October 20-22, 2019 - Woodcliff Hotel and Spa - Rochester, NY


Registration and Rates

Information coming soon.

Members of the SUNY Council of Chief Student Affairs Officers (CCSAO) register separately.

Grants and Scholarships


CSPA-NYS offers a Professional Development Grant, intended to provide CSPA-NYS members with the opportunity to attend the Annual Conference when sufficient funding is not available from their current institution. 


CSPA-NYS also offers a Graduate Student Scholarship, intended to provide CSPA-NYS graduate student members with a monetary contribution toward tuition, fees, books, or supplies needed to successfully complete their coursework.

Applications for grants and scholarships are due Friday, September 21, 2018

Association Awards

CSPA-NYS is proud to offer the eight awards in recognition of outstanding student affairs practitioners and scholars working in New York State.  Awards are presented at the CSPA-NYS Annual Conference each year.

Nominations for Association awards are due Friday, September 21, 2018.

Pre-Conference Options

Pre-Conference options on Sunday, October 14, prior to the full conference kick off include the Graduate and Next Gen Pre-Conference or the Mid-Level Institute.

The Graduate and Next Gen Pre-Conference is designed for undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing a career in Student Affairs. It also offers programming options for entry-level professionals with less than five years experience. Learn from seasoned professionals around the region on areas such as supervision, advising, career planning, and more!  Registration includes a light breakfast and lunch.

The Mid-Level Institute (MLI) is intended for student affairs professionals who have at least 3+ years of professional experience, supervise graduate or professional staff, have increased responsibilities, or have transitioned beyond entry-level roles on their campus. Participants in MLI may be currently employed in an entry-level role and are ready to transition to the next stage of their career, or they may be in a mid-level position and eager to increase their professional growth and development. MLI has been developed and rebranded to provide meaningful dialogue about issues and challenges facing mid-level professionals. Presenters for the Mid-Level Institute have been intentionally selected to deliver a holistic experience alongside the CSPA-NYS Annual Conference. Registration includes a light breakfast and lunch.


Included in the registration for the Graduate, Next-Gen, or Mid-Level Institute Pre-Conferences is a light breakfast and lunch during the program.

The full conference registration includes dinner on Sunday, October 14 and Monday, October 15, lunch on both Monday, October 15 and Tuesday, October 16.




The conference will be held at the Woodcliff Hotel and Spa just outside of Rochester, NY. The Woodcliff Hotel and Spa is located at 199 Woodcliff Dr, Fairport, NY 14450. Rooms will be blocked and more information regarding rates will be available soon.


Information coming soon.

Conference Programs

The Annual Conference Team seeks program proposals for:

  • Educational Sessions (50 min) for the Annual Conference or one of the Next Gen, Graduate, Mid-Level Institute.

  • Pecha Kecha (6 min) sessions for the Annual Conference.

Program proposals should include:

  • Session title

  • Session abstract

  • Learning outcomes and objectives

Presenters should also include what attendees can expect during the session (interactive activities, round table discussions, case studies, etc.) and which ACPA and NASPA Professional Competency Area(s) will be addressed.

An exciting incentive offered is that every presenter will be able to take advantage of the early-bird registration rates for the conference. One program from the CSPA-NYS conference will be selected and recognized with the “Best of CSPA-NYS” award.

The deadline for program submissions is July 27th.

If you have any questions about conference programming, contact the Programming Committee at conferenceprogramming@cspanys.org.

Schedule at a Glance

Coming soon.

Conference Extras

2019 Information coming soon.

2018: In addition to Educational Sessions conference attendees will have the opportunity to take advantage of the following conference extras:

Capitol Building Tours: Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a tour of our beautiful New York State Capitol Building, in the heart of downtown Albany! Tours will be offered at two times during the conference and attendees can sign up for a tour on sight.

CSPA-NYS After Dark: On both Sunday and Monday night, conference attendees can network and have fun with colleagues! Sunday night will feature an on-site social event, while Monday night we will be hosted at a local establishment!

Book Signing with Dr. Damon Williams: Attendees will have the opportunity to purchase one of our Tuesday Keynote’s books and have the author sign them following his keynote address! More information how to purchase will be sent to attendees prior to the conference.

Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote, Sunday Evening

Kristin Skarie currently serves as the Director of Student Mentoring at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. She has over three decades of experience in higher education administration organizational development, health care administration and small business advancement. Prior to joining FAU in 2016, she was an educational consultant for 20 years. She is founder of Teamworks, a company dedicated to sustainable leadership, environmental consciousness, and the development of effective teams. Kristin’s student affairs experience in residential life, student activities, outdoor leadership, and orientation grounded her purpose and passion for working with college students. She served as a Co-Lead Facilitator for the LeaderShape Institute, sailed as a staff member on the Summer 2014 Semester at Sea voyage, and was a TEDx speaker in Helsinki, Finland. She is a 2014 ACPA Diamond Honoree and Corporate Partner of the Year. She earned a B.S. in Physical Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her M.S. from Indiana University-Bloomington

Kristin Skarie

Kristin Skarie

Closing Keynote, Tuesday Morning

Dr. Damon A. Williams is a visionary and inspirational leader, and also one of the nation's recognized experts in strategic diversity leadership, youth development, corporate responsibility, educational achievement, social impact, and organizational change. He is a global thought leader having worked with more than 700 colleges and universities, Fortune 100 companies, foundations, and government agencies, as keynote speaker, strategist, educator, and social impact leader. 

