Congratulations to our 2020 Family Engagement in Higher Education Individual Award Winners!

A highlight of the AHEPPP membership experience is the learning from peer institutions and colleagues. As the premier association for Family Engagement at the collegiate level, AHEPPP is pleased to recognize excellence in programming, communication, research, and service at our National Conference each fall. Nomination/Application information is available here. Congratulations to last year's individual award winners!

Outstanding Student—Carlos Herriott II | University of Cincinnati 

“Carlos is a student, but he might as well be a seasoned professional.  He took time to understand the needs and goals of our office, our vision for working with families, and put himself in the perspective of student families before embarking on his work.”

Outstanding New Professional—Brie Waterman | University of Colorado-Boulder

“Learning on the fly and working through a ton of ambiguity and new challenges, Brie supported one of our most successful Family Weekends--until of course the following year when she added a ton of new and innovative engagement opportunities to our 2019 programs.”

“She has already left an influential mark on myself, our university, and the field. Big things are in store for this new professional and I think she will be a leader in our field for years to come.”

Outstanding Mid-Level Professional—Libby Daggers | Texas A&M University 

“Libby has made a significant impact on the programming, communication, and the connectedness parents and families have with the university. Libby has a keen ability to be a calm force in times of disarray and presents herself as such to campus partners and external constituents.  Her ability to remain calm and effectively communicate has been instrumental in her development of relationships with family members”.

Outstanding Senior-Level Professional—Missy Mathis Hanlon | Syracuse University 

“As I’ve gone through the past two years, I’ve been flooded with responses from campus partners proclaiming that they don’t understand how Missy got to be such a super star.  She recognizes the emotional and physical labor it takes to manage this office and always be there for our families. No matter how much work it is, she is always there. Missy always has an impact on our families and is able to speak their language, letting them know that things are okay and that their student is at the right place.  This gentle and effective prowess is this Missy’s superpower.  She can always calm a family member down in a time of need and uncertainty.”

“Missy continues to invent new and different ways of handling difficult situations.  Throughout this past year we have had many difficult situations on our campus.  Missy has found ways to make sure families felt supported and involved. She never stops until she can be rest assured that families feel supported and have a sense of ‘home’ at Syracuse.”

Outstanding Senior-Level Professional—Dr. Kay Higgins | Texas Christian University

“She has taken it upon herself to thoughtfully interrogate and educate herself on complex subject matters that often marginalize and impact underrepresented groups or those less fortunate in our society. She has also proven that she is not easily deterred when faced with obstacles and has exhibited a heart for advocacy around social justice issues, including bullying and discrimination.”

“She is committed to understanding the needs of others, both on and off campus, and has demonstrated outstanding connection and contributions to AHEPPP. Not only has she served the world of higher education for 43 years but she has attended every AHEPPP conference and presented annually for the past 10 years!  Before AHEPPP, she contributed to supporting the founding members of AHEPPP to create the association we all love.”

Outstanding Contribution to Research and/or Literature— Dr. Betsy Chapman | Wake Forest University 

“While there has been a great deal of research on the impact family engagement can have on college students’ independence, anxiety, and persistence, there is almost no research on the impact families have with the institution proper.”  Dr. Betsy Chapman, from Wake Forest University, conducted “research centered on families’ consumption of college-generated communications and the resulting impact on intervention on their student’s behalf, satisfaction with the college, and charitable giving."

“With the caveat that correlation does not equal causation, Dr. Chapman’s research found that those families who read the daily blog the most also intervened the least.  More research is needed in this area, but it points to the possibility that parent and family engagement professionals can provide a valuable service in creating communication channels that helps families better understand why it is critical not to ‘take over’ when their students have problems.  Anything we can do to reduce familial intervention and encourage student development is a professional win.”   

Dr. Chapman’s “research also showed that the clusters of families who consumed the most media also were most likely to be satisfied with the institution and were more likely to support the school philanthropically.  These are outcomes that are greatly valued by senior administrators”.

Dr. Betsy Chapman’s work is entitled, “A Quantitative Examination of the Ways Parents and Families Interact with their Students’ College Following Campus-Sponsored Engagement Opportunities: Events, E-newsletters, and a Daily Blog.”

Looking for our Institutional Award Winners? Click here! 

Sarah Joslyn is the Coordinator of New Student and Family Programs at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse. She is a three time AHEPPP Conference Team Member. 

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