Monday, Feb. 17, 2014

UNO Director of Student Involvement Wins National Award

Dale OneillUNO Director of Student Involvement and Leadership recently won the 2013 Outstanding MidLevel Professional for Student Involvement of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).

The director of student involvement and leadership at the University of New Orleans this spring receives a national award for her winning work.

Dale O'Neill, director of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership at UNO, learned over the holidays that she had won the 2013 Outstanding MidLevel Professional for Student Involvement of the American College Personnel Association (ACPA). Headquartered in Washington, D.C. at the National Center for Higher Education, ACPA is the leading comprehensive student affairs association. The organization represents more than 7,500 members from more than 1,200 public and private institutions around the world.

"I am overwhelmed with honor," said O'Neill. "Being nominated by fellow staff and students, I was completely unaware that I was even nominated!  It feels wonderful to be able to represent the University of New Orleans on a national level."

The ACPA's Outstanding MidLevel Professional for Student Involvement and Leadership Award is given to an individual who works within Student Involvement, has demonstrated a dedication to supporting and educating students and has demonstrated a commitment to the Student Affairs profession, according to the ACPA. O'Neill learned by telephone that she had won the award and was both thrilled and surprised, she said.

Associate Director for First Year Experience and Orientation Christy Heaton nominated O'Neill for the award and enlisted four UNO student leaders to send letters of support, Heaton said. Fred Johnson, Emily Srofe, Garrett Stapp and Kelly Massicot wrote to ACPA about O'Neill's unwavering enthusiasm, leadership and dedication. They specifically highlighted O'Neill's work in advancing Greek Life – which has grown more than 30 percent over the last three years – at UNO, as well as her work with the University Leadership Cabinet, Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, Privateer Camp and the Privateer Plunge.

Together, O'Neill and Heaton established the Privateer Plunge, six weeks of welcome programming now used as a benchmark by other universities, and Privateer Camp, a three-day, two-night freshman leadership retreat designed to help freshmen make new friends before school starts and optimize students' first-year University experience. The pair has also worked together to advance diversity, leadership and orientation programs at UNO.

The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership is a critical component within the Division of Enrollment Services and Student Affairs, which strives not only to admit and provide access to students but also to ensure that they thrive and grow while they are here. As leaders, O'Neill and Assistant Director of Student Involvement LeeAnne Sipe provide leadership and encouragement, as well as a host of administrative help, to the University's 130-plus student organizations. They oversee the UNO Student Activities Council, Leadership Cabinet and Student Government Association.

O'Neill will accept her award at the ACPA conference in April.

 

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