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.
2015 Ruth Ann Howard Service Award
Awarded for outstanding service to KAHO and their institution(s). Service to KAHO includes but is not limited to: service on the Governing Council, serving on the Host committee of a KAHO sponsored conference, publishing in the SEAHO Report, performance which has merited other awards in the state previously, etc. Recipients should have worked within the state for at least three years.
This year, two professionals were recognized by the KAHO Governing Council for their contributions and successes. Join us in congratulating Bryan Shelangoski from the University of Louisville and Dr. Chris Summerlin from Morehead State University!
Dear KAHO Awards Committee,
It is with great pleasure that I nominate Bryan Shelangoski for the 2015 Ruth Ann Howard KAHO Service Award.
Bryan is completing his fourth year at the University of Louisville currently serves as the KAHO President. During his presidency he has expanded the vision and direction of KAHO and encouraged increased membership.
HE IS THE DEFINITION OF SERVICE! He lives his life in a way that exemplifies the way Ruth Ann Howard cared for our profession and others. He truly deserves this recognition and would never ask for it. Bryan is by far the most dedicated Housing professional I know. He successfully manages all aspects of four properties, while remaining tirelessly dedicated to the advancement of the University of Louisville Housing program, the Campus Housing profession, and other professionals. His job is intense but he dedicates much of himself to developing others. Some strong examples of his service dedication are that he began our professional development committee and mentor/mentee program, both of which are making a tremendous positive impact on our team.
He is just as dedicated to advancing professional organizations connected to our Housing profession. These are the highlights of his tremendous dedication to our field.
• President, Kentucky Association of Housing Officers (KAHO) President.
• Southeastern Association of Housing Officers (SEAHO) Host Committee Member 2014 to 2015 and served and host chair when we hosted in Louisville Kentucky.
• Present ACUHO-I/APPA Housing Facilities Conference Programming Committee Chair-Elect which is a four year commitment including also serving as the Conference Chair.
• Member of the Postsecondary Council on Suicide Prevention and facilitate QPR trainings on and off-campus in the local community as a certified QPR trainer.
• ACUHO-I Facilities and Services Committee Chair – Communications.
Our entire team endorses Bryan’s nomination for this award. Amy Chambers a ULH Inc. employee said it best, “Bryan has been truly instrumental to my career since working for UofL campus housing. He has encouraged and challenged me to take on new roles and hone in on my communication skills. He has also really helped me realize what I truly love about working with students and finding my niche in moving forward with my career. I am truly a better professional than I was a year ago and that is all thanks to Bryan.”
Thank you for the opportunity to nominate Bryan Shelangoski for KAHO Service Award. He represents on a daily basis what KAHO and residence life stand for: service, achievement, and leadership. EdR, UofL Campus Housing Program and KAHO, are successful because of Bryan’s solid leadership, commitment to service and others!
Michelle Newton Massey
Associate Director for Administrative Service
Dr. Chris Summerlin
Awards Selection Committee,
It is with extreme pride and enthusiasm that I submit for nomination for the Ruth Ann Howard Service Award Dr. Chris Summerlin, Director of Housing & Residence Education at Morehead State University. Chris has brought a passionate commitment to student success and retention, a purpose driven staffing plan and development, and leadership of his organization to a position that demanded excellence in all of the above for success within the role. Additionally, while completely transforming MSU Housing, Chris has also brought leadership, vision, and commitment to the Kentucky Association of Housing Officers as our President-Elect, using his position to champion change in the areas of information dissemination, KAHO branding, and hosting a state-wide conference that set a remarkably high bar for colleagues across the state.
To say that Chris was hired to a perfect organization would be less than accurate, but from day one those of us fortunate to work and learn with Chris knew things would be different, with changes that would be immediate, energizing, and lasting. Before Chris arrived, our office’s reputation within our own campus was troubled. It was not the thriving, lively, dynamic organization that all housing organizations aspire to be. Thanks in large part to Chris’ direction and supervision, our organization has become the go-to department on campus to achieve large-scale successes. Housing’s response is no longer “Why us?” it is instead “Why not us?” and that has made all the difference in how this department, our professionals, and our mission is received by stakeholders across the campus.
Tangible successes under Dr. Summerlin’s leadership include the creation of a comprehensive contract process for residential students, transitioning from an antiquated assignment process and occupancy accounting software, decentralization of residential rights and responsibilities hearings and hearing officers, moving to an e-delivery system of residential rights and responsibilities communications, implementation of three living-learning communities, and being a vocal advocate in completely changing the Resident Advisor compensation package, resulting in a 90% increase in staff occupancy. Those successes pale in comparison though to the overall atmosphere and staffing of the department as a whole.
When Dr. Summerlin arrived at MSU, leadership of the housing department was in disarray. Residents were not held accountable for poor behavior and community damage, many student staff members were not held accountable for dereliction of job duties, and professional staff members were hardly the representatives anyone would want speaking on their behalf. It was truly yeoman’s work that took nearly 18 months to accomplish, with difficult conversations, staff turnover, and departmental overhaul along the way, but the results this fall came to fruition in a seamless new student move-in complimented for its tone, its people, and its efforts from parents to the President. Without question, the successes at Morehead State in the realm of housing and residence education are because of Chris’ leadership, passion, and vision. Most importantly, and on a personal level, Chris has served as an excellent mentor and professional, showing on a daily basis what it means to be a committed person-first manager and department leader.
Chris has also made his mark in the state and in the field at large. He is a constant contributor with engaging publications in our statewide newsletter. He has been a driving force behind the organization’s communication plan and virtual data warehouse. He was a host committee co-chair for the 2014 KAHO State Conference, allowing our campus to throw their doors open to the state and provide an exceptional conference experience. All those things matter when it comes to providing an experience for colleagues across the state that make a difference and make our state a stronger place to educate.
Perhaps what makes Chris most deserving of this award is the rationale behind why he does what he does. It is not for accolades, for recognition, for monetary reward but for the honor of serving those around him. It is a hallmark of Chris’ approach to live, whether professionally or personally, and the defining characteristic of this award. I cannot fathom how another colleague across the state has done more in service for their institution or KAHO, and it is my honor to nominate Dr. Chris Summerlin for this prestigious recognition to both honor his successes and motivate others of what is possible with selfless service to those around you.
Alan M. Rucker
Assistant Director, Residence Education
Morehead State University