This scholarship honors the legacy of Greer Dawson Wilson by supporting a professional of color or woman to take part in an ACUI event or leadership development activity. This award enriches the ACUI community by developing the leadership potential of those committed to advancing campus community.

2024 Recipient: Makiya Owens, University of Houston

Makiya Owens has served as program manager at the Center for Student Involvement at the University of Houston, where she advised and facilitated various leadership and civic engagement programs, assisting other students in their passion for volunteerism and advocacy on campus and in everyday life. Owens plans to utilize her scholarship to attend the Leadership Educators Institute, which will provide her with an opportunity to explore the field of student affairs and engage in critical dialogue to promote positive change at the University of Houston.

ACUI is accepting nominations through November 20.

ACUI is accepting nominations through November 20!

Submission materials must include the following:

  1. Name, institution, and contact information of the applicant.
  2. A personal essay, written by the applicant, addressing (in 2,500 words or less):
    • Evidence that the applicant meets the criteria identified for this specific scholarship.
    • A summary of experiences related to advancing campus community, including positions or involvement the applicant has held on campus, in ACUI, and/or with other relevant organizations.
    • What activity is requested to be supported by the scholarship, including how the applicant would benefit from participation in the activity.
  3. Two to three letters in support of the applicant to receive the scholarship written by individuals such as direct supervisors/advisors, peers/colleagues, students, faculty members, etc.
  4. And an acknowledgement by the applicant that, if selected:
    • They are available to participate in the dates of the proposed activity.
    • They may receive a full or partial scholarship, and it is the obligation of the recipient or recipient’s institution to support additional expenses, including travel and lodging, required to participate in the activity.

The review process includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the criteria listed below. The applicant must:

  • Articulate an interest in and demonstrate potential benefit from professional development in a proposed educational activity.
  • Understand the importance of the profession in advancing campus community.

Individuals eligible for this award must:

  • Identify as a professional of color and/or a woman;
  • Be employed at an ACUI member institution;
  • Not have been a recipient of the Greer Dawson Wilson Scholarship within the past two years.

Electronic notification will be sent to confirm award submissions have been received. A confidential Individuals Awards and Scholarships Committee, appointed annually by the ACUI president, will review materials to make the selection. One recipient will be chosen, unless otherwise noted for the specific award. One physical award will be given to the recipient, who will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual conference and in subsequent publications.

Note: This scholarship was named in honor of Greer Dawson Wilson in 2015 but was previously offered by ACUI as the Affirmative Action Scholarship.

  • 2023: Lupita Hernandez, University of Houston 
  • 2022: Ja’Nelle King, University of Houston
  • 2021: Chelsea Lairamore – Arkansas Tech University
  • 2020: Yakima Melton – Rutgers University–New Brunswick
  • 2019: Cara White – University of Delaware
  • 2018: Juliana Jalal – Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis
  • 2017: Katie Beaulieu – Texas Christian University
  • 2016: Lisa Dela Cruz – University of Texas–Austin
  • 2015: Melissia Schmidt – Eastman School of Music
  • 2014: Tricia Rodriguez – Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi
  • 2013: Dirk Rodricks – University of Vermont
  • 2012: Michael Coleman – New York University
  • 2010: Kate Strotemeyer – University of Vermont
  • 2005: Greg Reents – Mesa Community College
  • 2004: Gerald Lang – University of North Carolina–Charlotte
  • 2000: Adrian Rodriguez – Lane Community College
  • 1999: Jennifer Lex– California State University–Los Angeles
  • 1998: Eric Tammes – Ripon College
  • 1998: Diana Garza – Boise State University
  • 1997: Robbie Fung – University of South Carolina
  • 1997: Monique Robichaud – Quinnipiac University
  • 1997: Cedric Howard – Weber State University

About Greer Dawson Wilson

Greer Dawson Wilson was a trailblazer for equality and access within ACUI, higher education, and the greater global community. Known for her smile and exuberant laugh, Wilson served as the first black woman president of the Association in 1989, annual conference chair for the 1987 Boston conference featuring Dr. Maya Angelou, and chair of the Committee on Minority Programs (COMP). She received the Butts-Whiting Award, our association’s highest honor for her extraordinary contributions to ACUI and the profession.

Wilson spent her life working to increase the understanding and appreciation of individuals from all races, genders, cultures, and backgrounds. This award seeks to honor her legacy by providing talented professionals of color and women the opportunity to enjoy professional development opportunities that will allow them to advance their careers as community builders within the student activities and college union profession.