Graduate Assistant of the Year Award

Congratulations, Montse Molas!

Recreational Sports

Montse's nominator had the following to say:

“Since August 2019 when she started her work as the incoming Fitness & Wellness Graduate Assistant for the Department of Recreational Sports, Montse Molas has done everything in her power to ensure the success of the Fitness & Wellness program at the University of Georgia. Montse came in facing a number of challenges regarding changes to the staff (we lost the Coordinator who was one of the main people she interviewed with and hired someone new before she started her position) as well as personal health challenges (the failure to progress in her recovery after knee surgery which left her unable to walk without crutches). Both of these challenges were points of unknown for her in addition to navigating UGA for the first time.


Montse’s ability to handle each one of these challenges with a smile on her face all while succeeding at her academic course work, engaging with her CSAA cohort, and her fellow Recreational Sports Graduate Assistants make her stand out as one of the most resilient Graduate Assistants I have ever supervised. When she started work at Recreational Sports, Montse was eager to do whatever she could to assist in student development and program management. She jumped right in and assisted with fall staff training just a week after arriving in Athens. Montse also engaged in an opportunity to learn more about Health and Wellness Coaching at the Health Center (participating in an 8AM-5PM training for the first four days of her assistantship) so she could use the coaching principles she learned in the training in her work with student employees at Ramsey. In September 2019, Montse attended the Georgia Recreational Sports Association (GRSA) State Workshop in Kennesaw, GA and later in October 2019, she attended the NIRSA Region II Conference in Chattanooga, TN. She has participated in a number of Student Affairs activities including the Engage! Conference, Coffee & Conversations, ACIREMA Simulation, Global Dawgs Training during International Education Week, and Black History Month events and has enjoyed learning and getting to know colleagues in the Division all while applying the foundations of her CSAA coursework to practical scenarios. In February 2020, she presented at the Southeast Collegiate Fitness Expo on ‘Gymtimidation’ at Radford University in Radford, Virginia.


Montse currently serves as a practicum student in UGA Athletics at the Rankin-Smith Center working with one of the staff there to develop a diversity and inclusion program for student athletes. This summer, she will serve be an intern with NODA (formerly, the National Orientation Director’s Association) for orientation programs at the University of Virginia.  Montse has a passion for developing student employees and is willing to do whatever is asked of her to ensure Fitness & Wellness, Recreational Sports, and ultimately, the Division of Student Affairs succeeds. Recently, Montse created the DawgFit Championship, a student employee competition to engage Fitness & Wellness student staff in community with their peers. This competition places every Fitness & Wellness staff member on a team and encourages student employee engagement in Fitness & Wellness and other Student Affairs activities by awarding points for participation in certain activities such as going to a group fitness class with a team member, attending a professional conference, obtaining a certification, subbing a work shift, and attending events hosted by University Union, MSP, and other Student Affairs departments and organizations. This program has dramatically increased the morale of the Fitness & Wellness student staff and has encouraged community building and excitement for their work. Montse also created a newsletter to send out to all employees that recaps the most recent staff meeting and provides additional information on DawgFit Championship team progress, tips to support personal well-being, and general information on upcoming special events and professional development opportunities for staff hosted by Fitness & Wellness. 


In addition, Montse solely manages the Fitness & Wellness Outreach program, which requires her to schedule, coordinate, and plan programs with a variety of individuals across campus from resident assistants, campus police, student organization presidents, Kinesiology professors, and the facilities staff in Recreational Sports. She recently visited UGA Panhellenic Council, NPHC, and MGC meetings to discuss opportunities for these groups to engage in.”


Recipient: Individual

Is there a graduate assistant in your department that was crucial to achieving your goals this year? Have a classmate that you feel should be recognized for their work in their assistantship?

This award recognizes a UGA Student Affairs graduate assistant who has consistently exceeded the responsibilities of their position in a manner that promotes the success, mission, and goals of the Division.

Nominations will be evaluated according to one or more of the following criteria:

  • Performing job responsibilities in an exemplary manner
  • Seeking additional opportunities to engage within the Division outside of regular position responsibilities through volunteering for and/or participating in initiatives hosted by various departments or the Division
  • Positively impacting, engaging, and/or supporting the Division and UGA community
  • Contributing to their field through conference presentations, digital/print publications, or a volunteer role
  • Nominee serves as a graduate assistant in UGA Student Affairs at time of nomination

Previous Award Winners

Staff Awards

The Student Affairs Staff Awards, given to deserving staff across the division and the University, recognize outstanding accomplishments and leadership in student affairs at the University of Georgia.