Association News

Congratulations to 2016 Recipients of Regional Awards and Scholarships
January 2, 2017

BLOOMINGTON, IND. — All of ACUI’s regions offer a variety of ways to recognize and provide opportunities to members through awards and scholarships. Throughout 2016, a total of 97 regional awards and scholarships were presented, with $30,589 being offered in funding to support student and professional development.

In the three years of the current regional structure, an average of 81 awards and scholarships for $27,895 has been presented annually.

Congratulations to the below list of this year’s recipients.


Don and Noel Hinde Distinguished Service Award
Lynn Cacha, San Diego State University

Matt Cameron Outstanding Student Award
Edwin Avelar, California State University–Dominguez Hills

Debra L. Hammond Outstanding New Professional Staff Award
Giselle Atallah, California State University–Dominguez Hills

Staff-Driven Program of the Year
Dominica Ranieri, Alliant International University

Scholarship Recipients
Liza Bennett, San Diego State University
Linda Doo, California State University–Northridge
Bryant Garcia, California State University–Northridge
Lynn Gold, University of Nevada–Las Vegas
Giovany Paiz, California State University–Dominguez Hills


Bernard Pitts Role of the College Union Award
Union Day 2016, University of Arkansas

Rising Star Award
Michael Mendoza, University of Houston

Shirley Plakidas Outstanding New Professional Award
Victoria Culver Rice, Missouri State University

William H. Smith Outstanding Professional Award
Audrey Taggart-Kagdis, Kansas State University

Scholarship Recipients
Katie Beaulieu, Texas Christian University
Neil Bourgeois, Southeastern Louisiana University
Priscilla Ipina, Texas Tech University
Joe LeConte, Texas Christian University
Cecilia Vilarreal, University of Texas–Rio Grande Valley


Smith-Steele Award
Dr. Krista Harrell, University of South Alabama

Outstanding Volunteer Award
Aaron Lovitz, Florida State University

New Professional Award
Justin Edwards, University of North Carolina–Wilmington

Outstanding Advisor-Mentor Award
Dr. Michael King, University of Southern Mississippi

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader Award
Haley Phillips, University of North Carolina–Wilmington

Scholarship Recipients
Christine Amendola, North Carolina State University
Alexis Caliendo, North Carolina State University
Giovanna Colo, Georgia Institute of Technology
Victoria Cooper, University of Georgia
Reginald Howell, North Carolina State University
Nick Lang, Clemson University
Ankur Patel, University of North Carolina–Charlotte
Emily Rattini-Reich, Tallahassee Community College
Stephanie Schroeder, University of Southern Mississippi
Laura Thompson, Georgia Institute of Technology


Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award
Kien Truong, Portland Community College

Outstanding New Professional Award
Sean Rathbun, Oregon State University

Rodie-Keintz Outstanding Mentor Award
Mike Mayers, Oregon State University

Student Driven Program of the Year
Ralphie’s Cooking Basics, University of Colorado–Boulder

Staff Driven Program of the Year
“Who U Reppin’?” Student Leadership Program, Portland Community College

Innovation in Sustainability Award
SEC Permaculture Garden, Student Sustainability Initiative, Oregon State University

Outstanding Student Training Program
Men’s Development & Engagement Program, Diversity & Cultural Engagement, Oregon State University

Scholarship Recipients
Bernie Liang, Seattle University
Ally Menzdorf, University of Utah
Abigail Ramos, Western Washington University
Kien Truong, Portland Community College


Inspiring Vision Award for Mid-Level Student Affairs Professionals
Jeni Eltink, University of Minnesota–Duluth

Rising Star Award for New Professionals
Anthony Faris, North Dakota State University

Graduate Student of the Year Award
Darien Abadie, Southern Illinois University–Carbondale

Undergraduate Student of the Year Award
Ania Holubecki, Northwestern University
Justin Humphrey, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Program of the Year
Masters of Success Program, North Dakota State University

Other Quarterly Program Recognitions
Cosmic Bingo, Minnesota State University–Mankato
Poverty Simulation, North Dakota State University

Scholarship Recipients
Darien Abadie, Southern Illinois University–Carbondale
Courtney Chatterton, Northwestern University
Ann Comerford, Western Illinois University
Nick Dalton, University of Minnesota–Duluth
Jessi Eaton, University of Minnesota–Duluth
Simon Franco, University of Minnesota–Morris
Ania Holubecki, Northwestern University
Melissa Jones, Minnesota State University–Mankato
Bill Tourville, Minnesota State University–Mankato


Bob Rodda New Professional Award
Spencer Stidd, Virginia Tech

Colleen Hennessy Undergraduate Student Award
Todd Simmons, University of Akron

Colleen Hennessy Graduate Student Award
Megan Vermillion, University of Akron

Gretchen Laatsch Outstanding Service Award
Heather Beasley, Purdue University

Outstanding Staff Development Award
University of Akron

Outstanding Collaborative Programming Award
Political Engagement Programs, Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis

Scholarship Recipients
Donte Sharpe, Virginia Commonwealth University
Charlie Schraw, Purdue University
Molly Tieman, Purdue University


Edgar A. Whiting Award
Dave Timman, West Chester University

Christine A. Chergi Award
Meg O’Sullivan, SUNY Downstate Medical Center

Joseph H. Benedict Award
Kristen Mruk, Genesee Community College

Outstanding New Professional Award
Alexandra Beynon, Temple University

Outstanding Graduate Student Award
Brittany Shaw, West Chester University

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award
Megan Henry, Temple University

Dr. Teresa D. Drummond Memorial Award
Language Matters, Rutgers University–New Brunswick

Outstanding Community Building Program Award
Building Inclusive Communities, Rutgers University–New Brunswick

Scholarship Recipients
Maria Barriga, University of Delaware
Luke Haumesser, University at Buffalo
Adriana Hernandez-Palomino, Philadelphia University
Lauren Ransom, Philadelphia University
Maiya Robinson, Rutgers University–New Brunswick
Brandon Stroud, Rochester Institute of Technology
Ashley Wallace, American University


Distinguished Service Award
Allison O’Connor, Curry College

College Union and Campus Life Role Model Award (Staff)
Gavin Telfer, Southern New Hampshire University

College Union and Campus Life Role Model (Student)
Allison McLean, Emerson College

New Professional Award
Ashley Austin, Tufts University

Student Employee Award
Abby Pieger, Curry College

Scholarship Recipients
Abby Feenstra, University of Vermont
John Wescott, Eastern Connecticut State University
Daniel Veira, Salem State University
Sherry Liang, Wesleyan University
Linzy Martinez, Central Connecticut State University
Korey Keeney, Acadia University
Chelsea Kryspin, Northeastern University


Justin Rudisille
Volunteer and Member Engagement Strategist

About ACUI

Founded in 1914, ACUI serves those working in college unions and student activities on campuses worldwide. Its members include administrators, professional staff, student employees, student organization leaders, graduate students, and companies. 



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