Division of Student Affairs > About > Staff Achievement

Staff Achievement

Each year, the division of Student Affairs recognizes outstanding staff members for their work with students and contributions to important divisional and university programs. Student Affairs recently honored the following five staff members with divisional awards for their exceptional work during the 17-18 academic year.

2018 Divisional Award Recipients

  • Franco Sambataro

    Franco Sambataro, Coordinator, Office of Student Involvement

    Student Affairs Excellence Award:  Student Involvement could not have made it through the 2017-18 academic year without Franco. Franco stepped up in every way possible while OSI was short-staffed for most of the year, doing something outside of the scope of his position each day. He also coordinated the closure of OSI's Loop office and the consolidation of services to the Loop Student Resource Center. He also supported staff and students on major campus programs, including the Midnight Breakfast and Gnome Hunt. Finally, he completed best practice research from IPEDs institutions for the creation of a Club Sport Funding Board, and assumed management responsibilities for the student organization contracting process.

  • saam_collab_award

    The Sexual Assault Awareness Month Planning Committee: (Clockwise from top left) Natalie Stone, Ann Russo and Michael Riley (nominated by fellow member Hannah Retzkin)

    Collaboration Award:  The Sexual Assaul Awareness Month (SAAM) Committee embodied collaboration in the truest spirit of the word. Beginning in February 2018. Staff from the Office of Student Involvement, the Office of Multicultural Student Success, Residential Education, Health Promotion and Wellness, and the Women's Center met twice a month to plan an inclusive and intersectional SAAM. As a group they overhauled what programming during SAAM looked like, utilizing resources more efficiently. Together, they created one of the most successful SAAM programs there has been at DePaul.  Prior to the work of this committee, SAAM consisted of multiple programs throughout the month with relatively small attendance rates. With the work of the committee, SAAM coalesced into one big and well-attended event: Take Back the Night.  The SAAM committee changed what programming looks like in a positive way. 

  • Hannah Retzkin

    Hannah Retzkin, Sexual and Relationship Violence Prevention Specialist, Health Promotion and Wellness

    Collaboration Award:  In addition to her work on the SAAM committee (with her colleagues, above), Hannah Retzkin collaborated with many division and university departments through coordination of the Vinny Vow, the university’s bystander intervention training program. In 2017-18 Hannah worked tirelessly on the office’s partnership with Fraternity and Sorority life (FSL), a critical population for DePaul to engage because of their high risk of perpetrating or becoming victims of sexual violence. Hannah established a bi-monthly standing meeting with FSL, where she continued the conversation around sexual assault prevention,  among other health and wellness topics. She has become a true advocate and ally to this population, and many students stop by the office and seek her out on a regular basis. 

  • rachana_doshi

    Rachana Doshi, Staff Psychologist and Outreach Coordinator, University Counseling Services

    Outstanding New Staff Professional:  Rachana has made an outstanding mark on University Counseling Services (UCS), the Division of Student Affairs and the university community during her 2 ½ years of  employment as a staff psychologist/outreach coordinator. UCS has experienced substantive growth of outreach programming designed to raise mental health awareness, especially among traditionally underserved and marginalized communities of students. This is largely due to the numerous collaborations Rachana has spearheaded, including work with the Office of Multicultural Student Success and its new student cultural and resource centers, the Office of Health Promotion & Wellness and the Office of Student Involvement. She developed outreach spreadsheets to help UCS track and trend outreach metrics, as well as an assessment tool for UCS outreach events. As a result of Rachana’s coordination and leadership, UCS reached over 3,400 students via outreach and orientation programs in 2017-2018. In addition to her outreach work, she co-led five UCS groupsin 2017-2018, and she provided group supervision to UCS externs. Due to her efforts, UCS increased total group sessions from 351 to 692 in the last year (a 97% increase). 

  • emily_kraus

    Emily Kraus, Administrative Assistant, Dean of Students Office

    Lou O’Brien Spirit of Student Affairs Award:  Emily is known in the division as a go-to person for all things Student Affairs. She holds a wealth of knowledge not only about university resources, but has great institutional memory. She excels at problem solving and critical thinking. Emily treats all members of the community with care and respect, even in difficult moments in her role: her kindness and patience are unwavering. She leads with heart and cares deeply and personally about everyone in the division and their ability to be able to do their job well. Emily engages with students on a day-to-day basis to help them feel cared for and supported, in large part by providing a timely, caring and compassionate response on the front lines. Emily will rarely, if ever, say she's overwhelmed, that she can't do something for someone or say no to someone who needs help or assistance. In addition to her day to day responsibilities, Emily has played a role in, or has touched in some way, many of the great things we do for our students within the division.

