Quinnipiac University recently received several awards from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education).
The university was honored with a state award for its Defend the Den program, while Kristina Lynch, director of QU’s Community, Assessment, Response and Evaluation (CARE) Team, and student Christina Stoeffler earned individual awards at the NASPA Region 1 (New England) Conference in Portland, Maine.
Lynch, of Meriden, said she was “deeply humbled” to be presented with the prestigious Doris Michiko Ching Award for Excellence as a Student Affairs Professional.
“I feel incredibly fortunate to work in the field of student affairs and to help college students through my work every day,” Lynch said. “I am honored to receive this prestigious award and look forward to continuing to work alongside inspirational colleagues and professionals in NASPA Region I and at Quinnipiac University.”
Stephen Sweet, director of student conduct and community standards, said Lynch is a tremendous asset to Quinnipiac.
“Kristina’s commitment to our students is second to none,” Sweet said. “She leads Quinnipiac University’s CARE Team with great compassion and empathy and with a commitment to inclusive excellence. Kristina works tirelessly to promote student wellbeing and works collaboratively across the institution to promote a culture of care and support at Quinnipiac University.”
CARE is committed to the safety and well-being of the university community through proactive, coordinated and deliberate approaches by identifying, assessing, managing and reducing any student interpersonal or behavioral concerns. The CARE Team is a partnership of various university offices that is supported by the Office of the Dean of Students
Stoeffler, a senior English and theater major from North Haven, was the state of Connecticut winner of NASPA’s Catch a Rising Star award, which recognizes an undergraduate student interested in a student affairs career.
“This award means a lot to me as someone who is considering pursuing higher education,” she said. “I’ve worked in a lot of realms of college life whether it be in admissions, campus life, orientation, or the learning commons, and I truly love the environment that campus provides here at QU. I’ve worked really hard on trying to make the university a welcoming and accepting place to all, so I feel honored to be recognized for that work.”
Matthew Kurz, assistant vice president of student affairs, said Stoeffler served as an orientation intern for student programs over the summer as well as president of the Fourth Wall theater club, an admissions ambassador and a Learning Commons peer catalyst, while also finding time to participate as a Student Programming Board general board member to name just a few of her leadership roles on campus.
“Christina has consistently exceeded expectations in all her leadership and orientation positions, leaving a lasting and positive impact on our campus and the entire community,” Kurz added.
Defend the Den, a new bystander intervention campaign, received a state award for program of the year. Sweet said it was created for students by students.
“Defend the Den aims to educate students at Quinnipiac University about the bystander effect, and to encourage students to trust their instincts in circumstances where they can help a person in need, reduce the risk of harm, or prevent a bad situation from becoming worse,” he said.
Kurz also was recently honored. He received the “Everyday Hero Award” from the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Northeast Region.
“I’m honored and incredibly grateful for the thoughtful students and colleagues who nominated me this year,” said Kurz, who lives in Wallingford. “The support from my team and colleagues has allowed me to continue serving our students in a meaningful way, and this recognition is only possible due to their hard work and contributions.”
The award is given to a professional, graduate or support staff member from a college/university or associate member agency who has made positive contributions to student activities on their campus and/or the Northeast Region.
“This award is very meaningful to me as a recognition of the hard work our team and university consistently accomplish to ensure students are heard, seen and have a strong sense of belonging at Quinnipiac.”