Defining moments of women ACUHO-I presidents

Redington, Lyn
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The time has come to tell the stories of women who have served as president of the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I). This qualitative study focused on three of the eleven women who were elected to this prestigious position. While there is a plethora of research about women in leadership positions, including those in academics, there is a paucity of information about women who have served as president of this specific association. This research includes stories of these women and provides information about their family backgrounds, career paths, personal and professional mentors, and defining moments they identified as having impacted their professional aspirations and their role as ACUHO-I president.

The ACUHO-I is an international association with more than 900 member institutions of higher education located in 22 countries. The vast majority of these institutions are four-year institutions and a handful of community colleges located in the United States. Thousands of individuals work at these institutions and impact nearly 2 million students. A board of directors, elected from the individual members, help guide this volunteer-driven organization.

Through an examination of the careers of women who served the association and an exploration of the impact defining moments had on their professional aspirations, this study may serve as a resource for rising ACUHO-I leaders, men and women alike. A growing body of literature from a wide variety of fields incorporates the concept of defining moments that significantly shape the direction of an individual's life. Such moments typically represent a "leadership development `jolt' or turning point that causes individuals to re-think their self-perceptions" (Avolio & Luthans, 2006, p. 11). Defining moments are an important piece of the puzzle when identifying the professional careers of women who have served ACUHO-I as president.

ACUHO-I, defining moments, leadership, residence halls, women