  • courtney_james

    Courtney James, Director, Office of Student Involvement

    Innovation Award:  Courtney had to be quite creative in the past year, having been down a number of staff for most of the year. Her goal was to create unique experiences that students can only have by attending DePaul events, and she has been intentional about how events will help students build more affinity with DePaul.  In the fall quarter, she made the new Midnight Breakfast event come to life: she developed engaging event props that students could take photos with to remember the night. She also had activities at the event so students would hang out and enjoy each other's time together. Over 1,300 students attended.  In the winter quarter, Courtney's creativity shone through Winter Welcome and the Gnome Hunt—two new events. During Winter Welcome, she collaborated with various Student Affairs departments to host Donuts with DIBs,  a Hot Chocolate Bar,  Pasta Dinner,  Soup in the Loop,  Tunes @ Noon,  Welcome Back Tabling and Winter Involvement Fair. 

2017-18 Divisional Achievement Recognition

The individuals that are recognized below for divisional achievements have conducted presentations outside the division, authored publications, received professional awards external to the division and attained significant academic achievements.

Academic

Adult Veteran and Commuter Student Affairs

Megan Giedraitis
Management Foundations Certificate
​DePaul University

Health Promotion and Wellness

Alyssa Rickman​
Masters in Public Health
DePaul University

Planning, Operations and Assessment

Carrie Don
Master of Business Administration
DePaul University

Scott Tharp
Doctorate, Curriculum and Instruction
University of Illinois at Chicago

Leadership

    Adult, Veteran and Commuter Student Affairs

    James Stewart

    Chair, Adult Learners and Students with Children Knowledge Community
    Student Affairs Professionals in Higher Education (NASPA)​

    Co-Chair, 2018 Conference Programs
    NASPA Region IV-East


    New Student and Family Engagement

    Tom Menchhofer
    Faculty Member Orientation Professionals Institute (OPI)
    Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education (NODA)

     
    Planning, Operations and Assessment
    Carrie Don
    Registration Chair 2018 Conference Committee
    NASPA Region IV-East

    Tyneka Harris Coronado
    Co-chair Technology Knowledge Community
    NASPA Region IV-East

    Scott Tharp
    Member National Advisory Committee

    National Conference for Race & Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE)


    Student Affairs
    Ashley Knight

    Faculty Member Mid-level Administrators Conference
    NASPA 


    Ellen Meents-DeCaigny

    Board of Directors: National Director of Knowledge Communities
    NASPA


    Eugene Zdziarski

    Chair Foundation Board​
    NASPA 


    Student Involvement
    Rigo Gutierrez

    Chair 2018 National Association for Campus Activities
    (NACA) HUGE Leadership Weekend


    Courtney James

    Chair 2018 National Convention​
    NACA 


    Natalie Stone

    Committee Member​ Graduate Student Experience Committee
    Association for Fraternity/Sorority Advisors


    University Counseling Services
    Jeff Lanfear
    Liaison

    Association of University & College Counseling ​Center Directors – Directors at Catholic Schools

Publications

    Student Involvement

    Courtney James
    You can be a Programming Board Advisor AND a Social Justice Advocate

    Campus Activities Programming Magazine


    University Counseling Services​

    Bill Johnson

    Toward an Anti-Sexist, Black American Male Identity​
    Psychology of Men and Masculinity

Presentations (external)

Adult, Veteran and Commuter Student Affairs
James Stewart

Effective Assessment Strategies for Non-Traditional Student Popul​ations
​NASPA 2017 Annual Conference​


​Redefining Success for Students with Children

NASPA 2017 Annual Conference

​​
Health Promotion and Wellness
Hannah Retzkin

Re-framing the Conversation: Fraternity Men and Sexual Violence
NASPA


Multicultural Student Success
Monica Ramos

Latinx Undocumented Student Identity and Sense of Belonging in Higher Ed
United States Hispanic Leadership Institute National Conference

A Narrative of an Undocumented, Latinx, First Generation College Student

National Louis University Doctoral Symposium

The Relevance of Multiliteracies in Higher Education

World Literacy Summit, Oxford University


Planning, Operations and Assessment
Scott Tharp

Pre-conference Institute: Writing and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American Higher Education (NCORE)

Major Workshop: Designing Social Justice
Education Workshop Curriculum
NCORE

Major Workshop: Teaching Privilege to White College Students
NCORE

Creating a Co-Curricular Learning Assessment Infrastructure

Association for the Assessment of Learning in Higher Education

 

Student Affairs

Ashley Knight

#MeToo: Perspectives and Impact on Campuses
Chicagoland Title IX Consortium:  Preparing for College
Wolcott School

Ellen Meents-DeCaigny

Keynote Panelist​
Northwestern University Student Learning Assessment Conference


Student Involvement
Courtney James

More than Just Pizzas: Securing Sponsorship for your Events
NACA

Incorporating the Social Change Model into Student Activities (webinar)

NACA


University Counseling Services
Bill Johnson

Empowerment-based Therapy Approaches for Historically Marginalized Males
American Psychological Association, Division of Men and Masculinities