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Norman Awarded for ACPA Service

Norman Awarded for ACPA ServiceYolanda Norman, University of St. Thomas’ Director of Residence Life and Conference Housing, received an award for Distinguished Service while attending the 2013 American College Personnel Association conference held in Las Vegas, Nev., from March 4-7.

Norman was nominated by a colleague within the ACPA organization, Ashleigh Brock, Assistant Director of the Career Center and the College of William and Mary, for her work to incorporate social media within the organizations public affairs.

Within the ACPA organization, Norman serves on the Administrative Leadership Commission board and is the acting chair of technology for the board.
“I did not expect to get it at all,” Norman said. “My hobby is social media. I do a lot of reading about social media, as well as teaching others about social media, so I brought it to the commission.”

In addition to receiving her award, Norman attended sessions about residence life, student leadership and first-generation college students, and she shared stories and insights with colleagues from across the globe.

Norman helped start CAL Twitter chats, a tool used to discuss trending topics in real time, and attended webinars focused on technology and social media to share her knowledge with the organization. She got involved with the ACPA while she was working at the University of Texas at Austin. When she moved to St. Thomas, she knew this was one of the organizations she wanted to continue and move forward in.

“They provide amazing professional development,” Norman said. “I get to interact with other colleagues from across the country, and we share resources back and forth. Because other colleagues on campus are members, we get a chance to work together.”

Norman, along with Dr. Ricardo Montelongo, Director for the Office of Student Success, have collaborated to work on a white paper they are hoping to publish soon. The paper is a response to President Barack Obama’s challenge for more students to graduate from college. They are focusing on a pre-college demographic to identify areas in education that need to be addressed as students transition from high school to college to increase retention rates.

“I am humbled and honored,” Norman said. “I truly believe my purpose in life is to serve others. Everything I do is to serve others, and if I am able to receive an award every now and then, I’ll take it. Then, when all the celebration is over, I’ll go back to serving people.”

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