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HESA Highlights
March 2019
Latest News
Dr. Shaun Harper receives Robert H. Shaffer Distinguished Alumni Award

Dr. Shaun Harper (M.S.Ed., ‘00; Ph.D. ‘03) has received the 2019 Robert H. Shaffer Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is presented annually to a graduate of the IU Higher Education doctoral program who exemplifies outstanding service to the student affairs profession.

Dr. Harper’s research focuses primarily on racial and gender equity and inclusion in educational, corporate, social, and organizational contexts. He also studies Black and Latino male student success in high schools and in higher education, college student engagement, and intercollegiate athletics. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and other academic publications. His research has been cited in more than 10,000 published studies across numerous academic disciplines.


Atlantic Philanthropies and the Lumina, Ford, Kellogg, and Open Society foundations have funded Professor Harper’s research. He has been interviewed on CNN, ESPN, and NPR, and featured or quoted in The New York Times, Washington Post, Education Week, Chronicle of Higher Education, and several thousand other news outlets. He has testified to the U.S. House of Representatives, and presented his research at various White House and U.S. Department of Education convenings. He was appointed to President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper advisory council in 2015, and recognized in Education Week as one of the 10 most influential professors in the field of education in 2017.

Professor Harper serves on the Journal of Higher Education editorial board, and was previously associate editor of Educational Researcher. He was named a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) in 2017. AERA also presented him its 2010 Division G Early Career Award and 2014 Relating Research to Practice Award. Additionally, he received the 2008 ASHE Early Career Award, the 2012 National Association of Student Personnel Administrators Robert H. Shaffer Award for Faculty Excellence, and the 2014 American College Personnel Association Contribution to Knowledge Award. Governors State University awarded him an honorary doctorate in 2017.

Dr. Shaun Harper currently serves as the  Provost Professor in the Rossier School of Education and Marshall School of Business, the Clifford and Betty Allen Chair in Urban Leadership, and executive director of the USC Race and Equity Center.

Dr. Marianna Savoca is awarded the Elizabeth A. Greenleaf Distinguished Alumni Award
Dr. Marianna Savoca, (M.S.Ed. ‘95) has received the 2019 Elizabeth E. Greenleaf Distinguished Alumni Award. This award is presented annually to a graduate of the master’s degree program in Higher Education and Student Affairs who exemplifies “the sincere commitment, professional leadership and personal warmth” of Betty Greenleaf, for whom the award is named.

Marianna is the Assistant Vice President for Career Development & Experiential Education at Stony Brook University, the SUNY research flagship campus she has served for 20 years. The Center is a centralized service for 26,000 students of all majors, degree levels, and career intentions, and includes the only Peace Corps Recruitment Office in SUNY. Dr. Savoca oversees career development, experiential education, student employment, diversity talent-pipeline programs, corporate engagement, and alumni career services. She is a frequent collaborator and co-PI on grants promoting diversity in STEM careers.
Dr. Savoca consults for career centers, student employment units, and internship providers domestically and abroad, and has presented her work as a scholar-practitioner at national and international convenings. She is a recipient of the German-American Fulbright Award for International Educators, the Innovator Award from the National Student Employment Association, SUNY Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Professional Service, the Peter M. Baigent Student Affairs Leadership Award, and NSEE Dissertation of the Year. Through her service on the Board of Directors for the National Society for Experiential Education (NSEE), Marianna leads the Experiential Education Academy, the nation’s premier professional development program for experiential educators.
As a faculty member in Stony Brook’s Higher Education Administration program, Dr. Savoca teaches courses in career counseling and external relations. Her first book, A Good Job: Campus Employment as a High-Impact Practice, was based on her doctoral dissertation and released in March 2018 by Stylus Publishing. The book’s foreword was written by her I.U. faculty adviser, George D. Kuh.  
A first-generation college student, Marianna hails from Brooklyn, NY. She earned a BS from SUNY Binghamton, MS from the HESA program at Indiana University, & PhD in Higher Education Leadership from Colorado State University.
Remembering Dr. James Weeks Lyons

We are saddened to hear of the passing of HESA Alumnus, Dr. James Weeks Lyons (M.S. ‘56; Ed.D. ‘63). During his time at IU, Lyons served as Assistant Director of the Indiana Memorial Union. Lyons then served as Dean at Haverford College for ten years and as University Dean of Student Affairs at Stanford University for eighteen years. In 1985, he received the Elizabeth A. Greenleaf Distinguished Alumni Award which recognizes a graduate of the master’s degree program in Higher Education and Student Affairs who exemplifies “the sincere commitment, professional leadership and personal warmth” of Betty Greenleaf, for whom the award is named.


