Congratulations to the 2021 - 2022 Graduate Assistant of the Year recipient:

Sarah Urbanski!

Sarah’s nominator had the following to say:

“Sarah Urbanski is an exceptional nominee for the Graduate Assistant of the Year Award.

Sarah has been a consummate professional in her role co-advising the Student Government Association (SGA). In her role, she directly advises multiple leaders within the organization assisting with the advocacy, programming, and initiatives as decided by SGA. She has been instrumental in providing guidance and counsel to create the greatest level of success for the organization and its leaders. Her co-advisement of SGA has not only benefited the organization as a whole but the individual students with whom she works regularly. During Sarah’s time helping advise the group, SGA has experienced more effectiveness and efficiency as an organization and successfully navigated their leadership responsibilities throughout the pandemic.

Sarah goes out of her way to attend departmental, divisional, and UGA-wide events. She’s often the first to volunteer for additional opportunities to include major campus events. She made considerable efforts to better understand and know the Student Affairs 2025 Strategic Plan and how her work and positively contribute to its success. During her time here, she’s also interned with International Student Life and contributed mightily to their digital International Street Fest in 2021.

Within ELS, she’s taken the time to contribute her efforts to learning and working on the student organization registration processes and the new experiential learning leadership curriculum. Following the departure of a staff member in ELS in the fall semester, Sarah has been responsible for reviewing, coding, and approving all events in the Involvement Network for Student Affairs departments and student organizations. All of these responsibilities have been outside of her position expectations.

Sarah consistently seeks ways to expand her breadth of experience to include presenting at the annual, regional UGA Student Leadership Conference. She’s also served in a leadership role on the NASPA Region III Board working on communications and marketing – a rare accomplishment for a graduate student. Additionally, she’s recently been selected for a role on the new 2022-2024 NASPA Region III Board coordinating awards for the region.

Sarah is someone that I am able to give few parameters, and she independently produces innovative ideas and efficient ways of completing her work in order to create a better experience for our students. I trust her judgment and am always impressed with her determination to achieve the highest level of excellence. Sarah has always been flexible and goes out of her way to accommodate others’ needs and time constraints. Her interpersonal skills are fantastic and equips her with the ability to create positive relationships with those with whom she works. I have no doubt that Sarah will continue to make strides in her ability to best serve her future students and institution. Our field continues to benefit from Sarah being a part of it, and I’m a better professional for having supervised and worked alongside her.”


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

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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.

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Student Affairs Staff Development Lead 

Matthew Waller
Chief of Staff