2017 KARH Student of the Year


Congratulations to Casey Allen of Eastern Kentucky University for being recognized as the 2017 KARH Student of the Year. The Student of the Year is award by the Kentucky Association of Housing Officers on behalf of the Kentucky Association of Residence Halls (KARH) to a student who has made outstanding contributions to their institution and the Kentucky Association of Residence Halls.

From the nomination:

When I read the description for the KARH Student of the Year award, I immediately thought of Casey Allen. He is the type of student leader that immediately makes an impression on you – he is intelligent, he is optimistic, and he is kind. Casey leads with a servant heart and a “can do” attitude that brings a team together and makes them all want to be better and do better. It is my hope that in this nomination I can truly convey what an outstanding individual Casey Allen is and what he has meant to EKU Housing & Residence Life over the past year.

First, I would like to point out what I believe is Casey’s strongest attribute: his servant heart. In Residence Life we often throw around quotes that we hope will inspire others to action. “It starts with you,” “be the change you wish to see in the world,” “leadership is not a position or a title, it is an action and an example.” Casey brings these quotes to life and lives them every day. One of my very first interactions with Casey after he was hired as a Resident Advisor was when I bumped into him, early on a Monday morning, while he was picking up trash outside his residence hall. When I asked him what he was doing, he said he was picking up trash because he believed the “community deserved to be respected.” That has stuck with me – what college student wants to get up early on a Monday morning and pick up trash outside their residence hall!? Casey does it because he can see the big picture and believes in going the extra mile to serve his community. To Casey, his residents deserve the best and he strives to provide that for them, no matter what it takes.

Another one of Casey’s qualities that I would like to point out is his ability to impact and lead his co-workers. Although Casey is only a second year RA, most people assume he has been doing the job for years. I would literally feel comfortable letting him run a residence hall on his own – his calm demeanor, his sense of responsibility, and his insight is that good! Casey just “gets it.” Casey lead’s his co-workers by setting an example of what it means to invest in the team. When a new task needs to be completed, Casey is the first to volunteer. When a student or maintenance issue comes up, Casey is solution-oriented and seeks opportunities for everyone to come out as a winner. Casey is also up for the random day-to-day “other duties as assigned” tasks that happen from time to time. I’ve seen Casey move furniture, serve food, install cable cords, and pick up trash, yet never let a smile leave his face. His flexibility and willingness to take whatever curve balls Residence Life can throw at him are a breath of fresh air – he understands that our field of work can be a bit unpredictable but he has the flexibility and commitment to the overall mission to see it through. On top of this, he continually asks his supervisors for ways he can improve. He isn’t stagnant – he realizes that an improvement in his abilities is also an improvement to his staff and the students he serves. His peers see these qualities and seek to mirror his attitude and behavior.

Finally, I would like to recognize Casey’s ability to still be a college student while also being an outstanding staff member. Casey is not just successful in his RA position, but he is academically strong and connected on campus. While being a student at EKU, he remained focused on his studies and has achieved and maintained a strong GPA. He is involved in numerous student organizations, including several that are sponsored by EKU Housing & Residence Life, and other service organizations on campus. I often see Casey out at campus events and hanging out with friends around campus. Somehow, Casey has managed to find balance between his roles as a college student and Resident Advisor and avoided burn-out. I believe our professional staff could learn a thing or two from him!

In this nomination, I have only given a few examples of why I believe Casey Allen is deserving of the KARH Student of the Year award. His residents are lucky to be led by him, his co-workers are lucky to work alongside him, and our department is lucky to have him represent us. He is a well-rounded individual that believes in the mission of EKU Housing & Residence Life and is committed to going the extra mile to see the department’s values fully realized. His is a rock star in every sense of the word!

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2017 SEAHO Corporate Scholarship Recipient

The SEAHO Corporate Scholarship is awarded by the Kentucky Association of Housing Officers on behalf of the two corporate associates who have made the largest donation towards that year’s conference for an individual to attend the next SEAHO Conference. Consideration for the scholarship includes financial need, a potential first-time attendee for the SEAHO Conference, involvement in KAHO or other professional organizations, and published works.

On behalf of Luckett & Farley (www.luckett-farley.com/) and Southwest Contract (www.swcontract.com/), the 2017 recipient of the $250 SEAHO Corporate Scholarship is Collin Bruner from the University of Kentucky.

From the nomination:

Collin Bruner is currently in his first year as an RD at the University of Kentucky and has put in a submission for SEAHO called “Managing Up: Creating a Mutually Beneficial Supervision Relationship.”

