My colleague, Jay Garvey, and I nominated Dr. Tiffanie Spencer for this award because she is an integral team member of the Higher Education and Student Affairs master’s program. With us, she leads efforts to support program activities, including recruitment/admissions, orientation, town halls, racial affinity spaces, assessment, graduation, faculty meetings, and so much more. Although her primary role is in the CESS Dean’s Office, Tiffanie gives her time and talent willingly and a HESA program without her leadership and involvement is unimaginable. Given her formal academic training in Higher Education and her vast professional experience at UVM, students are naturally drawn to Tiffanie as a mentor and educator. Tiffanie brings her administrative perspective and savvy to bear in her role as an instructor within the graduate HESA program. She shares her wisdom while always demonstrating kindness and respect for others in our community. We gathered comments from students as a part of our nomination and I share one quote with you here:

“Having Dr. Spencer as a professor and assistantship supervisor has truly enriched my HESA experience in many ways. She is thoughtful and intentional in all that she does. Dr. Spencer shows a great level of care for her students, her work, and the community. In addition to her role in HESA and CESS, I know she is a firm believer in CESS's mission of "maximizing human potential and the quality of life for all individuals, families and communities". In my personal interactions with Dr. Spencer, she has always treated me as a human first and never failed to help me achieve whatever success meant to me with intentional care to my student self, my professional self, and my personal and holistic self. She has led by example to exemplify the meaning of conducting oneself with grace amidst difficult external tensions.” End quote.

The HESA program is forever transformed because of Tiffanie’s involvement. Her community- and justice-centered philosophies deepen student engagement and the HESA program overall. Her passion for higher education and dedication to serving students is inspiring, and we are privileged and blessed to be her colleague. Congratulations, Dr. Spencer and thank you for all that you do.