News & Press: News

2017 Individual Award Winners

Tuesday, September 19, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Andrea Starks-Corbin
Share |


The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Awards & Recognition Committee is excited to announce the 2017 individual award recipients. Every year the AFA Awards & Recognition Committee recognizes outstanding contributions by our members and colleagues. These awards will be presented at the AFA Annual Meeting in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, December 2. Please join us in congratulating our individual award winners!


Jack L. Anson Award 
Kaye Schendel | Delta Upsilon | Sigma Sigma Sigma
Kaye Schendel has been the leader in the field in advancing service learning experiences for fraternity and sorority members. As a campus professional, Kaye impacted thousands of students on service trips and served as a resource for other professionals when planning their own experiences. She then went on to join the Delta Upsilon staff as the Director of Global Initiatives. Since coming to Delta Upsilon, she has conducted more than 25 trips and created Project Jamaica, hosting 25 more trips for universities and non-pro fit organizations. The program has become award winning, and many other universities and organizations have followed suit with Kaye serving as a consultant. In addition to her service work, Kaye serves as the president of Center for Fraternity and Sorority Research where she worked to establish a unique partnership with AFA to advance the fraternal research agenda.

Dr. Kent L. Gardner Award
Melissa Vito, Ed.D. | University of Arizona | Kappa Kappa Gamma
Dr. Melissa Vito began her journey with fraternity and sorority life when she joined Kappa Kappa Gamma at the University of Arizona. That experience led her to career in Student Affairs spanning over 40 years at the University of Arizona. Through all her positions, Dr. Vito has served as a tireless champion for the fraternity and sorority community. She has helped to advance the fraternal movement by engaging with a variety of stakeholders including students, alumni, staff and faculty. With this engagement and commitment to innovation, Dr. Vito worked to secure two grants totaling over $400,000 from the U.S. Department of Education to address to high risk drinking among fraternity and sorority members. In addition, Dr. Vito led the University of Arizona to become one of the initial members of National Hazing Prevention Coalition. This commitment to innovation has challenged all stakeholders to think critically and creatively on how grow and support the fraternity and sorority community at large and at the University of Arizona.

Robert H. Shaffer Award 
Mindy Sopher | North Carolina State University | Kappa Delta
With a career spanning over 30 years, Mindy Sopher's commitment to fraternities and sororities has been unwavering, placing equal emphasis on service at a national and local level. The impact she has made on both campuses and the profession of fraternity/sorority advising is extensive. Over her career, Mindy has worked in fraternity/sorority life on three different campuses. In each of these roles, she made long term mentoring relationships with her students and colleagues. Much of Mindy's work has involved being a chapter advisor for Delta Upsilon and Beta Theta Pi. In these long lasting roles, Mindy's encouragement and push to continually be better can be felt throughout each chapter. Additionally, Mindy has served in a variety of facilitation roles for numerous organizations where she has not only built strong relationships with students but has become a mentor to many of her fellow facilitators.

Sue Kraft Fussell Distinguished Service Awards 
Noah Borton | Delta Upsilon | Sigma Nu
During his fraternity/sorority career, Noah Borton has served as a campus-based professional, headquarters staff member, volunteer, and mentor to many. In each capacity, he has been committed to the advancement of students, institutions of higher education, fraternal organizations, and the industry as a whole. This impact can be seen at Eastern Michigan University where many of the programs he implemented are still in place, through his work on the AFA Board of Directors and AFA Perspectives board, and in his role at Delta Upsilon. At Delta Upsilon. Noah developed or advanced programing like the Associate Member Education National Program, Delta Upsilon Emerging Leaders program, Men of Merit Standards program, and more.

Thad Doyle | University of Akron | Kappa Alpha Order
Thad Doyle serves as the Senior Associate Director of Student Life at the University of Akron where he supervises 9 functional areas including fraternity and sorority life. He has also been an active member of AFA for over a decade. Thad was elected as the Vice President of Membership for 2009 and 2010, Executive Vice President for 2011 and 2012, and then was elected into the Presidential line serving as the Association President in 2014. He also served as the Nominations and Elections Chair in 2015 and the Chair of the 40th Anniversary Planning Committee in 2016. Today, Thad is a member of the AFA Foundation Board and serves as a member of the Development Committee. In addition to his service to AFA, Thad has volunteered as a facilitator for fraternal programs, St. Jude Up Till Dawn, and OrgSync.

Juan Guardia, Ph.D. | University of Cincinnati | Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc.
Dr. Juan Guardia has been an interfraternal partner of AFA through his work as the Vice Chair and then chair of the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO). He has contributed many hours of education and research in the area of Latino fraternity experiences. Through his dedication to research Dr. Guardia has assisted and articulated the value of the fraternity/sorority experience. Over the course of his career, he has also volunteered as a chapter advisor for a number of fraternal. However, his most extensive contributions have been to his own fraternity, Phi Iota Alpha Fraternity, Inc., where he has served in a volunteer capacity for over a decade including as a current member of their Board of Trustees.

Jason R. Kilmer, Ph.D. | University of Washington | Delta Upsilon
Dr. Jason R. Kilmer supports fraternity and sorority life through his dual work at the University of Washington. Dr. Kilmer splits his time between the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences and Health & Wellness in Student Life. This duality allows him to advance research on prevention within fraternities and sororities and to work directly with students through presentations and education. Before this work, Dr. Kilmer helped to implement the Alcohol Skills Training Program (ASTP) at Pi Kappa Phi. In 2003, he trained Pi Kappa Phi's first ASTP facilitators. They continue to train 20-25 volunteers every other year under Dr. Kilmer’s leadership. Today they have over 100 volunteers delivering ASTP to their chapters, and an impressive 597 programs have been delivered and 23,793 men have attended the program.

Veronica Moore | Delta Upsilon & NIC | Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Inc. 
Veronica Moore oversees the implementation and planning of Delta Upsilon educational programs as their Director of Educational Programs, and she develops educational programs and advocacy initiatives for emerging and culturally-based NIC fraternities as their Director of Emerging & Culturally-Based Fraternal Initiatives. Before joining the Delta Upsilon and NIC staffs, Veronica was the Associate Director of Student Activities at Temple University. Throughout her career, she has dedicated much of her time and talents to AFA. She served on the AFA Foundation, on the AFA Board of Directors, and as Region 1 Director. She made AFA history by becoming the first African American elected to serve as the AFA President. Prior to this role, she served as Executive Vice President and Vice President of Membership. In addition to her AFA involvement, Veronica serves as a mentor to young professionals in the field.


In Honor Of

The Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors Foundation invites friends and colleagues to honor award recipients with an In Honor Of gift to the Foundation which will be used advance the work of AFA through scholarships, grants and funding for educational initiatives. Please consider honoring these extraordinary professionals today.

Click to make an In Honor Of gift. Please select “In Honor Of,” and then list the award recipient(s) in the comment box below the tribute notification. The AFA Foundation will share the list of donors with the award recipients following the 2017 Annual Meeting.

If you have any questions about the awards and recognitions process, please contact Lindsay Sell.

Contact Us
Connect With Us