Nicole Schiraldi

Towson University is home to the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities (CUMU) Headquarters where I work as the Program Coordinator.  Members of CUMU use the power of their campuses in education, research, and service to enhance the communities in which they are located. Institutions located in metropolitan areas often do not fit the common definition of more traditional colleges and universities. With Bobbie Laur out of the office on maternity leave, I was left to fend for myself at the 17th Annual Conference.  The theme “Creating Tomorrow’s Future Today” focused on urban development and community engagement. This year’s host university location, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), served as the perfect backdrop for a conference.

The conference agenda was full of exciting speakers and sessions, but I’d like to share my top 3 conference moments:

  1. Networking.  I have some of the most impressive university presidents in the country on my speed dial.  How many people can say that?  I met many incredibly influential people and networked all day and all night.
  2. Meeting the 2012 Superbowl Chairperson.  Indy is home to the 2012 Superbowl and the Bowl Chairperson, Allison Melangton, was our Opening Plenary speaker.  I am now following their blog and stories of community engagement – some of which are incredibly inspiring.
  3. Visiting the NCAA Hall of Fame.  Mark Emmert, president of the NCAA, and former ACE Fellow, was gracious enough to host our conference guests at the NCAA Hall of Fame for a casual dinner and tour.  The Hall of Fame showcases some of the best athletes in college sports.  My favorite part? The quote they live by, “There are over 400,000 NCAA student-athletes, and almost all of us will be going pro in something other than sports.”