Lifelong Learner Award

Congratulations to the 2021 - 2022 Lifelong Learner award recipient:

Josh Welch!

Josh’s nominator had the following to say:

“It is my pleasure to nominate Joshua Welch for the Lifelong Learner Award. The award recognizes an individual who has ‘made an effort to invest in the growth of themselves and others.’ There could not be a better description for Josh’s supervision and work style. He is a fierce advocate for the professional development of his staff, through encouraging conference presentations, suggesting tailored professional development opportunities, and celebrating the accomplishments of his team. It is not uncommon for Josh to expend his own personal resources, such as time, money, or connections, to ensure his team is well suited in the field of fraternity and sorority life. One of Josh’s greatest motivators in our work is investing in the development of graduate students and new professionals.

Josh has made significant and meaningful contributions to fraternity and sorority advisors since the beginning of his career. Through volunteer work with the Association of Fraternity/Sorority Advisors (AFA) and the Southeast Greek Leadership Association (SGLA) as well as consultant work on a variety of campuses, Josh has dedicated much of his time to the development of himself and others. Over the past few years in particular, Josh’s contributions have included serving on AFA’s professional development committee. In this role, Josh helped research and create new professional competencies for fraternity and sorority advisors. Since their implementation, all educational programming from AFA has been aligned to better reinforce and enhance professional development opportunities for members of the association. In addition to this role, Josh has served as a First 90 Days mentor, where he’s helped new professionals to engage in self-reflection and planning for professional success.

Over the past two years, Josh has served on the executive board of SGLA, an educational association for undergraduate fraternity and sorority members throughout the southeast. Its primary function is to provide educational programming at their annual conference. Within SGLA, Josh serves as the Coordinator of Fundraising and Sponsorship. In this role, he connects vendors and individual sponsors to SGLA to provide funding that helps advance the educational mission of the association. His stewardship of financial resources has increased access to the conference by providing attendee scholarships, improved educational resources available to attendees, and enhanced relationships with vendors who provide meaningful services to colleges and universities. In addition to his focused role, Josh helps lead the overall operations of SGLA.

For his outstanding contributions to the advancement of fraternity and sorority advising, Josh was awarded the 2020 Distinguished Service Award from AFA. Additionally, he has been invited to numerous campuses as a consultant to provide one-on-one student support while helping the Greek Life Offices on these campuses to realign their work. Recently, Josh was invited to serve as an external reviewer for the University of Kentucky, showcasing the trust and admiration his colleagues elsewhere have for him. Josh is frequently called upon by organizations like the North American Interfraternity Conference (NIC) to provide his professional knowledge and opinions on strategic plans.

On a personal note, Josh has gone to great lengths to support me as a new professional. He financially supported my participation in First 90 Days, a mentor program for new professionals within fraternity and sorority life. He has nominated me for two large awards that recognize new professionals within AFA and SGLA. Additionally, he has recommended me to serve on the SGLA board in the coming year. It is incredibly rare to have a supervisor as invested in your own professional growth as Josh has been.

It is evident that Josh is a dedicated lifelong learner. He seeks out meaningful opportunities to invest in his own learning and that of his staff. As a team, we could not be more grateful for his continued support of our growth. For these reasons and more, Josh is an excellent candidate for the Life Long Learner Award.”

Recipient: Individual

Work with someone who is always trying to learn something new? Are you someone that loves to tie in learning with your work?

This award recognizes an individual in the Division who has made an effort to invest in the growth of themselves and others through volunteer role(s) on campus, service to a regional or national organization, conference presentations, research or publication. This individual has positively represented UGA Student Affairs at a local, regional, or national level through their engagement in, and promotion of, lifelong learning and development.

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

  • Modeling an example of excellence for staff and students by serving in volunteer positions within a professional local, regional, or inter/national committee or board
  • Contributing to their field through leadership and/or volunteer role(s), conference presentations, or digital/print publications
  • Encouraging staff to represent UGA Student Affairs at the regional or national level
  • Nominee serves as a UGA Student Affairs staff member at time of nomination

Previous Award Winners

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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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