ACPA Diamond Honoree | Class of 2022

The Diamond Honoree Program, established in 1999, is a way for those that care about students – and the research, scholarship, and programs that promote student development and success – to help advance our association’s efforts. Diamond Honorees are “Championed” by dedicated individuals who recognize their specific contributions and choose to raise funds in honor of each Diamond Honoree’s outstanding and sustained commitment to higher education through student affairs and student development. Those funds are then utilized to help sustain the ACPA Foundation in its support of the research, scholarship, and programs that advance our field as a whole.

You can help!  Join in the fundraising effort by supporting one of this year’s Diamond Honorees!

Sonja Ardoin

Sonja Ardoin

Sonja Ardoin

Sonja Ardoin, Ph.D. is a learner, educator, facilitator, and author. Proud of her rural hometown of Vidrine, Louisiana, her working-class, Cajun roots, and her first-generation college student to PhD journey, Sonja holds a B.S. in secondary education from LSU, a M.S. in higher education and student affairs from Florida State, and a Ph.D. in educational research and policy analysis from NC State. She views her work through a higher education scholar-practitioner lens; she served as an administrator for 10 years before shifting to the faculty in 2015. 

Sonja currently serves as program director and associate professor for the master’s program in student affairs administration at Appalachian State University. She studies social class identity, college access and success for rural and first-generation college students, student and women’s leadership, and career preparation and pathways in higher education and student affairs. 

Sonja has published four books, one monograph, and numerous book chapters and journal articles. She stays engaged in the broader field through ACPA, AFLV, ASHE, the Center for First-generation Student Success, NASPA, and several journal editorial boards. She also enjoys books, traveling, music, sports, laughing, and spending time with her husband and pup. You can learn more about Sonja’s work at www.sonjaardoin.com.

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Jenny Bloom

Jenny Bloom

Jenny Bloom

Jenny Bloom joined the faculty of the Department of Educational Leadership and Research Methodology at Florida Atlantic University in August 2015. In August 2019, she was promoted to Full Professor with tenure. In addition, she is the Coordinator of the Higher Education Leadership Master’s Degree Program and Jenny founded the Office of Appreciative Education https://www.fau.edu/oae/) at FAU in 2015. 

She previously served as a Clinical Professor and Director of the Master’s degree program in the Higher Education & Student Affairs Program at the University of South Carolina from August 2007 to August 2015. Prior to USC, she served as the Associate Dean for Student Affairs & the Medical Scholars Program at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign. 

Dr. Bloom is a co-founder of the Appreciative Advising, Appreciative Administration, and Appreciative Education movements. Dr. Bloom served as the 2007-08 President of the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) and was named the recipient of NACADA’s Virginia N. Gordon Award for Excellence in the Field of Advising in 2017. Dr. Bloom has co-authored six books and numerous articles and has presented her work at over 500 higher education institutions and conferences.

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Léna Crain

Léna Crain

Léna Crain

Dr. Léna Crain serves as Associate Dean of Students at Bucknell University, where she provides leadership for student wellness-related programs and services. Dr. Crain’s research focuses on transitions, especially intercultural and cross-border transitions, conflict resolution, and professional socialization.

Dr. Crain has authored more than fifty presentations and publications. Since 2011, she has also served as the Director and Principal Investigator for the National Study of the Student Affairs Job Search. Through this study, she has demystified and advanced understanding of hiring practices in student affairs and has presented to more than 200 graduate classrooms about data-informed job search strategies.

Within ACPA, Dr. Crain has held roles on convention planning teams, including the steering team for the historic 2016 Convention in Montreal, served on commission and coalition directorates, and is a past Chair of the Commission for Global Dimensions of Student Development. She was recognized by ACPA as an Annuit Coeptis Emerging Scholar. Dr. Crain earned her Ph.D. from the University of Maryland.

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Lisa M. Evaneski

Lisa M. Evaneski

Lisa M. Evaneski

Lisa M. Evaneski is the Title IX Coordinator at SUNY Oswego. Her career in higher education spans 32 years in student orientation, residence life, student conduct, Title IX, and several dean roles. Lisa has presented and consulted at the national and regional level related to higher education compliance and social justice. She helped to create the SUNY Title IX Coordinators Association and is currently serving as Past President. 

