2012 ACUI Common Award Winners

Campus Awards

Collaborative Program of the Year
The Collaborative Program of the Year award recognizes programs that bring together two or more campus entities to achieve one goal. The 2012 Collaborative Program of the Year winner was the ACT (Achieving Community Together) Campaign. This program promoted positive relationships between student and nonstudent residents in the San Marcos community. 


Excellence in Innovations for Sustainability
This award recognizes those who are helping to solve challenges by using innovative and environmentally sustainable practices. The 2012 winner was the University of Oregon’s Bike Program. Funded by the Erb Memorial Union, the Bike Program recycles abandoned bikes from around the campus and loans them to students at a low cost. With additional funding, the Bike Program created the Pedal Power system, which allows campus community members to ride stationary bikes to power events.


Excellence in Student Training Programs
The Excellence in Student Training Programs award recognizes individuals, organizations, or institutions that demonstrate innovative approaches, commitment, and intelligence toward training student employees. The 2012 winner was Temple University. The Howard Gittis University Center revamped its training program to go beyond basic orientation and classroom instruction and include an enhanced training curriculum. The motto “Work, Laugh, Learn” was adopted into the program as part of this new initiative.


Outstanding Service Project of the Year
The Outstanding Service Project of the Year Award acknowledges those programs and program leaders that not only make a difference on campus, but also in the community. This year’s winner was Lake Forest College. The college partnered with the Gorter Family Foundation and North Chicago Community Partners to improve community conditions for families and children in the city of North Chicago, Ill. Members of the campus community volunteer as tutors and mentors, lead sports clinics, facilitate reading programs, and prepare hands-on academic experiences.


Staff-Driven Program of the Year
Recognizing the impact of programming on student learning, this award celebrates achievements of staff charged with programming. The 2012 recipient was Color Me NKU at Northern Kentucky University. This program brought students together from different organizations to paint chairs. These chairs are used in eateries at the university’s Student Union.


Student-Driven Program of the Year
This award recognizes success by students who program on campus. This year’s winner was EagleCHECK at State University of New York–Brockport. EagleCHECK is an intentionally designed program that promotes individual responsibility for the health and safety of others. The program has changed the campus culture when it comes to thinking about and helping those who are engaged in risky, dangerous, or unhealthy situations.


Facility Design Award of Excellence
College union and student activities buildings are special places. These buildings facilitate community building, student learning, professional training, and so much more. The Facility Design Award of Excellence recognizes outstanding and successful collaborations between architect and staff in the design of these buildings. The 2010 Facility Design Award recipients were:

  • AC Martin and Chapman University, Argyros Forum Student Union
  • Cannon Design and Northern Arizona University, Northern Arizona University Health and Learning Center
  • Cannon Design and Texas Christian University, Brown-Lupton University Union
  • Holzman Moss Bottino Architecture and University of Southern Indiana, University Center Expansion
  • Moody-Nolan and The Ohio State University, Ohio Union
  • Perkins+Will and Clarkson University, Student Center
  • WTW Architects and University of Texas–Austin, Student Activity Center

Individual Awards

Adell McMillan Memorial Scholarship
The Adell McMillan Memorial Scholarship is a new award in 2012. It recognizes McMillan’s roles as one of the first women to serve as a leader in ACUI and her commitment to developing women for leadership roles. Funds from the scholarship are to be used support any activity that supports leadership development. The winner of the first Adell McMillan Memorial Scholarship was Laura Rogalski, Western New England University. She will use the scholarship to attend the 2013 annual conference in St. Louis.


Affirmative Action Scholarship
The Association has made funds available for traditionally underrepresented staff to attend ACUI’s annual conference, seminars, or institutes. Applicants are required to have at least three years of professional experience, work at a member institution, and have not received this award in the previous two years. The 2012 Affirmative Action Scholarship winner was Michael Coleman, New York University. Coleman plans to use the funds to attend the 2013 annual conference in St. Louis. 


C. Richard Scott Memorial Scholarship
This scholarship fund was created from contributions by the family of C. Richard Scott, colleagues, and friends. The scholarship honors Scott’s commitment to developing student leaders. Scholarship funds are used by the recipient to participate in an ACUI-sponsored educational activity. The 2012 recipient was Molly Peirano, The Ohio State University, who will be attending the upcoming Women’s Leadership Institute.


