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SACSA Awards Winners
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At each annual conference, members of SACSA recognize the accomplishments of a select group of colleagues. The SACSA Awards and Recognition Committee invites the membership to make nominations for the four most prestigious awards given by the Association. These awards are based upon merit and may or may not be presented each year.

The Melvene Draheim Hardee Award

The Melvene Draheim Hardee Award recognizes contributions to student personnel work by a member of the Association. Recognition will be for achievement in one or more of the following areas:

  • Development of a model program or concept that impacts student personnel work in the Southeast.
  • Significant research and/or publication.
  • Providing outstanding leadership in professional organizations and/or endeavors.
  • Any unique and outstanding contribution to student personnel work that calls for acceptance and acknowledgement throughout the profession.

Previous award recipients are:

Ted Miller, 1976 Harold Riker, 1975 Margaret Ruth Smith, 1979
Phylilis Mable, 1982 Annette Gibbs, 1985 Bob E. Leach, 1986
Don Gehring, 1987 John Jones, 1988 Roger Winston, 1989
Patricia Murrell, 1990 Barbara Mann, 1991 William Bryan, 1992
Glenn Stillon, 1993 Gregory Blimling, 1994 Anne E. Gordon, 1995
Cynthia Bonner, 1996 Stanley Carpenter, 1997 Bill McDonald, 1998
Mary Howard-Hamilton, 1999 Diane Cooper, 2000 Fred Rhodes, 2001
Gerald E. Tice, 2002 Merrily S. Dunn, 2003 Tony Cawthon, 2004
Almeda R. Jacks, 2005 Harry Shucker, 2006 Ralph Johnson, 2007
Dennis Gregory, 2008 Pam Havice, 2009 BJ Mann, 2010
Joelle Davis Carter, 2011 April Heiselt, 2012 Melanie McClellan, 2013
Deb Kladivko, 2014 Adriel Hilton, 2015 Aaron Hughey, 2016
Monica Galloway Burke, 2017 Ellen J. Neufeldt, 2018  Jane Rathbone, 2019

The Howard Davis Sr. Award

The Howard Davis Sr. Award recognizes outstanding service rendered to SACSA by a member of the Association. Recognition will be for achievements in one or more of the following areas:

  • Performance of duty above the expected.
  • Completion of a service to the Association that reflected faithful and competent achievement.
  • Development of new programs or concepts with a positive impact upon the Association.

Previous award recipients:

Mildred English, 1977 Dorothy Truex, 1979 Rocky Renneisen, 1980
Jean Jones, 1981 Pauline Gravlee, 1982 Robert Jones, 1983
John D. Jones, 1984 Annie L. Cooper, 1985 Garth Jenkins, 1986
Martha McGee, 1987 Joe Buck, 1988 Harold Hall, 1989
Richard Hudson, 1990 Fred Rhodes, 1991 Glenda Earwood Smith, 1992
Don Gehring, 1993 Francine Madrey, 1994 Gerald E. Tice, 1995
C. William McKee, 1996 Wayne King, 1997 Ralph Johnson, 1998
Harold Holmes, 1999 Brit Katz, 2000 James F. Conneely, 2002
Melanie McClellan, 2003 Pam Moon, 2004 Vanessa W. Smith, 2005
Tony Cawthon, 2006 Mark Kidd, 2007 Ann Bailey, 2008
Bob Glenn, 2009 Clay Brown, 2010 Laura Waltrip, 2011
Monica Burke, 2012 Jane Adams-Dunford, 2013 Matt Varga, 2014
Sherryl Byrd, 2015 Ellen Neufeldt, 2016 Deb Kladivko, 2017
Jason Cassidy, 2018 Beau Seagraves, 2019  

The Bobby E. Leach Award

The Bobby E. Leach Award recognizes a student affairs professional or graduate student who has contributed significantly to the development of multicultural relations on a college or university campus. Criteria is as follows:

  • Currently active in SACSA (one year minimum membership).
  • Must have been significantly involved at least two years in efforts, which have contributed to improvement of multicultural relations on his/her campus.

