July 3, 2024
Life At Witt

Ensuring Excellence in Residential Life

Associate Director of Housing Operations Mellie Derry selected to participate in national training workshop

Mellie Derry, associate director for housing operations, was recently accepted to the James C. Grimm National Housing Training Institute (NHTI) from July 8-11 at the University of Washington in Seattle.

A yearly opportunity, the workshop delivers a unique opportunity for Associate for Housing & Universities Housing Officers’ members to reflect on their experiences, focus on their professional development, and energize their commitment to the field. An intensive workshop for professionals committed to continuing within the campus housing field, the opportunity was referred to Derry through a friend.

“A friend of mine did the training a year ago and submitted my name to be encouraged to apply,” she said. “The institute is filled with senior housing officers that will take the time to shape, mentor, and train me to be a stronger professional in the field. This will allow me to expand my mind, absorb new information, and come back with new skills to implement at Wittenberg.”

Derry, who has worked in residence life for over seven years, including in her undergraduate work, graduated from Ashland University in 2018 with a degree in hospitality management and business marketing. She earned her master’s degree in college student personnel at Bowling Green State University.

A native of Springfield, Ohio, Derry joined the Wittenberg team in October 2021 with a passion for campus safety and working with students, and finds her work rewarding in developing students to be successful adults.

The topics at the workshop include leadership and professional development, budgets, facilities, occupancy management, risk assessment, current issues, and more. The workshop is broken down into 12 clusters of participants. Derry will be part of cluster five that will be directed by Kerri Smith, associate director of faculty programs at New York University.

“The coolest part is that it will be mutual learning – I will be learning from my peers, sharing my knowledge with my peers, and absorbing information from mentors from across the country,” Derry said. “One of my favorite parts of working in higher education is the way professionals work together, pour into each other, and support one another. This training is made possible by a lot of volunteers and who are passionate about building the field up.”

Derry currently serves on the leadership team within the Great Lakes Association of Colleges & Universities Housing Officers (GLACUHO), which includes areas of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio regional association of ACUHO-I. Derry is the Ohio delegate and was elected in May 2022. She will serve through November 2024.

“This has truly been one of the most impactful experiences in my career,” Derry said. “I have met so many great individuals and learned so many things. I submitted a request to GLACUHO asking for aid to attend the workshop and was thankfully chosen to receive the scholarship to cover my fees.

“My primary focus of learning is budget, occupancy management, and assessment and planning as these topics relate most to my new position at Wittenberg and will help make me more confident in my role,” she added. “I am thankful to have Wittenberg in my corner of support. It is not easy to leave for a week, but my office and division are extremely supportive in my journey. Since arriving at Witt, I have been met with so much support and love. It is easy to come to work at a place I love, with students I adore, and staff members that keep me motivated to be my best.”

Cindy Holbrook
Cindy Holbrook
Senior Communications Assistant

About Wittenberg

Wittenberg's curriculum has centered on the liberal arts as an education that develops the individual's capacity to think, read, and communicate with precision, understanding, and imagination. We are dedicated to active, engaged learning in the core disciplines of the arts and sciences and in pre-professional education grounded in the liberal arts. Known for the quality of our faculty and their teaching, Wittenberg has more Ohio Professors of the Year than any four-year institution in the state. The university has also been recognized nationally for excellence in community service, sustainability, and intercollegiate athletics. Located among the beautiful rolling hills and hollows of Springfield, Ohio, Wittenberg offers more than 100 majors, minors and special programs, enviable student-faculty research opportunities, a unique student success center, service and study options close to home and abroad, a stellar athletics tradition, and successful career preparation.

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