Dr. Jeff Mayo, assistant director of the First-Year Experience, has won the National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students’ Transfer Champion Rising Star Award.
The Rising Star Award recognizes professionals who are making important contributions and are relatively new to the field. Awardees have often organized programs that are responsive to their specific transfer student populations and that show evidence of success. Rising Stars use best practices and theoretical frameworks to guide their efforts, and they rely on strong communication skills to collaborate, educate others, and challenge the status quo.
“It is clear from his work with the Transfer-Year Experience (TYE) program, as well as his advocacy for non-traditional students across campus, that Jeff embodies the spirit of this award and that he has influenced those around him in countless ways,” said Undergraduate Studies Assistant Dean Patty Micks. “I am so proud of Jeff’s great work and thrilled that he is being recognized at the national level!”
Mayo has worked to expand the Transfer Student Leadership Summit, which convenes students, staff, and faculty from colleges and universities around Texas to tackle the challenges associated with being a transfer student. In 2020, the Greater Texas Foundation announced a new grant to support the 2020 and 2021 Transfer Student Leadership Summits. Mayo initially helped establish the summit in 2017 to provide a platform for students to share best practices, identify common themes in the transfer experience, and develop new ideas to implement on their home campuses. Despite the pandemic, TYE hosted a series of three webinars to offer a fully online summit during the spring 2021 semester that brought in participants from across the United States.
“I had the pleasure of attending that first Transfer Student Leadership Summit and I witnessed the outpouring of shared experiences and the beginning of a state-wide transfer support network,” wrote one of Jeff’s nominators. “An event that focused on transfer student leadership was long overdue, and it has truly changed the face of transfer in Texas. The 2021 Transfer Student Leadership Summit pivoted online and appreciably expanded its reach and impact by featuring national speakers and transfer experts, and by inviting participation by a national audience.”