Rouel Velasco, UH West Oʻahu Student Life Coordinator, recently was honored for his work and outstanding contributions by the leading association for student affairs professionals.
Velasco was awarded the NASPA Region VI NUFP Champion Award during a regional conference in Sacramento, Calif. earlier this month. The award by NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education recognizes individuals who have made a significant contribution to the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP), and has served as a champion for students from traditionally underrepresented and historically disenfranchised populations. This can be through a variety of means including the hosting programs, providing professional development opportunities, and/or supporting other activities that advance campus, regional, or national NUFP initiatives.
NASPA Region VI consists of Aotearoa (New Zealand), Arizona, Australia, California, China, Guahan (Guam), Hawaiʻi, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. NASPA has 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries and works to advance the student affairs profession. Velasco oversees a number of student programs and activities as Student Life Coordinator, whether it be courtyard events aimed at students, helping get the word out about ASUHWO student government elections, the Pueo Awards, or the PUEO Leader-Mentor program.
The NUFP Champion Award is presented to those who have served as a NUFP mentor, provided advocacy for a campus-based NUFP initiative and or supported the NUFP program through other initiatives. Awardees also must be a champion for students, by hosting programs, providing professional development opportunities, and/or supporting other activities that advance campus, regional, or national NUFP initiatives.
Velasco was accompanied to the conference by UH West Oʻahu faculty, staff and students who were selected as NUFP Fellows, allowing them to participate in pre-conference sessions and the conference.
Also at the Region VI conference, Dr. Lori Ideta, University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa interim vice chancellor for students, was honored with a Distinguished Service to the Profession Award, and LaJoya Shelly, also of UH Mānoa, was given the Graduate Rising Star Award. Jennifer Pagala Barnett, program coordinator for the UH Mānoa Women’s Center, was presented with the Mid-Level Student Affairs Professional Award.