SLCC president receives national honor for supporting student affairs, initiatives

Salt Lake Community College President Deneece G. Huftalin received the NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education 2018 President’s Award, which recognizes NASPA members’ outstanding work in the student affairs profession.

The NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) honor is presented to a college or university president or chancellor who has, over a sustained period, advanced the quality of student life on campus by supporting the institution’s student affairs staff and initiatives.

Since assuming her role as SLCC’s eighth president in 2014 after a remarkable 22 years of service to the institution, Dr. Huftalin has continued to magnify her mark on campus with collaborative and effective approaches to strengthen learning communities, improve the first-year experience, focus in on targeted learning outcomes and launch expanded inclusivity initiatives.

Aynoa Rincon Rondon, SLCC Student Association president, noted “Not only has (Dr. Huftalin) impacted students as a whole, but also students from diverse backgrounds. SLCC is currently the most diverse institution in the state of Utah and we are proud of this great achievement due to the efforts made by her in the past years. These changes perfectly align to the mission, vision and values of the institution, which have been reviewed and updated, since President Huftalin was named president.”

Sam Ortiz, community director at Brown University, remembers fondly how Dr. Huftalin changed his life. “As a first-generation college student, I didn’t have anyone at home who could give me assistance, and so having Deneece’s support was crucial. I can’t imagine how different my experience would have been without her. After years of investing her time and energy into helping me be successful, when it was time for me to move on, it was Deneece who not only provided encouragement but helped me navigate the application process.”

In spite of her expanded responsibilities, Dr. Huftalin remains an engaged member of NASPA and has held leadership roles as the state, regional and national level, all the while championing and supporting with both encouragement and resources the professional development of her staff. Jeff Aird, vice president for Institutional Effectiveness at SLCC, surmised working alongside Dr. Huftalin by saying, “She inspires each one of us to give our personal best every day to our students, faculty and colleagues, to our institution, and to our community.”

NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health and sustainability of the student affairs profession. NASPA’s work provides high-quality professional development, advocacy and research for 15,000 members in all 50 states, 25 countries and 8 U.S. territories.