The Outstanding Contribution to Literature or Research Award is presented annually by OCPA to encourage original, rigorous, and well-respected research manuscripts, evaluations of promising best practices endeavors, and theory grounded assessment reports of innovative initiatives. The ultimate goal is disseminating knowledge about programs and research studies that are making a difference in student affairs practice through research manuscripts, assessment manuscripts of best practices, position manuscripts on current topics in higher education, or graduate student research manuscripts. As the award is also intended to encourage original work, the manuscript need not be complete to be considered for the award.

The successful Outstanding Contribution to Literature or Research Award nominee will be announced at the OCPA Annual Conference in January. To formally present the award, OCPA will require the nominee to submit the complete manuscript to be considered for publication in the Journal of Research, Assessment, and Practice in Higher Education by June 30th (email with questions about meeting this timeline). Upon successful submission, the nominee will be formally named a recipient of the Outstanding Contribution to Literature or Research Award and may collect the $500 monetary prize included with the award.

The selection criteria for the Outstanding Contribution to Literature or Research Award are as follows:

  • Current graduate student, masters or doctoral candidate, or practitioner, in the field of student affairs, college/student personnel or a related field.
  • Proposed manuscript will disseminate knowledge about programs and research studies that are making a difference in student affairs practice, especially those that would engage the readers in practical and methodological extensions that would transform institutions, inspire colleagues, and engage campus beyond the traditional boundaries of the student affairs profession.

Past Recipients 

2016-20  Not Awarded
2015-16  Laura Gentner, University of Dayton


Each year OCPA sponsors a case study competition for graduate students. The current case study competition is structured to allow two-person teams to respond to a common scenario, prepare a presentation of how the situation could be addressed, and present the response to a panel of judges during the annual conference. Winners are announced at the annual conference awards ceremony. The process is coordinated by the OCPA Graduate Student Member-at-Large. 

Past Recipients 


 2017-18  Kirby Bell, Kent State University & Courtney Harris, Bowling Green State University
 2016-17  Taylor Ridenour & Katie McGrath, Wright State University
 2015-16  Kate Bumhoffer & Lindsey Steller, Wright State University
 2014-15  Not Awarded
 2013-14  Amy Corron & Kevin Friedman, Miami University
 2012-13  Sarah Hyde & Jejuana Brown, Cleveland State University
 2007-12  Not Awarded 
 2006-07  Amie Jackson & Christina Mastrangelo, Kent State University 
 2005-06  Leslie Hahn, Miami University & Regan Ellis, Florida State University
 2004-05  LeAnn Starlin & Brittney Black, Kent State University
 2003-04  Betsy Bishop & Amanda Gage, Bowling Green State University
 2002-03  Not Awarded
 2001-02  Jodi Gill & Miriam Williams with assistance from Conni Dubick, Kent State University
 2000-01  Arlene Hill & Scott Christopherson, Bowling Green Sate University
 1999-00  Kim Simon & Ryan Poirier, The Ohio State University
 1998-99  Not Awarded


This award is presented annually by OCPA. As graduate students become more actively involved in creating the future direction of Student Affairs, OCPA has committed to recognizing their professional achievements. OCPA presents The Graduate Student of the Year Award in recognition of the dedication and unlimited energies of a full-time Ohio graduate student, masters or doctoral candidate, in the field of student affairs, college/student personnel or a related field.

Past Recipients




 Grabrielle Greer-Jones, John Carroll University
 Adam Schwartz, University of Dayton

2018-19  Meghan Gibbons, Kent State University
2017-18  Victor Javier Rodriguez, The Ohio State University
2016-17  Hannah Bonacci, The Ohio State University
2015-16  Hoa Bui, Miami University
2014-15  Adan Hussain, The Ohio State University
2013-14  Elizabeth Walsh, Miami University
2012-13  Meg Gulick, The Ohio State University
2011-12  Jennifer Skidmore, The Ohio State University
2009-11  Not Awarded
2008-09  Evan Heiser, Kent State University
2007-08  Amie Jackson, Kent State University
2006-07  Lauren Moran, Bowling Green State University and Baldwin Wallace University
2005-06  Rose Ackerman, Bowling Green State University
2004-05  Mary Ann Begley, Bowling Green State University
2003-04  Jennifer Gilbride-Brown, The Ohio State University
2002-03  Janice Gerda, Bowling Green State University
2001-02  Kelly Pero, Ashland University
2000-01  Leighann Poplaski, The Ohio State University
1999-00  Sarah Balas, Bowling Green State University and Ashland University
1998-99  Christopher Bragdon, Baldwin Wallace University
1997-98  Not Awarded
1996-97  Dawn Gorski, The University of Akron
1995-96  Paula Eckard, Ashland University
1994-95  Brian Bruess, Ohio University
1993-94  Alison Black, Ohio University
1992-93  David Riveness, Bowling Green State University
1991-92  Laura E. Giles, The Ohio State University
1990-91  Carol L. Garbarino, Bowling Green State University


