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 18-19 academic year.

2019 Divisional Award Recipients

student affairs staff award recipients group

james even, excellence award winner

James Even, Clinician, Center for Students with Disabilities

Student Affairs Excellence Award:  From the time of Jim’s interview with the CSD, it was clear that his personal and professional philosophy of life, community service, and education aligned perfectly with DePaul University’s mission and values. One of Jim’s first students had significant challenges navigating the campus environment. Jim took his own time to guide the student around campus to important offices and classrooms. At the end of this specialized tour, Jim bought the student lunch at Chipotle with his own funds. Jim has extended this radical hospitality to a great number of students, families, guests, staff, faculty, and administrators.

osi and res ed, collaboration award

The Office of Student Involvement and Residential Education

Collaboration Award:   Student Involvement and Residential Education demonstrated the ability to work collaboratively together towards a singular goal that brought  benefit to the campus community.   Days before DemonThon, several unforeseen issues put the annual children’s hospital fundraiser in jeopardy.  The departure of the staff advisor, change in venue and related financial resources cast serious doubt on the 2019 program.  Student Involvement and Residential Education were able to come together and develop creative solutions and shared ownership in the design and execution of the program.  In addition, both departments made a commitment to have staff present throughout the 24 hour program.

vanessa martinez, outstanding new staff professional

Vanessa Martinez, Coordinator, Office of Multicultural Student Success

Outstanding New Staff Professional:  As the OMSS PATHS Coordinator, Vanessa has been a great advocate for supporting students of color, students who demonstrate financial need, first-generation college students, undocumented immigrant students, and students with marginalized genders and sexualities. She has worked diligently to spearhead new OMSS initiatives and relaunch former programs to ensure students have access to career and graduate school resources upon graduating.  Through Vanessa’s leadership and expertise, she was able to make connections with campus partners and develop quarterly institutes for our students. Each quarter, students are able to connect with DePaul partners and external organizations to discuss career goals and graduate school options.

carrie don, lou o'brien spirit of student affairsaward winner

Carrie Don, Business Manager, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs

Lou O’Brien Spirit of Student Affairs Award:  Carrie is tireless, dedicated and fun to work with. Even when her work is challenging, she has a quick smile and a hearty laugh that is disarming and infectious.  She is accessible, incredibly helpful and a champion for the division, able to see both the bigger picture and the small, important details that help the division move forward in a cohesive way. Her work is often “unseen,” but the impact is significant. Carrie is an extremely hard worker, often putting in extra hours to help staff and departments in times of need. Outside of her daily responsibilities, Carrie is always giving of her time to the division and the university, be it proctoring in the Center for Students with Disabilities, assisting with graduation ceremonies, helping with welcome week, sorority recruitment, FEST, Midnight Breakfast, or even the staff and faculty choir at the tree lighting ceremony - she is often one of the first to volunteer when asked.

bill johnson, innovation award winner

Bill Johnson, Staff Psychologist, University Counseling Services

Innovation Award:  Bill Johnson was instrumental in planning, preparing and laying the groundwork for the launch of "Let's Talk" in the OMSS space/Black Cultural and Resource Center in spring 2019 and served as the inaugural "Let's Talk" consultant and counselor. "Let's Talk" is a program that provides drop-in consultations outside of the UCS space.  It's a unique outreach and consultation program designed to make the idea of speaking with a counselor more accessible, especially for students with marginalized identities who may be less likely to reach out for care. Bill did excellent work with the initial launch of this new service, which we expect to continue to grow to meet the needs of traditionally underserved populations -- making counseling and support services more accessible and available.

2018-19 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.

