Don Rohel, director of the student center at Shepherd University, received the 2013 Christine A. Chergi Leadership Award at the Association of College Unions International-Region 4 annual conference at Frostburg State University Nov. 1 and 2.
The award honors and recognizes a longtime student union or student activities professional of a Region 4 member institution who has made exceptional contributions and demonstrated a long-term commitment to the profession on his or her campus.
"Don lives and models the core values of the association, which include learning, caring, community, innovation, diversity, joy, and above all else, integrity," said Mary Edgington, senior director of union and student activities at Pennsylvania State University, who presented the award. "As an ACUI professional, Don not only talks the talk, but walks the walk."
Rohel said he was overwhelmed with gratitude toward his colleagues for the unexpected honor and that his work with the association helps provide better campus services and programs.
"I know what I do makes a difference in what we do to build a better community for all," he said.
Rohel's supervisor, Dr. Tom Segar, vice president for student affairs at Shepherd, said Rohel works tirelessly on behalf of students and colleagues to enhance student center services.
"He has facilitated several innovations to the student center during his 13-year tenure," he said. "Don's passion and commitment to his profession are reflected in nearly four decades of involvement at the regional and national levels of the ACUI, shaping professional development and best practices for college union professionals throughout the United States."
Rohel said the people--students, faculty, staff and administrators--are what he likes best about Shepherd.
"They make Shepherd a great place to work every day," he said.
The recipient of the award is selected based on the following criteria: a demonstrated long-term volunteer service to Region 4 and the college union/student activities field; a minimum of 10 years relevant career experience in the college union/student activities field; and must currently be involved in or recently retired from a member-affiliated institution of ACUI and in Region 4.
The ACUI is one of the oldest associations in higher education and has become a knowledge-based association for campus community builders. Its mission is to support its members in the development of community through education, advocacy, and the delivery of services.