Student Life celebrates staff leadership awards

Members of the Division of Student Life were honored through the annual celebration for their success, contributions and leadership.

The Division of Student Life at Elon University honored staff members, departments and committees for their success, contributions and leadership to the campus community with its annual achievement awards.

Due to COVID-19, the annual Student Life Year-End Celebration was not held. The Division of Student Life recognized staff members via Zoom and at the annual divisional retreat on August 4, 2020.

Academic Partnership Award

Professional: Charlotte Williams, Campus Recreation and Wellness

Department: Changemaker Advisory Committee

Student Life Staff Members:

Aliana Harrison, Residence Life

Mary Morrison, Kernodle Center for Civic Life

Sylvia Wade, East Neighborhood, Residence Life

The Academic Partnership Award is presented annually to a Student Life professional and department that worked closely with academic partners to design a program or service that purposefully integrates curricular and co-curricular experiences or connect social and intellectual activities in an intentional manner.  Charlotte Williams, the 2019-20 professional recipient, was recognized for her work with academic colleagues in the Department of Education and Wellness to strengthen the SPARKS peer education program. Through her work, an experimental credit-bearing course (WHE 175: Introduction to Peer Education) was developed and a certified peer educator program was integrated into the SPARKS training.

The Changemaker Advisory Committee, the 2019-20 department recipient, is a true collaboration of faculty and staff across multiple areas of Student and Academic Affairs. The Changemaker Scholars is a new cohort program designed to engage students interested in civic engagement and creating solutions to real-world issues.  As a new merit-based scholarship program, the experience offers a mix of programming on- and off-campus and a residential learning experience in the East Neighborhood.  While the first two student cohorts were experiencing the program, the committee has been adapting and improving the program on a continuous basis.  Faculty and staff have been working together throughout this time, a model for true and effective partnership.

Collaboration Award

Professional: Trianne Smith, Residence Life

Department: Student Care and Outreach

The Collaboration Award is presented to an individual and department that has excelled in forming partnerships within and/or outside the Division of Student Life to enhance the student experience by advancing priorities of the division and/or university.  The 2019-20 professional recipient, Trianne Smith, was honored for on-going efforts to build relationships across campus to provide students with an intentional and purposeful experience.  For example, she collaboarates with departments, faculty, staff and student groups to animate the Oaks Neighborhood theme of emerging adulthood and support political engagement across the university as a member of the Political Engagement Working Group.

Student Care and Outreach, the 2019-20 recipient, made ongoing and intentional efforts to advance their goals by building strong partnerships across the university in support of student success.  Public health issues are always a challenge and last year we experienced two, mumps and the COVID-19 pandemic, situations.  Student Care and Outreach in the Office of the Dean of Students remained a central hub of student support, working in close collaboration with departments in Student Life and Academic Affairs, to help students navigate the difficult experiences they’ve encountered, while understanding that care and support is an important factor in student success.  No matter the challenge that students faced with academic, social, and other personal concerns, Student Care and Outreach developed partnerships and systems that created a web of support for students.

Inclusive Excellence Award

Professional: Detric Robinson-Miller, Office of Student Conduct

Department: Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life

The Inclusive Excellence Award is presented to a professional and department that has demonstrated a commitment to fostering a positive campus climate and community through the advancement of diversity, equity and inclusion.  Detric Robinson-Miller, the 2019-20 professional recipient, was recognized for his advocacy for inclusive excellence as a member of the Student Life Strategic Planning Committee, his ongoing efforts to integrate restorative practices in student conduct work and other division programs and services and his personal and professional commitment to fostering a campus environment of equity and inclusion.

The Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life, the 2019-20 department recipient, is involved in multiple initiatives to support inclusive excellence.  Two of note include the new Barefoot Dialogue program that was piloted last year, which is designed to bring students together into deep conversation rooted in equity and justice.  Barefoot Dialogue emphasizes vulnerable, transparent, intimate engagement that connects participants to each other and to the land.  Founded at Oberlin College, the program is being explored at Elon through the passionate efforts of students and chaplains.  Another new effort underway is Spirit and Pride, a grant funded collaboration that is designed to create a more welcoming and inclusive campus environment for LGBTQIA people of faith at Elon.  Woven throughout all the department’s efforts is a deep and abiding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion – not just multifaith understanding, but support for the multiple intersecting identities that our students, staff and faculty carry.

Innovation Award

Professional: Sarah Williams, Kernodle Center for Civic Life

Department: Campus Recreation and Wellness and Counseling Services

The Innovation Award is presented to a professional and department that have developed programs, services or ways of working that are new, unique or forge new pathways in supporting our divisional mission and goals.  The 2019-20 professional recipient, Sarah Williams, was recognized for her trailblazing over the past three years to engage more student-athletes in service, working with coaches and teams to document, recognize, deepen and expand these efforts. Additionally, she led workshops to encourage staff to better utilize the university-provided service hours for efforts with local nonprofit and educational organizations.

Beginning in spring 2019, two Student Life departments, Campus Recreation and Wellness and Counseling Services, worked together to develop an innovative program that seeks to increase exercise adherence through an immersive experience.  They successfully piloted the Live Well program during Winter Term 2020.  In the five-session program, students met for 45 minutes with a personal trainer to learn exercise technique and became more familiar with the fitness center and equipment.  The second half of the 90-minute session was spent with a counselor to discuss strategies for making exercise a regular part of their daily routine through habits and goal setting.  The program resulted in increased confidence and exercise adherence for participants, and assessment results were positive enough that the initiative will become a regular part of annual programming.

Mentoring Award

Becca Bishopric Patterson, Gender and LGBTQIA Center

The Mentoring Award is presented annually to a Student Life professional who is an exceptional mentor to students, engaging with them in purposeful student development activities.  Becca Bishopric Patterson, the 2019-20 Mentoring Award recipient, was recognized for her consistent mentoring to students throughout her time at Elon, whether it is providing advocacy or immediate crisis response or developing long-term lasting relationships to support and empower students who are leading efforts to create change in the university community and beyond.

New Professional Award

Harry Titus, Student Care and Outreach

The New Professional Award is presented to an individual serving in their first or second year at Elon, who exhibits exceptional ability and commitment to work a Student Life professional.

The 2019-20 New Professional Award recipient, Harry Titus, was recognized for his vital support of students hurting or in crisis, the strength of his relationships across the institution and his contributions to important initiatives, such as the Male Engagement & Healthy Masculinities Working Group and the LeaderShape Institute. Additionally, he was commended for his consistent advocacy for the wellness and well-being of all members of the Elon community.

Professional Achievement Award

Jan Fuller, Truitt Center for Religious and Spiritual Life

The Professional Achievement Award is presented to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the student affairs profession.  The 2019-20 Professional Achievement recipient, Jan Fuller, was honored for her contributions as president of the National Association of College and University Chaplains, her second time in her career she has chaired the organization, and her exemplary work to lead the merger of the organization with the Association of College and University Religious Affairs to create a significant and lasting impact on college and university chaplaincy work.