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2024 Regional Award Winners – Region III [Press Release]

March 21, 2024
For Immediate Release

Regional Award Winners Announced 

In service to NODA’s mission of creating an inclusive community which enhances and elevates orientation, transition, and retention practices in higher education, the Association is pleased to announce the NODA regional award winners for 2024. The regional awards process helps elevate and highlight the outstanding work of our members. These winners were selected from dozens of different applications and nominations. Congratulations to all of this year’s nominees. Regional award winners were announced at the Region III Regional Conference in St. George, Utah on March 16, 2024. All regional winners advance for consideration in the annual award process where award winners will be announced at the NODA Annual Conference in Portland, OR, November 11 -14, 2024

NODA is an international association providing scholarship and professional development for the areas of orientation, transition, and retention. Region III consists of the following Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico.

Outstanding New Orientation, Transition, and Retention Professional Award

The Outstanding New Professional Award recognizes outstanding contributions of a NODA professional to the field of orientation, transition, and retention. Contributions should include demonstrated commitment to and promise of becoming a leader in the field of orientation, transition, and retention; innovative contributions to the individual’s institution; active participation in NODA; and/or other significant contributions to the field. Recipients must have less than five years professional experience in higher education.

The 2024 Region III Outstanding New Orientation, Transition, And Retention Professional is Desh Gaskins, Assistant Director for Orientation and Transition at University of Utah.

Outstanding Student Leadership Award

The Outstanding Student Leadership Award is designed to give special recognition to students for their creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and outstanding abilities, which are the backbone of any successful campus programs. This award will recognize one undergraduate student leader and one graduate students leader.

Undergraduate Student

The 2024 Region III Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader is Nevaeh Smith from the New Mexico State University. Nevaeh serves as a Undergraduate Student Ambassador and is studying history and anthropology focusing on culture and language.


Graduate Student

The 2024 Region III Outstanding Graduate Student Leader is Md Ishtiaq Ahmed from the New Mexico State University. They serves as a  Graduate Family Ambassador for New Student Orientation and is pursing a Master’s in computer science.


To learn more about NODA membership and programs, visit www.nodaweb.org or reach out to noda@umn.edu

For questions or comment, please contact Joyce Holl, NODA Executive Director, holl@umn.edu.

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