Posted September 25, 2012 by Jennifer Powell 

Discovering a New Perspective with Peer Learning Networks

2013 Conference Program Team member Kristen Salo, University of Colorado–Boulder, shares her insight on the peer learning network activities being planned for the upcoming annual conference.

When people ask me my favorite part about the ACUI annual conference, my answer is always the same: the people. I love networking with great professionals within the college union field, while simultaneously getting to explore a new city and environment. It is important for me to be able to discuss trends in higher education, benchmark against different institutions throughout the country, as well as talk with people that just “get it”. They get what I’m going through, they get what I’m doing on a daily basis, and I don’t have to explain over and over what my job entails.

ACUI values those connections as much as I do. As a result, the ACUI annual conference facilitates opportunities to network throughout the conference experience in a variety of ways. One of the best ways to get connected to others in the profession is through the many peer learning networks, which offer educational opportunities specific to attendees’ level of experience and roles on campus. Each network has its own unique program schedule and topics. Check out highlights of each of the five peer learning networks for the upcoming 2013 annual conference in St. Louis.

Undergraduate Student Network
Undergraduates will discover a new perspective in career planning and networking during specialized programming including technology sessions, an etiquette lunch, union tour, mock interviews, and much more.

Graduate Student Network
Participants will have the opportunity to network, discuss current issues and trends, attend educational sessions, and flash sessions on networking and job search techniques through the ACUI Career Center, participate in an etiquette luncheon, and tour of Washington University.

New Professionals Network
New professionals will experience a variety of networking opportunities, including an off-site visit to St. Louis University's Busch Student Center and a variety of new professional-focused educational sessions offered throughout the annual conference.

Mid-Level Management Professionals Program
This program will allow mid-level management professionals to share current topics, discover the career paths of current directors, and tour the Busch Student Center at St. Louis University. It will be an opportunity to meet peers while gaining a broader view of the college union dynamic.

Senior Management Professionals Program
Senior manager colleagues will discover new perspectives in a rich educational environment, which will include facility tours of two different unions. Completed in 2008, the Danforth University Center at Washington University will offer senior managers an opportunity to explore a LEED-gold certified building. The Morris University Center at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville features self-operated food service and bookstore operations and is connected to the newly constructed Student Success Center, which received the 2010 ACUI Facility Design Award of Excellence. This network will be a unique combination of off-site visits and educational content, including an exciting presentation on the “new student.”

All of these networks are going to provide a one-of-a-kind conference experience that participants won’t want to miss. Whether you are a graduate student or a seasoned professional, register for this amazing learning opportunity at the conference. And don’t forget to encourage your staff to register too.

Meet you in St. Louis!

Jennifer Powell

Jennifer Powell is the Coordinator of Student Event Services at University of Tampa.

Jennifer's current responsibilities include managing the Student Center’s student staff and advising Student Productions, the union’s programming board. Jenn has been actively involved in ACUI since 2006, serving as a undergraduate member of the Region 11 Leadership Team and as a graduate intern for two years while completing her master’s degree in higher education from the University of South Carolina. She is currently a member of the 2013 Conference Program Team, overseeing a number of programs, including social media and technology.


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