Chester A Berry Scholar Award for Excellence in Writing
This award is named in honor of ACUI’s first executive director and recognizes outstanding writing the field of college unions and student activities. The 2012 winner was Dirk Rodricks, University of Vermont. Rodricks’ winning paper was titled “Towards a More Perfect Union: Integrating Social Justice into the College Union.”


Dissertation of the Year Award
The Dissertation of the Year Award recognizes outstanding dissertation research conducted by a doctoral degree recipient presently in and intending to enter the profession. New this year, the 2012 Dissertation of the Year Award was given to Amy Wilson, University at Buffalo, for her work on “Transforming the Role of the Leadership Educator: The Relationship between Multicultural Competence and the Use of the Social Change Model of Leadership Development.”


Emeritus Award
Since 1994, the Emeritus Award has recognized college union and student activities professionals who are retiring. Nominees must have worked in the profession for at least 10 years and be retiring in the next year. The Association honored six individuals this year:

  • Leland Bennett, Tulane University
  • Jon Cutis, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
  • Alan Kirby, University of California–Santa Barbara
  • Helga Kray, California State University–San Bernardino
  • Andy Rhoades, Texas State University–San Marcos
  • Tom Trimble, University of Toledo

Gretchen Laatsch Scholarship
This scholarship, created by Gretchen Laatsch and her husband, Jim Switzer, supports graduate students that are either currently in the field or intend to enter the profession. Applicants are required to submit an article suitable for publication. The 2012 recipient was Angel Flowers, Ohio University. Her article was entitled, “Staffing and Supervision: A Guide for New Supervisors.”


Honorary Membership
Honorary membership is conferred by the Board of Trustees on those individuals who have given exceptional service to the Association. This year, the board bestowed this honor on three individuals.

  • Michael Bowen, Wayne State University
  • Don Luse, University of North Carolina–Chapel Hill
  • Bob Rodda, College of Wooster

Meg Sutton I-LEAD® Scholarship
The Meg Sutton I-LEAD Scholarship® provides the opportunity for students to participate in this life-changing program. The award recognizes those students that have overcome obstacles and challenges in their education and have a leadership role in their college union or student activities program. The 2012 recipient was Nicole King, Webster University, who will be attending the 2012 session of the Institute for Leadership Education and Development®.


Richard D. Blackburn New Professional Award
Richard D. Blackburn was an avid volunteer within ACUI and served as executive director from 1982–91. As he was a constant supporter of new professionals, this award was created to recognize an individual who demonstrates the potential for excellence in the profession. This year’s winner was Jody Poth, The Ohio State University. 


President of the Year Award
New in 2012, the President of the Year Award was created to recognize those university presidents who advance the college union idea. The 2012 winner was Steve Schutt, Lake Forest College. Schutt is a continual supporter of the union, helping to find funding and support for the facilities and programs on his campus.


Research and Education Grant
Another new award in 2012, the ACUI Research and Education Grant is given to fund research-based projects that increase the knowledge base of student activities, college union, ACUI, and the profession. The recipient of the 2012 grant was Kerry Hodak, The Ohio State University, who plans to conduct research about campus engagement among graduate and professional students.


Two-Year College Honorary Associate Degree Award
This award honors an individual from a four-year college who works hard to advance the cause of two-year colleges within ACUI. This year’s winner was Louis Lau, University of California–San Diego. Lau previously worked at Santiago Canyon College, a two-year college, and continues to help student get involved on that campus.

Other Awards

100th Anniversary Logo Competition
In honor of its upcoming 100th anniversary, ACUI sought a logo designed by a member that would be used to brand the centennial celebration. The winning logo designer received free registration, lodging, and airfare to attend to the 2012 annual conference, where the logo was revealed. The winning logo was designed by Larin Littwin, Florida State University.


Earl Whitfield Regional Newsletter Award
This award recognizes volunteers who strive to keep all members of their region updated and convey the news of both the region and international Association through different forms of communication. The 2012 winner was Region 2’s newsletter and editor Chip Matthews.


Steal this Idea Best of Show
Steal this Idea is a graphic design and marketing competition. Each year, judges look through hundreds of entries to find a Best of Show. The 2012 Best of Show winner was AJ O’Reilly, Indiana University.

Updated Jan. 28, 2013