Resident Assistant Conference

Main Page Content

RA Conference

The College at Brockport's 37th Annual Resident Assistant Conference “Out of This World”

2019 RA Conference

Saturday, November 2, 2019

You are personally invited to the 37th Annual Resident Assistant Conference. The Office of Residential Life/Learning Communities at the College at Brockport encourages to take this exciting adventure with them with a fun filled day of learning and exploring.
This year’s conference theme is: “Out of This World”Galaxy, planets and all things intergalactic can be expected!

Keynote Speaker — Jerrell Mason

Jerrell Mason

Jerrell Mason is the Program Director of the HEOP Program at Niagara University, which is an academic based program in which students who are traditionally underrepresented or academically/financially, disadvantaged are accepted and assisted in their college process. Jerrell is also the creator of a production company that has worked with the likes of One Dream Films, Dr. Bernice King (Daughter of Martin Luther King Jr.), and a host of many others. J Mason Productions is a company that consistent of services such as photography, videography, event coordination and most importantly, community focused project management.

Over the past 10 years, Jerrell has been active in the Western NY community through various charities such as Buffalo City Missions, Friends of the Night, Viva la Casa and more. Even going as far as to volunteer at homeless shelters in California and Belfast/Dublin Ireland, with the Hilbert College Honors Program. Jerrell takes pride in giving back to the community through a merit of ways because he too had to work through homelessness and poverty growing up. Having gone through such trying times and being assisted by academic advisors along the way, Jerrell went into Higher Education after receiving his master from Buffalo State College.

Most recently, Jerrell also became the father of a 10-month-old baby boy, Liam Nicholas Mason. Jerrell has also released two WNY wide Christmas albums, entitled “All Things Work Together: The Official Western NY Christmas Complication Album” that has helped to raise over 10, 000 dollars for local charities. Jerrell is also a 30 Under 30 Change maker Award Winner in the area of education.

M.S., (Higher Education and Student Affairs Administration), SUNY Buffalo State, 2015 B.A., (Criminal Justice) magna cum laude, Hilbert College, 2013

Featured Speaker — Ms. Karen M. Podsiadly 

Karen Podsiadly

A native of Rochester New York, Ms. Podsiadly was educated at State University of New York College at Geneseo and Western Illinois University with degrees in Sociology and College Student Personnel, respectively. Podsiadly has served for over 25 years in a variety of settings within American Higher Education.

Currently the Director of Community Development at The College at Brockport, Podsiadly enjoys a career that allows her to move seamlessly between her roles on campus and in the community. She currently serves as the Board Chair of the Board of General Ministries for American Baptist Churches USA and at ROC Achieve Charter School. She also served on the Board of Directors at The Community Place of Greater Rochester and as a Church Trustee and President of Women’s Ministry at Mt. Olivet Baptist Church. Other service includes past roles as President of Rochester Genesee Region of American Baptist Churches, Inc. and chair of the Executive Director Search Committee. Additionally, Podsiadly has served as a board member on the SUNY Geneseo Alumni Association for over 10 years. Karen has also presented numerous workshops and provided the keynote address for the Annual Women’s Leadership conference at her alma mater.

Podsiadly is the proud Godmother to over 15 children and loves celebrating her nieces and nephews. Among her greatest passions is mentoring young people with a particular affinity for supporting young women as they make choices towards healthy and successful lives.

RA Conference participants will be able to:

  • Identify multiple levels of diversity, including the ongoing development of their identity, and ways to create an inclusive community.
  • Describe ways to educate residents about healthy habits in relation to alcohol/substances, nutrition, stress, fitness, relationships, and conflict resolution.
  • Create a network of student leaders and professionals
  • Identify and apply strategies in the areas of customer service, community building, motivation, leadership, conflict management, ethics, boundaries, etc.

Our theme this year is “Out of This World.” We are encouraging all programs to incorporate the theme. The RA Conference committee has established predetermined “tracks” to give conference attendees a better way to plan their day:

Track Description
The RA All things related to the RA position. Examples may include creating personal balance, confrontation, working with difficult/challenging students or situations, staying motivated or communication.
Social Justice & Diversity Programs that will help attendees identify multiple levels of diversity; help explore their own development, or ways to intentionally create an inclusive community through the RA position.
Wellness Programs that help describe ways to educate residents about healthy habits for nutrition, stress, fitness, relationships, and alcohol/substance use.
Community Building & Programming Ideas utilized to build and maintain a successful and healthy community. Programs could include passive programming or active community building ideas
Professional Track For current student affairs professionals to share best practices and interest areas within the field.