​Adult, Veteran and Commuter Student Affairs
Megan Burda-Giedraitis
Staff Quality Service Award

Multicultural Student Success
Monica Ramos
Outstanding Service and Leadership, DePaul
Center for Latino Research

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Jessica Peterson
Spirit of DePaul Award

University Counseling Services
Outstanding Training Site
Association of Chicagoland Externship and
Practicum Training (ACEPT)

Stacy Kvet
Spirit of DePaul Award

Natalyn Williams
Staff Quality Service Award

Adult, Veteran and Commuter Student Affairs
James Stewart
NASPA Region IV-East 2019 conference

Athletic Academic Advising
Kate O’Brien
DePaul Staff Council

Dean of Students Office
Bernard Little
DePaul Staff Council

Chief of Staff for Regional Director
NASPA Region IV-East

Awards Chair
NASPA Region IV-East

New Student and Family Engagement
Dani Blackwell
Member, Chair of Diversity and Inclusion
DePaul Staff Council

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Carrie Don
Operations Co-chair
NASPA Region IV-East 2019 Conference

Ellen Meents-DeCaigny
National Director of Knowledge Communities
NASPA Board of Directors

Scott Tharp
Board Member and Co-curricular Liaison
Chicago Area Assessment Group

Representative, Assessment, Evaluation and
Research Knowledge Community
NASPA Region IV-East

Gene Zdziarski
Past Chair
NASPA Foundation

Residential Education
Matthew Schultz
Member, Health and Wellness Committee
Great Lakes Association for College and
University Housing Officers (GLACUHO)

Quiana Stone
Chair Delegate, Board of Directors

Membership Engagement Co-chair
NASPA Women in Student Affairs (WISA)
Knowledge Community

Rod Waters
Case Study Chair
NASPA IV-East Regional Conference

Student Involvement
Teneshia Arnold
Leadership Fellows Mentor
National Association for Campus Activities(NACA)

Rigo Gutierrez
National Convention Marketplace coordinator for the
2020 Convention

Mid-America Regional Conference Planning Committee chair

Courtney James
Esports Advisory Board

2018 National Convention Co-chair

University Counseling Services
Jeff Lanfear
Liaison, Directors of Catholic Schools and Faithbased
Association of University & College Counseling
Center Directors (AUCCCD)

    Offce of the Vice President for Student Affairs

    Gene Zdziarski

    Student Expectations and Student Needs: How Effective College Towns are Designed with Students at the Center.

    In J. Martin & J. Samels (Eds.) The New American College Town: Designing Effective Campus and Community Partnerships.

Center for Students with Disabilities
Gregory Moorehead
Co-presenter with Vivian Barnette, Ph.D.
Why should colleges and universities prioritize
mental health and disabilities?
American Association of Blacks in Higher

Multicultural Student Success
Monica Ramos
The Latinx Cultural Center as the Counter-
Narrative for Latinx in Higher Education
American Association for the Advancement
of Curriculum Studies

The Latinx Cultural Center: An Identity
Conscious Approach to Engagement &
Leadership Development
The National Conference of the United
States Hispanic Leadership Institute

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
Scott Tharp
How White, First-Year College Students Think
About Privilege: Core Conceptual Ideas
Association for the Study of Higher
Education (ASHE) Conference

Variations Among White First-year College
Students’ Ideological Explanations of Privilege
Society for Research in Child Development
(SRCD) Biennial Meeting

Writing and Assessing Student Learning Outcomes
for Social Justice Education
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in
American Higher Education (NCORE)

Designing Social Justice Education Workshop
Curriculum: A Step-by-Step Process for Practitioners
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in
American Higher Education (NCORE)

Assessing Social Justice Education Workshop
Curriculum: Learning Assessment for Practitioners
National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in
American Higher Education (NCORE)

Evolving Past Assessment: An Integrated Model for
Data-Driven Decision-Making
Student Affairs Assessment and Research
Conference (SAARC)

Gene Zdziarski
Twenty Years of Crisis Response: Reflections on the
1999 Texas A&M University Bonfire Collapse
NASPA Annual Conference

Gene Zdziarski and Ellen Meents-DeCaigny 

Crisis Communication in the Age of Social Media NASPA
Annual Conference, VPSA Institute

Residential Education
Ashley Trewartha
Reframing Our Approach to Leadership: Helping
Students Envision Themselves as Leaders
NASPA IV-East Annual Conference

University Counseling Services
Anmol Satiani
Making Race and Culture Work in the STEM Era:
Bringing all People Forward and
Addressing Mental Health and Systemic Barriers:
Accompanying Students of Color
Diversity Challenge 2018