Technology KC Award Winners - 2017

Erin Hensley

March 10, 2017


The Emerging Practice Award was created in 2015 to recognize NASPA members who are leveraging technology to make real differences within their institutions, as well as highlighting strategies, programs and techniques that can contribute to greater development and support of technological advancement in the profession. This year, we are very proud to award the 2017 TKC Emerging Practice award to Anthony Doody, Kait Zullo, and Elyse Washington for their work at Rutgers University!

All three team members currently work at Rutgers University. Anthony serves as the Senior Director for Student Engagement at Rutgers, while Kait is the Assistant Director of Student Engagement Marketing and Elyse is the Assistant Director for Major Programs and Events.Together, they created a community of learning designed to educate student leaders and Student Affairs professionals about tools, strategies and analytics for social media engagement. Over twenty professionals from all departments within the Student Affairs division were invited to bring a student leader to share in and contribute to the learning. Engagement team agenda items included: learning new platforms and analytics software; eviewing external case studies; developing cross-collaborative promotions and strategies; establishing event calendars and file asset sharing systems; sharing best practices; and creating policies and divisional training programs.

The team was created in response to the challenge of trying to connect with and promote initiatives to students through digital spaces amidst a great deal of digital competition and “noise.” As part of this initiative, they created a social media playbook that includes best practices and guidelines. Each member of the group was encouraged to contribute to the community of learning by researching and presenting on various social media analytics, platforms, and topics including: SnapChat Geofilters, Facebook Analytics, YouTube Analytics, WordPress, Google Analytics, Twitter Analytics, Promoted FaceBook Ads, Instagram, Pinterest Analytics, MailChimp Analytics, Hootsuite, TweetDeck and Radian6.

Professional staff often partnered with students in the development of presentations. The educational experience served to increase their collective quality of standards, expectations, and common language. Using Radian6, we taught team members how to use real-time online social media monitoring across multiple channels to analyze volume, overall sentiment, key demographics, influencers, and trends. Overall, they believe that learning communities such as these that feature #SApro/student collaborations could become a high impact model of learning. As many programs struggle to connect to students in digital spaces, using best practices and evidence to influence strategy and decision-making can help professionals more effectively reach target populations and rally support, pride, and advocacy. In addition, this kind of team approach has been an effective model that can be replicated by other institutions during times of crisis.

Congratulations again to Anthony, Kait, and Elyse for their hard work on the development of this community of learning, and for contributing to the TKC’s mission of furthering the development and use of technology within the student affairs field. 


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!


The TKC Small Research Grant was established to promote and encourage research involvement focused on technology-related topics and concerns. The grant itself is designed to assist in the execution of promising technology-related research that has the potential to inform the practice of student affairs administrators. Additionally, the recipient of this award receives up to $300 to support their research project. The TKC is pleased to award this year’s Small Research Grant to Charlie Potts.

Charlie currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Residential Life at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota and is currently working on his dissertation toward his EdD at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. His current research focuses on the influence that social media use has on male college students’ gender identity and gender performance. Specifically, Charlie is examining how college men understand their masculinity and how they think about their social media use in hopes of providing insight into how college men’s actual behavior on social media compares to their self-described behavior on social media.

We are very excited to recognize Charlie for his current research surrounding male college students and social media and wish him the best of luck on the completion of his EdD.

Congratulations to Charlie for being the recipient of the Small Research Grant!


The TKC Technology Research, Assessment, and Evaluation Innovation Award was created to recognize NASPA members who are innovators in the field of Student Affairs through the application of research, assessment, and evaluation of technology-related tools and practices. Additionally, the goal of the award is to shine a light on understanding technology in higher education and student affairs, as well as painting a clearer picture for effective practices. The TKC is pleased to award this year’s Technology Research, Assessment, and Evaluation Innovation Award to Paul Brown.

Paul currently serves as the Director of Curriculum, Training, and Research at Roompact and recently completed his PhD at Boston College. Paul’s dissertation was a qualitative research study that aimed to understand how traditionally-aged college students conceptualize self and identity as a result of digital and social media immersion. His research explored aspects of digital identity and digitized selfhood to surface important behaviors and developmental processes—asking: How do college students conceptualize who they are and how they present themselves when they are engaged in digital and social media? Paul’s research highlighted the importance of educating students about their digital identities and reputations, utilizing reflection and “breaks” from social media to determine goals for its usage, and how to be vulnerable and authentic online.

We are very proud to award the TKC Technology Research, Assessment, and Evaluation Innovation award to Paul Brown! Congratulations to Paul for his hard work on his dissertation, and for contributing to the TKC’s mission of furthering the development and use of technology within the student affairs field.

Opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of NASPA. If you agree or disagree with the content of this post, we encourage you to dialogue in the comment section below. NASPA reserves the right to remove any blog that is inaccurate or offensive.

To comment, you can login to your preferred social network. Comments are lightly moderated and we do provide the option for users to flag a comment as inappropriate.

Posted by

Get in Touch with NASPA