Lisa has been a member of ACPA since 1994 and served on the Mid-Level Community of Practice, Commission for Student Conduct and Legal Issues, Standing Committee for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Awareness and as the Volunteer Coordinator for the 2005 Convention Planning Committee. Through her service with ACPA, Lisa received the Award for Public Service from SCLGBTA in 2001, the Student Impact Award from Commission for SCLI in 2013, and the Outstanding Service to the SCLI Award in 2014. 

She also served at the state level as President and Membership Coordinator for Massachusetts College Personnel Association and received the Outstanding Service to MCPA award at ACPA in 2003. Lisa earned a B.S. in education at Wheelock College and a M.Ed. in college student development and counseling at Northeastern University.

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Martha Glass

Martha Glass

Martha Glass

Martha Glass, Ph.D. serves Virginia Tech Student Affairs as the Assistant Vice President for Administration. She works with leaders in communications, human resources, information technology, and assessment and professional development. She is an affiliated faculty member in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies, where she created and taught a two-course sequence in assessment for many years. In her more than 20-year career in higher education, Martha has led efforts in assessment, professional development, health education, sexual assault and violence prevention. 

Martha’s professional home is ACPA, serving this organization in a number of ways: representative to CAS, chair of the Commission on Assessment and Evaluation, and a member of the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competences Rubric Task Force. She has been instrumental in the Assessment Institute, serving as chair in 2017, and faculty member for seven years. Martha is the 2020 recipient of the Wise Woman Award from the Coalition for Women’s Identities. Martha is a frequent presenter at professional conferences and has co-authored a number of publications.

Martha earned a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a M.S. in Sociology from Virginia Tech. She has a M.S. in Counselor Education and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Radford University.

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Ebelia Hernández

Ebelia Hernández

Ebelia Hernández

Ebelia Hernández is an Associate Professor and Program Director of the Higher Education Ph.D. program at the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University.  Prior to earning her Ph.D. in Higher Education and Student Affairs from Indiana University, she was an academic adviser.  She also has worked for and been a part of access programs such as Educational Opportunity Program, Upward Bound, and university outreach.  

Her history of college activism and involvement in the Latinx campus community informs her research and service. Hernández’s research on Latinas’ development, involvement in culturally-based sororities, activism, and college choice process has been published in the Journal of College Student Affairs, Journal of Latinos and Education, Journal of Higher Education, and several book chapters.

Hernández is an Associate Editor for the Journal of College Student Development.  She received the ACPA Emerging Scholar Award and Annuit Coeptis Emerging Professional Award and was recognized by the ACPA Latinx Network with the Community Advancement Award.  She was also selected as a faculty fellow by the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education (AAHHE).

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Steve Herndon

Steve Herndon

Steve Herndon

Steve Herndon (He/Him/His) serves as the Assistant Vice President for Student Development and Executive Director of Housing and Residence Life at The University of Dayton. He supports the Dean of Students in advocating for students’ success, specifically, serving as a Title IX investigator and member of the Division of Student Development’s Campus Awareness, Response and Evaluation Team (CARE), the Dean of Students after-hour rotation for crisis management, and the University’s hearing board. 

Steve oversees a department that houses over 6,500 undergraduate students in traditional residence halls, apartments and 450 university-owned houses. Steve holds both bachelors and master’s degrees in English from North Carolina State University.

Since 2015, Steve has served as faculty for ACPA’s Institute on the Curricular Approach and most recently served as Co-chair for the 2020 and 2021 Institutes. He also served as faculty for the Great Lakes Association of College and University Housing Officer’s (GLACUHO) 2018 Mid- Level Institute and the 2019 James C. Grimm National Housing Training Institute. Effective November 2021, Steve will begin his term as President–Elect for the Great Lakes Association of University Housing Officers. Steve’s professional interests include curricular approaches to learning and development, learning organization design and trauma stewardship.

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Eddie J. Howard Jr.

Eddie J. Howard Jr.

Eddie J. Howard Jr.

Dr. Eddie J. Howard, Jr. is a Georgia native with over 25 years of professional experience in Higher Education. He has worked in a variety of educational institutions ranging from a major research university to a four-year public college and even a two-year technical college. His experiences have been at all levels of Student Affairs, and he is passionate about supporting public education, which he credits as being the foundation to his success.