The Undergraduate Student Leader Award is presented annually by OCPA. This award is presented to an undergraduate student leader who is enrolled in an Ohio higher education institution and has demonstrated leadership, contributed to student affairs on campus, and has a desire to begin a professional career in Student Affairs.

Past Recipients


2019-20  Not Awarded
2018-19  Isis Walker, University of Toledo
2017-18  Meera White, Kenyon College
2016-17  Leroy Ricksy Jr., The Ohio State University
2015-16  Taylor Cayot, Urbana University
2014-15  Courtney De Schepper, Baldwin Wallace University
2013-14  Haley Young, Otterbein University
2012-13  Sarah Graf, The Ohio State University
2011-12  Amelia Shaw, Ohio University
2009-11  Not Awarded
2008-09  Paul Wojdacz, Baldwin Wallace University
2007-08  Molly Ward, Capital University
2006-07  Kourtney Kocel, Otterbein University
2005-06  Kyle Williams, Otterbein University
2004-05  Colette Masterson, Otterbein University
2003-04  Kelly Naples, Baldwin Wallace University
2002-03  Missy Mordarski, Baldwin Wallace University
2001-02  Sarah Whinnery, Kent State University
2000-01  Jose Medina, Ashland University
1999-00  Libby Koerner, Ashland University

 Marci Stead, The University of Akron

 Shon Christy, The University of Akron

1996-97  Not Awarded
1995-96  Gregory Gilmore, Miami University

 Kari Johnson, Mt. Saint Joseph College

 Stephen Bigley, Kent State University

1993-94  Donald Giancola, Baldwin Wallace University


The Equity and Inclusion Award is presented to an individual, campus/community program or service who or which has demonstrated creativity, innovation, and success in making a significant contribution and impact in the area of multicultural understanding and appreciation. The purpose of this award is to encourage and recognize outstanding efforts addressing cultural diversity issues in higher education. 

The selection criteria for the Equity and Inclusion Award are as follows:

  • Addresses a specific campus, community or organizational equity and inclusion need or issue.
  • Contributes to addressing student and/or campus equity and inclusion need(s) or issue(s).
  • Seeks to promote understanding and responsiveness to equity and inclusion issues.
  • Encourages student, faculty, staff, alumni and/or community involvement.
  • Enhances the appreciation of equity and inclusion as a way of life on the college or university campus.
  • Sustains activities and programs that promote an atmosphere of inclusiveness for all students.

Past Recipients

 2019-20  Bill Fischer for the Chosen Name Policy, University of Dayton
 2018-19  Sally Leber, Ohio Wesleyan University
 2017-18  Diversity 360, Case Western Reserve University
 2016-17  Adan Hussain, The Ohio State University
 2015-16  Preferred Name Policy, Ohio University
 2013-15  Not Awarded
 2012-13  Vorley Taylor, The Ohio State University - Newark & COTC
 2011-12  Dafina Lazarus Stewart, Bowling Green State University
 2007-11  Not Awarded
 2006-07  President Jack Calareso and the President's Task Force on Multiculturalism, Ohio Dominican University
 2005-06  Not Awarded
 2004-05  Racial Awareness Program (RAPP), University of Cincinnati
 2003-04  The Tunnel of Oppression, Wright State University
 2002-03  Not Awarded
 2001-02  MLK, Jr. Day of Learning, Capitol University
 2000-01  Not Awarded
 1999-00  Friendly Town, Ashland University
 1998-99  Not Awarded
 1997-98  Intro to Student Affairs, Kent State University
 1996-97  Dr. Rebecca Parker, The Ohio State University
 1995-96  Indianola After School Project, Otterbein University