September Cover
Volume 81 | Issue 5
September 2013

Profile: Dana Sample, University of Alaska–Anchorage

Sample InfoSampleDana Sample, University of Alaska–Anchorage

What is your primary responsibility?

I am responsible for the day-to-day operations of the Student Union. This includes supervising, training, and evaluating a student staff team of approximately 30, reservations and event management, set-ups, program planning, building safety, and “putting out fires” (other duties as assigned).

What would your staff, colleagues, or students say about you?

They would probably say that I need to go home more often! I love my job, and I am usually there after hours to check in with our student staff and see how events/programs are running.

What’s one innovation or project of which you’re proud to have helped implement?

Recently, we implemented the Virtual EMS system to streamline our reservation process and be more sustainable. I am excited that the system is working so well and that I learned a lot about the system in the process.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned while working in the profession?

The most important lesson I have learned in this profession is that whatever we do, in the end, it is all about the students. Whenever I am having a stressful day that thought helps me put things back in perspective. I can stop and look at all the students in our building or listen to the conversations our student leaders are having and know that what we do in student affairs really makes a difference in the development of students.

What is one phrase to live by or bit of advice you might have for future generations of union professionals?

Never stop learning! New research is available almost daily that can help us understand the students we serve more effectively. At times, I feel so busy that I don’t have time to read The Chronicle or The Bulletin, but just taking the time to read the headlines at least keeps me aware of the current issues in higher education. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Currently, I serve on the leadership team for the Women’s Leadership Community of Practice. I love the additional networking and development opportunities this position provides. I hope the members who have wanted to get involved more with ACUI find that opportunity either with a community of practice, region, or the multitude of other volunteer positions out there. It is very rewarding.

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