Dr. Howard is excited to be at Northern Kentucky University and ready to use all the skills he has accumulated during his career to lead the Division of Student Affairs to more effectively serve the students and help them succeed. Helping students to realize their dreams and creating the best experience humanly possible is the motto that drives his work.

Dr. Howard enjoys connecting with students and families and serves in roles that allow him to be a change agent. He feels he has a responsibility to provide the necessary tools for students at all levels to succeed and wants to ensure that young people have a chance “to find their way” and make a living doing what they love just as he did.

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Lamar R. Hylton

Lamar R. Hylton

Lamar R. Hylton

Lamar R. Hylton, Ph.D. currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Student Affairs at Kent State University. In this role, he provides vision, executive leadership, oversight, and direction for over 25 units that comprise the Division of Student Affairs. 

Utilizing experiences drawn from his dissertation research, and as a first-generation college graduate three times over, Dr. Hylton is personally invested in giving back to the students that he serves. He works towards impacting academic achievement, college satisfaction, and student success. 

Dr. Hylton has the distinction of being the first Black person to serve as Vice President & Senior Vice President for Student Affairs in the history of Kent State University. Dr. Hylton joined Kent State as the Dean of Students. He has served in a variety of different roles in fraternity & sorority life, residence life, student conduct, student activities, leadership development, and multicultural affairs at a variety of public and private institutions. 

A native of Columbus, OH, Dr. Hylton received his bachelor’s degree in Vocal Music-Performance from Morgan State University in Baltimore, MD, his master’s degree in College Student Personnel from Ohio University in Athens, OH, and a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Morgan State.

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Jody Jessup-Anger

Jody Jessup-Anger

Jody Jessup-Anger

Jody Jessup-Anger is professor of higher education, department chair of Educational Policy and Leadership, and program coordinator of the Student Affairs in Higher Education master’s program at Marquette University.  Her research explores how the collegiate environment can facilitate or impede student learning and development. 

Dr. Jessup-Anger is co-author of Living-Learning Communities that Work: A Research-Based Model for Design, Delivery and Assessment, co-editor of the New Directions for Student Services volume: Addressing Sexual Violence in Student Affairs and Higher Education, and co-editor of the second edition of Maybe I Should . . . Case Studies in Ethics for Student Affairs Professionals.  Dr. Jessup-Anger co-led the Elon University Center for Engaged Learning 2017-2019 Research Seminar on Residential Learning Communities. In the Fall of 2017, she served as scholar-in-residence for Workshop Architects, a firm specializing in the design of campus spaces

She currently serves as co-editor (with Mimi Benjamin) of ACPA Books. Jessup-Anger holds a PhD in Higher, Adult, and Lifelong Education from Michigan State University, an MS in Student Affairs in Higher Education and Certificate in Women’s Studies from Colorado State University, and a BA in International Studies from American University.

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Nicole J. Johnson

Nicole J. Johnson

Nicole J. Johnson

Nicole J. Johnson is the Dean of Students at Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland. While at Goucher, she served in several roles and critical committees to help identify college and systemic barriers to students’ success, remove them, and help students curate and navigate their college experience.  Throughout her career, Nicole has held positions at Elizabeth City State University, Virginia Tech, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Albany Law School in various functional areas.

ACPA is Nicole’s professional home. She served on the ACPA14 NextGen planning committee. She was a member of the Commission for Graduate and Professional Students directorate board from 2015 to 2018 and served as the commission chair from 2016 to 2018. In addition, she has served as the Caucusing Co-coordinator and a member of the Convention planning team for ACPA19 and ACPA20. She also served on ACPA21 Commission-Wide Awards committee. 

Nicole is a proud graduate of The University of Iowa with a BA in African American Studies and an MS in College Student Personnel from Arkansas Tech University. She is also a doctoral candidate in the Higher Education program at Virginia Tech. She is practitioner-scholar who looks forward to continuing to contribute to the field.

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Shetina M. Jones

Shetina M. Jones

Shetina M. Jones

Shetina M. Jones, PhD is a proud Detroiter and product of Detroit Public Schools system.  Dr. Jones received both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Eastern Michigan University. Dr. Jones completed her PhD at Indiana State University on high-achieving Black women at HBCUs in science, technology, engineering, and mathematic (STEM) fields or majors. She has over 13 years of experience working in Higher Education in academic and student affairs leadership, campus life, multicultural affairs, and residence life.   

