Spotlight Wins NACA Awards
Atlanta GA, November 5, 2015- Spotlight Programs Board at Georgia State University received two regional awards at the 2015 National Association for Campus Activities regional conference in October. In addition, four Spotlight members made presentations at the conference. Spotlight received the NACA Outstanding Late Night Event Award for Panther Prowls, and Spotlight’s president, Eugene Butler, took home the NACA South Outstanding Student Leader Award.
Phillip Smith, director for Spotlight Programs Board, said he believes Spotlight’s Panther Prowls are special because they allow students to be in a safe environment on a Friday night, participating in exciting activities and surrounded by Panther family.”It engages students to be able to meet other students who they have never met before; they can communicate and network,”
Butler stated that Spotlight received the award, because of the tradition and staple that Panther Prowl is. “We are always using ingenuity and creativity to not only make Panther Prowl an event to look forward to, but an experience no one wants to miss”
Smith nominated Butler for the Outstanding Student Leader Award, because of his outstanding leadership skills, especially during last year’s merger between Spotlight and Campus Events.
“I think he’s done a really good job with trying to make sure that students have input and are involved with everything from the color of our tents to the type of programming that we’re doing for campus. He’s really been focused on trying to be a good leader for students,”
Butler said receiving the award gave him the shock of his Spotlight experience, commenting,
“I am grateful and humble to have received it. They [his advisor, co-workers and peers] viewed me as a dedicated, genuine and hard-working individual more than anything and that made it all worth it.”
Spotlight Programs Board is no stranger to NACA; its members have been attending the conference for about eight years and received seven prestigious awards last year. Spotlight beat out all other college programming boards in the Southern region in 2014.
At this year’s conference, Spotlight student affairs advisors Michelle Canales and Samantha Sepulski and student members Dimitri Bassey and Avien Gober shared their experiences in student events with their peers through presentations in marketing, conflict management and volunteer and team management.
NACA focuses on programming, leadership, diversity and more. Those that attended the conference gained deeper knowledge about planning successful events with help from professionals in the campus activities marketplace.
Dimitri Bassey, Spotlight’s student marketing director, said he recognized that becoming stagnant and complacent are problems that can bring an organization down, and the conference allowed him to gain insight and bring ideas back to keep Spotlight fresh and moving forward. Bassey presented on company branding and marketing an organization, using examples of Spotlight’s successes. This presentation process helped Bassey break out of his comfort zone and develop speech and communications skills to apply within Spotlight and other areas.
Bassey started as a Spotlight volunteer during his junior year at Georgia State. Looking back on his decision to become involved with the board, he said,
“My line brother told me about the position becoming available, and I took the shot. It was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while.” He has been able to create strong bonds with fellow Spotlight members and directors and enjoys the family-oriented makeup of the Spotlight organization.
Samantha Sepulski, student affairs advisor, assisted Bassey in his presentation. Sepulski planned to use the trip as an opportunity to network and grow professionally. She said the conference provided a bonding experience for the Spotlight board, and they came back energized and ready to finish the semester strong.
Michelle Canales, student affairs advisor, said participating in conferences like NACA offer Spotlight members many opportunities for professional development. Canales presented on conflict management, and the conference enhanced her ability to further assist not just her students, but those of other programming boards as well.
Spotlight’s vice president, Avien Gober, said the conference allowed him to connect with other schools and programming boards to move forward in the field of student affairs. Gober has been managing volunteers and committee members for over two years. His presentation focused on maximizing the potential in volunteers and committee members and provided tips and tools on how to successfully retain and delegate members.
Gober says his experience with Spotlight has been very rewarding and commented, “I have been very fortunate and blessed to be a part of such an amazing organization such as Spotlight. Because we are a great programming board and have always enjoyed success in all phases of programming, I want to let other school programming boards know the secrets to our success.” Gober took home the award for Best Educational Session at NACA last year and thanks Spotlight for helping him find his passion for student affairs and a career path for after graduation.