No Greater Gift than Care of a Friend


October is a month of changes; leaves fall, temperatures shift, sports seasons begin and end. It is also inevitable that in this month, many face changes in their lives that are much more challenging, changes to their health and their lifestyle. One thing remains constant. There is no greater gift than the care of a friend.
OCM extends support to anyone who may be facing such challenges. The video above is dedicated to Ray Frazer, a friend and OCM employee currently leading a brave fight against Leukemia, and to anyone facing their own similar challenges. At the heart of what OCM does is an appreciation for what a little support from friends and family can do.

Perhaps that takes the form of a Care Package, a Teddy Bear, or a simple message from family that says “Keep goin!” To Ray and all of our friends, campus partners, colleagues and customers, “Keep Goin’! We are here if you need us.”


The OCM Team

T.J Sullivan Engages and Motivates ACUHO-I


MOTIVATE: TJ Sullivan, Keynote Speaker at ACUHO-I

TJ Sullivan

Image from

T.J Sullivan opened his ACUHO-I keynote address with an anecdote about being an R.A applicant. “I had to pull a random object from a bag and say how I would use it for an educational program,” he said. “I pulled out a toothbrush and suggested a program about… dental hygiene.” After being outdone by an applicant who suggested painting a community mural about diversity with the toothbrush, Sullivan was not hired or even waitlisted! He joked that this conference could become his ‘revenge fantasy’. Though most of the audience was left in stitches, Sullivan’s motivating presentation proved the microphone suited him much better than the toothbrush.

Sullivan is a valued voice in the world of student affairs and residence life. After graduating Indiana University, he co-founded CampusSpeak and now presents at roughly 50 campuses and conferences a year. Follow TJ on Twitter @intentionalTJS. 

Today, Sullivan spoke of engagement. “Different levels of engagement,” he began, “can be found in any community; in your neighborhood, in society, and of course, on your campus.” Like the neighbors who keep their lawns immaculate, those who have a few projects here and there, and those who are just apathetic, people all have different engagement ‘identities’. Sullivan offered three categories:


As the audience laughed, Sullivan let out a sigh of relief. “That was my risk joke,” he admitted, “ glad you laughed at that.”

Top Third students value validation and dislike apathy. He ribbed that since they are always busy and seeking opportunities and awards, some might best be described as… ‘#ribbonsluts’. 

Middle third students dislike disorganization and negativity, favoring balance and relationships. They are very hard workers but often function in the background.

Bottom Third students like to complain and challenge things. “These are the students who a professor never sees or hears from until the end of the semester when they argue their poor grade.” Though seemingly apathetic, Sullivan noted these students were just as important to motivate.

Sullivan emphasized, “It is a very ‘Top-Third’ mistake to think your motivation is everyone else’s motivation.” The value in acknowledging different levels of engagement, for an administrator, is to recognize that not all three can be motivated by the same strategies and incentives. Each group has their own perspective on what makes effort valuable, and therefore requires a certain type of stimulus to spark their self-motivation.

“Lead, motivate, influence, and impact from where they are,” – @intentionalTJS

TJ Sullivan’s message was a perfect segway into the conference programming that would follow. The opening ceremonies celebrated leaders and encouraged a new generation who will lead, impact and motivate. The weekend’s programs and presentations would allow attendees to share the impact of specific programs/strategies on their campuses, in hopes that peers might adapt them to their own learning communities.

The University of Pittsburgh’s presentation of their Non-Alcoholic Mix Off, which earned the Program of the Year Award, was an impacting example. Let it impact YOU here.


Pitt’s Non-Alcoholic Mix-Off Impacts ACUHO-I


IMPACT: University of Pittsburgh’s Program of the Year

pitt rsaThe University of Pittsburgh’s RSA is honored by NACURH this year for their Non-Alcoholic Mix Off, a program inviting hundreds of students to educate each other about safer, smarter decisions in an environment that may surround them with temptation related to alcohol. Monday morning at ACUHO-I, students, graduates and professionals from Pitt shared the logistics of this Mix-Off program, hoping to not only improve their program for future years, but let it be adapted on other campuses and communities as well.

