BGSU wins NASPA Excellence Award

NASPA-award-recipients

Award recognizes contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services effective administration

By Chelsea Schroeder

Bowling Green State University received the NASPA Excellence Award at the NASPA National Conference on March 9-13 in Los Angeles in the categories of Administrative, Assessment, IT, Fundraising, Professional Development and related Excellence Awards category. 

The NASPA Excellence Award recognizes the contributions of members who are transforming higher education through outstanding programs, innovative services and effective administration. 

“It’s exciting to win an award at this level,” said Timothy Shaal, senior associate director of Residence Life at BGSU. “It’s nice to have the work we’ve been doing for a long time, and in collaboration with our academic partners, recognized by our peers across the nation.”

The Excellence Award is intended to highlight innovative initiatives related to addressing a critical need. BGSU took the top prize, gold, in this category. Gold winners from each of the categories were further judged for a Grand award, with BGSU being awarded the Grand Silver award.

Shaal wrote the nomination and came up with the idea involving Residence Life and residence advisers (RAs). The idea of the model was the creation of a communication system between RAs that ultimately allows for stronger communication to go along with the responsibilities and welfare of students. 

“The heart of the model is what we refer to as intentional interactions,” Shaal said. “RAs are required to have discussions with their students. If students mention any areas that have had success as a student or a particular challenge that is impacting their ability to success as students, this is noted by the RAs and hall directors to follow up.”

Shall further reveals that the follow-up often involves making referrals to offices and support services on campus that can best assist the student with their unique challenge, and the hall director then follows up with the student. 

“We then share basic information with academic advisers though a note in NAVIGATE, which was formally called SSC,” Shaal said. “In the last few years, we have worked with Kim Brooks to develop a system for keeping track of the notes, identifying trends related to concerns or referrals and to share notes with partners in academic affairs.

“We can view these trends and patterns on dashboards using the Microsoft product Power BI. Based on trends and patters we develop programs, communications and other interventions to help educate students on resources and support services on campus.”

Brooks is the associate director of undergraduate education, and she is grateful for the help of graduate student assistants from computer science for their “hard work and persistence on technical side of the system.” 

Brooks is grateful that BGSU is receiving the award. 

“I am excited that BGSU is being recognized because I felt the work was innovative and presented an elegant solution that didn’t cost the University anything because we didn’t buy any new software,” she said.