ACUI Award Recipients Honored at 2019 Annual Conference

During the 2019 Annual Conference in Indianapolis, ACUI celebrated achievements in advancing campus community during The Honors awards ceremony on March 25. Those recognized through these awards serve as examples of successful leaders, scholars, and innovators in the field, while scholarship recipients enhance their careers through support to participate in professional development activities. Below are the 2019 recipients recognized during the ceremony.

Campus Awards

These awards celebrate outstanding innovations and programs to serve as models for the value and impact that college unions have on campus.

  • Collaborative Program of the Year: What is Means to be a Redbird, Illinois State University
  • Excellence in Innovations for Sustainability: Give + Go Green, Temple University
  • Excellence in Student Training Programs: Campus Life Behind Closed Doors, University of North Carolina–Wilmington
  • Joseph H. Benedict Jr. Social Change Award for Racial Justice: Tunnel of Oppression, Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis
  • Outstanding Service Project of the Year: Field to Pantry, Oregon State University
  • Shirley Bird Perry Staff-Driven Program of the Year: Student Engagement Response Team, University of Colorado–Boulder
  • Student-Driven Program of the Year: Chi Omega Songfest, University of South Alabama
  • Steal this Idea Best in Show: Black History Month Promotional Campaign, University of Maryland

Writing and Research Awards

These awards support writing and research relevant to the profession.

  • ACUI Research and Education Grant: Tara Benson & Victoria Rice, Missouri State University
  • Daniel M. Maxwell Dissertation of the Year: Justin Camputaro, Ph.D., University of Washington
  • Gretchen Laatsch Grant and Scholarship: Elizabeth Desimone, Alaina Giovanni, and Dayna Weintraub, Rutgers University


These opportunities provide financial support for professionals and students to develop as leaders and advance their careers by attending an educational event.

  • Adell McMillan Memorial Scholarship: Paige LaPoint, University of Alaska–Fairbanks
  • C. Richard Scott Memorial Scholarship: Mohamad Karim, Portland Community College
  • Chuck Morrell New Professional IPDS Scholarship: Kyle Kennedy, Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis
  • Edward S. “Beanie” Drake Founders’ Award: Eve Esch, University of Houston
  • Greer Dawson Wilson Scholarship Cara White, University of Delaware
  • Manny Cunard Scholarship: Shannon Ferris, Albertus Magnus College
  • Meg Sutton I-LEAD Scholarship: Kali Barnhart, Springfield College

Facility Design Awards

These awards encourage excellence in the design of student-centered facilities that support campus community building and student learning.

  • UIS Student Union – Workshop Architects & University of Illinois–Springfield
  • Second Student Centre – CannonDesign & York University
  • Mori Hosseini Student Union – ikon.5 architects & Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
  • Gatton Student Center – Perkins+Will, Omni Architects, & University of Kentucky
  • Findlay Commons – WTW Architects & Penn State University

Individual Awards

These awards honor professionals for their commitment to the college union and student activities profession, as well as their volunteer service to the Association.

  • Distinguished Faculty Award: Danielle DeSawal, Ph.D., Indiana University–Bloomington
  • Excellence in Volunteer Service Award:
    • Clayton Kolb, Ed.D., Virginia Tech
    • Rhonda Laylo, University of Illinois–Chicago
    • Brian Magee, Ed.D., University of Rochester
    • Kerry Spicer, Daemen College
    • Brian Starkel, Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis
  • President of the Year: Jessica Howard, Ph.D., Portland Community College
  • Revis A. Cox Memorial Award: Tonee Sherrill, California State University–Channel Islands
  • Richard D. Blackburn New Professional Award: Shane Farmer, Furman University
  • The ACUI Values Award:
    • Michael Boerner, Stony Brook University
    • Kyle Burke, Northeastern Illinois University
    • Victoria Lawler, California State University–Northridge

Emeritus Award

This designation conferred by the Board of Trustees celebrates professionals for their leadership and dedication to serving students and advancing campus community through their careers in the field.

  • Terry Clayton, Purdue University
  • Kris Corda, Cornell University
  • Ronald Dunkel, Southern Illinois University–Carbondale
  • John Herbst, University of Kentucky
  • Paul Knell, WTW Architects
  • Brenda Keagle, University of Arizona
  • MaryAnne Lustgraaf, University of New Hampshire
  • Frank Marsilli, Wesleyan University
  • Otis Mamed, Central Connecticut State University
  • Clarresa Morton, Ph.D., Shenandoah University
  • Marilyn S. Prime, Ed.D., University of Delaware
  • Paul Zuchowski, University of Washington

Honorary Lifetime Membership

Honorary membership is conferred by the Board of Trustees on those individuals who have demonstrated exceptional service to ACUI.

  • Don Rohel, Shepherd University

Presidential Award for Distinguished Service

This award is presented at the discretion of the ACUI President to honor an individual who has demonstrated exceptional and unique service in fulfilling the mission, goals, and values of the Association.

  • Anthony Otero

Please join ACUI in congratulating these recipients for their achievements.


  • Liz Stringer

    Liz Stringer serves as ACUI's director of outreach, overseeing the membership, marketing, branding, and member services areas of the Association. Stringer has been with ACUI for more than 15 years.

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