LaJoya Shelly was selected for the NASPA (Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education) Region VI Graduate Student Rising Star Award. A graduate assistant in the College of Education (COE) Office of Student Academic Affairs (OSAS), Shelly is also a doctoral student in the Department of Educational Administration (EDEA) where she earned her master’s degree.
OSAS Director Denise Nakaoka said, “LaJoya is worthy of recognition for consistently exhibiting such excellence in her deeply impactful work at UHM. In addition to inspiring future generations of teachers as she recruits, advises, and mentors students across the state, she is also a strong advocate for underserved student populations.”
Shelly was chosen out of several highly competitive nominations for her achievement, involvement, and potential in the student affairs profession. With OSAS since 2016, she is responsible for advising and promoting graduate programs through the Graduate Information Office.
“I am grateful for the mentors who supported me through my uncertain path to college, and I want to be a part of that process for other students who come to us from many different paths,” Shelly said.
Coordinator of the Alice Augusta Ball Black Graduation ceremony, Shelly played an integral role in the organization of the university’s Black Student Association (BSA) and served as President in 2016. Confident the association will grow and be a part of the campus community for years to come, Shelly says she hopes to also become a professor of educational administration.
“We are so proud of LaJoya,” said EDEA Assistant Professor Nicole Alia Salis Reyes. “She is truly a wonderful person and ambassador for our program.”
NASPA is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession, serving 15,000 members worldwide. In addition to receiving a $250 cash prize, Shelly will be honored at the NASPA Western Regional Conference in Sacramento, California in November.