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Southwest Texas, Memory Lane, and Networking

Posted By Kenny Mauk, Monday, March 16, 2015

For what seems like an eternity the City of Houston has been covered with cloudy skies and inundated with never-ending rain.  This predicament left me and my partner Chad with a decision:  get out of town and head anyplace where there is sun, or spend another weekend under cover of clouds.  We took the high road and traveled to Buda, TX to spend the weekend with family.  And the sun shone all weekend!


With all of the rambling you may wonder what any of this has to do with SWACUHO or with student housing!  The trip took me down memory lane as we ventured south of Buda, TX and toward and ultimately San Marcos and Gruene, TX.  As we left Buda and drove toward San Marcos I told Chad about how I know many friends and colleagues from that part of the state:  Kyle Estes, who I met through SWACUHO committee work and my good buddy John White who worked at Texas State - San Marcos when it was Southwest Texas State. I also talked about Fred Dillard who was an ACUHO-I intern at Texas Woman's University and now works in San Marcos.


We took a quick driving tour through town and campus and stopped at The Meadows Center for Water and the Environment.  Sounds like a snooze fest until you take the glass bottom boat tour and learn that the site is being considered by Unesco World Heritage site!  That would put this part of Texas on par with sites such as the Pyramids at Giza, The Great Barrier Reef, and Grand Canyon National Park!


After that sort of adventure we wanted lunch and found ourselves in Gruene, TX at Gruene Hall and the Gristmill Restaurant.  It was in Gruene that Tonie Miyamoto, from Colorado State University, and I found sustenance after floating on the Guadalupe River during the ACUHO-I Annual Conference when it was held in Austin, TX.  Don't worry, we didn't miss any program sessions.


My trip down memory lane simply underscores for me the importance of networking and meeting people.  I am an introvert at heart and introducing myself to new people can be difficult.  Common interests in our professional organization, SWACUHO, and through our affiliation with ACUHO-I create an ease in meeting people and if you are lucky like me then you can count some of those people as professional peers, and in some cases, even close friends.


Network, join a committee, step outside of your everyday - I promise you will be rewarded! 

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Conference Afterglow

Posted By Kenny Mauk, Thursday, March 5, 2015
Updated: Thursday, March 5, 2015

The SWACUHO Annual Conference is always exciting and this year was no exception.  The ice, sleet, snow, wind, and cold was kept at bay by the warmth of familiarity our members share.


From the newcomer's meeting to the closing banquet it was truly great to see colleagues both new and old.  While our conference may be over, our work as an organization is just beginning.  Very soon the executive committee will have our first conference call and individual phone calls will begin with the committee chairs.  


Our work includes evaluating scholarship and awards provided by SWACUHO.  In the coming months an ad hoc committee will address each scholarship and each award provided to determine how we can better serve our members.  Better serving our membership through scholarship means that we must be clear in process and evaluation of award recipients.  Our many awards and award timelines can be confusing - as an executive board we have committed to evaluating the process and to provide clarity not only for the Awards and Recognition Committee but for our membership at large.  


Another task will continue the good work begun by Diane Brittingham.  That work is context mapping and strategic direction.  Joellen Newman, our immediate past president, has agreed to serve as chair of an ad hoc committee formed to hold the executive board accountable to implementation of aspects of the context map laid out in October 2014.


Finally we are challenged to utilize our fantastic website and all of it's capabilities.  One way to do this is to actively engage in forums, blogs, and committee work via the website.  If you are reading this little blog post then congrats - you have contributed to your professional organization!  


These are but a few of our tasks, in the coming weeks I will provide updates on the progress of these tasks along with other tasks as they arise.  I welcome your feedback and your active participation. 




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