November 11, 2014

SVSU student, staff receive top honors for service to residential students

Saginaw Valley State University was recognized by its regional peers for offering exemplary residential experiences for its students during the 2014 Great Lakes Association of College and University Residence Halls Conference at Indiana State University. SVSU received the award for National Residence Hall Honorary Outstanding Chapter, the highest regional honor a chapter can obtain.

In addition, Haylie Chamarro, an elementary education major from Oxford, received the Student of the Year Award.

“I was honored that people would think to nominate me, and then when I found out I won, it was disbelief,” Chamarro said. “I wasn't doing what I was doing because I was trying to get Student of the Year. I was honored.”

Chamarro's student peers nominated her for the award. Several members of SVSU's student housing community wrote letters of recommendation, including them in a bid proposal that also documented Chamarro's many responsibilities as a residence hall leader.

“Because of her hard work as a student, a resident assistant and a leader, they decided she was worthy of the award,” said Michele Gunkelman, SVSU director of residential life.

Gunkelman also was honored. She received the Hallenbeck Service Award, which recognizes a full-time housing or student affairs professional for his/her outstanding continuous service to his/her university community.

“The recognitions earned by Haylie, Michele and our NRHH chapter are well-deserved,” said Merry Jo Brandimore, SVSU dean of students and associate provost for Student Affairs.

“SVSU has a significant history of participation and recognition in the state, regional and national organizations that focus on residential student leadership development. Our record of accomplishment isn't surprising considering the legacy of consistent effort and dedication demonstrated by our students and staff.”

The Great Lakes Association of College and University Residence Halls includes colleges and universities in Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Ontario and Wisconsin. In all, 11 residential-student leaders represented SVSU at the conference, held October 31 to November 2. They attended leadership development sessions and networked with other college students; the delegation was advised by Jamie Franklin, SVSU resident director.

SVSU attendees included  Khindra Clarke, Charles Ferens, Daniel Hill, Mackenzie Hughes, Pedro Marin, Ashley Murdock, Haley Sedlar, Ashley Stanton and Alexander Williamson. National Communications Coordinator Tiffany Johnson and National Residence Hall Honorary Communications Coordinator Rebecca Tomasek also attended.