New campus award honors former dean of students

2011 Ron Wisner AwardThe 2011 Campus Awards Ceremony will be at 3:30 p.m. May 3 in Berger Hall. The annual spring ceremony honors members of the UCCS community for their contributions and work during the past year.

The Ron Wisner Human Spirit and Leadership Award will be presented for the first time. The inaugural recipient is Jesse Perez, a senior communication major.  He has served as a leader in Student Diversity Council, Spectrum, and is student office manager in the MOSAIC office.

Selection committee members noted that Perez never ceases to engage others and always exhibits a sense of respect for the human condition. They found him to be civically motivated, actively giving back to the Reach Your Peak Foundation, an organization that nurtured and assisted him from his early middle school years though college. They cited Perez’ activities with Reach Your Peak as a demonstration of qualities Wisner embodied.

The Ron Wisner Human Spirit and Leadership Award to an outstanding student leader honors the memory of Wisner, who served in the posts of executive director of student affairs and dean of students at UCCS from 1979 to 2003.

Remembered for his patience and humor, Wisner died May 21, 2010 from injuries suffered in a bicycle accident. The award named for him commemorates his strong belief in the most positive aspects of human beings, especially in young people.

Other featured awards and recipients are:

  • Outstanding Teacher Award: Michael Kisley, associate professor, Department of Psychology
  • Faculty Award for Excellence in Research: Xiaobo Zhou, associate professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Faculty Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity and Inclusiveness: Andrea Herrera, professor, Department of Women’s and Ethnic Studies
  • Outstanding Instructor Award: Shannon Michaux, senior instructor, Department of Mathematics
  • Outstanding Staff Award: Josephine Benavidez, director, Pre-Collegiate Development Program
  • Special Chancellor’s Award: Sharon Berthrong, consultant, Education Management, and Colorado Springs community activist
  • Special Chancellor’s Award: Paul Ballantyne, professor, Department of Economics
  • Chancellor’s Award: Jugal Kalita, professor, Department of Computer Science
  • Alumni and Friends Award: Edna Daniels, chair, Board of Directors for the Community Partnership for Child Development
  • Campus Sustainability Award: UCCS Bookstore
  • Student Achievement Award: Ben Jourdan, senior
  • Student Employee of the Year Award: Ryan Hollamby, graduate student, Geography and Environmental Studies
  • Thomas F. McLaughlin Award: Matt Friesen, junior
  • Thomas F. McLaughlin Award: Julia Saenz, junior
  • Ron Wisner Human Spirit and Leadership Award: Jesse Perez, senior

A reception follows the awards ceremony. All faculty, staff and students are invited to attend.

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