This past year, The Mix-Off at University of Pittsburgh earned over 500 attendees. Taking place during National Collegiate Alcohol Awareness Week, the Mix-Off invites students to create non-alcoholic mixed drinks as part of a contest that also educates about the risks of alcohol consumption. Bragging rights for ‘best-tasting’, ‘worst-tasting’, ‘most spirited’ and ‘best theme’ are awarded. The event succeeds in getting first year students to meet each other, connect with campus groups, and learn about campus culture in a safe environment.

“97% of attendees learned something new,”- RSA


Pitt’s Non-Alcoholic Mix-Off in Schenley Quad. Photo by Ramesh C. Reddy

“86% believed they created a positive connection with the hall council,”- RSA

The presentation offered a specific budgetary analysis and an event planning schedule so that those in attendance could lead a similar program to their campus on a floor, building, or campus level. Attendees from areas spanning from Pennsylvania to Canada took notes and engaged in a lengthy, valuable Q&A after the presentation.

Of course, no program is ever complete or un-improvable, and the Pitt RSA hoped their future Mix-Off’s could include Greek participants as well. “Greek Life was the only area of campus life that did not participate,” the students shared. “We certainly hope that they do; they are part of our community. This is where the program needs to go.”

The conversation never stops- change is constant and programs are built to adapt. Does your group have an idea for this program, or a program of your own you are proud of? Share with us!

Congratulations to University of Pittsburgh on your Program of the Year Award, and for motivating the community to keep the conversation going!

ACUHO-I Celebrates Leaders and Next Generation


ACUHO-I 2014, Washington D.C

At the time of our nation’s founding, there were 9 higher education institutions in what would become the United States. Today, there are thousands. This weekend, higher education professionals from around the nation connected at ACUHO-I, celebrating the achievements of the experienced and ensuring the next generation of educators is equipped to lead, motivate and impact their communities.

inside odonovanOCM hosted the opening reception in Georgetown’s O’Donovan Hall, inviting professionals young and old to re-connect with a night of food, drink, and music. Indoor and outdoor reception areas made for an open yet intimate evening. Friendships were renewed, awards were given and the ACUHO-I conference in our nation’s capital was underway.

LEAD: Opening Ceremonies Honor Leaders in Higher Education 

At opening ceremonies, Patty Martinez, President of 2014 ACUHO-I Executive Board, shared just how impressive the growth of ACUHO-I has been. “This year, we received the largest number of conference session proposals, over 400,” she said, sparking applause from the largest number of registered ACUHO-I participants in history.

Martinez emphasized the importance of the next generation of higher education with a salute to the students of the STARS college program,  60 undergrads with a passion for higher education selected for a valuable mentorship experience with veterans in the field.

andy n friends

OCM President Andy McDade shares the engrained dedication to campus life. From RA at Trenton State College to President of the original care package company, OCM, Andy’s continued commitment to the field was honored with the Corporate Friend of ACUHO award.

It is a special history many professionals share to have entered the field as an undergraduate RA and grown into a Director or President’s role. For many of the ACUHO-I attendees, the connection to campus and community runs deep.

There was no shortage of leaders with tremendous experience, and after Martinez declared the conference open it was time to honor a select few for their outstanding service. We would like to join the community in congratulating all award recipients!

Don Moore, ACUHO-I Award; Tonie Miyamoto, James L Hurd Award; Rosanne Proite, Herstory Award; Richard Kington, Roelf Visser Global Initiatives Award; Shigeo Iwamiya, Judy Spain Award; Norbert Dunkel & James A. Baumann, Research and Publication Award; Kathy Bush Hobgood & Verna Gardner Howell, Robert P. Cooke Talking Stick Article Award; Danielle Twigg, Betty L. Harrah Journal Manuscript Award; and Jill Eckardt, Tarome Afford, Carolyn ‘Waz’ Miller,  Louis V. Hencken, and Pam Schneider for their Parthenon Awards. Thank you for all for your service and leadership!

