"Must we always teach our children with books? Let them look at mountains and the stars up above. ... They will then begin to think, and to think is the beginning of a real education."
– David Polis
Volume 75 | Issue 2
March 2007

Pro-File: Gina D'Annunzio, Temple University

Q. What do your job responsibilities entail?

A. I supervise three staff members as well as four graduate assistants who are responsible for advising and training student organization leaders and providing event management services to student organizations. I provide strategic direction in determining goals, priorities, and funding for our office. I manage all resources for student organizations, including office space, student government allocations, and university accounts as well as develop policies and procedures that apply to the activities of student organizations. I oversee the coordination of large-scale university programs, such as Welcome Week, Homecoming, and Spring Fling. I create opportunities to actively engage students and connect them to programs on campus and in the city of Philadelphia.

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

A. “Gina has always been an essential component of my programming experience. Even from her early days in student activities, she has been an extremely valuable resource to students and has always been a strong advocate of student organizations and issues. In her position as interim director, she is innovative and dedicated to improving the office and exhibits the farsightedness necessary to create and execute strategies to reach essential goals. I can always look to Gina for insight and advice, she is reliably one of the most knowledgeable and helpful administrators that I have access to,” said Seth Embry, program board president.

“Gina is constantly seeking to create new activities and reinvent existing programs. She involves students in the program development and execution not only to ensure the appeal of the program to the student body, but also to develop their leadership skills,” said Chris Carey, program coordinator, Office of Student Activities.

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

A. This past year’s focus has been on advancing the services we provide to our student organizations. Partnering with our computer services department, we have created an online registration system, which will not only simplify the process for students registering their group, but will also catalog all the vital information our office uses daily to provide services for these same groups. Students are able to request their student government allocations and check the status of their request on this system as well.

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

A. Stay on your toes and be willing to constantly evolve. Truly listen to the students and the visions they describe; let the students challenge you with their fresh and cutting-edge ideas. Help them harness their creativity, shape their dreams, and share in their growth and success.

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

A. Keep in mind that we as union professionals are creating the defining moments and events of a student’s college experience.

Q. Is there anything else you would like ACUI members to know about you?

A. Steve Jobs said in a Stanford University commencement address: “Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice.” I live by this statement in my personal and professional life every day.

Name: Gina D'Annunzio
Title: Interim Director of Student Activities
Union: Howard Gittis Student Center
Institution: Temple University
Location: Philadelphia, Pa.
Years in the profession: 3 years