By Bailey Morrison
Melinda Stoops, dean of students, has received an award for her “outstanding” work in student affairs, said President F. Javier Cevallos.
Stoops said she was nominated for the Student A:airs Administrators in Higher Education’s AVP/Senior-Level Student A:airs Professional Award by her colleagues and staff.
The award will be given to her at a ceremony held by Student A:airs Administrators in Higher
Education, known as NASPA, in March.
According to the NASPA website, the group awards student a:airs professionals for their “outstanding commitment to the profession,” which includes the development of programs and “creation of a campus environment that promotes student learning and development.”
Cevallos said this award is a “great recognition of the work she has done and continues to do for such a long time. She is a very committed individual and she works very, very hard for students.”
He added, “Having NASPA recognizing the work she has been involved in is a great way to thank her at a national level for everything that she does. She’s also quite involved in the organization itself, so not only does she give her time on campus, but she gives her time o: campus working for the NASPA organization.”
He said this award reflects positively on the University because “anytime we have our faculty, staff or students recognized at the national level, it reflects very positively upon the University.”
Stoops said she had “no idea” she had been nominated for the award until she received a phone call from the NASPA Board Director, Lori White, informing her of her nomination in December.
She said her staff and colleagues wrote letters of nomination to NASPA and she was later able to read the letters they wrote. “They kept it quiet. I was shocked when I won it.”
David Baldwin, associate dean of students, said he “ran a gambit” to secure six nomination letters for the award so NASPA “could see she is worthy of winning” it.
“She’s fantastic. She really cares about the students. Her first question is always, ‘So, how is this going to a:ect the students?’ and she’s a good person who supports our staff in any way she can and is all around just a great boss.”
Stoops said, “In many ways, this award is very humbling. When I see the award recipients, to be among that pool of people is humbling.
“In my role as dean of students, I’ve been involved with NASPA for a number of years for professional development, but part of the reason is because it’s a good way to get Framingham State’s name out there in the world, to tell people where you’re from and the work you’re doing. ... It makes the school look good,” said Stoops.
She added, “Framingham State is being recognized at a national level by this large organization of student a:airs and I think it’s good press for Framingham State. The fact is that I’m being recognized, my name is on the award, but this is because of my staff. It’s a collective recognition.”