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PDI: Professional Development Institute
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Started in 2009, the Professional Development Institute (PDI) is an intentional professional development seminar featuring a range of activities for professionals with 3 to 5 years full-time experience. These intense workshops will be administered by faculty, who are seasoned professionals in the field of Student Affairs. Over the years, over 175 professionals have participated in the seminar and it has expanded from 2 days to 3 days.

Activities during the Institute are designed to allow time for informal interactions in addition to the scheduled sessions. To offer the appropriate mentoring environment, only 20 participants will be accepted. Participants will be placed into small groups and assigned a faculty member who will provide individual advice, support and suggestions for future professional growth, involvements and activities.

PDI is generously sponsored by Southwest Contract.

The 2019 Professional Development Institute will take place February 8-10, 2019.



GLACUHO is proud to announce this year’s faculty cohort for the Professional Development Institute


Kelly Thacker
Associate Director of Housing Operations
Wayne State University
 Dan Pedersen
Director of Housing and Residential Services
Northern Illinois University

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

Dr. Qiana Perrean Smith
Associate Director of Residence Life
The Ohio State University




Participants engaged in PDI will:

  • Develop skills and perspectives needed to progress in the field of Student Affairs;

  • Receive guidance in mapping out short- and long-term career goals;

  • Connect with faculty who are veteran professionals in residence life and related fields;

  • Provide one-on-one and small-group mentoring time;

  • Create an environment conducive to making connections with other professionals, providing support and the foundations for lasting collegial relationships.

At PDI participants will attend sessions facilitated by veteran professionals in housing/residence life and student affairs and gain valuable, practical information about surviving and thriving at the next level.


Topics for PDI will vary from year-to-year depending on the expertise of the selected faculty members. However, in general, all topics are relevant to professionals at this point in their careers.

Some examples of past featured topics:

  • Conflict Management

  • Crisis Management

  • Decision Making

  • Organization Culture

  • Budgets

  • Politics of Higher Ed

  • Facilities Management

  • Supervision


The Professional Development Institute is successful because of the caliber of faculty and students who choose to apply and attend.  This timeline will provide a guide for when GLACUHO members can expect applications to attend will become active, both for faculty and participants.

April 30, 2018: Applications and Nominations for PDI Faculty Open

June 22, 2018: Nominations for PDI Faculty Close

July 6, 2018: Applications for PDI Faculty Close

November 2, 2018: Applications for PDI Participants Open

December 14, 2018: Applications for PDI Participants Close

February 8 - 10, 2019: 11th Annual Professional Development Institute