Williams received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher and Post-Secondary Education (CSHPE), where he specialized in the area of organizational behavior and management. He received his master’s degree in educational leadership and his bachelor’s degree in sociology and black world studies both from Miami University.

As the University of Michigan celebrates her 200-year anniversary, he was recently awarded the Bicentennial Leadership Award, a one-time honor given to 20 trailblazing alumni, who exemplify the best of the academic and leadership values of the Universities 200,000 living alumni.  He is also the 2017 recipient of the Western Reserve Academy – Waring Prize, the highest alumni award presented by the prestigious boarding school founded in 1826, to recognize exceptional leadership achievements to improve the human condition.  In 2013, he was awarded the coveted Inclusive Excellence Award of Leadership from the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE), and a leadership commendation from the 13 research universities comprising the Committee on Institutional Cooperation (CIC) for his landmark contributions to diversity, equity, and inclusion strategy globally.

Learn More About Damon Williams


Dr. Damon A. Williams

Dr. Damon A. Williams

Student Pre-Conference and Mid-Level Institute Keynote, Sunday

Jamie Piperato (she, her(s)) is a higher education consultant and speaker.  She received her bachelor of science from SUNY Cortland in kinesiology with a concentration in sports studies and a masters degree in student affairs in higher education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Jamie has extensive experience working in higher education as a student affairs professional in the areas of multicultural education, LGBTQ services, Title IX education, leadership, career development, and university housing. Currently, Jamie Piperato is the Founder of JPHigherEd, which is an identity-conscious professional development company that provides in-person trainings, online webinars, and online courses. To learn more about JPHigherEd, please visit JPHigherEd.com.

JAmie Piperato

JAmie Piperato


Note: The CSPA-NYS Conference Planning Team recognizes that accessibility is a continuous process, both systemic and individual. If you have questions, comments, or concerns that have not already been addressed in this FAQ, please e-mail us at conferencelogistics@cspanys.org

1.) How do I communicate accessibility needs to the CSPA-NYS Annual Conference Planning Team organizers?

To request accommodations and/or inquire about accessibility for the 2018 Annual Conference, please contact our Logistics Chair/Accommodations Specialist, Christina Papaleo at conferencelogistics@cspanys.org. We prefer if requests are made at least two weeks prior to the Conference to ensure they will be provided.

2.) Do you have screen reader-friendly materials?

Our Marketing Committee will be following the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG 2.0) on most of the materials for the Conference. They will ensure that alternative text attributes are established on the Conference webpage. A .pdf version of the Conference booklet will be available closer to the Conference date. We are also requesting all presenters to prepare accessible versions of their presentation materials. To help us improve on our accessibility practices, we welcome any feedback regarding providing accommodations and implementing universal design into the Conference.

3.) Will sign language interpretation or captioning be available?

Yes, we will provide sign language interpreters upon request. Please email conferencelogistics@cspanys.org as soon as possible if you would like to request an interpreter so we can follow-up accordingly. We recognize that informal interactions (social events, meals, walks between sessions, coffee breaks, etc.) are super important at conferences and interpreters may be preferred during these times.

We are in the process of inquiring about closed captioning for the conference.

4.) What is the conference space like?

A .pdf version of a diagram of the banquet level where sessions will be held can be found here. Measurements of distance between spaces are included:

A .pdf version of the hotel fact sheet, including specific dimensions of different conference spaces can be found here:

5.) Who can I ask about accessibility in Albany?

For inquiries about accessibility within the City of Albany, we recommend contacting the ADA Coordinator, Adriana Le Blan, Esq., Department of Law, City Hall, Room 106, 24 Eagle Street, Albany, NY 12207, (518) 434-5050.

There is also the Disability Rights of New York (DRNY) a Protection & Advocacy System and Client Assistance Program for persons with disabilities in New York. DRNY advocates for the civil and legal rights for New Yorkers with disabilities. Their Albany chapter contact information is: 725 Broadway, Suite 450, Albany, NY 12207, (518) 432-7861

6.) Can a volunteer assist me during the conference?

Volunteers and Conference Planning Team members will be available to assist attendees with disabilities with navigation, meal service, or other accessibility needs. If you will need volunteer assistance at the conference, please indicate this on your registration form.

