U-NITES! has been named ACUI’s 2021 Student Union/Campus Activities Program of the Year for Region III. The Association of College Union International Region III’s Campus Activities Program of the Year award recognizes a program that fosters the enhancement of the campus community or furthers the development of students. ACUI Region III consists of institutions in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Bermuda, and Puerto Rico.
U-NITES! is coordinated by the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement and offers on-campus social programming Thursday through Saturday each week at the Barnes Center during the academic year. U-NITES! offered opportunities for students to connect and engage with each other in a safe and healthy manner during the COVID-19 pandemic. U-NITES! saw over 1,100 unique participants in the Spring, despite modified operations. This Fall, 36 different programs were held as part of the series behind the efforts of Mahin Sandoval-Chavez, Vanessa Gonzalez and student staff.
“Working with the U-NITES! program means creating and maintaining a community where all students feel supported,” said Mahin Sandoval-Chavez, assistant director for student programs in the Center for Student Leadership and Engagement. “I am thankful to be part of a program that assists in my growth while also allowing me to build a welcoming space for all. U-NITES! means prioritizing the creation of accessible and fun opportunities for the students we serve.”
Farmer Named Outstanding Advisor-Mentor for Region III
Shane Farmer of Campus Reservations and Events was recognized by ACUI as Outstanding Advisor-Mentor for Region III. Farmer serves as associate director of operations, where he works specifically with venue and technical services for the spaces managed by Campus Reservations and Events.
The award recognizes significant leadership, volunteer service and commitment to student development or the development of new professionals. The award goes to a professional staff member who has served as a mentor to new staff, students, and emerging young professionals in the student affairs field.
Farmer has been intricately involved with ACUI Region III during his time as a student affairs professional. He has helped coordinate annual conferences, spearheaded diversity and inclusion efforts and in 2019 earned the Richard D. Blackburn New Professional Award.