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Division of Student Affairs Holds Second Annual Awards Program

May 10, 2013 - On Monday, May 6, 2013, the University of Houston’s Division of Student Affairs held its second annual Division of Student Affairs Awards Program and Luncheon at the University Center. In an effort to honor those who exemplify the Division’s commitment to supporting student success, staff members from the 15 departments were encouraged to nominate colleagues and student employees for 16 award categories, including four new categories this year, that highlight advancing the UH community.

The program began with a welcome from Keith Kowalka, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs and Professional Development Committee Chair. The Division of Student Affairs Awards program, developed and organized by the Professional Development Committee, is designed to honor staff members (individually or as a group or department) who embody the Division's commitment to supporting student success. The awards recognize the ongoing contributions to excellence that members of the UH community put forth each day.

President Renu Khator provided some opening remarks before the awards were presented. Identifying the important role of student affairs to the college experience, she praised the Division for enhancing campus life through engaging programs and services as a component of student success.

Dr. Richard Walker, Vice President for Student Affairs, reviewed accomplishments across the Division over the last two semesters, including the implementation of the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan, assessment plans in all departments, CoogNews (student eblast), web template transitions, and an external review program.  He then highlighted several achievements within each department that ranged from new programs, individual and department awards, facility enhancements, student involvement, and campus events. (Click here to view the full presentation.)

Following the lunch break, Daniel Maxwell, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs, resumed the program with the announcement of the award nominees and recipients. There were nearly 60 nominations for the 16 categories, all of which included supporting letters of recommendation for the respective award description. Recognizing that this award process was a tremendous expression of support and service, Maxwell took a moment to acknowledge all persons involved in the selection, nomination, and recommendation processes for taking time to contribute to this program. The categories and winners for this year’s Awards Program are:

  • The Ambassador Award: UH Wellness
  • Excellence in Innovation Award: Student Housing & Residential Life
  • Outstanding Assessment Award (Individual): Alison Von Bergen, Dean of Students Office
  • Outstanding Assessment Award (Department): UH Wellness
  • Outstanding Professional Award of Excellence: Matt Dulin, Student Media
  • Outstanding New Professional Award: DuJuan Smith, Dean of Students Office
  • Outstanding Administrative Assistant/Support Staff Award: Rosie Contreras, Student Housing & Residential Life
  • The Transformational Leadership Award: Alicia Garcia-Valero, University Centers
  • Students First Award: Cassandra Joseph, Center for Fraternity and Sorority Life
  • Graduate Assistant/Student Award of Excellence: Mara Washington, Center for Student involvement
  • Student Employee Award of Excellence: Dave Hendry, University Center
  • Cougar Spirit Award: Family Weekend Committee, Dean of Students of Student Office
  • 3C Award: Caleb Wells, Campus Recreation
  • Diversity Award: Council of Ethnic Organizations, Center for Student Involvement
  • DSA Outstanding Committee Member Award: Alicia Whitmire, Student Housing & Residential Life
  • Friend of the Division Award: Simon Bott, Chemistry

As each of the winners was announced, they proceeded to the stage to accept their award and take a photo with Dr. Walker, and then posed for a group photo at the end of the reception. For more details on the award descriptions, please visit uh.edu/dsa/dsa_awards.