Awards & Nominations

Albert Einstein Award

Award Criteria:

  • Awarded to one employee
  • Employee initiates an idea that improves operations, reduces or eliminates expenditures, or generates revenues that produces positive change in the Department and/or Division
  • Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winner: Joe Czaja of University Housing

Joe re-imagined the Housing move-in processes this year. Over the course of a couple of weeks, Housing moves in 6,700 residents. This year, Joe created a pause between move in sessions. This break on Monday and Tuesday provided an invaluable rest in the action for our team, grounds and housekeeping staff, and other campus partners. After the break, our team was ready for another six consecutive days of move-in ahead of the academic year beginning. Joe's creativity and thoughtfulness brought us all the one thing we all generally need more of - time!

Better Together Award

Award Criteria:

  • One award celebrating two or more departments
  • A program put on by two or more DSA departments
  • A program that involves sharing resources and displays sustained, intensive cooperation and collaboration across the Division

2024 Winner: Investigations & Assessment, Fraternity & Sorority Life, Victim Advocate Program, DSA Marketing and Communications, FSUPD, and Title IX for the Drink Spiking Prevention Campaign

The Fall 2023 semester was a difficult time for many of our DSA colleagues as FSU experienced an unprecedented increase in drink spiking. This team worked together to create the Drink Spiking Prevention Campaign and Maxient button. Navigating the ever-changing situation required collaboration between investigators, confidential resources, and those suited to raise awareness. While we may never know the exact number of students kept safe or otherwise helped by this teamwork, all involved deserve to be recognized.

Community Service Award

Award Criteria:

  • Two awards: one celebrating an A&P or USPS employee, one celebrating a Grad Assistant employee
  • Provides significant service to the community in a volunteer status
  • Service must be within the past year
  • Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winner: Hannah Chronic of the Department of Student Support and Transitions

Hannah volunteers for Get Your Refund which is a non-profit organization that works with low-income individuals to assist in tax filing. Through this process Hannah also helps assess for homelessness and other situations that impact a person's ability to be productive citizens. She also volunteers with a sorority on campus and advises on chapter wellness, which provides assistance for individuals who have been impacted by mental health, victimization, natural disaster, homelessness, and financial need. Hannah's passion for helping people extends beyond her day-to-day work and makes her an excellent recipient for the Community Service Award.

Hardee Research Award

Award Criteria:

  • Two awards: one celebrating an A&P or USPS employee, one celebrating a Grad Assistant employee
  • This employee has supervised the administration of an assessment instrument, conducted relevant research or engaged in a creative project related to the professional endeavors of the Division or department
  • This relevant research or creative project produced positive change in the Division or department
  • Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winners: Madison Estrada of Counseling and Psychological Services

This year Madison lead a research project that resulted in a conference presentation addressing factors that contribute to and alleviate burnout among counseling center staff in Florida. Madison has a great eye for research and an expertise in employee satisfaction from her dissertation. Additionally, Madison serves as the Assessment Chair, and her keen ability to "ask the right questions" serves her well in this role which allows her to provide helpful consultation to staff who are interested in using therapeutic assessment. Madison provides significant contributions to CAPS, and the field as a whole!

Sunny Park of the Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness

Sunny has been a huge part of helping students improve body image in many ways. She is involved in research related to body image, is a graduate assistant for a communications class who's major project was to develop marketing tools for improving body image on campus. She is a facilitator for the EVERYBody Project, a peer-led body image program centered around the critical examination of commonly accepted appearance ideals perpetuated by the media. Sunny does an amazing job demonstrating a positive environment for students working towards body acceptance, a common issue students face on campus.

Keystone Award

Award Criteria:

  • Two awards celebrating USPS employees
  • Consistently demonstrates support to staff and/or students
  • Consistent service exceeds job expectations
  • Exhibits a positive attitude toward students and staff
  • Exemplifies the qualities of the "Keystone" of sustained reliability and support to the DSA
  • USPS Award Only, employed at least 2 years in DSA. Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winners: Debbie Robinson of Counseling and Psychological Services

IMrs. Debbie Robinson is the face of CAPS in the Askew Student Life building. She never fails to effortlessly greet students, campus partners and CAPS staff with a smile and warmth. She keeps things running smoothly and remains calm and efficient when unexpected things happen or when things get hectic. She consistently goes above and beyond in every way possible, whether it is her unwavering positive attitude, snacks and candy for students and special acts of kindness to CAPS staff.

