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April 28, 2014

ODU Graduate Krista Harrell Receives Dissertation of the Year Award


Old Dominion graduate Krista Harrell, associate dean of students at the University of South Alabama, received the Dissertation of the Year Award this month from the Association of College Unions International (ACUI).

Introduced in 2012, the award recognizes outstanding research conducted by a doctoral degree recipient presently in or intending to enter the profession. Harrell's dissertation, completed while at ODU, was titled "Green Student Centers' Influence on the Campus Environment." She also presented her findings at an educational session at the ACUI conference in Orlando, Fla., where she received the honor.

The award is intended to encourage and recognize an outstanding dissertation that contributes new and important knowledge to the college union and student activities field. The recipient receives a monetary award of $400 and a physical award during the Community Builders Award Ceremony at the annual conference.

Harrell's award was one of nearly 40 that were presented during the ACUI annual conference and celebration of the organization's 100th anniversary.

At ODU, Harrell earned a bachelor's degree in human services counseling in 2001, an M.S.Ed. with an emphasis on higher education in 2003 and a Ph.D. in higher education administration in 2012.

In 2011, Harrell worked as a sustainability intern for STARS in ODU's Office of Environmental Health and Safety, a program of the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education. The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System, better known as STARS, is a self-assessment tool used by institutions of higher education to measure their sustainability progress. In her role as the university's STARS liaison, she oversaw data collection efforts on campus.