July 21, 2022
The University of Houston was awarded with three campus awards at this year’s Association of College Unions International (ACUI) annual conference in Chicago, Illinois.
- Student-Driven Program of the Year: Cultural Explosion, Council for Cultural Activities (CCA)
- Excellence in Student Training Programs: Scarlet Seals of Excellence, Center for Student Involvement (CSI)
- Outstanding Service Project of the Year: Impact Living Learning Community, Center for Student Involvement (CSI)
Keith T. Kowalka, assistant vice president, said “As the University of Houston was the recipient of three of the seven ACUI campus awards in 2022 illustrates the positive impact we have on the student experience at the UH through creativity, innovation, and amazing staff. It is an honor being recognized by ACUI and serving as role model for our peer institutions.”
The Student-Driven Program of the Year Award celebrates the achievements of students who plan and implement an innovative program on their campus. This award promotes professional development, collaboration, and leadership for those students making a difference in advancing campus community through programming excellence.
Part of International Education Week, CCA’s Cultural Explosion allowed student organizations to compete for monetary prizes and showcase their culture through acts of dance, singing, spoken word, and much more. Due to the pandemic, the program went virtual, with recordings of each performance streamlined. The program had more than 400 views.
The Excellence in Student Training Programs Award acknowledges campuses that have demonstrated leadership in student activities by implementing creative educational programs to prepare students as leaders or employees. The value of the college union is recognized by the award through the positive impact on students' performance, capabilities, and progress toward organizational objectives.
The Scarlet Seals of Excellence program was structured to demonstrate valuable competencies that students have gained through University of Houston experiences, including learning that is gained outside of the classroom. The four competency areas recognized by the seals are: Leadership, Diversity, Personal Development, and Thinking and Communication.
The Outstanding Service Project of the Year Award recognizes an exceptional campus program that has made significant contributions to its community through service projects and a commitment to helping others. This rewards a campus for its dedication to being a leader in supporting community needs.
Throughout the year, residents of the Impact Living Learning Community attend service events, socials, and a series of meetings focused on the Social Change Model and how to build community. This past year, through volunteer projects, residents learn about the impact of food deserts and hunger on the city of Houston and the Third Ward and about concrete actions they can take to spread awareness about, and alleviate, hunger within the local community.
“I am so proud of the accomplishments of our talented student leaders and staff with ACUI’s recognition of the three programs. In the midst of the challenges around programming and student engagement during the pandemic, I am honored by this recognition for their origination, imagination, vision, and success,” stated Dr. Daniel Maxwell, Interim Vice President for Student Affairs and Enrollment Services.
More about ACUI
ACUI is the professional home to thousands of campus community builders around the world. Primarily focused on the work of those within the college unions and student activities field, the Association strives to provide an inclusive, welcoming community for all those who choose to belong.