2015 Graduate Student Award: Ciera Mills

At the 2015 KAHO Annual Conference, a plethora of awards were given out to deserving professionals from around our commonwealth. Because of time constraints at the awards luncheon, the letters of nomination were unable to be read. The KAHO Governing Council wanted each of the outstanding nominees to be fully recognized for the achievements and successes they have championed as well as thanking the nominators for such heartfelt and meaningful recognition.

Graduate Student Award
Awarded to one recipient for outstanding contributions and service to his or her institution. Recipients should be full time graduate students and enrolled in their program for at least one year.

Join us in congratulating Ciera Mills, from the University of Kentucky!

Ciera Mills

KAHO Awards and Scholarship Committee:

It is with great pleasure that I recommend Ms. Ciera Mills for the KAHO Graduate Student of the Year Award. I have had the opportunity to work with Ciera in her role as both a Hall Director and an Assistant Resident Director for the Office of Residence Life since July of 2013. I know her both personally and professionally, and I recommend her to you very highly, both because of her professional abilities and because of her personal characteristics and skills.

As a Hall Director, Ciera provided supervision, leadership, and support to a large female residence hall. Ciera has the ability to encourage other students while pursuing her own goals. She is affectionately known by her peers, and eagerly assists in any way that she can. She enjoys and excels when given creative projects and eagerly assists others with their responsibilities even if she doesn’t derive any benefits from it.

When opening a new residence hall in August 2014, Ciera graciously agreed to serve as an Assistant Resident Director for our new facility. This position still serves in a graduate student role but was created to serve as an assistant to a full time Resident Director while also taking on additional responsibilities in a much larger residence hall. In her new role Ciera has the opportunity to work with five different learning communities, supervise half of the staff team in the building, while also serving as a resource for the residents on her floor.

During Ciera’s employment, I have found her to be conscientious and enthusiastic in her duties as well as very competent in leadership skills. Her main attributes are dependability and dedication for those she works. I have supervised and worked with many students in their capacity as Hall Directors in the residence halls. Ciera is one of the most engaging leaders I’ve ever worked with. She has great interpersonal skills, maintains a positive attitude and cares deeply about people.

Ciera is well known for her genuine concern for others and her approachable nature, her sense of humor and ability to make others feel at ease make her a pleasure to work with. She is a role model for others by the example she projects—one who commits of herself 110% for everything that she does. Ciera has had to deal with a variety of student issues during her term as both a Hall Director and a Graduate Resident Director. Her ability to establish personal one on one relationships with her students has continued to make her an outstanding “out of the classroom” resource for her building residents. She has supported her residents with college transitional issues; medical issues; violence against women issues; relationship and career guidance; etc… in her role as Hall Director. She continues to remain committed to the ideals set forth by the Office of Residence Life and remains one of our most incredible assets.

In closing, I firmly believe that Ciera’s leadership ability and dedication to those she works with makes her an exceptional candidate for the KAHO Graduate Student of the Year Award. I give her my highest recommendation. If you would like any additional information about Ciera, please contact me at (859) 257-8704 or through e-mail at mshrout@uky.edu. I would welcome the opportunity to further discuss this exceptional graduate student. .


Marcia H. Shrout
Associate Director
Office of Residence Life


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