Monthly Archives: January 2015

Calling all WACUHO Leaders!

Are you looking for an opportunity to take a leadership role in WACUHO?

Do you want to make a difference in WACUHO?
Would like an opportunity to “give back” to our field?

Consider the 2015-16 Executive Committee!

Nominate a colleague, nominate yourself, or ask a colleague to nominate you for the upcoming 2015-16 Executive Committee!  (If you are nominating a colleague, please speak to them in advance to ensure they are interested)

Check out the Leadership Manual for a full description of the positions listed below. This is your opportunity to gain new experiences, provide leadership to our organization, and make new connections (and friends)!.

NOMINATIONS ARE DUE 5 PM, January 30, 2015!!!

Open positions include:
Vice President
Member-at-Large, North
Member-at-Large, Central
Member-at-Large, South

Marketing and Communications Coordinator*
Jr. Technology Coordinator*
*Appointed position by Executive Committee

Send nominations to:
Ramona Hernandez
UC Davis

Nominations Committee:
Dana Pysz (UCLA)
Yoo Mi Choi (UC Riverside)

Past Exec Committee Profiles

​​Laura-150x150Laura 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!”

FullSizeRender-150x150James 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-300x300Tiffany 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-150x150Kenrick 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-150x150 (1)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-150x150Matt 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!”


nhti haikuStephen 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!”

photoJeff 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!”

MakoMako 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 “

IMG_5709Jason 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  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”.


Now that’s a wRAP!

So you had this incredible time watching your students
delibrate over what color tutus they would wear and how they
plotted to get you to wear one too.

You might have come back with no voice (most certainly your
students did) and many got up at the wee hours of the morning to begin a journey to Occidental College or Sonoma State University to what would become (for some) a day that solidified why they chose the leadership roles that they did.

If this rings a bell, then you were one of the 877 who attended Central and Northern RAP! To all our first timers we say “welcome to the family” and to those (like us) who are one your 4th, 5th or 6th we remain conituously honored for your support of this one-day conference.

Below we have provided you with quick look at our RAPs by the numbers:

Central RAP Northen RAP
Attendees 402 475
Particpating Institutions 18 22
Program Submissions 83 82

*Southern RAP has not yet occurred and that is why their numbers are not in this article.

If your delegation had a great expereince and you want to take on the challenge and joy of hosting a RAP – NOW IS THE TIME!

Here are some things to consider when thinking about hosting:

  1. Do you have support from your department leadership?
  2. Do you have a venue on campus that could hold 350-400+ people?
  3. Do you have enough classroom space to keep session size small? Is there technology in these spaces?
  4. Do you have space for parking that can be reserved?
  5. Can your dining facility cater this type of large event at a minimum price point?
  6. Do you have enough staff to volunteer on the day of the conference?

If you answered yes to any or all of these, then you should start discussing your interest to host with your departmental leadership team. If you are remotly interested please don’t hesittate to contact your Member-at-Large.

Chad Myers, Member-at-Large, Central
Tiffany Taylor, Member-at-Large, North
Jeff Hill, Member-at-Large, South


Southern RAP offers great opportunities to interact, engage, and share programming ideas and experiences for student leaders. SRAP will engage students in a variety of engaging workshops, fun activities, peer networking opportunities, and a track for professionals.

Southern RAP will be held at California State University, Fullerton on February 7th, 2015. The deadline to register is January 26th, 2015. The cost of attendance for WACUHO Members: ​$30/person; Non-Members: ​$35/person. Colleges that register will need to send forward a 1.5 minute Roll Call “Movie Trailer” video and 24/36in “Movie Poster” to

This year our philanthropy project will support the Orangewood Children’s Foundation. “The mission of Orangewood Children’s Foundation is to provide life-changing prevention and intervention programs for abused and neglected children, young adults and at risk families through one-on-one support and community partnerships to end the cycle of child abuse. The center, located in Santa Ana, CA is a temporary home to children who have been removed from their caregivers due to unsafe conditions. There is a constant need for food and supplies. You can help!

For more information about SRAP, please visit our site:

We look forward to seeing you there!

New Year, New Me

The turn of a new year encourages us to set goals for the next 12 months. Here are some helpful tips to help you succeed:

  1. Set attainable goals. Make goals that are reachable to achieve given your time, skills, and motivation. Goals should be challenging, but not impossible.
  2. Set mini-goals. For every large goal, there are a lot of little things you have to complete it. Set a few smaller goals for yourself to make you feel more accomplished and motivated throughout your journey!
  3. Treat yourself. If your goal is to work out more, put a dollar in a jar for every workout you complete. Once you achieve a certain amount, use that money to buy a new workout shirt, or a yoga mat to re-energize you!
  4. Share your goals. It is much easier to accomplish things when you have support from family, friends, and/or co-workers. Share what you plan on achieving this year because you never know who will join you or at the very least check in to see how you are progressing.

The Support Services Committee


Join us for our first MentorChat of the 2015 year on Thursday, January 22nd at 9am Pacific.  Teri Bump, the Vice President of University Relations and Student Development for American Campus Communities, will be facilitating a discussion on Mentorship vs. Sponsorship from a Mid-Level Managers perspective.  Join us for a great conversation and some terrific Mid-Level Manager Professional Development.

To join, call 1-805-360-1000 and enter code 448986#


WACUHO religious and spiritual issues committee is having a TRIBES call (Together Researching and Investigating the Basic Exploration of the Sacred) on Thursday, January 29th from 1:30-2:30pm. This month’s call will be on “Religion and Spirituality in Group counseling.” Please download this pdf.

