2016 TKC Outstanding Graduate Student Award

March 13, 2016

Now that Technology is a part of the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies, it is important to recognize the efforts of rising professionals who have leveraged the time they spend in graduate programs to become skilled in the use of technology within their work. Starting with the 2015-2016 year, the NASPA Technology Knowledge Community is pleased to recognize a deserving member of the graduate student community who has showcased excellence in the promotion and use of technology for the benefit of their campus, the field and NASPA as an organization. This award recognizes a graduate student that has realized the importance of using technology for many purposes, including but not limited to: assessment and evaluation, programming, networking, continuing education/professional development, marketing, research, and more. The award includes financial support for the selected recipient to attend the 2016 NASPA Annual Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana. The TKC is pleased to award the inaugural Outstanding Graduate Student award to Jared Cook, a second-year masters’ student at Fort Hays State University.

Upon graduating with his bachelors’ degree in psychology from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2013, Jared began work with the university’s Center for Student Involvement as their Graduate Assistant for Co-Curricular Engagement. According to Jared Cook’s nominator at FHSU, Vincent Bowhay (Assistant Director of Memorial Union - Special Events and Activities), Jared has gone above and beyond to implement technology into the day­to-day operations of the Center for Student Involvement. Specifically, Jared spearheaded and maintained an innovative approach for students to blend co­-curricular activities and classroom learning through the office’s TigerLink involvement platform. Using the FHSU Curriculums feature of the system, students are able to choose the programs, activities, and events that will specifically help them improve their chances of success in the workforce following graduation. Having personally connected each of the nine developed Curriculums to the learning domains within FHSU's Division of Student Affairs, Jared’s work has resulted in over 5,000 people participating in programs designed to enhance orientation, leadership skills, diversity appreciation, health and wellness, social responsibility, and critical thinking. The program has since been showcased at three national conferences and has won awards from NASPA Region IV-West, NODA and NACA. We are very excited to recognize Jared for his achievements thus far and to support his continued growth as a technology-focused leader within the student affairs field. We are sure that he will bring a great set of technology skills and interests with him into his first professional role and, in the long term, doctoral work. Congratulations to Jared (pictured below alongside TKC Chair Lisa Endersby and Awards Chair Christian Williams) for being the recipient of this honor, and to Vincent for the successful nomination.

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