Leaders, Scholars, Innovators Honored at 2018 Annual Conference

During the 2018 Annual Conference in Anaheim, ACUI celebrated achievements in advancing campus community during The Honors awards ceremony on March 22. 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 2018 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: Family Graduation Celebration, Texas Woman’s University
  • Excellence in Innovations for Sustainability: Eco Social Justice, Portland Community College
  • Excellence in Student Training Programs: Student Employment for the Real World, University of Dayton
  • Joseph H. Benedict Jr. Social Change Award for Racial Justice: Conversations on Diversity & Equity, Northern Illinois University
  • Outstanding Service Project of the Year: Metropolitan Volunteer Program: Rock the Block, University of Houston
  • Shirley Bird Perry Staff-Driven Program of the Year: LBJ Student Center’s Hogwarts’ Halloween, Texas State University
  • Student-Driven Program of the Year: On the Road for Change, James Madison University
  • Steal this Idea Best in Show: ASI Ignite Potential Student Government Campaign, California State University–Los Angeles

Writing and Research Awards

These awards support writing and research relevant to the profession.

  • ACUI Research and Education Grant: Joe Lattal, Northwestern University
  • Chester A. Berry Scholar Award: Mara Dahlgren, Indiana University–Bloomington and Alexis Parrill, Princeton University
  • Daniel M. Maxwell Dissertation of the Year: Dr. Lincoln Walburn, Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi 
  • Earl Whitfield Regional Outreach Award: Region VI
  • Gretchen Laatsch Grant and Scholarship: Kaleb Briscoe, University of Nebraska–Lincoln


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: Erica Epps, North Carolina State University
  • C. Richard Scott Memorial Scholarship: Melissa Iracheta, University of Houston
  • Chuck Morrell New Professional IPDS Scholarship: Emily Schnier, University of North Carolina–Charlotte
  • Edward S. “Beanie” Drake Founders’ Award: Vincent Jackson, University of Delaware
  • Greer Dawson Wilson Scholarship: Juliana Jalal, Indiana University-Purdue University–Indianapolis
  • Manny Cunard Scholarship: Blake Bratcher, University of Utah
  • MHB Intern: Naomi Rodriguez, University of Nebraska–Lincoln

Facility Design Awards

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

  • Brower Student Center: KSS Architects and the College of New Jersey
  • Kirby Student Center: Workshop Architects and the University of Minnesota–Duluth
  • Lassonde Studios: CannonDesign in association with EDA Architects and the University of Utah
  • Montview Student Union: VMDO Architects and Liberty University
  • Student Center: WTW Architects and the University of Houston

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: Dr. Chris Laws, University of Washington
  • Excellence in Volunteer Service Award:
    • Elise Alford, Boise State University
    • Lauren Sposato, University of Houston
    • Alison Ward, University of Tennessee
  • President of the Year: Dr. Ana Mari Cauce, University of Washington
  • Revis A. Cox Memorial Award: Wilma Jackson, Doane University
  • Richard D. Blackburn New Professional Award: William Takewell, University of Kentucky
  • The ACUI Values Award: Tara Benson, Missouri State University
  • Two-Year College Professional Service Award: Michelle Brown, Snow College

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.

  • Dr. Patrick Brown, University of Vermont
  • Randall Hedge, University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh
  • James Hoppa, University of North Carolina–Charlotte
  • Ellen Kusano, University of Hawaii–Hilo
  • Thomas Molski, County College of Morris
  • Jane Rhyner, Johns Hopkins University

Honorary Lifetime Membership

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

  • Dr. Dan Adams
  • J. Scott Derrick
  • Joe Gutowski
  • Dr. Kim Harrington
  • Dr. Ted Hoef
  • Dr. Loren Rullman

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.

  • Sarah Comstock, University of Puget Sound

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.

    View all posts