Lyons regularly served on program and leadership councils of his professional organization, directed a graduate program in Student Affairs Administration at Stanford, published books and journal articles, and served as a consultant or an accreditation evaluator to more than 75 colleges and universities. In 1988, he received the annual Scott Goodnight Award for outstanding performance as a Dean.


The family has requested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Stanford University School of Education or the:


Jamestown High School Class of 1950 Scholarship Fund

Chautauqua Region Community Foundation

418 Spring Street,

Jamestown, NY 14701

Jimmy Cox is elected to serve on the Westfield Chamber of Commerce
Jimmy Cox (MS.Ed. ‘13) was recently elected to serve a one-year term on the board for the Chamber of Commerce in Westfield, IN. The board is responsible for long term goals, vision, and health of the chamber, employs the president of the chamber of commerce, and focuses on creating an active and healthy business community that supports the city of Westfield. Jimmy also currently serves on the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education (CASE) in Indiana. CASE is the trade association for professionals in alumni relations, fundraising, and communications.The Indiana committee is responsible for the development of CASE professionals in Indiana. CASE hosts an annual conference in the fall and spring that is affordable and located centrally to allow equitable travel for all. Jimmy has been serving on the committee for two years helping to secure presenters at conferences for the alumni relations track.
Dr. Jon Lozano is appointed Senior Advisor to Dean Wendland at Johns Hopkins University
Dr. Jon Lozano (Ph.D. '18) was recently appointed Senior Advisor to Dean Beverly Wendland of the Johns Hopkins University Krieger School of Arts and Sciences. In this role, Dr. Lozano is a member of the executive leadership of the Krieger School, acting as a representative for the dean to various university-wide bodies and to the faculty. Additionally, he serves as the dean's senior consultant on matters related to new initiatives, strategic planning, and curricular programming. John began his new position on March 1, 2019.
IU School of Education’s Higher Education and Student Affairs program among best in the nation

IU School of Education’s Higher Education and Student Affairs program continues to be one of the best in the nation, ranking fourth according to U.S. News and World Report’s 2020 “Best Graduate Schools” rankings.

“This program has a tremendously rich history of preparing great leaders. The higher education program continues to a strong affiliation and collaboration with the School of Education research centers which produces scholarship of the highest quality,” Dean Lemuel Watson said.

Overall, the School of Education rose to No. 28 in the report’s annual rankings of schools of education across the nation, a rise of four spots over the past three years. The School is No. 18 among public graduate schools of education and is also the top-ranked education school in Indiana. Read more about our rankings here. 

Findings From ACUHO-I Sponsored Research Study Released

The National Survey of Student Engagement (NSSE) recently released a paper detailing findings from a portion of their three-year comprehensive study, which is funded by the ACUHO-I Foundation. This paper explores the relationships between Residential Learning Communities (RLCs) and student engagement, including the effectiveness and impacts of RLC participation, and identifies areas in which housing professionals can continue to promote and improve these experiences. You can access the full paper here.

2019 HESA Resume Book

For the third year, our program is excited to share the 2019 HESA Masters Resume book! We have another outstanding group of students searching for jobs. Please take a moment to review their resumes and message students if you have an open position that would be a possible match. We hope this resource will provide you with a glimpse of our graduating M.S.Ed. 2019 class. You can view the 2019 HESA Resume Book here.

HESA Welcomes Personal Updates! 
We’d love to hear about your personal updates and share them in our HESA Highlights! Please e-mail updates to Amy Nunez at

Torres, V., Hernandez, E., & Martinez, S. (2019). Understanding the Latinx Developmental and Contextual Influences. Sterling, VA: Stylus Publishing.

HESA Highlights is a monthly newsletter distributed to Indiana University's Higher Education and Student Affairs community members and its affiliates. Through the newsletter, colleagues are able to share exciting news with one another regarding professional development opportunities, funding opportunities, personal achievements, and other interesting news. If you have personal or professional news to share with HESA Highlights, email Amy Nunez at
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