Outstanding dissertation research that contributes to the knowledge of the college union and student activities field is acknowledged through this award. The recipient will receive a reward of $400 in addition to published research in The Bulletin and recognition of peers at the annual conference.
2023 Recipient: Katheryn Paynter, Ph.D.,
Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi
Katheryn Paynter’s, Ph.D., dissertation “An Exploration of Belonging Through Student Union Employment” found that student union employment serves as a developmental space for students to gain leadership and real-world skills. These research findings add to the practitioner aspect in that universities should seek additional investment in student employment opportunities and formal leadership training to be intentional about the role of on-campus employment as an environment for student development.
ACUI is now accepting nominations for writing and research awards! Nominate by December 8!
About Daniel M. Maxwell
Dr. Daniel M. Maxwell’s career path has included multiple functional areas at various institutional types in a typical student affairs/life/services division. A significant part of his career has been directly involved in fraternity/sorority life, student activities, and student unions. In January 2012, Maxwell was appointed as the associate vice chancellor for student affairs for the University of Houston System and associate vice president for student affairs at the University of Houston.
Maxwell served as ACUI president for two terms (2004–06), ACUI Education and Research Fund chair for three years, and on the Diversity and Inclusion Benchmarking Work Group, before joining the Research Program Team. In 2017, Maxwell was appointed as research coordinator and chair of the Research Program Team. His own dissertation, “Student Union Transformation: A Case Study on Creating Purposeful Space,” provided insight on the relationship between physical space and community building on the college campus.
The Dissertation of the Year Award recognizes new research that contributes to the knowledge of the college union and student activities field. In naming the award, Maxwell lifts the ongoing need and dialogue for new research that speaks to the many ways both physical space and the activities hosted in and around student unions supports student success and professional development. In addition, he wishes to honor and acknowledge the individual contributions made in telling the story of the student union through research.
Maxwell holds a B.S. in personnel and industrial relations from Syracuse University, a M.S. Ed. from the University of Miami, and an Ed.D. in education and student affairs from Indiana University. His research interests include campus ecology, creating purposeful space, and post-occupancy evaluations.