Student Affairs Staff Awards

The Division of Student Affairs seeks to recognize exceptional staff members for their outstanding contributions to the Division's mission to provide model programming and services that promote transformational experiences that empower our students so they may reach their full potential. The Winter Awards recognize outstanding effort from the fall semester, and the Star Awards honor selected staff members for exceptional contributions to the Division's mission throughout the year. Nominations the 2017-18 Star Awards will remain open until April 27, 2018. Submit your nominations for the Star Awards here.


Star Awards

The Peter Durkee Superstar Award

Dr. Durkee served as the division's senior officer for 25 years and during that time his support for student services--such as career development and student wellness--made a significant impact on the University. This support and many additional actions have contributed to the success of thousands of Southern Miss students.  The Peter Durkee Superstar Award recognizes an employee or ensemble within the Division of Student Affairs for significant contributions to the mission and realization of the vision.

    Submit your nomination for the Peter Durkee Superstar Award here.



The Joe Paul Rising Star Award

Dr. Joe Paul quickly made his mark in 1976 when he began in his first role as Assistant Director for the R.C. Cook Student Union and was quickly promoted to roles including Dean of Student and Vice President for Student Affairs.  The Joe Paul Rising Star Award recognizes new employees who, like the award's namesake, also have hit the ground running by displaying exemplary efforts toward advancing the division's mission and vision through our values of Civility, Education, Engagement, Integrity, and Wellness. All DSA full-time employees hired within the last two years are eligible for nomination.    

     Submit your nomination for the Joe Paul Rising Star Award here.


Winter Awards

At the close of the fall semester, The Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs recognized exceptional professionals and the work they do. These distinctions include the

Exceeding Expectations Award, recognizing staff members who achieved significant goals

Experiential Educator Award, recognizing recognize the staff member who was influential in making obvious/successful/noteworthy contributions to a student’s learning

Facilitating Student Succes Award, recognizing staff members who made noteworthy contributions to student successes

Collaboration Excellence Award, recognizing staff members who were instrumental in facilitating a collaborative objective

Budgetary Stewardship Award, recognizing individuals who displayed highly effective budgetary decision making


Award Recipients

Winter 2017 award recipients for Southern Miss Student Affairs

Winter Award Recipients (pictured above) - December 2017:

Exceeding Expectations Award

Valencia Walls, Coordinator for Multicultural Programs & Services

Megan Wilkinson, Assistant Director for Greek Life

Experiential Educator Award

Lisa Wright, Health Educator for the Moffitt Health Center

Stephen McCay, Assistant Director of Operations for Union and Programs

Facilitating Student Success Award

Danlana Brooks, Associate Director for Housing and Residence Life

Christy Arrazattee, Director for the Center for Community Engagement

Collaboration Excellence Award

Kayla Johnson, Health Promotions Coordinator for the Moffitt Health Center

Budgetary Stewardship Award

Wynde Fitts, Associate Dean of Students

Star Awards - Academic Year 2016-2017

Lydia Pierce, Coordinator for Conference ServicesLydia Pierce, Coordinator for Conference Services, selected for the Joe Paul Rising Star Award

"Lydia has made a huge impact in a small amount of time. I am very confident she will only continue to flourish . . . [she] definitely embodies Joe Paul’s encouraging phrase to “Leave it Better Than You Found it.”  - Nomination Letter


Thomas Daus, Associate Director for Recreational Sports
Thomas Daus, Associate Director for Recreational Sports, selected for the Peter Durkee Superstar Award

"Not only is Tom a key contributor to the success of Recreational Sports, he is also a strong supporter of the mission, vision, and goals of the [Division] of Student Affairs. His mentorship continues to be a catalyst in the professional development of his employees and peers.” - Nomination Letter