Laura Dorfman works at Marymount California University and serves as the Director of Residential Life and Student Conduct. She has holds the position of Vice President (2014-2015), and has served as the Newsletter Editor from 2009-2011.When asked why she ran for these positions, she said “initially to further my involvement”, and this current stint was to “be a part of the association during a time of transition and of great leadership.” Serving has allowed her to further develop her “critical thinking, strategic thinking, focusing on areas outside my scope of work, confidence in networking.” The best thing about serving for Laura is “the people are always phenomenal” and “professional development opportunities.” She wishes she knew beforehand that “it’s always more time consuming than you think. Talk to those who have done the position you’re running for prior to running.” But, she also added, “It’s fun. Enjoy. I promise you, if it wasn’t for WACUHO, I wouldn’t have even known that the position I am currently in, was going to be available!”
James Smith outlines his experience and reason for participating in the Exec Committee as follows:
President-Elect (Current); Director for Residential Administration & Assessment, UC Riverside
Treasurer (2012-2014); Associate Director for Residence Life, UC Riverside
Vice President (2007-2008); Assistant Director for Residence Life, UC Riverside
Member at Large, North (2003-2004); Coordinator for Residential Education, UC Santa Cruz
While I had different reasons for running for specific positions, the underlining motivation I chose to campaign for all positions was to give back to WACUHO. I have gained so much by being a part of a community of serving housing professionals. I had been involved in various committees before my first position and I think that helped me in seeking out roles to serve with the executive committee. With each position I was elected to, I learned more about myself and more about the housing profession. The networking and connections made within WACUHO are incredible. Being a part of the executive committee gives you a behind the scenes view on the inner workings of the association. Some of the skills I really developed have included budgeting, multi-tasking, administration and working with our corporate partners. Before running for a position, I recommend that you have a conversation with someone who has served in the position previously. Also, read the WACUHO leadership manual as it relates to the position you seek and the association as a whole. (Oh, just read the whole thing J). While some of the details of the leadership manual change from year to year, many of the duties and time commitments remain the same. Learn as much as you can before running for the position. I also recommend having a conversation with your supervisor and determine how this position can fit into your career goals. Being a part of the executive committee is a rewarding experience, but it also takes time and commitment. You will need to travel, and you will be looked at as an expert on WACUHO specifics (even if you feel you are not). That said, people want you to succeed, so you will have help from within the committee, but also your colleagues within the field. Seriously consider if the time is right, and put your name in!!
Tiffany Taylor works at California State University, East Bay and holds the position of Assistant Director for Staff and Leadership Development. She currently serves as the MAL North which she also served as in 2012 she has also held positions in the past as the New Professionals Committee Chair (2013), Academic Relations Chair (2014), Conference Services Chair (2010). She ran to be more a part of the field and the close knit network that has kept our schools in the region and area vibrant and connected. She says she has been able to help her maintain her passion in all the jobs she has had. She has learned more about how best to support other professionals, networking and leading large groups through budget and program proposals. She says the best thing about serving as MAL North is getting to know more about the neighboring institutions and the professionals working at them. She says “We have so much to offer each other and the potential to help facilitate idea sharing has been incredible.” One thing she wished she knew before before joining exec was more about the time commitment and timelines for the for the position.
Kenrick Ali works at CSU East Bay and holds the position of Associate Director, Residence Life. He currently serves as the WACUHO Secretary. He ran to get more involved in WACUHO on the E-Board level. He had worked with several committees like NRAP and WTI and thought it was time to continue his involvement at this level. Kenrick now has a better understanding of the organization (inner working) and how it relates to the national affiliate. It has also allowed him to work closely with some colleagues throughout the region, getting to know them a little better. Lastly, it allowed him to work to help prioritize goals and strategies for the organization. Best part of being Secretary is honestly just being on the board and having met and gotten to know some colleagues better. He wishes he had familiarized himself with the responsibilities of the other positions to better understand how his position relates. Additionally, a better understanding of the committees may also help. He says It’s been a great experience!