After the awards were presented,  the microphone was turned over to keynote speaker TJ Sullivan. The audience would go from standing and applauding to rolling on the floor and holding their belly’s in a matter of moments, learning all the while. Read more about TJ’s engaging presentation here!

Making Your Summer Job Work For You


summer job picWhat happens when you can’t afford to take that unpaid internship and your summer job seems like the most random, thankless set of tasks you’ve ever done? Make your summer job work for you!

Once you figure out the qualities employers are looking for, you can discover how your summer job may actually be building you into a perfectly marketable employee! There is value beyond the skimpy paycheck. Communicate this to potential employers and you’ll elevate yourself out of that summer job and into that paid internship or position!

The first thing to do is get an idea of what employers are really looking for. The more specific to your ideal position you can get with employer desires, the better. There are a few ways you can do this.

  • Do some online research     linkedin     poynter     glassdoor    higheredjobs
  • Talk to upperclassmen/grads who work or intern
  • Speak with professionals in your field and your college administration about who they hire. Taking the time to ask shows great initiative and they will REMEMBER you.

Check out “The Top Ten Things Employers Look for in New College Graduates” on the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ Website. A great list. (What they don’t include is that you probably need to know somebody too. Connections never hurt, and that’s why you shouldn’t be shy about reaching out early on to those in your field!)

Alas, you sigh and say, “How am I supposed to gain experience when I don’t have the valuable work experience they want? I work at a dairy farm but I want to be a [something other than a dairy farmer] !” Once you’re familiar with what employers want, the next piece is to realize  the value in your current experience. Employers don’t have time to look for it, you have to show them.

Regardless of the job, when discussing your work experience with a potential employer you have to show you had goals, took initiative to learn and grow and can now transfer your Top Ten Traits to their goals.


“Mr. Interviewer, I flipped burgers.”- Not impressed.   

“Mr. Interviewer, I exceeded my company quota of 800 burgers in a day and then took initiative to add to our blog in my free time.”  -Now you have the attention. And if Mr. Interviewer remembers you from last year when you asked him what employers look for? –He becomes Mr. Employer.

Here are some peers and professionals in the higher education field (big cheeses!) who’ve shared their WORST summer jobs. Believe it or not, some of these big cheeses were putting cheese on burgers when they were in your shoes too. And you know what? They learned. Find the value in your summer job.

Noah Fox, Director of Housing Operations: Tiffin University

“I would have to say one of the worst summer jobs I ever had was working on a duck farm (hatchery). As you can imagine, the work was very dirty. Cleaning out duck barns full of duck droppings was probably the worst part of the job.” “What did you learn?”

  • Learned value of hard work
  • Practiced effective time management
  • Built commonalities and fostered lasting professional relationships.

“These lessons I learned have helped me tremendously throughout my time in the workforce.”

Ty Krueger, SWACURH Regional NRHH Advisor

“I worked in the records/registrar’s office one summer and spent the entire summer taping documents to sheets of paper to be scanned.” “What did you learn?”

“The tape and paper has to be flat so it doesn’t jam the printer, hah!” “But seriously…”

“Even the most menial of tasks have a purpose and in the long run, helping someone is a valuable reward.”

Bill Pickett, Senior Director of Student Involvement: University of Nebraska, Omaha

“I worked at McDonald’s. I smelled like fries and nuggets every day. I opened for breakfast and then lunch, 5am-2pm in the summer! McInsane! I will tell you, I learned a lot.“What did you learn?”

  • I enhanced my ability to work with a team
  • Applied creative problem solving to meet company goals
  • Learned to work effectively under pressure
  • Honed customer service techniques and developed relationships with customers

“It was honestly like a housing job… you learn a variety of things that will help in any field from jobs you may not expect to learn from.”

There is a reason they call jobs “opportunities”. Any job, regardless of how many feathers, droppings, tape, or burgers are involved, is an opportunity to learn and grow. Take your Top Ten Traits with you to your next interview. When an interviewer sees the value in you, you will earn that paid internship or job and you’ll be prepared. By this time, you’re no stranger to hard work!

