USD Hosting Association of Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities Conference

The University of San Diego is hosting the annual Association of Student Affairs at Catholic Colleges and Universities (ASACCU) Conference for participants across the country, July 17-20.

The conference’s theme is “Visioning Contemporary Catholic Higher Education: Preparing Changemakers to Confront Today’s Urgent Challenges,” which is inspired by USD’s Envisioning 2024 strategic plan to align USD’s recent progress and its current strengths with new strategic goals to shape the future, both locally and globally.

The conference will explore ways in which Catholic institutions can utilize incredible resources available to us, including recent research and innovations throughout higher education, explorations into rich cultural and social traditions, and our passion for the work we are all called to do to address the world’s most urgent challenges head on.

As an Ashoka U Changemaker Campus, USD plans to introduce the “Changemaker Campus” concept and USD’s desire to bring social innovation and changemaking to every person in the community. At USD, we are all Changemakers and we hope to share that calling with every conference participant, too.

The conference offered a “pre-conference” discussion titled, “Restorative Justice and the Contemporary Catholic Campus,” on Tuesday morning which was sponsored by the Restorative Justice Network of Catholic Colleges. A tour of USD’s Founders Chapel and the conference’s opening mass were held later in the day.

Keynote speakers leadoff both Wednesday and Thursday morning’s conference schedule. Wednesday’s talk will be given by Ann Garrido, D. Min, an associate professor of homiletics at the Aquinas Institute of Technology in St. Louis, Mo. On Thursday, Pat McCormick, STD, a professor of moral theology at Gonzaga University is the featured presenter.

A plenary session on Wednesday at 4 p.m. will be led by Charlotte Vitak, a 2017 USD alumna and founder of the powerful community building and storytelling program, My Story. Vitak, who ran the program for three years on the USD campus, graduated with a degree in Sociology and peace and justice minor. She was a student leader for USD’s Changemaker Student Committee and an intern for Ashoka U. She’s a major proponent of the impact that storytelling can have on changing lives, campuses and cultures.

My Story, which was a finalist for USD’s Social Innovation Challenge in 2017, produces its experience in three parts — institutional assessment, real-life stories, and interactive on-campus events where community members come together and build community through listening to the stories of their peers. USD hosts a My Story event once a semester and, in Fall 2017, USD had a special one for last year’s orientation for incoming students.

Many opportunities to listen, learn, dialogue and connect with others representing Catholic colleges and universities are on tap at USD this week. Participants can attend daily Mass, eat meals together, attend educational programming sessions, topical discussions and take advantage of an extended session option to visit Chicano Park or the San Diego de Alcala Mission. Participants can to join in community and learn with student affairs practitioners from across the United States, as well as enjoy some of what “America’s Finest City” has to offer.

— USD News Center


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