you, as the candidate, view this next position as a lateral change, or is it a true step up for you? Do you see yourself contributing to this department for the short term, or the long term? -Kris McPeak, CSU Chico

I look for a few things when I interview candidates. First, have they done their homework? Do they know what our organization, our campus, our culture is about? This can tell me about their motivation and drive for the position. Secondly, I ask them to tell me what they need to succeed in their work. This tells about how well they know themselves, and do they view us being able to provide that for them in their work. Finally, I always ask them what questions they have for me, which tells me how insightful they are about what they have seen/heard about our campus and/or organizational culture. I think I often learn more from the types of questions they ask than from how they answer my questions. I think passion for one's work, a willingness to be engaged with service to students, and a willingness to learn (i.e. humility) are the must-haves for me. With good training, I think we can teach the other aspects of one's job. Specific to our culture, I think all of our staff have to have a commitment to DISJ issues - we do not need perfection in this area, but an appreciation and commitment to grow are critical. -Steve Sutton, UC Berkeley

I think that at the end of the day it is still about the work we do with/for our students, individually and institutionally. So when organizational fit is unclear because of the "fog", I would go with what my head and heart tell me about the opportunity to do my best work in the environment that has been presented. The non-negotiables are honesty and transparency, from the employer, in where they see their reorganization process taking them. For the employer, we would need to look for both flexibility and depth of skills in our candidates, especially if our reorganization is significant.--Cyndie Morozumi, Sonoma State University

What do candidates value?

As a newer professional, when looking for a new position I am very interested in knowing what professional development opportunities are available to staff. It is very important to me to be a part of an organization that cares about its staff members as well as their students (or customers) and environment. I like to connect with staff not involved in the hiring process to see how they like working there and what some of their passions and future goals are. --Mayra Alcala, UC Santa Barbara

When I have been a candidate and the organization I am applying to seems to be undergoing change, I tend to look for values alignment by looking "up" - whether that be identifying key players and leaders, reviewing a department/ area/ university mission, and politely asking as many questions as I can about both and the reorganization.--Ben Medieros, Santa Clara University

With Placement season fast approaching, consider what you value as an institution as well as the candidate, but also remember to reflect on what you would want to contribute and provide from the other perspective. Share your own thoughts on the WACUHO Forum or Facebook page!

Placement Committee 2012
Mark Brice, Yoo Mi Choi, Kelly Cole, Alvin Nguyen, Crystal White

Southern RAP 2011 Recap

On November 20, 2011 SRAP 2011: Homegrown Heroes rocked the Soka University of America campus. Not only was spirit at an all time high, but more institutions presented programs than ever before. The feeling of the conference was also incredible, thanks to Soka's integration of their sustainability and social justice missions. Student organizations performed, Soka staff members MCed in their stunning new Performing Arts Center, we incorporated a resume review option for the first time, and the University President hosted a lunch with CHOs. We owe a huge thanks to Soka University of America for their incredible hospitality, with special appreciate to Michelle Hobby-Mears, Wanna Dean, and Ruby Nagashima for their hard work.

Congratulations to all of the 2011 SRAP Award Winners. There is amazing diversity of institutions, so despite Cal Poly Pomona's much-deserved sweep, all of our delegations had an impressive showing. Please join us in recognizing this year's winners:

Spirit Stick: Cal Poly Pomona
Philanthropy Award: Cal Poly Pomona
Best Video: Cal Poly Pomona:

Top-Rated Program of the Conference:
What is Stereotyping? By Porsha Johnson, Robert De Cormier, and Michael Villavicencio from Cal State San Bernardino

Top 10 Programs Overall:
Celebrating Diversity of Residents by Chelsea Dugger and Kazuhiko Imai from Soka University of America
Alcohol Olympics by Pamela Mansfield from Cal Poly Pomona
Let's Pay It Forward: Be a Hero in your Community! By Lisa Tundis and Lil Gradilla from University of La Verne
What's on your Cape? By Garrett Isom and Antonio Banks from University of La Verne
Roomie Boards by Fiona Brady from University of Redlands
Dia de Los Muertos by Denise Cisneros and Karla Enriquez from Cal Poly Pomona
Colors of Appreciation by Aoi Sato and Lirica Nishimoto from Soka University of America
One Last Drink, One Last Breath by Chelsey Jones and Dan Hernandez from Cal State San Bernardino
Blind Date by Aileen Yoon and Malina Fagan from Chapman University

