The CSAA program is happy to be presenting the 2016 CSAA Outstanding Alumni Award to Dr. Willie Banks, Jr., a 2008 graduate of the doctoral program and a 1995 graduate of the master’s program. He currently serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs at Indiana State University, having previously worked at Cleveland State University and at UGA.
The award will be presented at ACPA at the UGA reception (Monday, March 7, 7:30 – 9:00 pm, Le Westin Montreal/Montreal D). He will also be recognized at NASPA at the UGA reception (Monday, March 14, 9:30 – 11:00 pm, Marriott Indianapolis/Rm 7). If you’re attending the conferences, please join us at the receptions to honor Willie and re-connect with fellow UGA CSAA/SPHE alumni.
We received a number of strong nominations this year, which were evaluated by a team of alumni volunteers. Dr. Banks’ impressive nomination packet included multiple letters attesting to his achievements and contributions. His nominators included alumni from both the master’s and doctoral programs who described his impact through teaching, mentoring, leadership, and service to CSAA and to the profession at large. The letters highlighted his many achievements, but as one person wrote, “What his resume may not show, however, is his genuine love for students, commitment to our field, and support of his colleagues and friends. While serving as my supervisor, he inspired me to do my best work; as a classmate, he motivated me to find my voice and speak up in class; and as a mentor, he has continued to provide beneficial advice as I navigate my next steps in our profession. To know Dr. Banks is to know a professional truly committed to his students and greater campus community.”
His commitment to his students a strong theme throughout the letters. One said, “He goes out of his way to get to know students, their stories, and how he can help them succeed. This is not a show – this is Willie. This is how I believe he is able to keep his work student focused and not get bogged down in politics that comes with every institution and every position. He remembers why we are here, and as simple as that is, it is inspiring.” Another noted, “His legacy is one of student-centered service, transformative leadership, and positive social change.”
Willie stands out as a role model in our profession. One nominator said, “Serving as an example of success at the intersections of various marginalized and historically underrepresented identities, Dr. Banks has redefined what it means to be a leader within the student affairs profession …I am … motivated to reach even higher heights because of the example he has set.”
We are proud of Willie Banks and happy to have this opportunity to recognize him with the 2016 CSAA Outstanding Alumni Award.