IUP’s Robert E. Cook Honors College (CHC) won big at this year’s Northeast Regional Honors Council conference.
At the conference, CHC director Dr. Chauna Craig was selected as the Honors Professional of the Year in the administrator category. Besides serving as the director of the CHC, Craig is also an English professor at IUP.
“I'm grateful to Lisa Halmes, our incredible administrative assistant, for believing in me and nominating me, and to the Northeast Regional Honors Council for all they do to support honors education and undergraduate research,” Dr. Craig said according to a press release issued by the university.
“Despite challenges and changes at IUP and a global pandemic, the Cook Honors College continues to thrive as a community where students can find support for who they are and want to be. I feel so lucky to work here and cannot wait to see how we grow as we move forward,” Dr. Craig added.
Many students who are involved in the CHC believe that the award was deserved.
“Dr. Craig absolutely deserves getting that award,” Madison Reddick (sophomore, music) said. “She was by far one of the best professors I have ever had, and she works really hard along with Lisa and Kevin to make the honors college succeed.”
“[Dr. Craig] is definitely the kind of professor who genuinely believes in our capacity to succeed and wants to see us go far,” Reddick added.
Dr. Craig was not the only CHC personnel honored during the conference. Thomas Oraskovich (freshman, regional planning/political science pre-law) won a minority scholarship for his work on LGBTQ+ issues. His conference registration cost and a stipend were included in the recognition. Oraskovich has recently been elected as secretary of the Student Government Association (SGA).
In addition to Oraskovich, CHC students Callie Bland (freshman, anthropology), and Abigail Hancox (freshman, political science), presented at the conference.
According to the press release issued by the university, the theme was, “A More Perfect Union: Creating and Restoring Community in an Age of Disruption.” The student presentations reflected work from a history unit taught by Dr. Elizabeth Ricketts.
Per the press release, the CHC was the only college to be recognized with three awards at the conference. The Penn congratulates the CHC for such achievements and believes there will be many more to come.