Outstanding Programs by Category

Educational and Professional Success:
Creativity Camp by Alla Arutcheva and Benjamin Saletta from Cal Poly Pomona

Community Building:
How Much Does a Polar Bear Weigh? by Upeka Keenawinna and Alex Gray from San Diego State University

Health and Wellness:
Poof Be Gone! By Kaci Kelly and Alex Kowalick from Cal State San Marcos

Activism and Service Learning:
A Hero's Toast by Kevin Greene and Breana White from University of La Verne

Diversity and Social Justice:
Harry Potter and the Deathly Stereotypes by Fernando Marquez, Kat Courtner, and Marlene Belmar from Cal Poly Pomona

Best Passive Program:
Daily, Nightly, Ever So Rightly by Angelica Catalan from University of La Verne

Thank you and congratulations! See you at SRAP 2012!

SRAP Committee

Student Conduct & Judicial Affairs Committee Updates

Don't let student conduct get you down!

It's a cyclical process!? Each year, right around this time, it seems that student conduct swings for the fences and I feel like I'm an outfielder trying to catch the fly ball but running out of real estate to do so.

The Student Conduct and Judicial Affairs Committee have some ideas on how to help, but we could sure use a hand or too from you as well.

At this year's WACE the committee is preparing to have a Conduct Track; a presentation opportunity during each session relating to student conduct. Some of the topic suggestions proposed thus far include:

-Facilitating a successful conduct meeting
-Sanctioning (Dos/Don'ts/Getting creative)
-Discussing the Dear Colleague Letter
-Assessing your conduct system
-Collaborating with police/public safety to reduce conduct
-Clery, FERPA, and Title IX initiatives
-Roundtable discussions

This is not an exhaustive list and we could use your help if you think that there is an important topic missing please let us know, you can email us ( or post on our forum. Additionally, if you are interested in presenting on any topic related to student conduct, please email us at

For those of you that either can't attend WACE this year or can't get your fill of Student Conduct discussions? the Committee is in the midst of planning its first Drive In conference. More details will be coming shortly.

We look forward to seeing you all shortly!

Christine Bender & Jacques Zalma
Student Conduct & Judicial Affairs Committee Co-Chairs

Time & Place Committee Updates

Even as we all prepare to attend WACE 2012, the Time & Place Committee is excited to update the association on WACE 2013. As previously announced, Maggie Malagon from Santa Clara University and Philippe Cumia from San Francisco State University have agreed to co-chair this conference! Mark your calendars: WACE 2013 will be April 7-10, 2013 at the San Jose Fairmont Hotel.

We are also looking for a host and conference co-chairs for WACE 2014! Following our old pattern of going north one year, and south another, we encourage institutions in Southern California to prepare a bid for WACE 2014 but we would be excited to work with schools in other regions who may be interested in hosting. Similarly, if you don't live and work in the Southern CA region and you're thinking about serving as a conference co-chair, we'd love to work with you!

If you or your institution would be interested in hosting the conference and/or serving as a conference co-chair, please let us know. Our committee is at your service to help you develop a bid for WACE 2014. Please email our committee chair Ramona Hernandez at or comment on our post on WACUHO's Forum to connect with our committee members, seek advice from previous conference chairs, or network with other colleagues and institutions who may be looking to co-host.


On Sunday, October 16, 2011, a small but mighty group of Southern California Student Affairs Professionals represented CCPA, SoCal NASPA, & WACUHO and walked 10 kilometers/6.2 miles and raised a little under $2000 with online, mail in donations and corporation matches to make a difference in the lives of men, women, and children affected by HIV and AIDS! Even though there has been a lot of publicity about AIDS treatments which are prolonging some people's lives, they do not work for everyone and there is still no cure in sight. Moreover, young people are still getting infected at alarmingly high rates. Over half of those infected with HIV are under the age of 24, thus it is a reality some of our college students face daily. Joining over 30,000 participants the team journeyed through West Hollywood to support the cause. Please still consider donating to the Southern California Student Affairs Professionals team at

Kafele Kalfani and Alexandra Froehlich
AIDS Walk Team Members - Southern California Student Affairs Professionals

How to Reap the Greatest Benefits from your WACE Experience

The first WACE I attended was in 2004. I had 2 days notice and was barely briefed on what I needed to bring. I failed on bringing a nice outfit or any kind of formal clothes. I'm pretty sure I walked around in a t-shirt and jeans for the entire conference. I didn't even bring a swimsuit (I was a recent immigrant from Illinois. Having a swimsuit always handy was a new concept.)

