2024 Regional Award Winners – Region IV [Press Release]

March 25, 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 IV Joint Regional Conference in Columbia, MO on March 23, 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 IX consists of the following Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, and Arkansas.

Outstanding Orientation, Transition, and Retention Professional Award

The Outstanding Professional Award recognizes outstanding contributions of a professional to the field of orientation, transition, and retention. Contributions should include development or enhancement of a model orientation, transition, or retention program that meets the varied needs of students; leadership within NODA; and/or other significant contributions to the field. Recipients must have five or more years of professional experience in higher education.

The 2024 Region IV Outstanding Orientation, Transition, And Retention Professional is Kim Sandlin, Director of Student Success at Wichita State University.

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 IV Outstanding New Orientation, Transition, And Retention Professional is Shaun Holloway, Coordinator of Orientation and New Student Programs at University of North Texas.

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 two undergraduate student leader and one graduate students leader.

Graduate Student

The 2024 Region IV Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader is Austin Farmer from the Stephen F. Austin State University. Austin serves as a graduate research assistant for Orientation & Transition Programs and is pursing at master’s in student affairs in higher education.

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Undergraduate Student (Two-Year)

The 2024 Region IV Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader is Ismael Raul Villa from the Collin College. Ismael serves as a student assistant/campus ambassador and is studying Mechanical Engineering.

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Undergraduate Student (Four-Year)

The 2024 Region IV Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leader is Chris Bills from the University of North Texas. Chris serves as a Orientation Team Lead and is studying social work.

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Innovative Program Award

The Innovative Program Award recognizes a program or unique approach to a challenging situation or a specific campus need. This award seeks to recognize innovative and effective approaches in three categories with awards for Innovation in Orientation, Innovation in Transition, and Innovation in Retention. It is the opportunity to highlight good administrative practices that meet the changing needs of an institution and its students. These innovative programs help generate new knowledge and best practices within the field of orientation, transition, and retention.

Orientation Program

The 2024 Region IV Innovation in Orientation Programs Award is presented to the University of Texas at Arlington for their program New Maverick Orientation created by the Division of Student Affairs.

Transition Program

The 2024 Region IV Innovation in Transition Programs Award is presented to the University of North Texas for their program Scrappy’s Taxi & Class Schedule Tours created by the Orientation & Transition Programs.

Retention Program

The 2024 Region IV Innovation in Retention Programs Award is presented to the Wichita State University for their program Winter Welcome created by the Office of Student Success.

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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