Posted February 25, 2008

Theresa A. Powell receives distinguished award from national association

Theresa A. Powell, vice president for Student Affairs at Temple University, has been honored with the Fred Turner Award for Outstanding Service to the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA). She will receive the award at the national conference in Boston on March 11.

The Fred Turner Award honors the contributions of NASPA members who serve in leading roles at state, regional and national institutions. As a member of NASPA for 30 years, Powell has served actively in various roles, including president of the association and foundation board member. Currently she serves as the national chair of the Women in Student Affairs Network. She will begin serving in the role of secretary for the foundation board in March.

“I am honored to receive such a distinguished award,” Powell said. “My work with the NASPA organization has been rewarding. I hope to continue to work with the association in the coming years.”

Powell joined Temple in 2002 after serving as the vice president of student affairs for Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo.

Theresa Powell
Photo by Joseph V. Labolito/Temple University
Theresa A. Powell, vice president for Student Affairs, has been honored with the Fred Turner Award for Outstanding Service to the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA).

“I have the best job at Temple because of my students; working with students has been the highlight of my career,” she said. “I’m quite popular with all of my nieces and nephews because I always know all of the latest songs and dance moves. My students really keep me young.”

Since taking her position with Student Affairs, Powell has worked to completely restructure her division. From buying new computers to organizing teams and encouraging her staff to focus on paying close attention to student needs, she said the achievements that she is most proud of are the individual ones.

“It’s usually not the big projects that help a department excel,” Powell said. “Sometimes you have to start small and work in specific areas that will help you create the foundation you need to build from.”

The division includes the Office of the Dean of Students and Student Life, Housing and Residential Life, the Office of Judicial Affairs, the Office of Orientations, International Student Services, Student Activities and the Student Center, Career Development Services, Tuttleman Counseling Center, Campus Recreation, Disability Resources and Services, the Registrar and the Russell Conwell Educational Services Center, which provides academic counseling and support for entering students.

Powell also has managed Student Health Services and Community Service.

In the next year, Powell said, she looks forward to helping students develop their professional goals through new programs offered by Career Development Services.

“We really have a great opportunity to put initiatives in place that will help us to further assist our students in their career goals,” Powell said. “Ultimately, we want our students to begin thinking about their careers when they enter college. They are already receiving the academic component. But they also need programs that help them decide on the best career choice, interview skills and professional development.”

Powell received a bachelor’s degree in sociology and education from the University of Pennsylvania (1973), a master’s in education from Texas Christian University (1976) and a doctoral degree in educational administration from Ohio State University (1983).

Before going to Western Michigan, where she also was a tenured professor, she served on the Ohio State Board of Regents as administrator and then as director of two-year campus programs.