Conference for housing professionals expected to be awesome

It’s no coincidence that Neil Pasricha, author of The Book of Awesome and the blog 1000 Awesome Things, will be one of the keynote speakers at the annual spring Ontario Association of College & University Housing Officers (OACUHO) conference. As Debbie Kee, director of housing services, campus services & business operations says, she hopes the word “awesome” will sum up the conference experience for a record-breaking delegation of 180 attendees representing institutions from across Canada.

York is hosting this year’s OACUHO conference, “So You Think You Can Sustain”, on now until Wednesday, June 1, with 40 concurrent sessions being offered on topics ranging from Sustaining Students in Mental Health Crises, Unplug Before the Surge, So You Think You Can Train and What the Facebook? Pros & Cons of Social Media.

Neil PasrichaLeft: Neil Pasricha

These topics are relevant to the daily work of student housing and residence life professionals whose roles cover facilities, admissions and administration, and residence life support and programming, and who are concerned about everything from greening facilities, living and learning development theory and assessment, coaching and mentorship, and managing cultural change.

“We’re a unique group of professionals that deal with students 24/7,” says Kee. “Student housing is such a fundamental part of supporting our academic missions and what we do contributes so much to the student experience.”

Kawa AdaRight: Kawa Ada

Pasricha started his blog, 1000 Awesome Things, in which he posted something awesome every weekday as a way to celebrate how sometimes it’s the simple things in life that bring the most happiness. Kee feels this is a great message of personal sustainability for everyone to live by. “The OACUHO conference is not only a time to learn from one another by discussing our challenges, but it is an opportunity to celebrate our successes,” she says. Conference delegates will receive an autographed copy of Pasricha’s book released last month – The Book of Even More Awesome (GP Putnam & Sons). His first book, The Book of Awesome, is a number one international bestseller.

Playwright-in-residence at the Cahoots Theatre Company, Kawa Ada, who is a singer, actor, speaker and coach, will also deliver a keynote address at the conference. As a singer, he has performed with the Boston Pops Orchestra and the Buffalo Philharmonic, and is a regular on the hit CBC Radio drama, “Afghanada”. He is a recipient of the Emerging Theatre Artist Award from the Canadian Actors’ Equity Association, a Saunderson Award from the Shaw Festival and an Excellence in Education Award from the Toronto Board of Education.

For more information, visit the Ontario Association of College & University Housing Officers conference website.