Spring 2018 Golden Griffin Recipients

Rachel McDonald - Dean of Students

Core Value: Professional Excellence • March 2018

I am pleased to nominate Rachel McDonald for the Golden Griffin award for Professional Excellence. Rachel is a quiet hero in the Dean of Students Office when it comes to her work with our most at-risk students. She dedicates her time and talent to our students whose situations demand more attention. She always goes the extra mile when it comes to helping students and their families when they are the most vulnerable. I am privileged to work alongside an individual who is able to manage 10 on-going student crises at one time in addition to her day-to-day appointments, while still making sure that each student feels they are her top priority. It’s not only through her hard work, but also the procedures and systems she has put in place that she is able to serve so many students so well. She strives for excellence each and every day, and truly helps our students flourish.

April Palmer - Dean of Students

Core Value: Integrity - March 2018

Since transitioning out of Residence Life to the Student Conduct Office, April has continued to maintain excellent rapport and relationships with colleagues and friends, especially between those in the Dean of Students Office and Campus Living. April’s new role has her working closely with students, faculty, and staff in situations that are often times both emotional and frustrating. The decisions and outcomes from conduct cases can have rippling effects for others in the campus community. Administrators working with students on conduct issues and inappropriate behavior must be role models of good behavior themselves. April continues to lead with integrity through her care and compassion for students who need support as they are held accountable for inappropriate behavior. She is very deserving of a Golden Griffin for the value of Integrity.

Casey Van Veen - Sadler/Campus Centers

Core Value: Student Centeredness - April 2018

Recently, Casey agreed to serve on three student conduct hearing panels in a row during a very short span of time. All of these hearings required several hours' time, and not only did Casey put in the time necessary, but she also came to the hearings having obviously prepared by studying the records ahead of time and formulating relevant lines of questioning. She also supported the student-led nature of the proceedings by participating as an active member of the panel while respecting the role of the students involved. And as always, she did this with a great attitude and a positive demeanor! Casey's approach represented student-centeredness and allowed us to provide fair and timely hearings for our students.