Higher Ed Professor Receives NAFA Service Award, Named in Her Honor

Suzanne McCray
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Suzanne McCray

Suzanne McCray, University of Arkansas' vice provost for enrollment and an associate professor of higher education in the College of Education and Health Professions, was honored at the National Association of Fellowships Advisors conference in Minneapolis recently.

McCray received the first service award from the association and the organization also named the award after her.

 "Suzanne is both the namesake and the inaugural winner of this award for very good reason," said Kyle Mox, associate dean of the Honors College at Arizona State University and immediate past president of NAFA. "None of us would be where we are in this profession without her leadership and service."

The group's Board of Directors voted unanimously to honor McCray for her service to the organization by creating the Suzanne McCray Exemplary Service Award, which recognizes "consistent, substantive contributions to the ongoing growth, stability, and development of NAFA, particularly for those whose work is largely unseen by general membership, but is crucial to the fabric of the organization."

Michael Hevel, head of the Rehabilitation, Human Resources and Communications department at the U of A, said, "It is fitting that this award will recognize in perpetuity individuals who have made major contributions to the field of fellowship advising through hard work behind the scenes. That epitomizes Suzanne's impressive list of accomplishments on our campus, from the Honors College to enrollment growth to helping students secure nationally competitive awards. I'm so grateful that the graduate students in our higher education program get to learn from her."

The National Association of Fellowships Advisors is an organization of over 1,000 members including universities and scholarship foundations who come together to share critical information about nationally and internationally competitive scholarships as well as strategies for helping students successfully compete for awards -- or learn from the process in a way -- that will launch them on meaningful academic and career paths.

McCray has been active in the organization for many years. She has served as vice president (2001-2003) and president (2003-2005), was co-chair of the association's ethics committee that draftedit's Code of Ethics, and ran both the undergraduate and graduate listservs for the organization.  She also served as editor or co-editor for seven volumes of essays on issues surrounding nationally competitive awards that were published with the University of Arkansas Press and with the association's imprint.

"I have benefited greatly in my career from being part of the National Association of Fellowships Advisors," she said. "Meeting with foundations and with talented advisors from across the country who are dedicated to serving students -- who will lead the way in their fields -- has shaped the work we do in the Office of Nationally Competitive Awards here at the University of Arkansas.

"I was surprised and deeply honored to receive this award from NAFA, which is filled with so many people I admire and just really like. Now, I have to get back to work to deserve it."


Shannon G. Magsam, director of communications
College of Education and Health Professions
479-575-3138, magsam@uark.edu


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