In Collin’s first year as an RD he has not only shown his commitment to the RD position, he has shown his commitment to professional development. Starting on day one, Collin worked with other RDs to help create his session proposal and plans to co-present with another RD to enhance the experience of the presentation. While this RD has a different experience from Collin, he has still worked to figure out how they can combine their strengths and their passions.

I know that Collin is looking to get more involved in SEAHO and this scholarship will help him do just that! Collin has been in the region since grad school and is looking to later apply to RELI!

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KAHO Ruth Ann Howard Service Award Recipient

Congratulations to John Michael Haky of Morehead State University for being honored with the KAHO Ruth Ann Howard Service Award at the 2017 KAHO Annual Conference. The Ruth Ann Howard Service Award is awarded to individuals who have worked in Kentucky for at least three years who demonstrate outstanding service to the Kentucky Association of Housing Officers (including service on the Governing Council, serving on the Host Committee for a KAHO sponsored conference, published articles, and recognition for awards) and/or their institution(s).

From the nomination:

Since starting as KAHO’s Secretary/Treasurer in February 2016, John has demonstrated strong commitment and service to the organization. In his role, John has worked to transition the organization’s financial records to a clear and consistent reporting structure, and the result of this has been clear reporting information that has allowed KAHO to identify opportunities and weaknesses in the organization’s financial model, including financial sustainability and use of KAHO awarded scholarships during previous years. In addition to maintaining records for KAHO’s current activities, John has made the effort to research and recover many historical records regarding KAHO, including previous award winners that are currently listed on the KAHO website. Some of this research also included recovering previous account information, such as a Gmail account, where previous records were housed and also could be used for future opportunities.

Beyond his position responsibilities to KAHO, John has put for the effort to either grow or sustain many of KAHO’s resources. John has worked to enhance KAHO’s digital presence, which has included adding content and features to the KAHO website and when needed, posted regularly on KAHO’s social media sites. Never short on ideas, John has consistently proposed ways in which the organization can further its mission of being a resource for professionals and students in Kentucky, including increased communication means, revisions to key organization documents, and identifying professional development opportunities. During the 2016 KAHO Annual Conference, John both presented a session about integrating history and tradition into residence hall work and served as moderator for multiple sessions. Furthermore, through John’s role as an Adviser for KARH, he has worked to bridge the two organizations, allowing KAHO to be a strong resource for KARH as it continues to move through its transition as an independent organization.

John’s service to the profession, both with multiple organizations and positions at multiple Kentucky schools, has seen a positive impact on those around him and create a foundation for success for others.

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2017 Best of the Bluegrass Award

20171006_132924Photo courtesy of John Michael Haky (Morehead State University)

Congratulations to Christina Reyes (Eastern Kentucky University), Kira Munoz (Eastern Kentucky University), and Ayanna Ross (Eastern Kentucky University) for being awarded the 2017 Best of the Bluegrass Award for their outstanding session Challenging the Status Quo: Changing Perceptions of Staff of Color presented during the 2017 KAHO Annual Conference.

From the session description: In today’s atmosphere, the struggle for staff of color to allow their voices to be heard is all too real. Unfortunately, while these voices go unheard, problems still exist for our staff and students. It is important to foster an environment that encourages all voices to be heard and supported. Come learn about the challenges staff of color may face and how you can advocate for changing perceptions as well as laying the groundwork for initial discussions on creating a culture of brave spaces.

Challenging the Status Quo: Changing Perceptions of Staff of Color will represent Kentucky at the 2018 SEAHO Conference, and its presenters will receive a total of $500 to assist with associated costs.

The Best of the Bluegrass Award is awarded to the highest rated session during the KAHO Annual Conference. The winning session is selected to be presented at the following SEAHO Conference, and the presenters receive a total of $500 to assist with the expenses of attending the SEAHO conference.

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2017 KAHO Service Award Recipients

During the 2017 Annual Conference, the Kentucky Association of Housing Officers recognized the recipients of the 2017 KAHO Service Award. Recipients of the award are selected by the Chief Housing Officer of each of KAHO’s member institutions for their outstanding service to their institution over the past year.

The 2017 KAHO Service Award was awarded to:

  • Connie Mitchell (Eastern Kentucky University)
  • John Michael Haky (Morehead State University)
  • Debbie Thomas (Northern Kentucky University)
  • Ashley Hill (Transylvania University)
  • Tyler Priest (University of Kentucky)

Congratulations to all the recipients and thank you for all your had work and dedication to your institutions and its students.

