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On April 14, 2016, the Division of Student Affairs held its first Leadership Breakfast to recognize individuals and departments who have positively impacted students, faculty, and other departments across the university. The award winners were:

Outstanding Administrative Star – Candace Ragsdale

Candace Ragsdale, Business Office Manager of Student Health Services, is an outstanding leader and administrative team member at UAB. She consistently exerts positivity and makes others a priority. Her kindness and thoughtful ideas for supporting the team help increase morale throughout the year.

Outstanding Professional Star – Emily Feinstein

Emily Feinstein, Director of Student Engagement at the Office of Student Advocacy, Rights and Conduct, was recognized for her multi-faceted and tireless contributions to her division, as well as the university. She faces challenging scenarios and decisions with a fierce determination, commitment to fairness, and ultimate goal of supporting students as they cope with significant, often life-changing, events and circumstances.

New Professional of the Year – Shannon Rice

Shannon Rice, Events & Reservations Program Administrator for the Hill Student Center, goes above and beyond in making sure the groups using the Hill Center have a successful experience. From coming in early to staying late, she is very dedicated to ensuring everything is taken care of for an event.

Outstanding Contributor to Higher Education – Maigen Sullivan

Using data from evaluations of the Student Multicultural and Diversity Programs Leadership Retreat, Maigen Sullivan, Coordinator of Gender & Sexuality Diversity, created a new model for engaging students in diversity issues. This model puts the students in the center while focusing on the components of Communal and Group Planning, Foundations of Social Justice, Self-Awareness, and Social Connections and Relationships. Staff members of SMDP presented this model at the NASPA Region III Conference in the fall of 2015 and have since been contacted by numerous schools about how to implement the model on their campuses.

Outstanding Student Affairs Partner – David Basilico

Dr. Basilico, Associate Professor in the Department of English, has played an instrumental role in the creation of Student Housing & Residence Life’s residential curriculum. David has and will continue to serve as an advocate for the Division of Student Affairs amongst his team of faculty and has worked to connect the worlds of Student Affairs and Academic Affairs.

Program of the Year – Collegiate Recovery Community

The UAB Collegiate Recovery Community (CRC) was founded in the fall of 2015 under the leadership of Dr. Luciana Silva and Kelli Lasseter, from Counseling Services. The program “promotes and advances personal, academic, and professional achievement in pursuit of long-term recovery, health and well-being, and productive engagement in society.” Still in its first year, the CRC has already made significant strides in offering students who are in recovery space for peer-to-peer support, recovery and wellness programming, academic support, and service opportunities.

Department of the Year – Career and Professional Development

Last fall, UAB Housing and Residence Life wanted to make the selection process for the returning student staff members more of a professional development experience. After brainstorming with Career and Professional Development Interim Director Melissa Whatley, they decided to have applicants meet with CPD staff to review their résumés and cover letters. This involved literally every CPD staff member meeting with student after student during the first week that they moved into the Hill Student Center. This partnership provided such a benefit to the RAs that many have since referred their residents to CPD, who has gone above and beyond to ensure that every student receives personal and relevant feedback to help them in their future careers.