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Dadabhoy secures government adviser award

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For advising and challenging student government associations, Zavareh Dadabhoy, dean of Student Life and Development at Colorado State University-Pueblo, has been named the Frank Harris Outstanding Student Government Adviser award recipient by the National Association for Campus Activities.

Dadabhoy provides direction and guidance to CSU-Pueblo’s Associated Students’ Government, and inspires students to hone their leadership skills through involvement with issues affecting the campus.

Dadabhoy said he has been fortunate to work with student leaders who have made his job easy. He said Steve Titus, president of the Associated Students’ Government at CSU-Pueblo, is a good example of a student government leader. He said Titus takes care of his duties, researches his topics and is a strong advocate for the students.

“Working with ASG officers like Steve is a dream,” Dadabhoy said.

CSU-Pueblo President Joe Garcia said he is pleased that students and staff recognized Dadabhoy’s work and nominated him for this award. He said the award reflects the increased importance that CSU-Pueblo has put on student life and development.

“The fact that Dean Dadabhoy won this award certainly reflects well on him and his strong support for students and student development,” Garcia said. “With Zav at the helm of student life, we are clearly going in the right direction.”

Marjorie Villani, who is the associate dean of Student Life, said Dadabhoy deserves this award because of his student involvement.

“(Dadabhoy) has been instrumental in strengthening the CSU-Pueblo student governance process, and has been a strong advocate and mentor to the CSU-Pueblo students who are involved in student government,” Villani said.

Jeanne Stewart, who is special projects coordinator for Student Life, in her nomination letter, said Dadabhoy is a mentor and confidant to aspiring student leaders. She said Dadabhoy encourages students to develop advocacy and leadership skills, and teaches them to brainstorm, gather facts and act on their decisions.

“He (Dadabhoy) insists students voice their opinions and not join in ‘group think,’” Stewart wrote. “He believes a student can learn from failure and should be allowed to take risks.”

Stewart said Dadabhoy welcomes the opportunity to meet with university leadership and legislators. Student representatives, Stewart said, are an integral part of the decision-making process on committees and boards within the university and beyond.

“With his encouragement and guidance, they (students) have been able to provide invaluable input,” Stewart said. “As our students form future plans in their careers and further (their) education, they often consult with and are guided by Dr. Dadabhoy.”

According to the Student Life and Development Office, Dadabhoy has more than 20 years of student affairs experience. He served as special projects coordinator in the student affairs division at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. As a student development educator at Longwood University, Farmville, Va., he chaired judicial cases and conducted conflict resolution.

He also served as assistant vice president of Student Affairs and as director of student activities at Metro State College in Denver. Here, Dadabhoy secured funding for, and created, a series of multicultural programs and co-curricular activities.

Dadabhoy holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and a doctoral degree in educational leadership and innovation from the University of Colorado at Denver. Dadabhoy joined CSU-Pueblo in June 2007.

The dean said student leaders stay in touch long after they graduate and leave student government.

“Just last month a former student leader I worked with at Longwood University, nearly 20 years ago, called and wanted to connect,” Dadabhoy said. “Reconnecting with him after 20 years, sharing memories and reinforcing friendships was very fulfilling! It’s a gift that keeps on giving back.”

The Frank Harris Outstanding Student Government Adviser award is named after NACA’s first chair from 1968 to 1969. To be considered for the award, applicants must work with student governments, and display genuine support and regard for students and their issues.

Applicants must be regarded as an educator by his/her colleagues, and must have had an extraordinary impact on student lives and have earned their respect.

They also must be employed as an advisor to a student government association at an NACA-member institution for at least nine months.