September 29, 2020 – During the recent Student Affairs Symposium, Dr. Brown and Dr. Broadie presented the First Annual Student Affairs Staff Awards.
The Access and Inclusion Award went to Student Life Staff. In response to the nationwide discourse about racism stemming from the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, the Student Life Programming Staff posted anti-racism resources for students and created a Virtual Reflection Wall for students, staff and faculty to post their thoughts and feelings. Additionally, for each day in July they focused on US history not typically covered in schools. According to Tracey Reeves, the nominator, they are true social justice warriors and deserve to be recognized for their commitment to educating students in the areas of diversity, equity, accessibility and inclusion.
The Culture of Care Award went to Dr. Bea Awoniyi. While her formal role as ombudsperson requires her to help students, it is her tendency to go above and beyond. Police Chief Ed Book said there are countless examples of Dr. Bea providing after-hour services, running personal errands, and even covering expenses out of her own pocket to help students in need. Andrea Evangelist adds that Dr. Bea Awoniyi fully personifies this award and applies this concept to how she assists both students and staff. This year Dr. Bea worked with partners to donate 3,000 masks for SF offices to give students who show up without masks, to donate $15,000 to assist with the Laptop Loaner Program and to assist students with housing vouchers.
The Innovation Award went to Adrienne Provost. According to Jodi Doher, the Educational Talent Search program has seen a 600% increase in contacts with students because of Adrienne’s innovations in adopting a Campus Platform. And because the staff is meeting the student’s informational needs online, they have more time to use their face-to-face meetings to build relationships and address individual student needs. Jacki Garcia also nominated Adrienne for this award. Jacki says that Adrienne collaborated with the Mechanical Engineering Department at UF to create a 3-week experimental STEM TANK. Because of her innovation, the ETS program was awarded a $40,000 STEM grant. According to Yolanda Thomas who also nominated Adrienne for award, Adrienne’s innovation enabled Upward Bound and Student Support Services to adopt the CANVAS platform that worked so well for ETS. When the college went remote in March, unlike most UB programs around the nation, the SF UB program “did not have to scramble to determine how we would continue to provide services virtually because we were already using the CANVAS platform. It was a seamless transition from spring to the 6-week summer academy.”
The Assessment Award went to Leah Stephens. According to nominator Dan Rodkin, Leah reviewed data on the gender and racial makeup of students who were reviewed by the Disciplinary Admissions Committee to learn how the DAC process may have impacted their likelihood of enrolling. She found that Black students were more likely to be required to interview with the DAC, less likely to come to an interview and less likely to enroll when compared to white and Hispanic students. Leah presented her findings to Student Affairs leadership and as a result several tweaks were made and now Leah calls every student required to meet with the DAC to make sure they know about the meeting, to explain the process and to encourage participation. And an admissions or academic advisor reaches out to each student to help them move through the process.
Special thanks to the esteemed Awards Selection Committee, Dr. Karen Cole Smith, Mrs. Rebecca Rogers and Captain Ryan Woods.