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2019 RA Conference

Under the Big Top - Saturday, March 2, 2019

SUNY Cobleskill's Residential Life Office is excited to host it's second annual RA Conference, Under the Big Top! We look forward to welcoming you to our campus and creating an opportunity for fellow RAs and professional staff members to engage, grow, and have fun! Please consider submitting a program proposal whether you are a new RA, veteran RA or professional staff member. 



Use the link below to register your group by providing your information and those attending with your institution.

Click to Register

We're accepting payment via cash or check. Payment can be mailed ahead of time or paid on arrival. Please make checks payable to SUNY Cobleskill Auxiliary Services and mail to 107 Schenectady Ave, Cobleskill NY 12043.

Registration Deadline

Cost per Person

Early Bird Registration
Closes February 1, 2019 Extended to February 10, 2019! 
General Registration (no guarantee of conference give-away)
Closes February 28, 2019
Presenter Registration Price
Closes February 28, 2019

*Registration invoices will be created and emailed to the registered primary contact person. Please allow up to two business days for the invoice to be sent. 

**By registering to attend this conference, I give permission to SUNY Cobleskill to use any photos taken at the conference that include my image on their website and in future advertising for SUNY Cobleskill conferences.


Program Proposals

This year's conference theme is "Under the Big Top" and we will be accepting program presentation proposals based on the following categories:

B: Balance

Time management, work life balance, being a student leader beyond residential life, RA resident relationship 

I: Individual

Leadership development, strengths, accommodating individualized student needs

G: Growth

Resume and cover letter, RA or Student Affairs as a career, programming out of the box, collaborating with other peer leaders

T: Team
Teamwork, finding your strength on staff, ice breakers/boundary breakers

O: Open-Mindedness

Topics relating to diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice 

P: Professional Staff

Supervision, networking, work life balance, career development 


The deadline for program proposals is February 1, 2019 Extended to February 10, 2019!


Submit a Program Proposal



8:00 - 8:45 am Registration & Continental Breakfast // Upper Champlin Hall
9:00 - 9:15 am Welcome: SUNY Cobleskill President Marion Terenzio and Vice President for Student Development Anne Hopkins Gross
9:15 - 9:45 am Keynote Address: Jason Lane // Upper Champlin Hall
10:00 - 10:50 am  Session 1 • Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources
11:00 - 11:50 am Session 2 • Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources
12:00 - 12:50 pm Lunch // Champlin Hall

1:00 - 1:30 pm 

Featured Speakers: ShaDonna Pendleton '10 & Spencer Schmerzler '13
1:30 - 2:20 pm Campus Tours // Leave from Champlin Hall Lobby
2:30 - 3:20 pm  Session 3 • Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources
3:30 - 4:20 pm  Session 4 • Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources
4:30 - 5:00 pm  Closing & Departure: Farewell and Raffles // Center for Agriculture and Natural Resources 101 


Campus Map & Directions 

View our downloadable/printable campus map and get directions to campus >>

Upon arrival at SUNY Cobleskill, please follow signs to park in the visitors section of the F lot.

Check in will be held in Champlin Hall. Please follow signs from the parking lot. 


Hotel Information

Super 8 by Wyndham

955 E Main St, Cobleskill, NY 12043
(518) 254-6994

Conference Rate: $91.00 per room per night

Get directions to Super 8 by Wyndham in Cobleskill >>



Keynote and Featured Speakers


Keynote Speaker: Jason Lane

Interim School of Education Dean at SUNY Albany

Jason LaneJason E. Lane is interim dean of the School of Education at the University at Albany, State University of New York. He is also professor of Educational Policy & Leadership, senior fellow of the Rockefeller Institute of Government, founding director of SUNY’s Academic and Innovative Leadership (SAIL) Institute, and director of The Systems Center: Building Systems for Educational and Community Improvement. An accomplished education leader and noted scholar of higher education, Dean Lane’s scholarly expertise focuses on the leadership and governance of higher education, particularly as it relates to the emerging relationship between higher education, public policy, and globalization.

Read Jason Lane's full bio



ShaDonna Pendelton

Former Cobleskill RA, Teacher at Queens Center of Progress

ShaDonna Pendleton

ShaDonna Pendleton graduated from SUNY Cobleskill in 2010 with a degree in Social Science. During her time at Cobleskill she was an RA in Fake and Ten Eyck, a student athlete on the track and field team, and a Student Assistant at Brickyard Point. Since graduating, ShaDonna has obtained several certifications in Phlebotomy and EKG. She now works as a teacher for Queens Center for Progress, helping out adults who have mental and physical disabilities. ShaDonna is currently preparing for medical school and plans on becoming a neurosurgeon.

Spencer Schmerzler

Former Cobleskill RA,  America’s Test Kitchen Host for Holland America Cruise Line 

Spencer SchmerzlerGrowing up in Levittown on Long Island, Spencer quickly discovered many of his passions consisting of theater, health and fitness, food, agriculture, and science. When it was time to decide what direction to follow after high school, he combined as many of these passions as he could by attending SUNY Cobleskill. Spencer earned his Associate's degree in Culinary Arts in 2011 and a Bachelor of Business Administration in 2013.

While at Cobleskill, he was a resident assistant for five semesters and involved in many other committees and organizations. He also explored his professional career as a chef and worked in agriculture at places like Wellington’s Herbs and Spices and the Department of Environmental Conservation. In his last semester at SUNY Cobleskill, he was asked to redirect a local café, which eventually became a food production catering company that uses all local produce.

Spencer’s drive continued to grow after college and he was hired as the Head Chef for the Young Artist Program at the Glimmerglass Festival. He was also tapped by the 5210 Program with Bassett Healthcare to conduct cooking shows for students and professionals. In September 2016, Spencer landed a sought-after job as an America’s Test Kitchen Host, conducting cooking shows onboard Holland America Cruise Line. Two years later he has sailed to over 50 countries and his journey continues to allow him curiosity, passion, and a thrill for life and the unknown.