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CI student affairs leader wins Outstanding Performance award

Dr. Wm. Gregory Sawyer earns regional recognition for his role as Vice President for Student Affairs

Camarillo, Calif., Nov. 16, 2011 – CSU Channel Islands (CI) Vice President for Student Affairs, Dr. Wm. Gregory Sawyer, has earned one of the highest honors awarded to student affairs administrators in higher education.

Sawyer will accept the 2011 Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean/Vice President from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) at its Western Regional Conference on Friday, Nov. 18, in San Diego.

NASPA is the nation’s leading association for student affairs professionals, with more than 12,000 members.  The group presents the award annually to a dean or vice president of student affairs who excels in meeting student needs, developing staff members, and making significant contributions to their campus, community leadership and university affairs.

Sawyer, a founding member of the CI campus in 2002, is affectionately known as “Doc” to students and staff, is responsible for all services, programs and activities for enrolled and prospective students, oversees 75 employees, a $13 million budget, and nearly 4,000 students.

Sawyer earned the NASPA recognition thanks to glowing nominations from his colleagues.

“For the last 10 years, I can honestly say that I’ve witnessed Dr. Sawyer’s influence as  students have returned to thank him for his guidance, and staff have been inspired to achieve remarkable successes every day,” said Jane Sweetland, Associate Vice President, Enrollment Services at CI.  “I can attest to Dr. Sawyer’s role in making CI feel like a place where students and staff feel that they are a part of something wonderful, enduring and larger than themselves.”

Sawyer takes his responsibilities for student welfare seriously by making himself highly visible and accessible to students.  He holds a semi-annual event called “Donuts with Doc” to answer students’ questions and solicit feedback.  He’s also a favorite instructor in the Communication department, where he teaches two courses, and in the Psychology department, where he helps teach a leadership course.

“He cares deeply about people and engages meaningfully with staff and students,” said Cindy Derrico, Director of Housing & Residential Education at CI.  “As a cabinet-level administrator, he knows the names of many students on campus and invites them regularly to come and meet with him or join him for lunch.  At a recent celebration dinner of the new RA staff, he was able to name each of them and engage them about their past experience, their role as an RA and their future.”

Sawyer has been an educator and student affairs leader for nearly 34 years.  Before coming to CI, he served as founding Dean of Student Services at Florida Gulf Coast University for seven years and Dean of Students at University of North Texas for five years.  He earned a Ph.D. from University of North Texas, an M.A. from Eastern New Mexico University and a B.A. from Mount Union College, in Alliance, Ohio.

“Receiving this award is truly a humbling moment,” Sawyer said.  “A sense of pride immediately came over me as I reflected on how incredibly talented and dedicated the staff in Student Affairs is at Channel Islands.  I feel privileged to work at one of America's great universities and honored to work alongside one of the best groups of people in the country who always put students at the center of our mission.”

For more information on NASPA awards, visit www.naspa.org/programs/awards.

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About California State University Channel Islands
CSU Channel Islands (CI) is the only four-year, public university in Ventura County and is known for its interdisciplinary, multicultural and international perspectives, and its emphasis on experiential and service learning. CI's strong academic programs focus on business, sciences, liberal studies, teaching credentials, and innovative master's degrees. Students benefit from individual attention, up-to-date technology, and classroom instruction augmented by outstanding faculty research. CI has been designated by the U.S. Department of Education as a Hispanic-Serving Institution and is committed to serving students of all backgrounds from the region and beyond. Connect with and learn more about CI by visiting CI's Social Media.

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