Jim Apgar of the Student Union

Jim Apgar is the definition of going above and beyond. Affectionately known as Sound Man Jim, he oversees all audio/visual for events at the Student Union, Student Services Building, ASLC, Moore Auditorium, FSU Circus, and various areas across campus. Jim consistently makes himself available after-hours to assist in any way possible. He does this all with a smile on his face and a positive attitude that brings an energy to the rest of the team!

Mover and Shaker Award

Award Criteria:

  • Three awards: one celebrating an A&P employee, one celebrating a USPS employee and one celebrating a Grad Assistant employee
  • Demonstrates a "can do" attitude
  • Consistently initiates and encourages positive change to services and/or programs
  • Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winners: Sarah Butler of University Housing

Sarah had several nominations, and one reads that her relentless "can do" attitude has fueled successful programs, forged campus partnerships, & inspired staff. This year, Sarah created impactful programs, from a dynamic series of summer events to the annual Showcase of Seminole Scholars. Sarah's influence extends beyond campus as well. She serves on the regional exec board and often nominates individual staff members for regional & national awards. Sarah embodies the spirit of the Mover and Shaker Award and is a phenomenal asset to University Housing.

Melissa Garcia of DSA Marketing and Communications

Melissa has been an incredible contributor to the DSA Marketing and Communications team as a grad assistant and valued colleague! She joined the team while an undergraduate student through the InternFSU program and now is in her last semester of her Integrated Marketing Communications M.A. at FSU. She has been instrumental to the success of the Hello FSU! campaign and all DSA social media. She brings an insightful student perspective to her work, research and know-how from both her education and professional endeavors, and a can-do attitude in her work assignments, plus she has a personality that lights up a room!

Anghela Kane of Counseling and Psychological Services

Anghela Kane is a mover & shaker as she wear so many hats, and keeps the Counseling Center afloat! She is a people person, her door is always open if we have any questions, and she makes working at the Center so pleasant. Simply put, Anghela is a wonderful person, and we are so grateful to have her on our team!

New Employee of the Year Award

Award Criteria:

  • Sustains superior work performance
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude, initiative and a cooperative spirit
  • Employment with the Division of Student Affairs begins August 2022 or later
  • Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winner: Andy Johnson of Student Engagement

Andy joined the staff of Student Governance & Advocacy in the summer of 2023, and since then, has done an incredible job of advising a dozens of elected and appointed student leaders with individual ambitions and policy goals. He's also innovative: bringing best practices from local government to SGA. Andy also takes an interest in forming personal and genuine relationships with not only his colleagues, campus partners, and FSU administration, but also with the students he advises.

Partners with a Purpose Award

Award Criteria:

  • One award celebrating any business or individual employed outside of the Division of Student Affairs who contributes to the DSA mission and has played a vital part in our work with students
  • Must not have received the award previously within the past 5 years

2023 Winner: Leslie Crosdale in the Office of the General Counsel

Leslie Crosdale is a true partner with a purpose for the CGE in support of the university’s international initiatives. Leslie always approaches these challenges with a positive attitude and is undeterred by these complexities. It is because of Leslie’s dedication and perseverance that several exchange agreements were successfully negotiated last year which are now allowing FSU students to study at these partner universities. Without the agreements being finalized when they were, thanks to Leslie’s persistence, these students life-changing experiences abroad would not have been possible.

Program/Project of the Year

Award Criteria:

  • One award celebrating a program or project sponsored by DSA department(s)
  • Program/Project must make a positive impact on students and/or staff

2024 Winner: Academic Resource Centers (ARCs), Sarah Butler, Stephanie Tillman, Venus Skowronski, Dr. Ben Wicker, Dr. Shannon Staten, and the Academic Trainer Team

The Academic Resource Centers (ARCs) serve as a cornerstone for educational enrichment on campus, providing a dynamic space where students can use resources to study, collaborate, and seek academic guidance in their residence halls.
Each ARC is staffed by Academic Trainers (ATs), student staff trained to help with study skills, schedules, and resource referrals. This year, the ARC program expanded from Jennie and DeGraff Halls to add Salley Hall, bringing a much-needed resource to West campus. ARCs are more than just a physical space; they're in at-home investment in our students' academic success that requires consistent work from the UH Academic Initiative team.

