Erin Hensley

March 10, 2017


When technology became a part of the ACPA/NASPA Professional Competencies, the NASPA Technology Knowledge Community felt it was important to recognize the efforts of rising professionals who have leveraged their time 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 began recognizing 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, and research. The award included financial support for the selected recipient to attend the 2017 NASPA Annual Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The TKC is pleased to award this year’s Outstanding Graduate Student award to Aven Jackson, a first year masters’ student at Texas State University.

Upon graduating with her bachelors’ degree, Aven began working with the university’s Office of Disability Services as an Accessibility Services Coordinator. According to Aven Jackson’s nominator, Aven has gone above and beyond to ensure that alternative format textbooks are available to students with disabilities at Texas State while also teaching students how to use those formats. Additionally, she has provided accessibility training to students, faculty, and staff. These trainings are generally centered around how to create accessible documents electronically in addition to hard copies (Braille handouts, etc). Last but not least, Aven adapted the Office of Disability Services’ website to include more information about how students can utilize their resources and also researched many smart phone applications that would benefit a variety of learning differences. Aven’s nominator stated,” While there will be many deserving candidates with experience working with innovative technology, I assure you will not find a more deserving candidate who uses technology to empower the learning of students with disabilities.”

We are very excited to recognize Aven for her achievements thus far and are certain that she will bring a great set of technology skills and interests with her into her first professional role. Congratulations to Aven for being the recipient of this honor!

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