Now I have my WACE chops down, let me share the checklist every new person should have in their pocket.

Attend every single New Professional event they offer. This is a fantastic way to connect with the new professionals around you and start connecting. Share not only what you are struggling with, but what new resources are out there. Find out what is exciting them about their campus. Take notes.

Participate in the Case Study Competition. WACE offers a case study for new professionals to compete in. You get a question/dilemma/murder mystery and you present your solution to seasoned professionals. It's a great way to put your training into practice. You can compete solo, but I highly suggest presenting with a partner. If you are lacking in a skill (like theory), make sure and partner with a pro. When I hear new professionals say, "Oh, I'm too scared to try it" I get all sad and angry inside. Regardless of the outcome, you learn a great deal!

Connect With One Seasoned Person. Ask a friend or colleague to point out someone who you might connect with. Don't do this in a stalker/van waiting outside kind of way, but be authentic in meeting college professionals who have the job you want. I have never been turned down asking to sit with someone at lunch or dinner. I can't tell you how many coffees I've bought to bend someone's ear. I am an ear bender.

Attend Every Single Session. You might be tempted to not attend a session because you aren't interested in the topics. I say, "BAH!" I attend every session, hoping to either gain a skill, find a resource or meet someone new. Every time. Even if it isn't immediate applicable to my job then and there, I've gained a contact and someone who knows what is up.

Go forth, new professional. Shake some hands. Ask great questions. Alas, I shall not be at this year's WACE, but follow me on Twitter, friend me on Facebook and if I can be of any help, let me know. The spirit of WACUHO is we extend a hand and help. Welcome.

Ryan McRae

Ryan McRae is the creator of, a blog about geekiness and residential life. He is a certified conference addict; he believes children are the future and we should let them lead the way (unless they are drinking.)

Moving Up and Moving On, Taking the Next Step

The job search season will be approaching soon. Many entry level housing professionals often wonder what the next step will be in their career. Self questions are asked like: "Should I leave housing, Should I make a lateral move to another institution, Are there mid-level positions I am ready for, Are there mid-level positions open?"

These are all questions to ask but there are numerous factors to consider when thinking about the next step. For some, the first stop on the career path is the live-in Resident Director (or the like, based on your institution's title). Perhaps you have completed graduate school or earned a bachelor's degree and have moved from across the country to take on different challenges. In any new position you meet new colleagues and become a part of a new culture. Working through a new system can be bumpy and just when you have a handle on your position, thoughts begin to creep in about taking the next step. Unfortunately, career advancement can often be a daunting and time-consuming experience.

There are a number of issues one faces when thinking of the next position. Frequently, folks in the mid-level range are in their positions more than five years which means that there are less mid-level jobs available. Further, there can be geographical constraints which narrow the possibilities. The thought of all of this is enough to make your stress levels accelerate. It may sound glum, but there are opportunities out there if you are flexible and are willing to take on different tasks.

Below are some questions to consider when taking the next step in your career.

1. Are you bound to a geographical location? Are you willing to move out of the region to take another position?
2. Is your partner and/or family willing to relocate?
3. Do you have enough experience based on the skills necessary to attain the next position?
4. Would you consider leaving Housing/Residence Life and make a move to Campus Life or another student affairs department?
5. If you live-in, do you have enough money saved up to pay for moving expenses, furniture, and rental deposits?
6. Have you prepared a budget based on your potential new income and intended expenses like utilities, rent, food, or other miscellaneous items?
7. Would you be willing to make a lateral move to another institution to broaden your experiences?
8. Are you running TO another opportunity or AWAY from your current position?

The last question is perhaps the most difficult to answer. We all know that with great work in our field, comes more responsibility. The day to day tasks can become mundane and it is easy to get caught up in bureaucracy and organizational drama. Yet, it is important to note that all institutions share similar issues and simply running away will not make it better. Is it more important to face new issues, or maneuver through the systems you already know? Only you can answer that question.

If you are stuck in a rut and wondering what to do next, here are some suggestions:

-Talk with your supervisor to learn their career path. It may be similar or different to what you are looking for, but you will get a new perspective.
- NETWORK!!! It is crucial to get out there and meet new people. On campus, in the region, and around the globe. The WACUHO New Professionals committee is a perfect start to learn more about the region and to meet other housing professionals.
- Ask your supervisor about committee opportunities on your campus. This will help in making campus connections. You never know when a position at another institution or on campus becomes available and the person you just met may have more details.

