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Student Affairs and Academic Support

Division Awards

The Professional Development Team invites nominations for Division Awards each spring and presents the awards at the annual recognition event at the end of the semester. All Student Affairs and Academic Support employees are eligible to nominate their colleagues and to be nominated for awards themselves.

Nominations due March 8

Celebrate your colleagues by nominating them for division awards. Read the awards criteria below and scroll down to find the nomination form.

 

Awards Criteria and Recent Winners

Recognizes the contribution of employees who consistently demonstrate an exceptional commitment to and understanding of inclusive excellence within the Carolina community outside the scope of their day-to-day job duties through communication, innovation, improving the office/university environment, and student engagement.

Scoring Criteria
  • Enhances inclusion through positive communication between persons of different backgrounds 
  • Develops innovative methods for increasing and valuing diversity through wide-ranging activities and programs 
  • Demonstrates outstanding efforts to promote an environment aligned with the Carolinian Creed and free from bias and discrimination 
  • Establishes various student and community events promoting diversity, respect, and inclusiveness 
Recent Winners

2023: Zo Sediqi, Career Center
2022
: Shay Malone, Multicultural Student Affairs
2021: Claudio Alejo, University Housing; Janie Kerzan, Student Life

Recognizes USC departments and/or staff members within the division who have demonstrated significant creative, original, and exceptional work that has positively impacted the overall quality of campus life. The project must be practical and replicable to external communities.

Scoring Criteria
  • Addresses a problem/issue to enhance the overall quality of campus life
  • Positively affects students and staff 
  • Ability to apply initiatives within other areas/external communities
  • The project was affordable (financially, time-wise, resources) 
Recent Winners

2023: Gamecock Community Shop 
2022
: Gamecock School Supply Closet, Student Success Center
2021
: Resiliency Project

Recognizes employees who have been at the institution for at least two years but less than five who have contributed to the success of the organization through their use of personal initiative, commitment to learning, analytical and critical thinking skills, motivation of others, and problem-solving capabilities.

Scoring Criteria
  • Displays personal initiative through involvement in university-wide events/initiatives 
  • Displays active learning in their position within the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support 
  • Contributes to the success of the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support 
  • Displays Commitment to personal and professional development 
  • Motivates other by demonstrating personal responsibility 
  • Displays excellent analytical and critical thinking skills 
Recent Winners

2023: Liliann Pineda, Capstone Scholars Program
2022
: Carli Mercer, Fraternity and Sorority Life
2021
: Jason Halterman, Sexual Assault and Violence Intervention and Prevention

Recognizes employees who have been at the institution for more than five years who have contributed to the success of the organization through their use of personal initiative, commitment to learning, analytical and critical thinking skills, motivation of others, and problem-solving capabilities.

Scoring Criteria
  • Displays personal initiative through involvement in university-wide events/initiatives 
  • Displays active learning in their position within the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support 
  • Contributes to the success of the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support 
  • Displays commitment to personal and professional development 
  • Motivates other by demonstrating personal responsibility 
  • Displays excellent analytical and critical thinking skills 
Recent Winners

2023: Aimee Hourigan, Substance Abuse Prevention and Education
2022
: Regina Hailey Smith, TRIO Programs
2021
: Cindy Peachey, Student Financial Aid and Scholarships; Elizabeth Orehovec, Undergraduate Admissions

Recognizes the contributions, knowledge and experience of long-term employees in appreciation of their dedicated service to the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support.

Scoring Criteria
  • Distinguished performance and/or contribution that is beyond the scope of the employee’s regular day-to-day activities and assignments.
  • Committed to the long-term success of the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support by displaying personal initiative through involvement in the division
  • Uses resources effectively to achieve institutional mission and goals
  • Strong knowledge and understanding of the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support mission, vision, policies, and procedures and is prepared to address student, parent, employee, or stakeholder concerns, proficiently determining the best solution and quickly follows through for a positive result. The recipient must also exhibit courtesy and professionalism during interactions. 
  • At least ten years of service to the student affairs profession or relevant functional area.

2023: Kim McMahon, Russell House University Union

Recognizes USC departments and/or staff members within the division who have demonstrated significant interdepartmental collaboration to positively impact the overall quality of campus life by addressing a problem or need. Recipients of this award can be: individual-to-individual; department-to-department; or individual-to-department.

Scoring Criteria
  • Evidence of exemplary partnership or collaboration through diverse perspectives 
  • Addressed a problem/need 
  • Contributes positively to the university
Recent Winners

2023: Leena Holt, Parent and Family Programs; Maegan Gudridge, Student Affairs and Academic Support
2022
: Grace Kazmierski, Sustainability; Kimberly Seibles, Multicultural Student Affairs
2021
:  Gamecock Pantry and Parent and Family Programs

Recognizes the division’s most exceptional employees who consistently go beyond the call of duty to make a difference in the Carolina Community by displaying personal initiative, developing relationships, and engagement in university activities.

Scoring Criteria
  • Displays personal initiative through involvement in university-wide events/initiatives 
  • Develops relationship with Carolina community (faculty, staff and students) 
  • Goes above and beyond job description to help others 
  • Participation in division & other university activities 
  • Positive impact on others 
Recent Winners

2023: Megan Colascione, Student Life
2022
: Mandy Bidinger, Office of the Dean of Students
2021
: Katherine Hilson, Undergraduate Admissions

Recognizes graduate assistants who work in the division that have gone above-and-beyond the call of duty to make a substantial impact on USC’s campus by utilizing a theory-to-practice mindset, demonstrating leadership, and engagement in division and university activities.

