CMU VP honored by prominent student affairs group

Patterson-Stephens named to ACPA’s Diamond Honoree Class of 2024

| Author: Eric Baerren | Media Contact: Aaron Mills

A member of Central Michigan University’s leadership team nationally known for her contributions to student success was recognized by a prominent student affairs organization.

Shawna Patterson-Stephens, vice president for Inclusive Excellence and Belonging, was named a Diamond Honoree for the American College Personnel Association’s Class of 2024. It is the organization’s 25th class.

Professional headshot of Dr. Shawna Patterson-Stephens in dark attire against a gray background..
Shawna Patterson-Stephens

Patterson-Stephens has more than 20 years of experience in higher education, a career that started with her earning a bachelor’s degree from CMU. Recently, she led efforts to produce the campus’ new diversity, equity and inclusion strategic plan, and led the change in CMU policy on lived/chosen names.

In 2023, she was named one of Michigan’s Notable Leaders in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion by Crain’s Detroit. She also won the ACPA’s 2023 Harold E. Cheatham Innovative Practice Award.

Patterson-Stephens is currently the principal investigator for a national project examining the experiences of Black women in higher education and for CMU’s Aspire Alliance for Inclusive and Diversity STEM Faculty grant, funded through the National Science Foundation.

She has also served in multiple capacities for ACPA over her 15-year membership, including on the governing board, as chairwoman of the Pan African Network and as chairwoman of the Coalition for Multicultural Affairs.

Diamond Honorees are nominated by peers in recognition of their contributions to student development through an associated fund-raising effort. Money raised supports the ACPA Foundation’s advancement of research, scholarship and programs that advance the field of student affairs.

The induction ceremony is planned for ACPA’s March convention in Chicago.

The ACPA was founded in 1924 and has grown into an internationally recognized association for student affairs and higher education professionals. Being named a Diamond Honoree is one of the organization’s highest recognitions.

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