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10/28/2018 » 10/30/2018
2018 Annual Conference - Bloomington, Indiana

GLACUHO News: General

Introducing the 2019 Professional Development Institute Faculty

Friday, September 21, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Abby Kruszynski
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GLACUHO’s 2019 Professional Development Institute promises to be a fun, rigorous, and meaningful learning experience for all of this year’s participants. The 2019 faculty have been selected and the region is excited to share this year’s line up with you. Each faculty member brings a unique perspective to our profession and they will mentor a group of new professionals who wish to pursue housing as a long-term career. This year’s faculty members include:


Kelly Thacker
Associate Director of Housing Operations at Wayne State University

Dr. Kelly Thacker started her housing career as an RA her sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. Thacker then attended Kansas State University for her Master’s degree and worked in apartment housing. After completing her Master’s, Kelly moved to Indiana University in July 2006 in the role of Assistant Residence Manager. After 12 years and 5 positions at IU, Thacker has served as the Associate Director for Finance & Data Management, Assistant Director of Housing Assignments, Associate Director for Residential Life, Residence Manager, and Assistant Residence Manager. 

Currently, Thacker serves as the Associate Director of Housing Operations at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI overseeing housing assignments, billing, meal plans, and process development. Through all of her positions Thacker has worked hard to build effective and efficient processes and procedures that are also student-centered. Thacker has served on the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officers (GLACUHO) board, Bloomington Professional Council (Indiana University), and is the current chair for the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I) Professional Standards committee. As a participant in the first GLACUHO PDI, Thacker was honored to be selected as a faculty member for PDI 2018 and is excited to return for PDI 2019 and share her passion for creating sustainable business practices and procedures. A native Wisconsinite, Thacker enjoys spending time with her family, friends, and her dogs Pennie and Lilly, as well as cheering on her beloved Green Bay Packers. Thacker enjoys attending various art and music events. She has been involved in her church, sings in a choir, is an avid runner, and enjoys traveling and exploring new places around the world.


Dan Pedersen
Director of Housing and Residential Services at Northern Illinois University

Dan has 25 years of student affairs work in diverse and complex campus environments with increasing responsibilities including developing programs and services that support underrepresented populations and foster social justice education, extensive experience working with public/private housing facilities, and experience with major facility projects including renovation of existing facilities. Currently, Dan has oversight for a budget totaling over $30 million with a full and part time staff of over 200. As part of the oversight and resource management of housing, he is responsible for over 3500 student residents in four residence hall complexes, and an apartment complex, which includes a public/private partnership. Dan also has experience developing and promoting Living/Learning Communities and Special Interest Communities. 

Pedersen holds two degrees from Eastern Illinois University – a BA in Speech Communication and an MBA. In addition to his wealth of professional experience, Dan has provided leadership to state, regional, and international professional associations and organizations including serving as GLACUHO President, ACUHO-I Local Arrangements Chairperson for the Annual Conference and Exhibition, and UMR-ACUHO Committee Chairperson. He also served as faculty for ACUHO-I CHO Institute and NHTI. He was recently recognized with the Jack Colling Distinguished Service Award by GLACUHO. 


Sarah Meaney
Director of Housing and Residence Life at Elmhurst College

Sarah Meaney serves as the Director of Housing and Residence Life at Elmhurst College. She began her housing career as a resident assistant at North Central College in Naperville, IL and then continued on as a professional resident assistant at a boarding high school in Galena, Alaska. She earned her Masters of Education in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University. Sarah spent the past seven years working at Miami University as a First Year Adviser/Resident Director, the Program Coordinator for Academic Initiatives, and an Assistant Director. Her past professional projects include co-instructing multiple study abroad courses to Costa Rica and Fiji, creating new and revitalizing current living learning communities, and investing heavily into strategic academic partnerships. 

Sarah has been an active member of GLACUHO since graduate school and has previously served on the board as the Professional Foundations Committee Chair. She has also chaired the past four Mid-Level Institutes, been a member of the Financial Stability Task Force, and served as a mentor in GLACUHO’s Professional Network. Professional development is a passion area for Sarah and she includes this in all areas of her work. Whether you are a first-time RA or a seasoned professional, there is always room to learn and grow. Outside of work, Sarah loves to travel, camp, sing, play volleyball, and spend time with her family.


Sara Dickey
Associate Director of Residence Life for Selection, Training and Conduct at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis 

Sara Dickey is the Associate Director of Residence Life for Selection, Training and Conduct at Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI). She has worked at IUPUI since 2013, when she began as an Assistant Director. In her current role, Sara oversees professional staff selection and training, and manages conduct cases that occur in housing. A large part of her role includes ensuring staff are trained to properly respond to policy violations and student concerns with the ability to both support students and appropriately comply with federal and state regulations. 

Sara has worked in housing and residence life for 16 years, and has previously worked at Manchester University, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo College, Hope College, and North Park University Chicago. She has been involved with GLACUHO as a presenter, committee member, committee chair, and conference host. She received her M.A. in Counseling in Higher Education and B.S. in Psychology from Western Michigan University.


Dr. Qiana Perrean Smith
Associate Director at The Ohio State University

Dr. Qiana Perrean Smith works at The Ohio State University in Residence Life, Student Life as an Associate Director of Residence Life. Ohio State houses over 14,000 students on the Columbus, Wooster/ATI, Mansfield, and Newark campuses. Dr. Smith is responsible for co-managing the day to day operations for the students and staff that live on the campuses. Prior to joining Ohio State in 2016, Dr. Smith worked at The University of Michigan-Flint for seven years where she was instrumental in developing the Office of Housing and Residential Life and opening their first residence hall. Early in Dr. Smith’s career, she worked at Michigan State University in the Department of Residence Life for several years. 

A native of Flint, Michigan, Dr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Science in Sociology and Human Development from Central Michigan University. She also attended Michigan State University where she earned a Master’s Degree in Students Affairs Administration with a concentration in Multicultural Education and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education. 

Each of our five faculty members will mentor a cluster of three to four new professionals eager to learn more about the housing profession. New professionals who are interested in participating in this year’s PDI experience should apply on the GLACUHO website beginning on Friday, November 2nd 2018. Applications for PDI will be collected until Monday, December 3, 2018.