This award acknowledges a professional at a two-year institution who exemplifies excellence in the enhancement of the college union ideal and is recognized by peers as a leader and person of integrity.

2020 Recipient
Don Phelps, County College of Morris, is described as a champion for the two-year college experience, a convener, a community developer, and advocate for student leadership development. He has been supporting students in the Campus Life Office at the County College of Morris since 2001. On campus, Phelps is known for his quiet leadership, positive attitude, professionalism, and ethic of care for students. He has had over 15 years of almost continuous involvement in ACUI in both regional and association-level positions.
Don Phelps
Past Recipients
  • 2018: Michelle Brown – Snow College
  • 2017: Kristen Mruk – Genesee Community College
  • 2016: Joshua Peters-McBride – Portland Community College–Southeast
  • 2015: Mike Coleman – Tallahassee Community College
  • 2011: Sharon Silverstein – Suffolk County Community College
  • 2009: Thomas Priester – Finger Lakes Community College
  • 2008: Joseph Maurer – Lone Star College–Montgomery
  • 2006: Mandy Ellertson – Portland Community College
  • 2003: Kathleen Maiuri – Macomb Community College
  • 2002: Jim Eustrom – Chemeketa Community College
  • 2001: Gail Anderson Cywinski – Normandale Community College
  • 2000: Ed Snyder – College of Lake County
  • 1999: Jeanni Winston-Mui – Frederick Community College
  • 1998: Barbara Slagle – Tulsa Community College
  • 1997: Cami Bishop – Portland Community College
  • 1996: Curtis Smout – Salt Lake Community College
  • 1995: Jay Boyar – Prince George's Community College


The review process includes, but is not limited to, an assessment of the criteria listed below. The nominee must:

  • Demonstrate exceptional achievement in the profession at a two-year college.
  • Be involved in two-year college issues and be held in esteem by colleagues through this involvement.
  • Demonstrate commitment to ACUI through volunteer service.
  • Understand the importance of the profession in advancing campus community.


    Professionals employed at a two-year college that is an ACUI member institution are eligible for this award.


    Submission materials must include the following:

    1. Name, institution, and contact information of the nominee.
    2. Name, institution, and contact information of the nominator.
    3. Two to three letters in support of the applicant to receive the award written by individuals such as direct supervisors/advisors, peers/colleagues, students, faculty members, etc., addressing:
    • The achievements of the nominee in the profession.
    • The demonstrated commitment of the nominee to the criteria identified for this specific award.
    • A summary of the nominee’s background to provide evidence that they meet the criteria identified for this specific award, including information related to professional experience and volunteer service—providing a current resume or curriculum vitae for the nominee is optional.

    The nomination deadline is December 11.

    Nominate Now


    Electronic notification will be sent to confirm award submissions have been received. A confidential Individuals Awards and Scholarships Committee, appointed annually by the ACUI president, will review materials to make the selection. One recipient will be chosen, unless otherwise noted for the specific award. One physical award will be given to the recipient, who will be recognized during the awards ceremony at the annual conference and in subsequent publications.