Share YOUR worst summer job and what you learned in the comment field below.


NACURH and OCM: Strong Together



nacurh 60 We returned to the office covered in glitter and clothespins, with goodie-bags under our eyes and our feet sore from wobbling. Just another day at the office? Not at all. This weekend, OCM got NACURH’d!!

The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire hosted NACURH 2014, and provided thousands of dedicated students a safe, sustainable, spirited and beautiful venue to express their love for college life and community. OCM got to reunite with friends from across the country, and meet hundreds of new ones! We had a blast at this magnificent event! Relive it with us here!

once upon a time

See you in North Dakota! @NACURH2015

It was a weekend full of cheering, hugging, tears of joy and most importantly, learning. As students and advisors return to their regions and campuses with new ideas and new networks of friends, so does OCM. There is not leadership without friendship, and we hope you can find both @OCMonCampus.

To all our friends, new and old, we L-O-V-E you and we L-O-V-E NACURH!

A sincere thank you to those who made this conference all that it could be! NACURH ’14 was an inspiring display of what individuals can achieve when they commit to community and embrace individuality. Thank you for all you shared with us, NACURH.

Let our friendship remain strong, and may it always wobble.

8 Mother’s Day Gifts for College Guys on a Budget


Alright guys, so you woke up this afternoon and got that call from Dad or a sibling saying, “Hey, just reminding you Sunday is Mother’s Day.” Chances are you dropped your phone in your cereal bowl and said “Oh no!” Sunday is the day to say thank you, and “Oh no!” is not a good way to do that. The absolute WORST thing you can do on Mother’s Day is nothing, so you have to think fast- here’s what you come up with.

8) A mix-CD of songs with the word ‘Mom’ in them. NO! You did that when you were 11 and no one uses CD’s anymore. How about Household-Chore “Coupons”? NO! Mom doesn’t care if you mow the lawn, and you did that gift when you were 12. Better skip to #7.

Mom Mix CD

7) Smell the love-Candles. There is something about a candle that smells like something other than a candle that moms love. Banana, Strawberry, Morning-Dew-in-Vermont, whatever the aroma, chances are your mother will enjoy this little gift. It will also help mask the smell when you move back in at home.

Mom Candle

6) School Pride! Mom is proud of you and your education (so much that she might even be paying for it!) Send her something from the Fan Shop to show off to her friends!

Fan Shop

5) Upload your Sentiment. If you are too broke to afford stamps, upload a photo. Email or post it on social. She will love it so much she’ll call and say, “What am I supposed to click?” and you can walk her through until she actually sees the picture and THEN she’ll tell you how sweet you are. Share these Mother’s Day Appreciations with us- #OCMomsDay

photo (3)

4) Hand-Picked Flowers. If you’re going home around mother’s day, try NOT to pick the flowers from your mother’s garden before she answers the door. Avoid the “Aw, these smell beautiful”- “Well of course, you planted them” conversation.  Nevertheless, she will appreciate the sentiment from the petals down to the dangling roots.


3) Hand-Made Card (with Affixed Macaroni). A throwback to when you were Mommy’s little artist. Write something sentimental, snag some markers from your local art major and for a flare of nostalgia, find some macaroni between the cushions and glue it on there. Pop it in the mail if you can afford the stamps. Nothing says I love you like adhesive macaroni.

Mom Art Pic

2) An early morning phone call. This shows a few things. One, you are still capable of waking up before 11:30 (she doesn’t have to know you’re actually lying in bed with a bowl of cereal). Two, you remembered <3. The fact that you woke up just to call will go a long way.

photo (5)

1) Surprise!! At work, at home, at the supermarket; track mom down and give her a big hug. This has never been done, ever, and if you actually do this you will not only get endearing looks from every mother in the world for the rest of your life, but dirty looks from every guy in your family who did numbers 8 through 2.


        We wouldn’t be where we are today if it weren’t for good ole’ mom. Happy Mother’s Day! We love ya!