Silent Superlative Award

Award Criteria:

  • Two awards: one celebrating an A&P employee, one celebrating a USPS employee
  • Exemplifies a positive attitude toward staff and students
  • Goes above and beyond the expectation of their job
  • Provides exceptional service without expectation of recognition
  • Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winners: Carey Carpenter of Campus Recreation

Carey had multiple nominations so we will read just one. As Campus Recreation's IT Specialist, most of what Carey does on a day-to-day basis is behind the scenes. However, since day one he has made a continued effort to get to know our entire team, volunteer for events and activities that go beyond his job description, and has a positive attitude every step of the way. Through his exceptional service, often unnoticed but deeply impactful, Carey demonstrates a selfless commitment to our community, operating with a humility that transcends recognition.

Amanda Shepard of the Career Center

Amanda Shepard’s upbeat and energetic demeanor is consistent, and her investigative and solution-centered approach make her an invaluable asset to the entire Career Center. She is full of knowledge, and fields questions with alacrity and style. Amanda is committed to supporting all the staff here at the Career Center!

Star Award for Special Achievement

Award Criteria:

  • Four awards: two celebrating A&P employees, one celebrating a USPS employee, and one celebrating a Grad Assistant employee
  • Demonstrates consistent exceptional service
  • Demonstrates a positive attitude towards students, staff, and their work
  • Demonstrates the ability and willingness to go beyond the expectations of their job
  • Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winners:
Venus Skowronski- University Housing
Ebony Wofford- Fraternity and Sorority Life
Elizabeth Rudisill- Department of Student Support and Transition
Haley Gentile, Department of Student Support and Transition

Venus serves as a Graduate Assistant in the Housing program, focusing on the academic initiatives program in residence education. Since Venus’s start in January 2020, she has demonstrated perseverance, commitment, and passion for the student experience. Venus has been a phenomenon these past four years. It is her consistent ambition, commitment to excellence, and insatiable curiosity that is most deserving of recognition. She might be named after a planet, but she is truly a STAR!

Ebony is a rockstar professional. She is able to build relationships and develop the students around her with such ease and grace. She continuously provides support and guidance to others but is usually in the background helping others shine. Her experience and expertise greatly benefit the community she serves. She is an authentic leader who excels at both challenging and supporting her students and knowing which one they need in the moment. Ebony is truly a STAR member of the division.

Elizabeth quickly became an integral part of the team. Her remarkable initiative allowed her to hit the ground running, and she didn't wait for instructions. She immersed herself in the role, asking pertinent questions to orient herself, and has maintained this proactive approach ever since. Elizabeth consistently demonstrates the same level of initiative when aiding students and supporting colleagues. Elizabeth remains unwaveringly ready to assist, and we are fortunate to have such a star on our team.

Haley runs the Food for Thought Pantry at FSU, and truly cares about providing this resource for students. Haley has built partnerships with community organizations, organized donations/drives, wrote proposals for additional supplies and funding all to better serve students in need. She is a hardworking and strong professional who comes in early, stays late, works weekends, all to continue to grow the pantry and serve students. Overall, Haley is a brilliant asset to our students who truly is a Star every day without complaint.

Stone Soup Award

Award Criteria:

  • One award celebrating a program or team
  • Provides significant creative services or programs with little or no financial resources
  • Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winner: Student Agencies and Institutes (SAI) team- Kindrea Hill, Dr. Sierra Turner, Brittany Stover, Grace Wilson Fennema, Tatyana Wilson, Xiaoxuan Li

The Student Agencies and Institutes (SAI) team saw the gap in support and engagement opportunities for graduate students and created the Graduate Kickback! This initiative is meant to encourage collaboration and build community across various people, departments, and programs. The SAI team worked with little to no funding to make a special place for a growing population of students that do so much for our institution in terms of research and supporting the learning of our undergraduate students.

Student Mentor Award

Award Criteria:

  • Two awards celebrating an A&P, USPS or Grad Assistant employee
  • Consistently gives significant time and effort counseling, advising and supporting students
  • Nominee must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winners: Alexis Fraites for the Career Center

Alexis goes above and beyond with every student that she engages while working at the Career Center. She always makes sure to meet her students where they are at and provide the best resources possible to help them succeed. She truly embodies what it means to be an incredible leader and she knows how to make an everlasting impact on our student body.

Rana Sedeeq for the Career Center

Rana is passionate about students' career development. Her dedication to mentoring goes far beyond expectations, touching the lives of many students who seek her guidance. Her efforts have directly contributed to over 30 individuals from her network securing jobs/internships or settling into their new environment, showcasing her exceptional mentorship.

