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NISTS 2023 Annual Award Winners

Each year, NISTS recognizes exemplary transfer advocates who are influencing policies, practices, and programs to benefit transfer students. This year, we were thrilled to recognize twelve outstanding winners in four different categories at NISTS 2023, both virtually and in person. Please join us in congratulating these amazing professionals and students!

Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champion - Catalyst Awards

The Catalyst Award recognizes mid-career professionals who are game-changers in the transfer field. These individuals have worked over time to make a significant impact at the institutional, regional, and/or state levels. Awardees demonstrate evidence of leadership, appropriate risk-taking, and disrupting the status quo. They use relevant research and theoretical frameworks to develop transfer programs and services. And, they ensure the sustainability of initiatives by developing staff and using data to make improvements. Generally, these individuals have served in transfer-related roles for approximately ten years.

Three Transfer Champion Catalyst winners are standing on a purple-ish backlit stage holding their crystal awards.
Pictured from left to right: Jessie Ryan, Darla Cooper, and Rita Snyder Furr

Jessie Ryan, Executive Vice President

The Campaign for College Opportunity

Darla M. Cooper, Executive Director

The RP Group

Rita Snyder Furr, Assistant Director, ADVANCE Operations

George Mason University and Northern Virginia Community College

Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champion - Rising Star Awards

The Rising Star Award recognizes individuals who are making important contributions but are relatively new to the transfer field. Awardees create new programming or substantially improve programming that is responsive to the specific transfer student population and shows evidence of success. Rising Stars use best practices and theoretical frameworks to design, implement, and assess their efforts and use resulting data to guide future work. They use their strong communication and collaboration skills to educate others about transfer students and are not afraid to challenge the status quo. Generally, these individuals have served in transfer-related roles for three to five years.

Three Transfer Champion Rising Star winners are standing on a purple-ish backlit stage holding their crystal awards.
Pictured from left to right: Jaclyn Duerr, Mayra Arroyo, and Emily Tichenor. Not pictured: Jacqui Rogers-Frere

Jaclyn Duerr, Program Manager for Transfer Student Success

University of California, San Diego

Mayra Arroyo, Coordinator, Transfer Services

Rowan University

Emily Tichenor, Director, University Transfer (past)

Tulsa Community College

Jacqui Rogers-Frere, Interim Assistant Registrar

College of Southern Maryland

National Transfer Student Ambassadors

The Transfer Student Ambassador Program invites up to four outstanding transfer students to influence the national transfer conversation by sharing their voices at the NISTS annual conference. Winners are selected for their demonstrated excellence in leadership, public speaking skills, and potential for sharing meaningful information with transfer professionals at the local and national levels.

Four student ambassadors are standing on a purple-ish backlit stage holding their award plaques.
Pictured from left to right: Juan "Oso" Bran-Gudiel, Atziri C. Regalado Juarez, Emily Armlin, and Jolynna Dang.

Juan "Oso" Bran-Gudiel

University of California, Santa Barbara

Atziri C. Regalado Juarez

University of Utah

Emily Armlin

Union College

Jolynna Dang

University of California, Irvine

Barbara K. Townsend Dissertation Winner

The transfer field thrives when intentional, rigorous inquiry is conducted and applied to practice. NISTS celebrates emerging scholars who exemplify this philosophy through the Barbara K. Townsend Dissertation Award.

Dissertatin award winner is standing on a purple-ish backlit stage holding an award plaque.
Pictured: Courtney S. Green

Courtney S. Green, Ph.D., P.E., Teaching Assistant Professor

University of North Carolina, Charlotte


Do you know an outstanding transfer advocate, researcher, or student who deserves to be recognized for their stellar work and contributions to the transfer field? Please let us know! Our nomination forms open each summer, and we can't wait to read your submissions. Full details are available on the annual awards webpage.


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