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Professor receives academic excellence award from NASPA

Kathryn Kao

February 4, 2016

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Laura Dean, an associate professor in the Department of Counseling and Human Development Services, was recently awarded the Robert H. Shaffer Award for Academic Excellence as a Graduate Faculty Member by the Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA).

Award winners must have a distinguished record of scholarly achievement and be a personal inspiration to their graduate students. "Being a teacher, advisor and mentor is important to me," said Dean. "Being recognized for this achievement as a Graduate Faculty Member is a significant honor."

According to Dean, a mentoring relationship is crucial in exploring personal and professional aspects of a student's identity, as well as getting the individual ready to engage in the larger conversations of the field.

"I am incredibly proud of the range of [my students'] accomplishments," said Dean. "Some have gone on to positions as faculty members or senior student affairs administrators, while others are doing important work in direct support of students and their success. They are competent and committed, and they make me incredibly optimistic about the future of our profession."

Established in 1918 and founded in 1919, NASPA is comprised of over 15,000 members in 25 countries and eight U.S. territories. NASPA serves a full range of professionals who cultivate student learning and is the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession.

In addition to winning numerous professional awards, Dean has authored or co-authored 23 peer-reviewed journal articles on topics of counseling, assessment, student technology use, professional development and student psychosocial development. Additionally, she has contributed to many significant accomplishments of the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education, serving as president from 2011 to 2014.

This March, Dean and the other National Award winners will be honored at the 2016 NASPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Ind.

Read the press release.