CannonDesign will host two presentations at this year’s Association of College Unions – International (ACUI) conference in Indianapolis, IN. One presentation is focused on how to better cater to the needs of today’s students through the integration of health and wellness programs within a single facility, and the other on best practices for fostering institutional diversity and multiculturalism. Mike Glaros, Ryan Pietrowski, Roland Lemke and Carrie Parker will represent CannonDesign onsite along with Renee V. Wallace, CEO of Doers Consulting Alliance, and representatives from Virginia Tech and Western Michigan University.

Reverting the Course of Design: Making the Case for Service, Program, & Facility Integration in Student Health & Wellness
Tues., March 26 at 2:30–3:30 p.m.

While the time spent at colleges and universities can serve as a liberating event for students, it can also be an intense and lonely experience for those who feel a disconnect from the environments and behaviors to which they’ve become accustomed. This is especially true in regard to today’s incoming students, whose needs differ dramatically from any generation prior in everything from the technology they expect to the living situations they require. As a result, student health and well-being are of paramount importance for higher education institutions. Historically campus planning has been rooted in the separation of services directly related to helping students cope with college and university experiences (think campus recreation, counseling, wellness, and health education programs and facilities). New research, an evolving culture, and bold thinking are reverting this course, and pushing for full integration that blurs the boundaries among student affairs, auxiliary facilities, and academic needs. Using Virginia Polytechnic and State University as an example, Mike Glaros and Ryan Pietrowski will explore how higher education institutions can better serve the needs of today’s students through integrating health and wellness programs and services under one roof.

Intentional Design: How WMU Supports Institutional Diversity & Multiculturalism through Infrastructure, Programming, & the Built Environment
Tues., March 26, 5–6 p.m.

The importance of inclusivity and student well-being are continuous hot topics within higher education. Conversations surround how academic institutions can better serve first-generation and international students as well as create welcoming environments for all students – especially for those with non-traditional or non-majority backgrounds, and those traditionally marginalized or isolated. And while rudimentary adjustments are taking place on campus, we’ve yet to see what the full impact these two themes will have on the built environment, campus climate, and educational co-curricular programming and learning. This presentation will walk through Western Michigan University’s (WMU) efforts to foster institutional diversity and multiculturalism through the development of its new student center. Presenters will cover how WMU’s administrative core team is partnering with the project team to ensure that the design of the architecture and changes in infrastructure work together to create student experiences for the new student center that embody the university’s commitment. Speakers include Roland Lemke and Carrie Parker of CannonDesign, Paul Terzino and Chris Sligh of Western Michigan University, and Renee V. Wallace of Doers Consulting Alliance.