Top 10 Things to Expect at the SoACE Conference

Are you excited for the upcoming conference?  I don’t know about you but I sure am.  Last year, we had a great time in Fort Lauderdale.  This year, we will be celebrating the 10 year anniversary of SoACE.  We’re returning to the city where it all began…San Antonio!  Here are 10 things to expect at this year’s conference.

  1. Lots of Networking – SoACE is a great opportunity to meet new colleagues and reconnect with old ones.  Bring lots of business cards and be open to making new friends.
  2. Great programs – We have tons of amazing breakout sessions planned for attendees this year.  This is a great way to learn about best practices within our field and apply them to our offices.  Be sure to check out the listing ahead of time to decide which sessions you’d like to attend.
  3. Fun – In addition to all of the professional development opportunities, SoACE is a lot of fun.  Our members love what they do and have fun doing it.
  4. Opportunities to be active – Make sure you pack your exercise gear!  There are a number of activities planned to keep you active during the conference.  Participate in the low impact aerobics on Monday morning and/or the fun run along the Riverwalk on Tuesday morning.  If organized activities aren’t your thing, the conference hotel has a great gym that’s open 24/7 with free weights, cardio machines, and indoor/outdoor pool (pool is open from 6:30am-11pm).
  5. Volunteer – You have several ways to help out with the conference.  You can serve as a room host, assist with guiding individuals to the Tuesday night reception, and/or collect tickets at the start of various conference events.  If you are interested in serving as a room host, contact Andrew Harper at  To assist in the other capacities, contact Emmanuela Stanislaus at
  6. Chance to give back (through philanthropic initiative) – Each year, we attempt to connect with a local organization in our conference host city to help with their efforts.  This year, we have partnered with The DoSeum which is a premiere children’s museum with engaging STEM-based exhibits that inspire active learning through inquiry and play.  Their work relates with what we do in career services as they try to meet the challenges of the 21st century workforce to meet the need of more STEM professionals.  Please consider donating to this organization by clicking here.
  7. Great exhibitors – We have some great exhibitors as a part of the conference this year.  Make sure you stop by the exhibitor booths to learn more about their services and how they can make your operations more efficient.  Be sure to also tell them “thanks”.  Exhibitors help keep the conference costs lowered, so our offices can have affordable access to this annual conference.
  8. A great city to explore – San Antonio in December is such a magical experience.  Take in the beauty of the holiday lights along the Riverwalk during this time or partake in other local attractions.
  9. President’s Reception – Join us for a “Denim and Diamonds” themed reception on Sunday night.  This is a fun event to welcome you to the city of San Antonio.  Please note that the western attire is optional.
  10. Tuesday Evening Event – Get ready for an unforgettable Tuesday night event at La Villita.  We will be highlighting the vibrant San Antonio culture with the “Night in Old San Antonio” theme.  Additionally, The Spazmatics  will be our featured band to provide us entertainment for the evening.  We’re calling this an 80s Fiesta.  Bring your energy for this fun filled night.

What are you excited the most about?  Looking forward to seeing everyone in San Antonio!

Creating Tomorrow’s STEM Leaders One Child at a Time

We hope you are getting excited about this year’s SoACE conference!  In prior conferences, we have performed a community service project during the first day of the conference.  This year we want to provide a different approach on how we can positively impact the community of our conference city.  San Antonio’s Museum for Kids (The DoSeum) was selected as the conference’s community partner this year based on their work on engaging children in learning and discovery through informal learning opportunities.  You may have likely seen future workforce studies that cite the need for increased numbers needed in the STEM fields.  The DoSeum is doing what they can to address this issue by introducing STEM educational experiences with the hope this spark will ignite a passion in STEM for early learners 0-11 years old.  The majority of The DoSeum’s programming focuses on Title I school students, their caregivers, and educators.  Title I schools are organizations with high percentages of children from low-income families to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards.  Through their charitable activities, The DoSeum underwrites field trips, delivers school-based afterschool programming, and facilitates professional development for educators in order to help children learn more about the STEM field through physical and cognitive activities.  Helping children learn more about the world of STEM will assist them with the foundation of a career plan that invokes their genuine interests and love of what they find stimulating in life.

So how can we help?  During the conference, we will hear directly from DoSeum representatives and will be given an opportunity to support the amazing work they are doing.  It does not have to be much, but if everyone made a small monetary contribution, it would make a measurable impact in lives of the children of San Antonio.  You can also help by sharing their story with your circle of influence when the conference is over.  With a projected need of over 1 million more STEM professionals over the next decade, any contribution will help make a difference in building this vital part of tomorrow’s workforce.

You do not have to wait until the conference to donate to this great cause. Visit this link to contribute today.

You can also help The DoSeum by responding to the following survey. The survey is designed to learn how informal educational programs helped shape you! By providing your personal feedback, The DoSeum will be able to enhance their own programming and initiatives.

Conference Happenings!

Monday Morning Wellness Activity – December 11, 6:30am-7:30am

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI), located in San Antonio, is a long-time supporter of SoACE.  SwRI

operates a full-service onsite fitness center as a benefit for its employees.  SwRI wants to provide one of their amazing group exercise instructors for the Monday Morning Wellness Activity.  At no additional costs, you are welcome to join your colleagues for a low-impact cardio session.  We are looking forward to this morning workout and getting our metabolism off to a great start.

Fun Run – December 12, 6:30am-7:30am

If you’re ready to start your day right with a run or walk along San Antonio’s beautiful river walk, then make plans to attend the SoACE Fun Run/Walk on Tuesday, December 12, at 6:30 am.  Our group will meet by the coffee shop in the lobby and will leave the hotel at 6:30 sharp.

We will cross East Commerce street once out of the hotel and take the stairs down to the river walk.  We will follow an out-and-back path for a 3 mile total distance, but feel free to shorten or lengthen your distance as needed.  The river walk path is paved for several miles.  This map  gives you an idea of the location.  For reference, our starting location is at the top of the page near the Rivercenter Mall.


This year, the first 10 fun-run registrants will receive a free fun-run t-shirt! If you have any questions about the fun-run, please contact Charlie Wilder at


Tuesday Evening Event – Night in Old San Antonio featuring The Spazmatics – December 12, 6:30pm-10:30pm

The 2017 Tuesday Night Event will showcase the rich history of San Antonio by recreating an annual

festival called “Night in Old San Antonio” (NIOSA).  NIOSA (nI-oh-Sah) blends Texan and Mexican

cultures for a memorable night under the Texas stars.  You will enjoy an authentic atmosphere of the best that San Antonio has to offer.  Your money or tickets will not be good at this event…just bring your name badge and your Tuesday Night Evening ticket.  To top it all, we will have The Spazmatics for entertainment.

The Spazmatics will play hits from the 80s and will keep us pumped up throughout the night even if you don’t remember when the Rubik’s Cube came out or watched “Back to the Future” in a movie theater.