UH Hilo administrator to receive national award for outstanding service

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Date: Wednesday, January 17, 2007
Contact: Alyson Kakugawa-Leong, (808) 974-7642

For Immediate Release

Dr. Keith Miser, vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of Hawaii at Hilo, has been selected as the recipient of the 2007 Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Service as a Dean.

The award is given annually by the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). Goodnight, a former dean of men at the University of Wisconsin, served as NASPA’s founding president from 1919-1920, and was described by his colleagues as the “Dean’s Dean.”

“We’re very pleased that NASPA has selected Dr. Miser for this important award,” said UH Hilo Chancellor Rose Tseng. “Everyone from our students to administrators have benefited tremendously from his dynamic leadership and the special passion he brings to his job each and every day. The entire University joins me in congratulating him for receiving the recognition he so richly deserves.”

The Scott Goodnight Award recognizes individuals who demonstrate personal commitment to student affairs administration, high-level competency in administrative skills, innovative response in meeting students’ varied and emerging needs, effectiveness in developing junior staff members, and leadership in community and university affairs.

In recommending him for the award, Dr. Narbeth “Nobby” Emmanuel, vice chancellor for student affairs at Southern Illinois University, said Miser has earned the highest respect, admiration and approbation from those who have come in contact with him during his career as a teacher, advisor, educator, and mentor.

Miser has been credited with having created and developed one of the better nationally recognized college student personnel programs during his tenure at the University of Vermont. But Emmanuel said the quality that makes him so outstanding and exceptional is his compassion, caring and kindness, especially for underserved and disadvantaged students.

“His deep commitment and almost zeal-like passion to find ways to assure that these young minds achieved their hopes, dreams and aspirations has made a profound and lasting impact on the lives of many forever indebted students,” Emmanuel wrote. “Keith’s gentle nature and warm personality made the Miser residence a home away from home for those who were in need of additional caring and support.”

Miser’s commitment to his students has also had a significant impact on his profession. Emmanuel noted that he is perhaps one of a handful of mentors who have mentored numerous professionals who have gone on to assume senior- level student affairs positions across the country. They include Emmanuel and his two co-nominators who were mentored by and worked for Miser during his tenure at the University of Vermont.

“Keith is known to have walked the corridors and hallways of the placement centers with a briefcase of resumes of his advisees for colleagues that were looking for the best and brightest,” Emmanuel wrote. “His network was wide and varied because of the reputation that he has earned over time in the profession.”

Emmanuel said Miser epitomizes the attributes of Scott Goodnight for whom the award is named, and that his upcoming retirement will be an immeasurable loss to the profession.

Miser will formally receive his award at the NASPA Annual Awards Luncheon on Tuesday, April 3, in Orlando, Florida.

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