To join us, Dial – 712.432.1212 Meeting ID – 277.446.468

Food for Thought

My Words of Reflection on Life and Living!

As we have started a new year, I find it befitting to reflect on some lessons that we have learned. Sometimes, those lessons don’t come from listening to a keynote, reading a book, or even supervisory conversations. Instead, and this may be a challenge for many of us, those lessons come from the lives that we have already lived, and reflecting on those experiences. This, after all can be the best way in which we grow, develop and move forward in all we do.

The celebration of the New Year always comes with mixed emotions for me, “did I meet all of my goals for the year?” “What will be my goals for next year?” During this time of year, I always seem to be asking myself, “How can I find my happiness.” Each of us gets one year older each year and there are so many remnants of regrets that remain with us, this is part of human nature. Sometimes coming to terms with this is all that we can do. Often times figuring out where you are going to go from there may be the best solution. In 2014, I had such a lesson, a lesson on regret…and ultimately one of direction. During the summer of 2014, I traveled back to the east coast for a graduate school reunion for a couple of my friends from Northeastern University (NU) in Boston. I took the opportunity, since I did not know when I would be given the chance to do so again, to visit my undergraduate of the University Of Vermont (UVM) in Burlington. Having spent five years at UVM, I had developed incredible feelings for the campus and the city of Burlington. I had not been back to the UVM campus since 1996 and certainly was not prepared for the emotions that I would be facing.

My trip to Vermont was so very timely. I have reached an age where you begin to think about the decisions in your life, the ones you have made, the experiences you have had and the people you have met. You begin to think to yourself two words: what if. These two words tend to cause so much pain and doubt. During my trip, the “youthful” Kenrick met up with the “wise” Kenrick (fancy word for old). So many memories flooded through my mind, memories of amazing times I had spent with friends, travels that I had made, special places on campus that I used to go to, and even smells that sent warmth to my heart. I took the opportunity to visit all of the places (on and off campus) that I lived in. I walked my favorite paths. I went to several classrooms that I spent most of my time in. And, I drove around Burlington and recalled that there was nothing like Burlington in the summer! One thing became clear, UVM, and Burlington, had changed!

Doing all of these things brought me back to a time where the world was at my feet and I was going to do this by the age of 30, and that by the age of 35, and I won’t even tell you what I was going to accomplish by the age of 40. One of the days on my trip, I found myself, walking through the campus at UVM and I was in tears, both of sadness and of happiness. I was happy to see some things just as I remembered it and sad to see some things gone/changed.  I quickly determined that the tears were not tears about UVM’s changes, but the changes that I had made, or did not, in my own life. For example, what if I had made the decision to remain living in Burlington? How would my life be different from how it is now? Similar to UVM, I had realized that I had made almost 20 years of life changing decisions, and all of those decisions came with a reason. Both UVM and I had stood the test of time; some would argue that we have both gotten better.

I walked away from that experience with so much dedication to my life, wellness to my body, mind and soul and an incredible sense of care and direction for my future. My visit was such an amazing experience to remember the things that have allowed me to follow the paths that have been provided. By taking the time to reflect, I learned so much from the younger Kenrick, things that I had forgotten, things that I had taken for granted and things that were once important (and should still be). I walked away from that trip realizing that my happiness was within me and it was something that I was in control of. While I may not have accomplished all the things I have wanted to by a certain age, there is still time to do them. So, as we move into the new year, my lesson, that I am clearly sharing with the rest of you, is to reflect and remember: it’s not just important to live for the future, you have to remember to live from the past; remember the happy times you have had because they often help you to find yourself and the direction you are to follow. So what if you have regrets? This is not where the power should lie in your life. What if? Well, let’s change that to “What it will be.” Maybe, just maybe, the happiness will come naturally! Here’s to your memories, to your happiness and to your life! May this upcoming year provide amazing growth, direction and much happiness!

– Kenrick Ali

R.W. Gang Award 2015

The Corporate Relations Committee is now accepting nominations for the 2015 R.W. Gang Award. 

R.W. Gang Award The R.W. Gang Award is named in memory of Mr. R.W. Gang the 12th President of the Association. RW served CACUHO and WACUHO faithfully through the years as a university housing staff member involved in several aspects of the organization. Later in life, R.W. continued his relationship with the organization as a vendor and corporate friend. It is for R.W.’s enthusiasm, humor, love for his colleagues and dedication to Housing that an award is honored in his name. A $250 donation is made every year to the ACUHO-I Foundation of Excellence in honor of the WACUHO RW Gang Award winner.

Please submit your nomination forms to Noah Kaloostian, The deadline for all nominations to be submitted is Monday, February 23, 2015. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Charles L. Miller Nominations 2015

Each year our WACUHO Community recognizes a current member of the association who has made significant contributions to the Western Association of College and University Housing Officers over time through their dedicated service and outstanding leadership by bestowing upon them the Charles L. Miller Leadership and Service Award.

As a self-directed community it is incumbent on our membership to nominate colleagues who are deserving of this valuable award through their long-term and consistent leadership and service to our association.

I invite you to submit nominations for consideration. Please submit a completed nomination application and supporting documents as attached to James C. Smith, Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee by Monday, February 23, 2015 at

If you have questions or concerns, feel free to contact me at the e-mail address above or call 951.827.7551

Nomination Application can be found –

I thank you for your consideration and look forward to the nominations,

James C. Smith
President Elect and
Chair of the Awards and Recognition Committee
Western Association of College and University Housing Officers