See below for a list of regional awards. Nominations are due September 23.

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Bernard Pitts Role of the College Union Award

The Role of the College Union Award, established in 2004 by Region 11, was renamed the Bernard Pitts Role of the College Union Award in 2011 and adopted by Region II in 2014. The award honors Bernard Pitts, former director of the Kansas State University Student Union and recipient of the prestigious Butts-Whiting Award. Pitts also served as ACUI President from 1996–97. 

This award recognizes a Region II institution that has planned, implemented, and evaluated an outstanding program or service that embodies ACUI's Role of the College Union statement.

Bernard Pitts Role of the College Union Recent Recipients

  • 2018: Get HIRED: Advocacy, Accessibility, and Job Search, University of Houston
  • 2017: Roadrunner Pantry, University of Texas–San Antonio
  • 2016: Union Day, University of Arkansas–Fayetteville
  • 2015: Freshmen Leaders in Progress (FL!P), University of Texas–Austin
  • 2014: The DUC Presents, Washington University in St. Louis

Nominations for this award must include:

  1. A written description of the program including:
    • Supporting evidence of development and promotion of community
    • The impact of the program on the campus, community, and/or targeted group
    • Outcomes of the post program(s) evaluation
  2. A letter of testimony from the staff member who directly worked with the program(s).
  3. A letter of testimony from a student leader.
  4. A letter of testimony from the highest administrator in the division where the program(s) was based.
  5. Optional: Additional letters of support from students, union staff, ACUI colleagues, peers, and/or community members.
Rising Star Award – Undergraduate & Graduate Student

The Rising Star Awards, established by Region II in 2014, seek to recognize and appreciate the contributions of undergraduate/graduate staff and volunteers. The award recognizes two student union or student activities students—one undergraduate and one graduate—at a Region II member institution who have made significant contributions through employment, volunteering, programming, and/or other union-related activities.  Eligible recipients should be enrolled in an undergraduate/graduate program.

Rising Star Recent Recipients

  • 2018: Alyssa Arceneaux, Southeastern Louisiana University
  • 2017: Elvis Dang, Texas A&M University–Commerce
  • 2016: Michael Mendoza, University of Houston
  • 2015: John Buckley, Kansas State University

Nominations must include:

  1. Nominee's resume including educational background, relevant experience, and evidence of institutional and ACUI involvement
  2. One letter of support from a full-time employee of a Region II member institution
  3. Optional: Additional letters of support from students, union staff, ACUI colleagues, peers, and/or community members.
Shirley Bird Perry Distinguished Service Award

The Shirley Bird Perry Distinguished Service Award, established by Region 12 in 1999 and adopted by Region II in 2014, honors one of the most influential leaders in Region 12 for more than four decades. After being named the “Most Outstanding Woman Student” as a senior at the University of Texas–Austin, Perry began her professional career as a program director and then as director of the Texas Union. During her union career, she was the first woman to be elected to the ACUI Executive Committee, serving as vice president for conference program from 1968–70. She was also the first woman to serve as president of the organization in 1972–73. She was the first woman to receive the Association’s highest recognition, the Butts-Whiting Award, in 1976. She worked as coordinator of educational programs and services at the ACUI Central Office from 1976–79. Perry returned to an administrative position at the University of Texas–Austin in 1979, and was a vice chancellor for the University of Texas System when she passed away in May 2011.

The Shirley Bird Perry Distinguished Service Award is the highest honor presented by Region II. The award is designed to recognize a member of the region who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of ACUI. Persons nominated should be singled out for their quality work and sustained contribution to ACUI, rather than for a single action. Eligible recipients are employed full-time, or recently retired, from a Region II institution, have more than 10 years experience in the field, and a minimum of six years experience in Region II (or former Region 11 or 12).

Shirley Bird Perry Distinguished Service Award Recent Recipients

  • 2017: Deb Hobson, University of Central Missouri
  • 2015: Thomas Lane, Missouri State University

Nominations include:

  1. Nominee’s resume including educational background and training, work experience, evidence of institutional and ACUI involvement, and any honors received as a professional;
  2. Two letters of support: A) nominee’s immediate supervisor, B) a student leader who has worked with the nominee, and C) an ACUI colleague from another institution who has observed the nominee's service to ACUI.
  3. Completed award form.
  4. Optional: Additional letters of support from students, union staff, ACUI colleagues, peers, and/or community members.
Shirley Plakidas New Professional Award

The Shirley Plakidas New Professional Award, established by Region 12 in 1999 and adopted by Region II in 2014, honors one of the region’s most influential leaders for more than three decades. Her career began as an assistant program manager at the Nebraska Union in 1967, followed by a long career at Louisiana State University, where she served as director of the LSU Union. Plakidas was active in Region 12 with conference planning, keynote addresses and seminars, and numerous leadership roles. She was also active on the international level of ACUI as a speaker, author, and coordinator of professional seminars, conferences, publications, and videos. Plakidas served as ACUI president in 1995–96 and received the prestigious Butts-Whiting Award in 1999.

The Shirley Plakidas New Professional Award is designed to recognize a student union or student activities professional of a Region II member institution who has made a significant contribution to the advancement of ACUI during their first five years of service in the region. Persons nominated should be singled out for their quality work and contribution to ACUI. Eligible recipients are employed full-time at a Region II institution and have been in Region II (or former Region 11 or 12) for at least two years, but not more than five years. 

Shirley Plakidas New Professional Recent Recipients

  • 2017: Shane Stinson, University of Columbia
  • 2016: Victoria Culver Rice, Missouri State University
  • 2015: Lauren Sposato, University of Houston

Nominations must include:

  1. Nominee's resume including educational background and training, work experience, evidence of institutional and ACUI involvement, and any honors received as a professional
  2. Two letters of support: A) nominee’s immediate supervisor and an ACUI colleague from another institution who has observed the nominee's service to ACUI. 
  3. Completed award form
  4. Optional: Additional letters of support from students, union staff, ACUI colleagues, peers, and/or community members.
William H. Smith Outstanding Professional Award

The William H. Smith Outstanding Professional Award, established by Region 11 in 2004 and adopted by Region II in 2014, honors one of ACUI’s most influential regional leaders. Smith spent 46 years as a staff member in a college union on the campuses of West Virginia University, Kansas State University, and the University of South Dakota. He spent 30 of those years serving as director of the Campus Activities Center and the Rhatigan Student Center at Wichita State University. Smith also served as regional director for Region 11 from 1991–94. He attended 44 Annual Conference and 47 consecutive ACUI Regional Conferences. 

The William H. Smith Outstanding Professional Award is designed to honor and recognize student union or student activities professionals of Region II member institutions who have made exceptional contributions and demonstrated a significant commitment to the student union/student activities profession on their campuses and within ACUI. Eligible recipients are employed full-time at a Region II institution, have between five and 10 years experience in the field, and participate in ACUI on a regional and/or international level. 

William H. Smith Outstanding Professional Recent Recipients

  • 2018: Rob Stagni, University of Arkansas
  • 2017: Lisa Kring, University of Kansas
  • 2016: Audrey Taggart-Kagdis, Kansas State University
  • 2015: Zane Reif, University of North Texas

Nominations must include:

  1. Nominee’s resume including educational background and training, work experience, evidence of institutional and ACUI involvement, and any honors received as a professional
  2. Two letters of support: nominee’s immediate supervisor and an ACUI colleague from another institution who has observed the nominee's service to ACUI
  3. Completed award form
  4. Optional: Additional letters of support from students, union staff, ACUI colleagues, peers, and/or community members