Tom Burns works at California State University, Monterey Bay and holds the position of Marketing and Outreach Coordinator. He currently serves as the WACUHO Newsletter Editor and Marketing and Communications Coordinator. He applied for this position because he “was tapped on the shoulder by a previous exec member and the suggested I would really enjoy the position. I have enjoyed my experience on Exec.” He has “gained by serving on the Exec Committee” by “networking and learning how other universities operate as well as the history of WACUHO.” Tom says that “the best part of being on the Exec Committee was getting connected to others in WACUHO and being able to help get information about to the association all while have a great time.” He also wants you to know that “I wish I knew how much fun it was going to be beforehand and how it was manageable to squeeze into my schedule.”
Matt Lewis currently serves as the Jr. Technology Coordinator since June 2014. He works at California State University, Long Beach as a Residential College Coordinator.Matt states in his profile: “I applied for the position because I am passionate about the change that can be affected by the ways in which organizations use technology, and because, just having moved into the region, I was looking for a way to network and get connected with other housing professionals. I’ve gained a much greater understanding of the college and university systems in the region and have been able to work with others who have varying perspectives on the work that we do.” The best thing about serving for Matt is “Getting to meet so many great people who are equally as passionate about what we do.” When asked what he wished he knew before serving, he said “I came into the position knowing nothing about the region or the people who made of the board, but I chose to come in blind. I honestly wouldn’t have changed a thing, though. Everyone has been so helpful at explaining things that were confusing and connecting me to the resources I needed to succeed.” He added: “Work with us! We’re fun!”
Stephen Fleischer works at Cal State L. A. and currently serves as the Director of Housing Services. He serves WACUHO as the President, and held the President Elect position last term. Stephens shared his reason for pursuing this role: “I returned to the field after a 12 year absence and was new to the region. WACUHO is the place that afforded me the most connection with my new colleagues in the region and provided many opportunities to become current with all the changes in the field during my absence, and to make new friends.” Since serving, Stephen states “I have to be on my toes while coaching a group of highly motivated professionals who all have the best interests of our field, organization and residents in mind, but who also approach situations from very different vantage points. I did my dissertation on middle management and have facilitated many workshops based on leading from the middle….Well this position is certainly a laboratory for experiencing leading from the middle and helping to bring out the best of all those around me.” He feels the best thing about serving is “I am always amazed at the creativity and intelligence of my colleagues. Each person is so different and brings many surprise gifts to the table. Each time I adopt a bit of your styles, I become a better professional, and my department and residents benefit.” Don’t be concerned if you feel you don’t know more about the Exec Board, as “Sometimes ignorance is bliss!”
Jeff Hill currently works at UC San Diego, serving as an Assistant Resident Dean. He holds the Member-at-Large, South in the current term. Jeff states he ran for the board as “I wanted to gain more experience within WACUHO after having served on committees in the past. I felt like the Exec. opportunity would allow me to reach further, meet more people within the association, and ultimately learn from others. All that, and more, has become a reality!” He shared that the experience he gained by serving includes “learning about many institutions around the region, gaining a deeper understanding of what certain committees actually do and how important that is to certain folks, cross-collaboration with folks from other institutions, how to be a solid liaison for those folks who rely on you, and how to be fiscally responsible and look for way to keep improving and doing better.” Jeff shared that the best thing about serving is “The other Exec. folks and the hard work we put into our passion – I love the board.” He wants you to know that before running, he wish he knew “How much better it would be than I thought. Everyone should give it a shot!”
Mako Ushihara works at Santa Clara University and serves as the Director for Conference and Building Operations. He has served WACUHO as the MAL-North in 2013-2014 and currently serves as Treasurer. Mako states that he ran for these positions because “I wanted to give back to the organization that has done so much for me professionally and personally.” He states that he has gained from serving the opportunity to“ get to know and work with great colleagues from across the region who you might not have a chance to get to know and work with otherwise”. The best thing about serving is “WACUHO is an amazing organization made up of great people. I have truly enjoyed my time on the board and learning more about how the organization works, and what it takes to keep it going.” Before serving, he wishes he knew that ”the organization was and continues to be in a state of tremendous change. Many things that used to work or that we have traditionally done just are not applicable anymore. We need to be responsive and help change the organization to meet the changing needs of our membership. There is a lot of work ahead required to set a path/chart the course for where we need to be in the coming years. Doing the research and the work to set up systems, processes, and procedures is takes a lot of time and resources. I think that’s the hardest thing for people looking from the outside in might not have an understanding about– how much time it truly takes to keep an organization like this moving forward and growing.”