James C. Smith
University of California, Riverside
(Originally published in WAVES 2010; Winter)

Pepperdine Students "Paws" to Relax

As a senior at Pepperdine University, Katy Yasick is far from home. She left her family and her beloved cockapoo Chester on the East Coast to pursue her dreams and an education at Pepperdine University. It didn't take long for her to realize that something was missing on a college campus that does not cater to pet lovers. While students are restricted from having pets, this did not deter Katy's commitment to canine companionship that can increase the morale and quality of life for the entire Pepperdine community.

In the fall of 2010, Katy introduced animal-assisted therapy into the lives of university students and the campus has never been the same. As a student leader on campus, Katy was looking for a way to address the increased stress that students face around the end of the semester when students are studying for their final exams. In the fall 2010 National College Health Assessment, 25.4% of student respondents reported that stress affected their individual academic performance. Others studies have shown that animals can reduce anxiety and stress levels and create a sense of community among a group of people.

In partnership with the Housing & Residence Life Office and the Counseling Center at Pepperdine, Katy was able to start a new tradition during finals week by bringing in Delta therapy dogs to help students relax. Students were allowed to pet the dogs and take pictures with them. Several hundred students stopped by to see the canines and this event became the "buzz" on campus. The program started with three dogs and then invited four dogs for a second event. Pepperdine hosted its third "Paws to Relax" event during finals week in December. The program has expanded and eight Certified Therapy dogs from the Delta Society visited with the students on a beautiful Friday afternoon under the giant outdoor Christmas Tree. Thrilled by the company of the volunteers- dogs and humans alike- students were overheard saying "if I can just get through these finals I'll soon be able to go home to see my own dogs but being able to visit with these pups will help me this week and wow, this event is like Disneyland. I go to the best college ever!

For those interested in bringing Paws to Relax to your campus, the first step is to find a therapy dog organization willing to participate in the event. While it may be possible to run the event with untrained dogs from shelters or kennels, using certified therapy animals makes it much easier to get approval from university Risk Management departments. Several therapy organizations such as the Delta Society operate nationwide, but if you find it difficult to locate one in your area, try contacting the volunteer department at your local hospital. Therapy animals frequently visit patients and the volunteer coordinator might be able to recommend an organization to you. Once you have secured the volunteers, be sure to communicate with the appropriate departments within your university to accomplish the following:

- Reserve a convenient and central location for the event (an area with grass and some shade is best)
- Inquire about and adhere to any safety regulations
- Acquire print materials on stress management and healthy studying to provide to students at the event
- Reserve parking near the event location for volunteers
- Advertise the event to students, faculty, and staff
- Bowls for water for the dogs during the event

Pepperdine University typically runs the event for 2-3 hours one afternoon during the week before finals. The key is to make the event fun for all involved- chalk paw prints around campus lead students to the event, lunch is provided for the human volunteers, and all the dogs leave with party favors including healthy treats and a tennis ball.

If you have any questions about this event, please contact Kerri Heath ( or Katy Yasick (

Kerri Cissna-Heath and Katy Yasick
Pepperdine University

Write for WAVES!


Thank you for taking the time to review the Winter 2012 edition of WAVES! We hope that you find the content in the newsletter informative, energizing and engaging! WAVES provides you a wonderful opportunity to communicate with the entire Association. Please consider submitting updates about your committees and your institutions! Submitting an article for WAVES can further your professional development or allow you to share a fresh perspective with the membership. Additionally, WAVES is an outstanding way to recognize our colleagues who have served WACUHO and/or our field. We encourage you to consider submitting information regarding colleagues' accomplishments, retirements, transitions and in-memoriams.

The WAVES submission deadlines for the year are as follows:

  • Pre-Conference WAVES: March 9, 2012
  • Spring WAVES: April 20, 2012

Email article submissions to You are also welcome to contact me to submit suggestions or feedback.

Looking forward to a great year,

Kelly Cole
WACUHO Newsletter Editor

Affirmative Action Statement

WACUHO recognizes the benefits derived from the inclusion of diversity in the Association. Significant contributions are made by members from all areas of higher education and at every level of responsibility. The quality of perspective and experience shared by our members, inclusive of ethnicity, age, gender, religious preference, sexual orientation, or differing abilities, adds a dynamic that enriches the character of the Association. WACUHO encourages all to actively participate in its programs, events and activities.

Copyright © 2012 WACUHO. All rights reserved.