2013 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 2013 Collaborative Program of the Year winner was the Packapalooza at North Carolina State University. Packapalooza was a day filled with music, activities, and entertainment. The businesses on Hillsborough Street were open and more than 160 campus and community organizations staffed tables throughout the day, hosting interactive activities for event-goers at their tables. Packapalooza featured performances throughout the day on two stages, showcasing both local and national performers and headlined by country group Carolina Liar.

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 2013 winner was Philadelphia University. The Kanbar Campus Center's program is called "Train Them to Lead, Train Them for Life." The program infuses practices that are not widely used among other student employee training programs, such as installation of a reading program; the design and execution of team building practices to emotionally bond the staff; the use of personality assessments and workshops designed around the results of these assessment;s and the infusion of modules that train the students on the policies and procedures while still developing leadership and team building skills. The modules that are developed for this program are all designed for the training sessions individually but are also able to be used campuswide.

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 the University of Missouri–Columbia for their Tiger Pantry. The Tiger Pantry is a full-service food bank, available to anyone with a campus ID. The purpose of Tiger Pantry is “to provide food resources and education to members of the University of Missouri family in need while exemplifying the University’s four core values of Respect, Responsibility, Discovery, and Excellence."

Staff-Driven Program of the Year
Recognizing the impact of programming on student learning, this award celebrates achievements of staff charged with programming. The 2013 recipient was The Power of Words at the University of Colorado–Boulder. This program addressed students responses and created a program series that examined different subordinated identities and words/phrases that are negatively associated with that community.

Student-Driven Program of the Year
This award recognizes success by students who program on campus. This year’s winner was SIGNS & RHYMES: Intersections of Deaf & Hip-Hop Cultures at New York University. This program allowed participants to be able to look at diversity and culture in a new light. Through the event, awareness was brought not only to people with disabilities but also the micro culture within the Deaf community that uses hip-hop culture as a new way of expression.

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 2013 Facility Design Award recipients were:

  • Cannon Design and Tidewater Community College, Norfolk Campus Student Center
  • MHTN Architects and Boise State University, Student Union Building
  • MHTN Architects and Weber State University, Shepherd Union
  • Shepley Bulfinch and Hamline University, Carol Young Anderson and Dennis L. Anderson Center
  • WTW Architects and Louisiana State University, LSU Union
  • WTW Architects and The Pennsylvania State University, Pattee Library Knowledge Commons

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 Adell McMillan Memorial Scholarship was Reece Painter-Payne, Central Connecticut State University. She used 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 2013 Affirmative Action Scholarship winner was Dirk Rodricks, University of Vermont.

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 2013 winner was Kaitlyn Moran, North Carolina State University. Moran’s winning paper was titled “Competencies among New Professionals in the Union and Activities Field.”

Revis A. Cox Memorial Award
This award was established as a lasting tribute to Revis Cox and his contributions, commitment, creativity, and relentless support of multicultural education. The 2013 winner was Carole Desgroppes, California State University–Dominguez Hills. Desgroppes has been an extremely active member of ACUI, having served in numerous leadership positions and presented many educational sessions, both of those at the regional and international level. She has been an active member of the Community of Practice for Multi-Ethnic Professionals and Allies for more than 10 years, serving in multiple leadership capacities. She has been instrumental in developing the community’s logo, creating marketing materials for annual conference activities, and served on the planning committee for preconference programs in Atlanta and New Orleans.

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 in 2012, this year's Dissertation of the Year Award was given to Kathy McIntosh, Pepperdine University, for her work on "The Role of Mentoring in Identification and Selection of College Student Unions/Activities Careers,” which investigated how student employment and involvement experiences influenced individuals’ decisions to pursue careers in this profession.

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:

  • Dan Cornthwaite, San Diego State University
  • Charles Morrell, University of Connecticut
  • Gale Swanka, Bowling Green State University
  • Margaret Vos, St. Cloud State University

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 2013 recipient was Alicia Fitzgerald, University of Missouri–Columbia. Her article was entitled “Competing Interests: How to Encourage Student Volunteerism without Sacrificing Employee Development.”

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.

  • Martha Blood, ACUI
  • William Edwards, Portland Community College

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 2013 recipient was Demontae Thompson, California State University–Northridge, who will be attending the 2013 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 Daniel Gray, University of Houston. Throughout this time and these varied experiences, Gray played a significant role in the growth and continual high performance for the student life family in supporting student success for the community. His ability to build community and consensus are real operational hallmarks of the growth and development for Houston's programs.

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 2013 winner was Dr. Renu Khator, University of Houston. Dr. Khator has been a tireless ally of the University Center Transformation Project since she arrived on campus and has worked to ensure the UH student body receives a top-tier student center. During a speech at the groundbreaking ceremony for the UC Transformation Project, she spoke of the role the University Center plays in student development, student retention, and student success.

Other Awards

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 2013 winner was Region 1’s newsletter and editor Jason Campbell-Foster. 

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 2013 Best of Show winner was Judy Suh, Northwestern University, for the "Smart Dillo" promotional campaign.

Updated July 14, 2013