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2017-18 KAHO Governing Council

Congratulations to the 2017-18 KAHO Governing Council:

  • President: Leslie Maxie Ashford (Bellarmine University)
  • President-Elect: Dr. Anthony White (Eastern Kentucky University)
  • Colonel: Ann Young (Centre College)
  • Secretary/Treasurer: John Micheal Haky (Morehead State University)
  • SEAHO State Representative: Christina Reyes (Eastern Kentucky University)
  • Small School Representative: LeRon Collier (Georgetown College)
  • Graduate Student Representative: Ayanna Ross (Eastern Kentucky University)
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KAHO 2017 is here!


The 2017 KAHO Annual Conference is upon us! Stay up to date on everything that is happening at Berea College through the following means:

Tag your posts and photos with #KAHO2017.

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There’s still time to be a part of KAHO 2017!


There’s still time for you be a part of the fun and excitement of the 2017 KAHO Annual Conference! The conference will take place October 5 & 6 in the beautiful setting of Berea College.

All the conference details can be found on the KAHO 2017 website at https://www.berea.edu/student-life/kaho/ and any questions can be directed to kaho@berea.edu.


Registration is still being accepted until Friday, September 15, 2017. Registration for Professionals is $65 and registration for Undergraduate and Graduate students is $30 (PLEASE NOTE that on-line payment may include a service fee). Register today by clicking this link: https://www.berea.edu/student-life/kaho/registration/


Lodging for KAHO 2017 is available at the beautiful and historic Boone Tavern in Berea, KY. More information about lodge can be found at this link: https://www.berea.edu/student-life/kaho/lodging/

Program Proposals

Of course, great events are only made greater when our fantastic professionals and students take the opportunity to share their research, knowledge, and wisdom through programming sessions. Please take a moment to consider sharing your research, best practices, and/or insights by facilitating a programming session for your neighbors from across the commonwealth. Program proposals are still be accepted and can be submitted by clicking here.

Who knows? Maybe your program can be named Best of the Bluegrass!

Annual Awards & Scholarships

As we do every Annual Conference, it is that time of year for us to also recognize the outstanding work and achievements of our staff and students at our institutions and across Kentucky. Each KAHO institution has the opportunity to recognize individuals from their schools through our Service Awards, and to nominate professionals and students for one of KAHO’s annual awards and scholarships. You can learn more about each recognition opportunity by clicking on the Awards link at the top of page, and you can submit a nomination for any of the awards or scholarships by clicking here

Nominations are being accepted now until Friday, September 22, 2017.

Governing Council Elections

At the 2017 Annual Conference, two KAHO Governing Council positions will be up for election during the annual business meeting:

  • President-Elect
  • Graduate Student Representative

More information about these positions, as well as general expectations, can be found in the KAHO Constitution. To nominate an eligible individual (including yourself), please email Chris Owens at chris.owens@eku.edu.

KAHO 2018 Host

As we prepare to experience wonderful atmosphere of Berea College at KAHO 2017, we must also start the search for host for the 2018 KAHO Annual Conference. Any school who is interested in potentially hosting KAHO 2018 can contact Chris Owens at chris.owens@eku.edu.

For more information about hosting a KAHO Conference, please contact Chris Owens at chris.owens@eku.edu.

We look forward to seeing all our wonderful professionals and students at KAHO 2017!

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Eastern Kentucky RA Conference – September 16, 2017

The Morehead State University Office of Student Housing is proud to announce that it will be hosting the first Eastern Kentucky Resident Adviser Drive-In Conference on Saturday, September 16, 2017. This one-day conference will provide student staff from across the region (Desk Clerks, Resident Advisers, Senior RAs, Student Directors, etc) a chance to collaborate and share their knowledge and experiences with their peers. In addition to building upon their own knowledge and skills, students will have the opportunity to enhance their employment experience by leading a session at a state conference (PLUS, session presenters/facilitators receive a discounted registration rate). It can truly be a conference for students, by students.

Registration will open July 1, 2017: www.KYRAConference.com 

Any questions, comments, or suggestions can be directed to John Michael Haky, Conference Coordinator, at KYRAConference@gmail.com or 606-783-2343.

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RELI 2017: Congratulations to Kaitlyn O’Keefe!

Kaitlyn O’Keefe from the University of Kentucky has been chosen to participant in the Regional Entry-Level Institute (RELI) this summer!  RELI  is an intensive four-day professional development opportunity for new professionals who aspire to mid-level positions.  Kaitlyn will be joined by Hannah Piechowski from Transylvania University and Dr. Anthony White from Eastern Kentucky University who will be serving as RELI Faculty!

Congratulations, Kaitlyn!

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