Currently, Dr. Jones serves as the ReBUILDetroit Director for Student Success and Graduate Opportunities at University of Detroit Mercy. The ReBUILDetroit program is a National Institute of Health (NIH) funded program to help identify, recruit, retain underrepresented students into biomedical degree programs and transition into graduate education. Also, Dr. Jones actively writes and researches about historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs) and Black women in STEM 

Dr. Jones is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., ACPA, Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE), and NASPA. Additionally, she serves as President of the Eastern Michigan University Black Alumni. In her spare time, she enjoys speaking, bowling, writing, volunteering, and traveling. Dr. Jones also owns and operates SMJones Consulting, LLC and Fearlessly Fierce, LLC.

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Drew Miller

Drew Miller

Drew Miller

Dr. Drew Miller (he/him) currently serves as Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at Sam Houston State University. In that capacity, he leads the divisions efforts to support student health and wellness, accessibility resources, and assessment, and led the development of the student affairs program within the newly formed College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

Beyond ACPA, Drew has been actively involved with organizations that promote college student mental health and promote racial and social justice within higher education. He is a past president of the Texas University Counseling Center Director’s Association and has provided testimony to the Texas legislature on the mental health needs of underserved college students in the state. Drew is a frequent presenter at national conferences on topics such as pursuing social justice work in conservative academic environments, emerging trends in college student mental health, and decolonizing health and wellness services. 

Dr. Miller earned his Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology in 2005 from Texas A&M University; his dissertation focused on the parental experience of the coming out process. He holds a M.Ed. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky, and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University.

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D’Andra Mull

D’Andra Mull

D’Andra Mull

As Vice President for Student Life at the University of Florida (UF), Dr. Mull leads a team of 25 departments committed to supporting a robust community of 60,000+ undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. The development of a comprehensively excellent student experience that allows all students to engage, transform, and thrive as global citizens is centered in the Division of Student Life’s outreach, engagement, advocacy, and support framework. 

With 20+ years of service in higher education, Dr. Mull has served in a variety of administrative roles including chief of staff, associate vice president and dean of students, and she has directly led multiple functional areas including career services, multicultural affairs, housing and residence life, graduate student support and services, and strategic and international partnerships.  She also teaches on the graduate faculty at UF and her research interests focus on the recruitment, retention, care and resiliency of students, leadership development, and first-generation college students. 

A proud first-generation college graduate, Dr. Mull earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and criminal justice studies from Kent State University, a Master of Arts in higher, adult, and lifelong education from Michigan State University, and a Ph.D. in educational policy and leadership from The Ohio State University.

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Kathy Neville

Kathy Neville

Kathy Neville

Kathy Neville, EdD began her career in student affairs as a resident assistant at the University of Maine. A double Black Bear, in 1991 she received her masters’ degree in Student Development in Higher Education. From there, she spent twenty years in Residence Life at the University of Buffalo, SUNY New Paltz, and Salem State University. She developed and advised nationally recognized Residence Hall Associations and served as the Conference Resource Consultant for NACURH, Inc. from 2000-2003. 

Upon completing her doctorate in Higher Education Administration from the University of Massachusetts Boston in 2011, Kathy moved to graduate education. In addition to serving as Associate Dean in the SSU Graduate School, she taught courses in the Higher Education in Student Affairs master’s program and served as the interim Program Coordinator for the 2018-2019 academic year. 

She is currently serving as the Inaugural Program Director and Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at Springfield College. Her research primarily focuses on college student success, the experiences of students of color at PWIs, and student-faculty interactions.  She is also a team member of the ACPA Campus Racial Justice & Decolonization Expectation Project. Kathy is grateful to her colleagues and students for teaching her along the way.

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Stephen Santa-Ramirez

Stephen Santa-Ramirez

Stephen Santa-Ramirez

Dr. Stephen Santa-Ramirez’s (he/him) experiences in U.S. higher education and student affairs include work in Multicultural and LGBT+ Affairs, Residential Life, Housing, and Migrant Student Services. As Assistant Professor of Higher Education at the University at Buffalo, Santa-Ramirez’s scholarship investigates campus racial climate, first-generation students’ sense of belonging, college student activism and resistance, and how race, ethnicity, and immigration inform the educational experiences of collegians who are undocu/DACAmented. 