Student Athletes with a Vision-The Ripon Red Hawks


rp_to-do-list-image-1024x764.jpgThe schedule of a student-athlete is a grueling yet rewarding test of independence, passion, and dedication. For many collegiate athletes, fundraising is just another part of the routine. The way a Division I athlete might have three scheduled workouts a day, student-athletes for smaller programs must combine these training sessions with fundraising efforts that make their sport possible.

OCM is honored to make an assist to the student athletes of the Ripon Red Hawks’ Women’s Basketball Team in Ripon, Wisconsin- a perfect example of a student group with a vision who earns much of their opportunity through fundraising.

“Fundraising is integral to our program experience,” says Lauren Johnson, Head Coach of the Red Hawks. “Our student athletes raise money for travel, game promotions, gear, and winter break trips. OCM has done a terrific job providing us with opportunities to create funds within our program.”

Keep an eye out on Facebook and Twitter for more news about the Ripon Red Hawks!

Follow @RCCoachLauren and check out the team’s Highlights on Youtube

To be able to reward hard-working student athletes with fun, hands-off fundraising programs is a job OCM truly enjoys. It is a special type of commitment seen in athletes like the Red Hawks, one that deserves admiration, recognition, and support.

The Red Hawks and OCM have teamed up to offer a suite of services to Ripon students and their families, all of which benefit the Women’s Basketball team. Ripon’s Residence Hall Linens Program provides families of first year students with a creative variety of XL-sheets, bedding, and décor for move-in.

For the times when students need that extra “home-court” advantage, the Red Hawks have their back with a care package program for nearly every milestone during the first year of college.

“Our program can reach out to non-basketball families and students and creates a better environment and experience for all students on campus,” said Johnson.

Ripon goes to Cali

This past year, we traveled to a tournament in Southern California. Some of our players experienced flying, visited a theme park and competed in a different region and state for the first time. Fundraising made that experience possible, one which will last as a lifetime memory for our student athletes.

In addition to OCM, The Red Hawks launch T-Shirt sales and sell raffles throughout the year as part of their fundraising campaign. Keep an eye out for these fundraisers, and other news about Red Hawk sports, on the Ripon College Athletics Facebook page, AND here in OCM in the future!

Coach Johnson concluded by saying, “I would highly recommend fundraising programs to other coaches and programs,” that a decision to help her student athletes earn opportunities to compete and enjoy all they can earn is an easy one. Thanks for sharing your story Red Hawks! We are proud to call ourselves your teammates.

Know another student group that deserves a boost? Think an OCM fundraiser can help your group? Let us know! Email me at with the Subject “Student Dedication from [your group] at institution name]” and I’ll do my best to get your cause out there!


#GradFail: Putting Your Best Face Forward


“Oh, and before you leave, there’s one more lesson we forgot to teach you”, said the College Gods to this young man as he strutted across the stage and prepared himself for the ‘biggest exit of his life’. A valuable lesson indeed.

Aside from the most obvious lesson-why gymnasts don’t wear gowns- there may be another lesson to be taken from this comical, painful happening. There is something to be said for enjoying something like it is your last, but there is also a risk of putting too much stock in your “last act”. If you nervously overthink it, spending sleepless nights contemplating the “last this” and “last that” (as this student no doubt lay in bed revising his backflip approach), you’re missing the most exciting part-the future. College graduation is not the finale. Sure, as a senior you will “party like it’s the end of the world”, toast friends who you’ll never see again and cry because you’ll miss things, but it is not the finale.

On the bright side of the same coin, the guy in this video does not have to worry. He deserves some serious credit for doing something bold and hilarious, and even though he failed, brushed it off and kept going. Lesson learned. Fortunately, even this viral gaffe will be forgotten for the same reason it wasn’t really necessary in the first place. This is not his final act.

Enjoy every second, but don’t THINK for a second that those seconds stop once you get that diploma. No need for an interpretive dance routine, just take a breath and confidently walk across that stage towards a new horizon.

College is an irreplaceable experience, of course, but it is not your last, so don’t get wound up seeing it like that. Graduation is a new beginning. Accept that diploma and don’t even think about your “last act”. Just put a smile on your foot and put your best face forward…