Scoring Criteria
  • Positive impact on the student experience 
  • Utilizes a theory-to-practice mindset in their work beyond the classroom 
  • Demonstrates Leadership Qualities 
  • Participation in division and other university activities 
Recent Winners

2023: Emma Ormond, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity
2022
: Rachel Mungovan, University Housing; Alexandra Shay, Sustainability; Ailish Stein, Substance Abuse Prevention and Education
2021
: Hamilton Wasnick, Student Government; and Kaitlin Yoffie, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity

Recognizes employees who have made an impact at USC during their first two years of service to the division. Recipients must have two years or less of service at the time of submission and have demonstrated a positive impact to the student experience, built strong community with professionals, demonstrated leadership, involvement, and a commitment to learning.

Scoring Criteria
  • Advances the university mission 
  • Positive impact on the student experience 
  • Builds community among professionals 
  • Demonstrates leadership qualities 
  • Involved in the Carolina community 
  • Commitment to learning 
Recent Winners

2023: Sarah Cassidy, Capstone Scholars Program
2022
: Joshua Cauble, Leadership and Service Center; Jessica Gibson, Career Center; Gabriella Penaherrera, Career Center
2021
: Carly Walter, Fraternity and Sorority Life; Emilia DeMarco, Student Disability Resource Center; Krystal Reynolds, National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience and Students in Transition

Recognizes a member of the USC faculty who has demonstrated significant support for the division, the division’s programs and services, and the overall quality of campus life by aiding in student access, facilitating student progress and persistence, and advancing learning.

Scoring Criteria
  • Engages with the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support 
  • Provides access 
  • Facilitates students’ progress and persistence 
  • Advances learning at the university 
  • Advances learning in the higher education community
Recent Winners

2023: Armen Shaomian, Preston Residential College and College of Hospitality, Retail and Sports Management
2022
: Lara Lomicka Anderson, Preston Residential College and Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures
2021
: Michael Gavin, First-Year English, College of Arts and Sciences; Stephen Cutler, College of Pharmacy

Recognizes the contributions of employees who continuously demonstrate dedication to our mission through positive influences on student learning and engagement by participation in university activities promoting student development, delivering support to students, going above job description, and being approachable and accessible. 

Scoring Criteria
  • Participation in student-centered university activities 
  • Promotes academic and personal student development 
  • Delivers support and guidance to students 
  • Goes beyond job description to help students 
  • Approachable and accessible demeanor to students 
Recent Winners

2023: Josh Dunn, Student Success Center
2022
: Courtney Buzan, Russell House University Union
2021
: Anna Edwards, Student Life; and Nikki Prudé, Substance Abuse Prevention and Education

Recognizes USC staff members outside the division who have demonstrated significant support for the division mission, programs, and services, and the overall quality of campus life by aiding in student access, facilitating student progress and persistence, and advancing learning.

Scoring Criteria
  • Engages with the Division of Student Affairs and Academic Support 
  • Provides access 
  • Facilitates students’ progress and persistence 
  • Advances learning at the university 
  • Advances learning in the higher education community 
Recent Winners

2023: Brian McCaster, College of Engineering and Computing
2022
: Ashleigh Speaks, Financial Aid and Scholarships
2021: Beth Bilderback, University Libraries; Jeff Stensland, Communications and Public Affairs

Recognizes the effort and tenacity of employees who have displayed heartfelt commitment and ability to recover from a strenuous situation. This staff member has been able to push through barriers in dedication to their role and office’s mission and values in order to continue excellent service for the institution. This award is designed to celebrate the victories of our employees despite setbacks, changing times, and roadblocks along the way.

Scoring Criteria
  • Shows dedication to office mission and values 
  • A clear goal is outlined and achieved 
  • A significant barrier is addressed and overcome 
  • The goal’s achievement clearly makes a positive impact on staff or students 
Recent Winners

2023: Wallace Crosby, Fraternity and Sorority Life
2022
: Alisa Liggett, Student Conduct and Academic Integrity; Bethany Naser, New Student Orientation
2021
: Camille Darby, Fraternity and Sorority Life; Kourtney Love, Undergraduate Admissions;  Michael Sisk, Undergraduate Admissions; Patricia Davis, Student Success Center

Recognizes an undergraduate student assistant who works in the division and has gone above and beyond the call of duty to make an impact on USC. This can be an office assistant or a student in an unpaid peer leader leadership position.

Scoring Criteria
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude toward the university, faculty, staff and fellow students
  • Displayed great potential, as evidenced in ways including but not limited to: leadership, involvement, work ethic, desire and ability to contribute positively to the campus
  • Currently enrolled and not a graduating senior 
  • Demonstrates a commitment to developing their leadership identity and making contributions to our campus every day whether it be university, division-wide or department-specific.

2023: Hunter Strause, Russell House University Union

Recognizes the contributions of employees who exceptionally complete essential administrative functions within the division that foster student success but are not necessarily always in direct contact with students. This award is designed to celebrate the contributions of employees often completing responsibilities “behind the scenes”, seeking development in their role, and contributing to the success of the organization.

Scoring Criteria
  • Fosters success directly and/or indirectly with students 
  • Exceeds expectations in their role 
  • Goes above and beyond expectations of customer service and attitude 
  • Seeks development in their role 
  • Contributes to the success of the organization 
Recent Winners

2023: Dow Hammond, Student Disability Resource Center
2022
: Application Reviewers, Undergraduate Admissions; Valarie Lindsay, University Housing; LeAnne Ryan, University Housing
2021
: Haley Joy, University 101 Programs; Patti King, Undergraduate Admissions

 

Nominations

Nominations for the 2024 awards are open through March 8.


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