Previous award recipients:

Aaron Lamar, 1991 Ralph Johnson, 1992 Dennis Golden, 1993
Brenda Richardson, 1994 Charles F. Lynch, 1995 Vernon Wall, 1996
Frances Lucas-Tauchar, 1998 Emanuel Newsome, 1999 Jane Adams-Dunford, 2000
Leon Wiles, 2001 Ian Art King, 2002 Gerald Spates, 2003
Monica Burke, 2004 Idella Goodson Glenn, 2005 Melissa Shivers, 2006
Michael Snowde, 2007 Marc Shook, 2008 Tanisha Jenkins, 2009
Lakiesa Cantey Rawlinson, 2010 Darris Means, 2011 Sabrina Brown, 2012
Creston Lynch, 2013 Brit Katz, 2014 Shawnboda Mead, 2015
Victoria Chan, 2016 Jason Wallace, 2017 Johnny Young, 2018

The New Professional Award

The New Professional Award recognizes a new professional who has provided exemplary service to SACSA. Criteria is as follows:

  • No more than five years of full-time experience in student affairs.
  • Current membership for at least one full year and active involvement in SACSA.
  • Demonstrated service to the profession (e.g., presented a paper, workshop, conducted research, demonstrated leadership) and promise shown for becoming a leader in the field.
  • Attended at least two SACSA affiliated professional development conferences, workshops, or activities.
  • Possess outstanding character and potential role model stature for other new professionals.

Previous award recipients:

Sissy Whitlock, 1991 Ted Scharre, 1992 Terri Ducker, 1993
Beth Campbell, 1994 Glenn S. Bryant, 1995 Denisha Sanders, 1996
Corey King, 1997 Janice Gerweck, 1998 Bonita Fields Vinson, 1999
Bobbie Jean (BJ) Mann, 2000 Jennie Royal, 2001 Joelle Davis Carter, 2002
Roland N. Bullard, Jr., 2003 Dwaun Warmack, 2004 Kevin Jacques, 2005
Linda Jameison, 2006 Brianne Meagher, 2007 Terrell Strayhorn, 2008
Shawnboda Mead, 2009 Khorey Baker, 2010 Alison Brown, 2011
April Sith, 2012 Aubrey Holt, 2013 Cordarius McLean, 2014
Christina Wan, 2015 Kristin Walker, 2016
Zach Blackmon, 2017
Joshua McKee, 2018 Dashan Axson-Lawrence, 2019  

The Mid-Level Professional Award

The Mid-Level Professional Award recognizes a mid-level professional who has provided exemplary service to SACSA and on a college or university campus. Criteria are as follows:

  • Minimum of six years of full-time professional experience supervising, maintaining budgets, and/or programming in a higher education setting.
  • Current membership for a minimum of three full years and active involvement in SACSA.
  • Demonstrated service to the profession and his/her institution (e.g., presented a paper or workshop locally or at a state, regional, or national conference, conducted research, mentored graduate students and new professionals, campus committee involvement, and professional association involvement)
  • Attended at least three SACSA affiliated professional development conferences, workshops, or activities.
  • Possess outstanding character and potential role model stature for new and other mid-level professionals.
Matt Clifford, 2013 Shawnboda Mead, 2014 Aretha Milligan, 2015
Larry Correll-Hughes, 2016   Kathy Meyer, 2017 Reginald Lane, 2018
Kyle Williams, 2019

The Outstanding Graduate Student Award

The Outstanding Graduate Student Award recognizes a graduate student for their academic achievement, campus involvement and potential for significant contributions to the Student Affairs profession. Criteria are as follows:

  • Enrolled as a full-time student pursuing masters or doctoral work in a Student Affairs-related degree program, with intention of pursuing a career within Student Affairs.
  • Current membership for at least one full year and active involvement in SACSA.
  • Demonstrated academic achievement.
  • Active involvement and leadership roles in campus activities and organizations.
  • Possess a paraprofessional or intern-related position within the Student Affairs Division.
Reginald Lane, 2011 Janice Hicks, 2014
Emilie Cravens, 2012
Fred Tugas, 2015 Tekita Bankhead, 2013 Christopher Ndiritu, 2017
Preston Reilly, 2018 Cassidy Nelson, 2019

The Joe Buck Service Award

This award is created to recognize the long-term membership and service of Dr. Joseph A. Buck, Vice President for Student Affairs Emeritus at Armstrong Atlantic State University, to the Southern Association for College Student Affairs. Dr. Buck currently serves as SACSA's inaugural Executive Director, a position for which he has volunteered since 2001. Prior to this role, Dr. Joe Buck has served SACSA with distinction since 1973. His accomplishments include:

  • SACSA Scholar, 2003, 2002
  • Local Arrangements Chair, 2000, 1990, 1980
  • SACSA Foundation participant
  • H. Howard Davis, Sr. Award Recipient, 1988
  • SACSA President, 1984-1985
  • SACSA Historian, 1976, 1975
  • Chair, By-Laws Committee, 1987, 1986
  • Chair, State of Georgia, Sexual Harassment Task Force. 1988, 1987
  • Chair, Consultative Services Program, 1977, 1976

The Joe Buck Service Award shall be presented to a dependable and dedicated SACSA member who has demonstrated exceptional commitment to the Association.

