Two weeks ago, a significant number of our staff participated in one of the largest gatherings of student affairs professionals in the world, the 2017 NASPA — Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education Annual Conference in San Antonio, including several presentations and national recognition for our programs.
Acknowledging innovative programs that transform students, NASPA honored our own Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC) and Office of the Dean of Students. Each department received NASPA Excellence Award recognition for innovative programs.
CMHC’s Get Sexy. Get Consent., a program of Voices Against Violence, received the Grand Silver Excellence Award. Get Sexy. Get Consent. has inspired conversations about sex, consent and safety through interactive theatre since 2012.
The Leadership and Ethics Institute in the Office of the Dean of Students received a Bronze Excellence Award for their program Leadership Education and Progress (LEAP). This multi-dimensional program builds new students’ leadership skills during an eight-week workshop series designed for first-year students.
These awards deserve celebration. The NASPA Excellence Awards Committee received 70 submissions this year across eleven categories. Gold, silver and bronze awards are given to three programs in each category. Three overall winners are selected for the grand gold, grand silver and grand bronze designations.
Our staff also took the stage and presented several sessions on topics ranging from diversity and inclusion to Title IX. We had a strong group representing UT Austin and sharing their expertise: Adriana Alicea-Rodriguez, Mike Balsan, Corey Benson, Francesca Cicero, Justin Jaskowiak, Hemlata Jhaveri, Ashley Jones, Amissa Miller, Saralyn McKinnon-Crowley, Katy Redd, Justin Samuel, Shauna Sobers and Aaron Voyles. Dozens of other Division staff also participated in the conference.
Please join me in congratulating our award winners and presenters for representing our Division as thought leaders on the national stage. I am proud to lead such creative and talented staff who are committed to our students—congratulations!