BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Sonja Ardoin, assistant professor of student affairs administration in Appalachian State University’s Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling, which is housed in the Reich College of Education (RCOE), has been recognized with national awards for her scholarship, teaching and service in higher education, and her outstanding commitment to the field of student affairs.
She is the recipient of a 2019–21 American College Personnel Association (ACPA) Emerging Scholar Award, and the 2019 Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education Knowledge Community (SCIHE KC) Outstanding Service to National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) Award.
Her research focuses on four areas:
- Social class identity in higher education.
- College access and success for first-generation college students and students from rural areas.
- Career preparation and pathways for higher education and student affairs.
- Student and women’s leadership.
“Dr. Ardoin is a dedicated, early-career professional who is advancing the field of student affairs administration through her research and scholarly endeavors,” said Dr. Melba Spooner, dean of the RCOE. “She is engaging in critical work that will produce transformational change related to college access and success, particularly for first-generation college students.”
Ardoin received the Emerging Scholar Award earlier this month at the ACPA 2019 Boston Convention, and she will receive the SCIHE KC Outstanding Service to NASPA Award at the 2019 NASPA Annual Conference in Los Angeles (March 9–13).
About the awards
2019–21 ACPA Emerging Scholar Award
The Emerging Scholars Program, which the ACPA Senior Scholars implemented in 1999, supports, encourages and honors early-career individuals who are emerging as contributors to student affairs and higher education scholarship, and who are pursuing research initiatives congruent with the mission, interests and strategic goals of ACPA. Being named an ACPA Emerging Scholar is one of the most prestigious recognitions for early-career scholars in the field.
Emerging Scholar participants each receive a $3,000 research grant from ACPA and commit to ongoing engagement in research and scholarship as well as conference attendance. In the first year of the program, Emerging Scholars participate in a half-day research institute prior to the beginning of the ACPA convention.
At the ACPA convention during their second year of the program, Emerging Scholars present their research at a dedicated research symposium session. Additionally, participants must choose and complete at least three scholarly leadership commitments by the end of their two-year term.
Through this program, Ardoin — who the ACPA has recognized for her contributions to scholarship, teaching and service — will conduct a new phenomenological research project to explore how and in what ways social class identity and classism show up in and influence higher education and student affairs experiences.
She will also serve ACPA in several different capacities, including reviewing manuscripts for the Journal of College Student Development; facilitating professional development sessions in person at conferences or online through webinars; and serving as a scholar-in-residence for a commission or coalition group.
2019 SCIHE KC Outstanding Service to NASPA Award
The 2019 SCIHE KC Outstanding Service to NASPA Award is given annually by NASPA’s Socioeconomic and Class Issues in Higher Education Knowledge Community in recognition of outstanding dedication to NASPA and/or to the Knowledge Community.
The award recognizes a professional in higher education or a student affairs-related field who demonstrates an outstanding commitment to the field of student affairs through involvement in professional associations (local, regional and/or national), committees, conferences and/or graduate program recruitment. The recipient must be an active NASPA member.
NASPA has recognized Ardoin for her specific contributions in co-creating the KC’s Professionals from the Poor and Working Class group within the committee and serving as its co-coordinator for four years, as well as for her current role as the KC’s co-coordinator for research.
She also serves the broader NASPA organization as an advocacy group member for the Center for First-generation Student Success, a consistent regional and national conference presenter, and an editorial board member for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, one of the organization’s academic journals.
About Dr. Sonja Ardoin
Ardoin, an award-winning teacher and a consistent volunteer with numerous national organizations, comes to Appalachian from Boston University, where she served as a program director and clinical assistant professor of higher education.
She earned a Ph.D. in educational research and policy analysis from North Carolina State University, an M.S. in higher education and student affairs from Florida State University and a B.S. in secondary education from Louisiana State University. She joined the RCOE faculty in 2018.
Ardoin has published two single-authored books in four years and has a co-authored book to be released in April. Additionally, she has authored multiple book chapters and journal articles, presented over 120 refereed conference presentations and has had her work featured in media outlets such as NPR, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed and The Hechinger Report.
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About the Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling
The Department of Human Development and Psychological Counseling in Appalachian State University’s Reich College of Education is responsible for organizing and providing instructional programs in counseling and other human development functions for public schools, colleges and universities and various agencies. The department offers Master of Arts degrees in clinical mental health counseling, professional school counseling, student affairs administration and marriage and family therapy. Learn more at https://hpc.appstate.edu.
About the Reich College of Education
Appalachian offers one of the largest undergraduate teacher preparation programs in North Carolina, graduating about 500 teachers a year. The Reich College of Education enrolls approximately 2,400 students in its bachelor's, master's, education specialist and doctoral degree programs. With so many teacher education graduates working in the state, there is at least one RCOE graduate teaching in every county in North Carolina. Learn more at https://rcoe.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
As the premier public undergraduate institution in the state of North Carolina, Appalachian State University prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The Appalachian Experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and to embrace diversity and difference. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Appalachian is one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System. Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.