Student Affairs has named Carrie Fitzwater, assistant director for residence life, and John Lenich, Earl Dunlap Distinguished Professor of Law Emeritus, recipients of the James V. Griesen Exemplary Service to Students Award.
Both Fitzwater and Lenich will be honored during the Student Luminary Awards on March 13. The annual honor was established in 1986 as the Chancellor’s Exemplary Service to Students award and recognizes extraordinary and sustained performance by individuals serving Nebraska students. It was renamed in 2006 to honor Griesen, who retired as vice chancellor for student affairs that same year. He continued to work as a professor in educational administration and is now an emeritus professor.
Fitzwater earned the honor for her dedication to co-curricular student learning, building inclusive communities and developing collaborative partnerships while assuming additional duties in University Housing. Since August, she has filled in for at least two, if not three, full-time staff members in her complex. All the while, she offered leadership in University Housing’s development and initial implementation of a curricular approach to resident education.
“She embodies excellence in every effort exuded,” said Aisha Lee, a former student who now works in housing at Kansas State University. “This excellence only compounds in the way she empowers students and staff members to find their voice.”
Lenich earned the award for his enthusiasm and commitment to students through revisions to the Student Code of Conduct and the university’s approved student housing agreement. He earned praise for his abilities to listen to students’ needs and concerns, and help advocate on their behalf. ASUN student government passed a resolution thanking and commending Lenich for his work on the Student Code of Conduct in 2018.
“John always made me feel that the student voice mattered, and to him it did,” said Jackson Grasz, former Interfraternity Council president. “I really appreciated his willingness to listen to members’ concerns and do his best to make sure they were heard with all stakeholders involved.”