Attendees who require personal care assistance should bring their own assistant. Personal care assistants should register separately, and indicate on the registration form that they will be attending as a personal care assistant. They will be able to receive the Early Bird Rate for the Conference. Please contact the Logistics Chair/Accommodations Specialist Christina Papaleo if this introduces a hardship.

7.) What are the taxi and public transport options for getting to the conference venue?

If you will be staying at the Hilton Albany, there is overnight Guests-Free shuttle service to Albany International Airport and Rensselaer Amtrak Train Station. Please contact Hilton Albany directly for their shuttle schedule and for accessibility needs with transportation.

The Hilton Albany also provides Hertz Car Rental service Hassle free car rentals with pick-up and drop-off services at our onsite Hertz Car Rental office. Call (518) 783-6877.

Other options include The Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA), which offers accessible services for people with disabilities. CDTA provides eligibility for complementary paratransit service, Special Transit Availability by Request (STAR) to individuals who live outside of the STAR service area, but they can only receive STAR service for travel within the service area. Seats at the front of every CDTA regular route bus are for senior citizens and people with disabilities. Low-floor buses operate on all CDTA’s regularly scheduled, fixed routes. More information on their services, including ADA Compliance, can be found at the following link: https://www.cdta.org/

8.) Will the conference be accessible by wheelchair or power scooter?

Yes, the conference will be accessible to wheelchair users.

For more information about wheelchair accessibility at Hilton Albany, please contact a hotel representative at 518-462-6611 or go to their website http://www3.hilton.com/en/hotels/new-york/hilton-albany-ALBHHHF/index.html

**Please note that some events, including the opening keynote address, evening socials, and additional activities are held at off-site locations and full accessibility cannot be guaranteed. However, the Conference Planning Team will do their best to ensure that all attendees are able to participate in the Conference both off-site and the hotel.**

9.) What are the restroom facilities like?

The restrooms located on the banquet level of the hotel are motion activated and there is one accessible stall in each restroom. Select bathrooms in hotel rooms feature roll-in showers, shower benches and hand-held shower heads. ADA fire alarms and other safety features are placed for our guest’s security.

10.) What are the arrangements for presenters with accessibility needs?

Please contact the Logistics Chair and Accommodations Specialist Christina Papaleo at conferencelogistics@cspanys.org to request specific arrangements for your presentation. If possible, please indicate on your program proposal any accommodations you will need.

11.) How much walking or standing will be needed?

The Registration and Conference Concierge area will be in the West Gallery, which is within 50 feet of the nearest elevator. Meals will be held on the Patio Level of the hotel in the Hudson Ballroom, which is about 50 feet from the elevator. Educational Sessions will be held in the Governor, Capital, State, and Empire rooms, which are 45 feet, 20.7 feet, 28 feet, and 48 feet from the elevators respectively. Accessible bathrooms are located within 75 feet of the elevators on both floors of the conference.

Please contact us at conferencelogistics@cspanys.org as early as possible if you have further questions about the hotel space or specific requests.

12.) Can I bring my guide dog?

Yes! Guide dogs and service animals are welcome. Please indicate on your registration form if you anticipate bringing a service animal to the Conference.

13.) What food service will be provided?

The conference will provide lunch and dinner for Monday night. There will also be a dinner and dessert reception following the keynote on Sunday night. If you have dietary needs, please indicate these clearly (including any severe food allergies/sensitivities) on your registration form.

14.) Can the conference accommodate special dietary needs?

Yes. Attendees who indicate dietary requirements on their registration form will be provided with meal alternatives when the Conference catering does not accommodate them. If you have a severe allergy, please indicate this on your registration form. For more detailed information regarding meals, please contact us at conferencelogistics@cspanys.org

15.) Will there be an induction loop in the meeting rooms?

The Hilton Albany is able to provide induction loops. Please indicate on the registration form if you need this accommodation and the Conference Planning Team will make sure each room used for educational sessions has it set-up.

16.) Can I attend the Conference by robot?

We are sorry, but the CSPA-NYS Conference will not be able to accommodate remote attendance by robot this year. However, we will look into being able to provide this accommodation in the future.

17.) Will speakers and audience members asking questions be using a microphone?

Yes, microphones will be used for keynote speakers. There will not be a microphone for attendees, but speakers will be asked to repeat questions from the audience. Microphones will not be used for the educational sessions.

18.) Will the conference be a smoke-free environment?

Yes, no smoking will be permitted at the conference. Please note that there are designated outdoor smoking areas for attendees and regular hotel patrons.

19.) What if I have a medical emergency or health problem during the conference?

In case of an emergency, call 911 for an ambulance. The nearest hospital from the Conference venue is 1.5 miles . If you require non-urgent medical care, please contact us at conferencelogistics@cspanys.org , ask any Conference Planning Team member, or the hotel receptionists. They will provide you with information about local doctors, specialists, chiropractors, etc. For non-resident attendees, buying travel insurance that covers medical expenses is strongly recommended as fees for emergency treatment can be very high.

This FAQ has been generated from a template provided by ACM SIGACCESS.