Inaugural Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champion Award Winners

Posted: February 17, 2014

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NISTS Recognizes Five Individuals as the Inaugural Class of

Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champion Award Recipients

The Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champion Award is given in recognition of an individual or individuals who have demonstrated exceptional advocacy and leadership in the development and implementation of transfer-focused activities (e.g., programs, policies, research) which have made a significant contribution to the improvement of transfer student access, persistence, and success.

The award is presented based on the nominee’s commitment over time to transfer student success as demonstrated by involvement at the institution, state, regional, and/or national level.

At the 12th Annual Conference, hosted at the JW Marriott in Atlanta, Georgia, NISTS recognized the following individuals for their persistence working with and dedication to transfer students: G. Christopher Belle-Isle, F. Denise Geisbers, Karlyn Koh, Jane Rex and Rose Rojas.

Read more about each winner below:

G. Christopher Belle-Isle

G. Christopher Bell-Isle serves as the Interim Vice President for Student Services at Monroe Community College. He was nominated by Dr. Anne M. Kress, President of Monroe Community College, who says: “Mr. Bell-Isle has dedicated his 35 year career to promoting and advocating for transfer students.  Because of his dedication, MCC’s 2+2 dual admission programs have become a model in New York State and 2+2 is a household term within our region.” Mr. Belle-Isle was instrumental in creating the New York State Transfer and Articulation Association (NYSTAA), and served as the organization’s inaugural president. He currently serves on the SUNY Student Mobility Steering Committee that is changing the landscape for transfer across New York State.

F. Denise Geisbers

Ms. Giesbers is the Director of the Office of Transfer Student Services, Information Center, and Orientation at Pacific University in Oregon.  She was nominated by Dr. Phillip D. Creighton, President Emeritus o Pacific University, who says “Denise has enhanced all aspects of the institution’s relationship with transfer students by helping our transfer students develop a culture of collaboration and belonging, a sense of ownership, and a sense of accomplishment.” Among her many contributions to the transfer students at Pacific University are a transfer student lounge and increased access to scholarships, tutoring, peer mentoring and academic recognition. Through her systematic efforts, Pacific University has seen a significant increase in transfer student enrollments and impressive retention rates.

Karlyn Koh

Dr. Koh is professor of English and Director of the Honors program at LaGuardia Community College, City University of New York.  She is credited with a vigorous Honors Program and the Transfer Initiative, a student-focused transfer community that empowers students to be agents in their own transfer journey.  Working in the urban community college culture, which tends to be much more fragmented and transient, she has , as one fellow faculty member, Dr. John Chaffee, writes “consistently demonstrated a creative vision, dedicated commitment, and devotion to students that is unparalleled in my over 30 years of work in higher education.  What’s more, she has developed a powerful transfer model that can be adapted and utilized at other 2-year institutions around the country.”  Another peer states, “we feel extremely fortunate to have a visionary, multi-talented and committed educator like Karlyn Koh at our institution.  She is one of those rare individuals who serves as a catalyst for effecting meaningful change in every endeavor she undertakes.”

Jane Rex

Jane Rex currently serves as the Director of the Office of Transfer Articulation at Appalachian State University in North Carolina. She was nominated by Susan Davies, Associate Vice-Chancellor for Enrollment Management, who says “If you have talked with Jane for more than five minutes, you have been told a “quick fact” about our transfer students, or been asked to provide some service for transfer students, or have been encouraged to consider accepting more credit from transfer students. Jane is the advocate for transfer students at Appalachian. Her commitment to the transfer student experience – from recruitment through transition to enrollment to graduation – is a lived commitment that she exhibits daily in her decision-making and interaction with others across campus. Jane is working daily to develop a new culture on our campus — a culture that recognizes that we have transfer students, that brings value to transfer students, and that will ultimately work to improve the transition and lives of transfer students as Appalachian students.”

Rose Rojas

Rose Rojas currently serves as the Director of Transfer and Academic Partnerships for the Maricopa Community College District (MCCD). Describing Rose’s approach to her work, Dr. Debra J. Campbell writes, “Rose exudes enthusiasm and a ‘Can do!’ spirit no matter what the challenge.  Student success and service excellence are her highest priorities.  For as long as I have known her, she has advocated tirelessly for transfer students in our district and creating seamless transfer pathways for students has been her primary mission.   As a result of her efforts, the Maricopa Community College District now has outstanding transfer programs with Arizona’s three state universities:  the ASU Alliance (with Arizona State University), the NAU Connection (with Northern Arizona University), and the U of A Bridge Program (with University of Arizona).” As the Chair for the Transfer Advisory Group for MCCD, Rose has lead a team in gathering better data for student retention and persistence, created a state-of-the-art website for transfer students, carefully evaluated and monitored transfer partnerships, and created an evolving an invaluable “fact sheet” for University Transfer.

Posted on February 17, 2014 in the category News.

National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students

University of North Georgia • The Moore House

82 College Circle, Dahlonega, GA 30597

tel. (706) 864.1579 • fax (706) 867-2667

National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students

University of North Georgia • The Moore House

82 College Circle, Dahlonega, GA 30597

tel. (706) 864.1579 • fax (706) 867-2667