Student Affairs Spotlight: Conference Services Department

Isaak Kifle

 

An Interview with Mario Pierce and Katelyn LaTorra

 Office Location: Bartels 211

Hours: Monday-Friday 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Contact: [email protected]  or call 203-479-4223

Website: www.newhaven.edu/conferenceservices

What is the history of this office?

The Conference Services office began in November 2010 with one full-time staff member to focus on summer camp and conference operations. The office has expanded since then in both size and scope; this year they hired a graduate assistant and have expanded summer staffing. Now, all external groups looking to host an event at UNH all go through Conference Services.  In addition, Conference Services provides assistance to internal departments looking to host larger events on campus in conjunction with other groups. Current events being planned are more large-scale than ever before.

Who does the staff comprise of?

Mario Pierce is the Director of Conference Service & University Space Management at UNH. The office also includes graduate assistant Katelyn LaTorra, M.A. I/O Psychology-May 2013. In addition, a number of undergraduates are employed throughout the academic year and over the summer as conference assistants.

What services does the office provide to students and the university?

The Conference Services Department hosts a variety of events on campus, primarily from groups outside of the university. One of the office’s largest programs is the Summer Youth Program, coordinated with different academic departments on campus. These programs include subjects such as Biotechnology, Forensic Science, Musical Theater, Engineering, and Policing. Additionally, there are now one-week intensive college courses in Business Development, Sports Management, and Hospitality for prospective UNH students (current high school students) to take part in. More information on those programs can be found at www.newhaven.edu/camps.

Outside of Summer Youth Programs, the office deals largely with hosting conferences that take place on campus, whether student/department-affiliated or external groups. Some of the student conferences the office has hosted include ones from the American Criminal Justice Association (ACJA), American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), and the Phi Alpha Theta History Honor Society. Outside of student conferences, the office has several events it will be involved in, including a Tri-State Trek fundraiser, CT Judicial Branch Institute, and the USAWKF National Kung-Fu tournament over the summer!

Conference Services serves as a “one-stop shop” in regards to all of the events it hosts. This means they coordinate with other departments and offices on campus to provide all of the services necessary for a successful event. Services include providing meeting spaces, audio/video equipment, catering, housing, transportation, etc. Lastly, the office provides exposure to the university to outside groups that have events here through media outlets and satisfied guests.

Anything else to add?

The Conference Services Office will begin their hiring process for undergraduate summer staff soon, students should watch their UNH email accounts for more information. Any students thinking about having a conference are free to stop the office and see how Conference Services can help them!