Continuing relationships at ACUI 2018

Chris Harpstrite By: Chris Harpstrite

ACUI’s (Association of College Unions International’s) annual conference took place last week in “sunny” Anaheim and although the weather wasn’t perfect, Mackey Mitchell’s John Burse, Merrilee Hertlein, and Christopher Harpstrite had a great time in southern California. MMA continued our tradition of partnering with ACUI, as delegates attending the conference were able to network and attend programs geared towards successes, challenges, and opportunities that college unions face.

With keynote speakers such as NPR’s Celeste Headlee speaking on communication tips to enhance our work as professionals, to the sociopolitical comedian W. Kamau Bell discussing current events that encourage conversation and understanding, the students, emerging professionals, and senior leaders were able to gain new perspectives on current trends and issues important to the profession.


Chris Harpstrite with W. Kamau Bell

Merrilee Heirtlein was again selected to present at this year’s conference with Virginia Tech’s Eric Margiotta and their program titled “They Did What? The Unique Challenge of Caring for Your Union.” This education session dove into the challenges of caring for campus unions and reviewed the results of a survey of union professionals’ experiences with planning and executing daily and larger-scale maintenance and renovations.


Eric Margiotta and Merrilee Hertlein


ACUI’s conference wasn’t ALL work, as John, Merrilee, and Chris were able to share an evening of fellowship with friends and colleagues at the unique farm-to-table restaurant, Il Garage.


Friends, food and camaraderie at Il Garage restaurant.

Mackey Mitchell enjoys the opportunity to continue connecting with the people we’ve grown relationships with over so many years while attending ACUI, and the ability to share our knowledge and experiences with the ACUI community.