Torch Team Award

Award Criteria:

  • One award celebrating any DSA team, unit or department
  • Demonstrates exceptional service or teamwork over the past year that reflects the mission of the Division of Student Affairs

2024 Winners: DSA Marketing and Communications
Alice Maxwell, Alycia Malicz, Emma Massaglia, Jaden Austin, Chlo Keicher, Cassidy Shaw, Melissa Garcia, Ilaria Georgi, and Shakir Choudhury

DSA MarComm is a team of professionals who provide marketing and communication services to the Vice President's Office and several departments in the division. This past year they worked to enhance the Hello FSU! campaign, which aims to inform students of the resources, opportunities and tips for success at FSU. DSA MarComm also made exceptional advancements in building the division's brand, communicating with key audiences and collaborating with partners throughout the division and FSU.

Student Conduct and Community Standards
Dr. Chad Morgan, Ryan Preatto, Brianah Stjulien, Jeff Bates, Amy Haggard, Sara Starr

Their nomination highlights the Student Conduct and Community Standards team for their exceptional performance. Their unwavering commitment to fostering a positive and inclusive campus environment has significantly contributed to our community's well-being. This nomination is a testament to their outstanding work and the positive impact they have on our campus community.

Center for Health Advocacy and Wellness
Chris DeLisle, Rose Rezaei, Juan Abril, Michaela Denny, Zabe Thompson

University Health Services and CHAW staff collaborated to distribute Narcan (naloxone) nasal spray kits to members of the FSU community. This team offers educational sessions and kit distribution to the FSU community. These sessions and resources are free to students, removing a barrier that would prevent a student from accessing the medication. These are potentially life saving efforts, and we thank you for your hard work in protecting our students and community.

Vires Strength Award

Award Criteria:

  • Up to two awards celebrating individual employees who persevere in their role to make an improvement to the student experience
  • This recipient is a trailblazer and continues to put forth great effort to create a better environment for all
  • Nominee(s) must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winners: Casey Dozier of the Career Center

Casey sets her students up to experience a productive and positive environment as they acquire the skills, competencies and professional experience that are crucial to becoming counseling professionals. She has carefully structured the Doc Practicum program to maximize the impact of the students time towards their mastery of the material. The Doctoral Practicum candidates go on to enrich the greater FSU community. The program that Dr. Dozier runs epitomizes the DSA values.

Maggie Potter of University Housing

Maggie is the pinnacle FSU employee who embodies this institution's core values. Maggie's commitment to Transformative Daring is evident in her unwavering goal of adapting to the evolving needs of the modern student. She preaches Inspired Excellence in her mentorship of current Presidential and future Fulbright Scholars.

Artes Skill Award

Award Criteria:

  • Up to two awards celebrating individual employees who possess great knowledge and skill in their functional area
  • This recipient is seen as an expert by their peers and colleagues because of their wisdom and institutional knowledge
  • Nominee(s) must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winners: Cassandra Brown of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Cassandra has worked for FSU for over two decades, and in this time, she has acquired institutional knowledge that has been an incredible asset to the Division of Student Affairs. Her calm and patient demeanor makes her so approachable, and the HR and budget staff within the DSA have benefitted so much from her guidance.

Leslie Mille of the Career Center

Leslie boasts over twenty-four years of dedicated service at FSU, with a commendable 19-month tenure as the Career Center Interim Director. Spearheading strategic initiatives, including transformative international internship programs, Leslie is reshaping the university's landscape. Leslie's visionary leadership leaves an indelible mark on FSU's trajectory.

Mores Character Award

Award Criteria:

  • Up to two awards celebrating individual employees whose character is notable and admirable
  • This recipient does the right thing no matter the situation and leads with integrity
  • Nominee(s) must be employed at least half-time status

2024 Winners: Shelley Ducatt of the Department of Student Support and Transitions

Shelley is the embodiment of the Mores Character award. She exemplifies the true essence of leadership through her tireless efforts and humble demeanor. Shelley also creates and fosters a positive and inclusive work environment, not only for her staff but everyone who works in or near her space.

Kari DiDonato of Campus Recreation

Kari DiDonato embodies the essence of a marketing and special events extraordinaire, blazing trails with unwavering perseverance to enhance the student experience. With relentless determination, Kari tirelessly seeks out opportunities to innovate and improve, consistently delivering exceptional service that exceeds expectations. Her infectious positivity uplifts students, staff, and colleagues alike, creating a vibrant and inclusive environment for all.