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Casavant honored with 2016 C.L.A.S.S. Award

Thursday, May 12, 2016

LAWRENCE — For her dedication to supporting students, University of Kansas adviser Michele Casavant has been named the recipient of this year’s C.L.A.S.S. Award.

The C.L.A.S.S. Award (Citation for Leadership and Achievement in Student Services) is presented yearly by the Board of Class Officers to an unclassified staff member who works in a department or organization overseen by Student Affairs. The annual award recognizes distinguished achievements in student services that show a commitment to the needs of KU students and contribute to the welfare of students.

Casavant was lauded particularly for her role as Multicultural Scholars Program director for the School of Education. She has helped ensure that the School of Education recruits students from under-represented backgrounds and that they achieve success in their undergraduate studies at KU.

“As advisers, we never truly know what type of impact we have on the lives of the students we serve,” Casavant said. “This award is especially meaningful to me because it is offered by the students and represents the work I do for them to help them succeed at KU and grow both academically and personally.”

The Pullman, Washington, native earned her bachelor’s degree at Lewis & Clark College and her master’s degree at Utah State University before earning her doctorate at KU in American studies. She serves on the Veteran’s Enhancement Committee, the University Advising Executive Committee, the Diversity Leadership Council and the Native Faculty and Staff Council, and she teaches both honors and orientation seminars.

“At the end of the day, I'm not sure I'd still be here to experience KU if it wasn't for her dedication to my success in and out of the classroom,” student Ramon Guerrero said in the nomination letter.

The Board of Class Officers, BOCO, is a senior leadership organization utilized to put a face to the senior class prior to and after graduation. Officer positions are held by seniors while juniors and seniors can serve on committees. Members create the banner and choose the gift and motto for each class at the university. They also choose the H.O.P.E. Award, C.L.A.S.S. Award and Campanile Award winners and assist in the selection of the two EX.C.E.L. Award winners.

The Class of 1987 established this award, and a plaque bearing the names of award winners is located in the stairwell on Level 5 of the Kansas Union.

Above: University of Kansas adviser Michele Casavant, left, works with a student on her class schedule in this 2010 photo. Casavant has been named the recipient of this year’s C.L.A.S.S. Award.

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