His publications span the Journal of First-generation Student Success, Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, and ACPA Developments. In the last decade, Santa-Ramirez has served in various roles within ACPA, including Faculty Liaison, Advocacy, and Mentoring Co-Chair for the Latinx Network (LN), Public Relations Coordinator for the Coalition for Multicultural Affairs (CMA), and CultureFest Co-Chair. 

Further, he has been recognized nationally for his work, including the Legacy of Leadership honor from West Chester University (WCU), the Division of Student Affairs Outstanding Employee Award from UT Arlington, and the ACPA LN Community Advancement & Service Award. Santa-Ramirez obtained his B.A. in Communication Studies from WCU, M.A. in Student Affairs Administration from Michigan State University, and Ph.D. in Educational Policy and Evaluation from Arizona State University.

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Lisa Lewis Schaeffer

Lisa Lewis Schaeffer

Lisa Lewis Schaeffer

Dr. Lisa Lewis Schaeffer completed over 36 years of service at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke, recently retiring as Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs.  She oversaw 13 departments that provided fundamental services including housing, student health, and counseling while growing programs designed to develop students into engaged leaders on campus and in the community.

To help students with personal challenges, Dr. Schaeffer created the CARE (Consultation, Advocacy, Resources and Education) Team that harnesses university resources to support students on a case-by-case basis.  Strategic planning and assessment were major foci during her tenure, especially throughout the COVID crisis.  Providing a host of virtual services and programs during the pandemic has greatly enhanced opportunities for online and commuter students.  While dedicating her career to developing students, she also developed a staff development and mentorship program to help staff members reach their full potential. 

Over the years at UNCP, Dr. Schaeffer served as Associate Vice Chancellor, Director of Career Services, and Associate Director of Admissions. She received her Doctorate and Master of Education degrees from Campbell University and received the Distinguished Alumnae Award in 1998.  She served as a member of several professional organizations over the years and continues to volunteer in the community.

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Troy L. Seppelt

Troy L. Seppelt

Troy L. Seppelt

Dr. Troy L. Seppelt (he, him, his) currently serves as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Troy oversees student care, conduct, interpersonal violence prevention and response, and multiple institutional compliance areas as well as Student Health Service and Counseling. 

In his 22-year career, he has supported students at both public and private institutions, with much of his time within residential life and housing. As a member of ACPA, Troy has broadly supported the association by volunteering at conventions, reviewing program proposals and award nominations, and has a long history of presenting. In leadership, he has served as the Chair for the Commission for Housing and Residential Life, as a member of the planning team and faculty for the ACPA Institute on the Curricular Approach (formerly RCI), and currently serves as the Chair for the Senior-Level Community of Practice (formerly the Commission for Administrative Leadership). 

Troy received his doctoral degree in Higher Education Leadership from Azusa Pacific University, Master’s from Western Michigan University, and Bachelor’s from the University of Minnesota, Morris. His professional interests include ongoing access to professional development for student affairs colleagues, at all levels, sophomore student success, and interpersonal violence prevention.

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Gisela P. Vega

Gisela P. Vega

Gisela P. Vega

Dr. Gisela P. Vega is completing her 29th year in higher education. Passionate about diversity education, social justice, mentorship, and addressing issues of access and choice in higher education, her research areas include gender and sexuality issues, global human rights, and sexual minorities in higher education. 

Dr. Vega is the Director for the LGBTQ Center and adjunct faculty in Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Miami. She served as the inaugural LGBTQ professional at Florida International University’s LGBTQ Initiatives Program, the first of its kind in any south Florida college or university. As adjunct professor with the Center for Women’s and Gender studies, she assisted in establishing the Queer Studies Certificate program. In 2019, Gisela received the National LGBTQ Task Force’s prestigious Eddy McIntyre Community Service Award. 

Her ACPA service emerged in the early 90’s, serving as one of the original Beyond Tolerance Roadshow trainers. Vega’s leadership roles in professional organizations span three decades, including LGBTQ Standing Committee Chair. She holds a doctorate in Higher Education Leadership from Florida International University, masters in Instructional Leadership, and two bachelors of fine arts in Art Education and Graphic Design from the University of Illinois at Chicago.  Providing students with personalized attention is at the heart of her 29+ years of service in Higher Education.

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