Elizabeth Jane Stachowiak

Contact Details

United States

Bio

My interest in Student Programming started in 1971 at UConn. In 1974 I became the first Assistant Director, Student Activities at Middlesex Community College in CT. I took a break working in Higher Education from 1978-86. For 5 years I honed my entrepreneurial skills owning and operating a women's fitness center.
    Hired at Berklee College of Music in 1986, I found I could combine my knowledge of business ownership with student activities. I developed and coordinated the college's first student activities program and nineteen years later I established the Wellness and Recreation programs.
   When introduced to ACUI at the 1987 Boston Conference, I felt my soul at home. The warm people I met, the provocative educational sessions presented, the unforgettable Maya Angelou keynote given and the dynamic welcome presented by Conference Chair Greer Dawson Wilson were a few of the shining moments showing me what ACUI stood for.
   Over thirty years I have experienced growth in my friendships with colleagues and knowledge in the human potential. I observed this growth in personal and professional development not only in me. It happened to other ACUI colleagues, students and in the association. An environment like ACUI where we 'walk the talk' reminds me:  "Happiness is neither virtue nor pleasure, not this thing nor that, but simply growth."  W.B.Yeats  
   Within ACUI there is a lot of Happiness. There exists an environment of empowerment, critical thinking, attention to the whole student, and joy. When given a challenge, we seize the opportunity to know.  Even when told NO, we hear we/they need to KNOW more. We learn to grow to tackle the problem. We even help others grow to make it happen.
   I have been a volunteer in a variety of roles at the region and international levels. Through these experiences, my life has been so enriched. When I had a stroke in 2003, ACUI played an important part of my stroke support team.  I continued to given educational sessions (topics: Wellness, Meditation, Giving Back, etc) for the region and the annual conferences until my retirement in 2016.  
   My most satisfying ACUI moments were in the early 1990's when I was part of ACUI's LGBT & Allies Concerns Committee. Our goals included to expand LGBT awareness with campus Safe Zones and Allies programs. Also, we brought forward the importance of the inclusion of bisexual and transgendered individuals. During that same time period I worked with ACUI on the offering of ADL's A World of Difference as a pre-conference workshop offering.
   In 2017 I was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Membership. The Revis A. Cox Memorial Award was presented to me in 2005. Revis Cox and I served on UCONN's Board of Governors. Together we worked on UConn's Jazz Week programmed with concerts and workshops. I am deeply touched by both of these honors.
   Today I live outside of Boston with my husband Larry (met at UConn and 40 years married). I have enjoyed working with an incredible community at Berklee College of Music for 30 years.
   My interests are varied - films, art, music, cooking, meditation and wellness. As a person with disabilities I am aware of access/adaptation issues to provide a more inclusive environment. Currently I am involved in the Brain Music Workshops where we integrate music therapy as a tool in stroke recovery. I also volunteer at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital as a Facebook administrator for the private group Stroke Survivors:  Finding Our Strength. 
   Because of ACUI - its people, programs and priorities - I am able to optimize experiences and relationships bringing joy, happiness and growth to others and myself.  What more would I desire from a career?From a life? I am grateful to ACUI and the pure JOY it brings to so many through so many avenues.
“In a true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.  We have to appreciate that truth can be received from outside of- not only within- our group…We have to believe that by engaging in dialogue with another person, we have the possibility of making a change within ourselves, that we can become deeper.”  Thich Nhat Hanh

Honors and Awards

Honorary Lifetime Membership
2017

Revis A. Cox Memorial Award
2005