Congratulations to Kevin Willis of Eastern Kentucky University for receiving the 2017 New Professional Award at the 2017 KAHO Annual Conference. The New Professional Award is awarded to the housing professional who has worked between one and three years at their institution for their outstanding contributions and service to their institution.
From the award nomination:
Though Kevin Willis is just beginning his third year as a professional on our team, he has a long positive history serving EKU Housing and Residence Life as an undergraduate RA and graduate assistant. Kevin is a tireless worker and is inspirational to others on our team; he consistently demonstrates a humble can-do attitude, goes above and beyond, and is not shy about helping out where needed.
In his second year as a professional Kevin relocated from one of our smallest communities to one of our largest communities on the outskirts of campus. This was a move Kevin was somewhat hesitant to make, but agreed to the challenge because we felt he was extremely capable and the best fit for the community. Kevin absolutely flourished in his new role supervising a large student staff and a graduate assistant. Kevin’s care and concern for his students is evident in the interactions, both positive and constructive, that he has. Under his leadership the Keene staff functioned well as a team and created a very positive community atmosphere in a building that historically is a less desirable location for EKU students.
Additionally, Kevin challenged himself by taking on the chair position for the department’s diversity committee, as well as an advisor role with NRHH. Under his leadership the diversity committee planned and executed EKU’s first Tunnel of Oppression. This effort reached across the division for support and collaboration and resulted in an overwhelmingly positive experience for those participating. The committee also brought awareness to dating violence and mental health, as well as challenged the community to reflect on values. In his role with NRHH, Kevin assisted the group in providing the “In the Dark” series of real talk opportunities for students to discuss issues related to diversity. This academic year Kevin helped to develop a retreat for NRHH along with a workbook.
Kevin is a true asset to our team and community. It is with great pleasure that I submit his nomination.