Tim Trevan has served as the Secretary, Vice President, Treasurer, President-Elect and President between 1999 and 2010. He has done so while working at CSU San Bernardino and CSU Northridge while serving as the Director of Housing and Residential Life. He states that he ran for these positions because “my department and I gained so much from participating in WACUHO conferences and workshops. I wanted to get more involved to help shape and direct the Association’s programs and services”. Tim said by serving, “ I learned a whole lot about different leadership styles and best-practices in our field.” The best part of serving as “The people. So many great connections and resources. And we’re just plain fun”.
Alex Belisario works at UC Santa Cruz, having held the positions of Associate College Administrative Officer, College Administrative Officer. During her tenure she has served WACUHO as the Newsletter Editor, President-Elect, President between 2001 and 2007. She states that she ran “because it was time to step up. Because I wanted to find a way to give back to an organization from which I drew energy and support. I gained the opportunity to work closely with colleagues who are now dear friends. We don’t work at the same institutions, so this would not have happened otherwise. I learned to think about the needs of institutions different from mine, gain budgeting experience, work more closely with corporate partners, create a little WACUHO history, and learn to appreciate history while focusing on improving the organization for the future.” Alex states that the best part of serving was “traveling to see all the great WACUHO activities happening out there (RAPs, WTI, New Pros events)!” She wants to know that before running she did know there would be so much email communications, and added “Just do it. It can be intimidating to run, especially if there are other candidates, but just do it. You’ll be glad you did. J “
Jason M. Lu works at Cal Poly Pomona as an Area Coordinator. He has held the following positions on the Executive Committee: Junior Technology Coordinator, Senior Technology Coordinator, Member-at-Large, South between 2011 and 2014. Jason shared that he ran because he “wanted to gain more experience with WACUHO, connect with other colleagues in the region, and develop a network of peers as a knowledgebase to enhance the work at my home institution.” He shared that “I learned a lot about WACUHO’s finances, by-laws, and the technology we use” and that he enjoyed “visiting other college campuses, making lasting connections, and creating tools for future groups of WACUHO leaders”. Jason wants you to know that serving on the board “is so much fun! You learn so much about WACUHO, and it is a great opportunity to serve the region.” If interested in learning more, he shared “feel free to email me if you have any questions email@example.com. We could also set up a time to talk on the phone! Running for Exec may be intimidating, but it’s a lot of fun!”
Robert Stephens service to WACUHO as an Exec Committee member occurred while he worked at UC Berkeley and UC Riverside and holding the positions of Assistant Director; Training and Staff Development Specialist. He has served WACUHO as the Technology and Information Systems Coordinator; Secretary; Vice President between the dates of 2005 and 2014. Robert shared that he ran “because WACUHO was in need of tech assistance and I was the Tech and Info Systems Committee chair. Also, I had been getting increasingly more involved in the Association and was interested in taking even more of a leadership role. Additionally, it was an opportunity to connect with even more colleagues around the region. I feel called to give back to the Association that helped me find my footing in Housing. I also feel I have useful skills and knowledge to assist the Association in moving forward.” From serving, Robert gained “an understanding of the inner-workings of the Association; knowledge of issues (both new and continuing) related to guiding an organization; more connection with corporate partners; more connection with colleagues around the region; mentoring opportunities.”
The best thing about serving as the Technology and Information Systems Coordinator was “getting us (WACUHO) more organized in this arena”. As Secretary it was “having fun with quotes” and as Vice-President, “revamping the Association By-Laws”.
Robert shared that before serving, “experience is generally unnecessary if you are willing to put in the work. WACUHO needs people at all levels to be involved and invested; don’t let lack of previous experience with a position or with the Association to hold you back”.