Selection criteria is as follows:

  • Minimum of 5 years of SACSA membershp.
  • Demonstrated record of committee service and/or leadership.
  • Has not served as an elected officer.
  • Has not received prior award recognition from SACSA.
  • Viewed by SACSA colleagues as a role model, mentor, and unsung hero of the Association.

Previous award recipients:

Kevin Koett, 2004 Bobby Woodard, 2011 Lisa D. Skelton, 2005
Dean Smedley, 2013 Bill Kelso, 2006 Lauren Rust, 2014
Kenneth Posner, 2007 Jason Cassidy, 2015 Roger Becks, 2008
Don Stansberry, 2016 Rusty Guill, 2009 Brian Bourke, 2017
Deb Kladivko, 2010 Dena R. Kneiss, 2018 Matthew J. Smith, 2019

Ted K. Miller Award for Excellence

CAS established the Ted K. Miller Award for Excellence to recognize outstanding accomplishments in advancing standards of practice and quality assurance in educational programs and services in higher education.  The enhancement of student learning and development remains at the very core of the mission of the Council for the Advancement of Standards. The Ted K. Miller Award is presented by CAS member associations to an individual based on the following criteria:

Criteria for recognizing individuals:
  • Outstanding leadership or creative initiative are exhibited in the promotion of standards in higher education, and/or in the field of student learning and development
  • Significant publications and/or other professional activities have been accomplished in the field of standards, their application, and relevant assessment of student learning and development
  • CAS standards are reflected and the goals of CAS are promoted in publications and in facilitated assessment activities, and are significantly included in their work and/or through professional activities

 Previous award recipients:

Laura Dean, 2015 Tony Cawthon, 2017 Pam Havice, 2016
Dorian McCoy, 2018

Dissertation of the Year Award

The Dissertation of the Year Award shall be presented to recognize high quality research by doctoral students in the SACSA region. Dissertations must be completed and signed between July 1 and June 30 of the year preceeding the SACSA conference where the award is to be announced (i.e. between July 1, 2010 and June 30, 2011 for the 2011 award). DEADLINE for submission is July 18, 2011. Submission information can be found here. Abstracts from winners from the past few years can be found on the SACSAworks page here.

Previous award recipients:

James L. McBride, 1982 Nancy Kane, 1983 Marilyn M. Buck, 1985
R. Thomas Fitch, 1987 Katherine Ford Spanton, 1988 Nancy Zimmerman, 1989
Scott Ingold, 1990 Bettie J. Glenn, 1991 James Conneely, 1992
Ralph Johnson, 1993 Jeffrey C. Long, 1994 Charles L. Donlin, Jr., 1994 runner up
Sherryl A. Byrd, 1995 Phyllis McCluskey-Titus, 1996 Leanne Newman, 1999
Robert A. Littleton, 2001 David Jones, 2002 Jennifer Lease, 2003
Olga Rbalkina, 2004 Susan Martin, 2005 Jason Cassidy, 2006 (tie)
Ivan Harrell, 2006 (tie) Michael Shutt, 2007 C. Ryan Akers, 2008
Sarah Keeling, 2009 Matthew Clifford, 2010 Jodi Fisler, 2011
Rebecca Jane Caldwell, 2012 Claire Robbins, 2013 Helen Diamond-Steele, 2013
Ben Stubbs, 2014
David Smith, 2015 Steve D. Mobley, Jr., 2016
Ashley Nicole Stone, 2017 Justin Grimes, 2018 Brittany M. Williams, 2019

Research Incentive Grant

A Research Incentive Grant may be presented to encourage research in student affairs theory and practice. College student affairs professionals and graduate students working on a master's thesis or doctoral dissertation are eligible to compete for the award. The recipient must be from the SACSA region and be an active member of SACSA. For more information see the Research Committee page here or download details about the research grant here.

Previous grant recipients:

C. Ryan Akers, 2008 Linda Jameison, 2009 Tammy Kahrig, 2009
S. Regina Sargent, 2009 Melissa Gruver, 2010 Beau Seagraves, 2010
Stacie Williams, 2010 Helen Diamond Steele, 2011 Jean Oldham, 2011
Emilie Cravens, 2012 Darrius Means, 2012 Jonathan L. Johnson, 2012
Sirena Cantrell, 2012 Adriel Hilton, 2015 J.W. Decker, 2016
Tiffany J. Davis, 2016 Cynthia R. Polk-Johnson, 2016 Aris L. Hall, 2017
Leonard Taylor, 2017 Melvin A. Whitehead, 2017 Brittany M. Williams, 2017
Jemilia Davis, 2018 Dustin Evatt-Yound, 2018 Lamesha Andrews, 2018
Katherine Burr, 2018 Merrily Dunn, 2018  Ashley McMillan, 2019
Jason K. Wallace & Varselles Cummings, 2019 Valerie Beth Glassman, 2019

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