Ways to Get Involved:

There are several opportunities to be actively involved in our conference this year!

We are currently accepting Program Proposals. Presentations are slated for 45 minutes and are categorized as the following: Community Building & Programming, Wellness, Social Justice and Diversity, The RA, and Professional Track (aimed for, and led by, Student Affairs professionals). All program proposals are due by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 25, 2019

Registration is also open for our Case Study Competition. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to enhance their skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, and Student Affairs. In pairs, participants will design and present the best possible solution to a challenging hypothetical situation in the field of Higher Education to a panel of judges. There is no additional fee to participate, but pre-registration is required and is due by 5:00 pm on Friday, October 18, 2019.

Schedule of Events

8:30 – 9:10 AM Check-in & Continental Breakfast
9:10 – 9:40 AM Welcome & Featured Speakers
9:50 – 10:35 AM Session #1
10:45 – 11:30 AM

Session #2

Case Study Competition

11:40 – 12:50 PM Lunch & Keynote Speaker
1:00 – 1:45 PM Session #3
1:55 – 2:40 PM Session #4
2:50- 3:35 PM Networking Social
3:45 – 4:15 PM Closing Remarks and Giveaways


Registration and Proposal Forms:

Complete your Institutions Registration: Click Here

Submit a Program Proposal by 10/25/2019: Click Here

Sign up to participate in the Case Study Competition by 10/18/2019: Click Here

Both attendees and presenters must register for the conference. The conference cost includes a continental breakfast, a buffet-style lunch, and conference materials. The costs are as follows:



By registration deadline of 10/18/19


Late Registration
(any day after 10/18/19)


Accepted Presenter


Registration deadline is October 18, 2019. Registration after the deadline will be subject to a $15 increase per person.

  • For participants who submit a program proposal and has been approved by the committee to present, their registration fee is $35 per presenter. All approved presenters will have their institutions credited back the difference of their registration if they registered prior to having their session/program submission approved. The credit will be refunded to your institutions credit card.
  • We encourage your institution to bring at least one special “giveaway” for the raffle. If you would like to do that, please provide those to the staff at the check-in table.
  • All registrations must be paid via credit card (VISA, American Express, Discover, Mastercard) by completing your Institutional registration form by Clicking Here

Cancellation Policy:All cancellations or adjustments to registrations must be made by 5 pm on Friday, October 18, 2019, by contacting the RA Conference committee at All cancellations or adjustments made prior to this date will be reimbursed in full. All cancellations or adjustments made after October 18, 2019, will have forfeited any reimbursement.


Driving Directions and Parking:

From points east:

  • From NYS Thruway Exit 45 (Victor) take I-490 through Rochester and west to exit 8 for Route 531.
  • Take 531 to the end at Washington Street. Follow signs to Brockport (six miles) by taking Route 31 west.
  • Follow signs to the College. Enter the campus at Commencement Drive.

From points west:

  • From NYS thruway Exit 47 (LeRoy) take Route 19 north to Brockport (about 13 miles).
  • Follow signs to the College. Enter the campus at Commencement Drive.

From points south:

  • From Interstate 390 north, take I-490 west.
  • Follow directions from points east, above. Exit 8 is one mile west of I-390.

No parking permits are required. All lots have open parking on the weekends. Printable Campus Map (pdf)

RA Conference Planning Committee:

Vanessa Taylor, (she/her/hers) Interim Assistant Director, Residential Life/Learning Communities
Chloe Vazzana, (she/her/hers) Resident Director, MacVicar Hall (Chair)
Zoe Seznec Sweetland, (she/her/hers) Resident Director, Thompson Hall (Program Coordinator)
Megan Henry,(she/her/hers) Resident Director, McLean Hall (Event Coordinator)
Jessica Burley, (she/her/hers) Graduate Resident Director, Harmon Hall (Event Coordinator)
Benis Nsiah, (she/her/hers) Resident Director, Briggs Hall (Registration Coordinator)
Yezenia (Jess) Rodriguez,(she/her/hers) Resident Director, Bramley Hall (Registration Coordinator)

If you have any questions, please contact We are looking forward to seeing you on Saturday, November 2!

Save the date for our 38th annual RA Conference, Saturday, November 7, 2020! 

Last Updated 7/1/20

Close mobile navigation