Sanderson Named ‘Outstanding New Professional’

| December 1, 2008

Robyn Sanderson, director of student involvement and programming at Sweet Briar, was recently presented the “Outstanding New Professional” award by the Virginia Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

The annual award, which was established in 1981, was presented on Nov. 20 at the Virginia Student Services Conference at Wintergreen Resort and is given to college professionals with fewer than five years experience. Sanderson has been at Sweet Briar since July 2007.

According to the VASPA Web site, to be eligible for the award, professionals should be, “vitally concerned with students, relate well to them and have their respect and confidence” and show “exceptional judgment and creativity in addressing current issues and problems.”

Nominees should be “active leaders and effective administrators on their campuses” who are “contributing to the literature and research in their fields of expertise [and are] active and concerned participants in their professional associations.”

Sanderson was nominated by Cheryl Steele, Sweet Briar’s dean of co-curricular life. In a letter of recommendation, she wrote, “Robyn has proven in a short time that she is a skilled administrator who can simultaneously balance multiple areas of responsibility and not lose the central purpose of our work — the students.”

Steele praised Sanderson for developing training manuals and programs and computer applications that have made the office of co-curricular life more efficient and better able to serve students. She also commended Sanderson for her ongoing support of Sweet Briar’s faculty and staff, and especially its students.

“Robyn has proven herself to be a gifted professional with very strong instincts,” Steele wrote “I feel very fortunate to have her skills and abilities enhancing the quality of life at Sweet Briar College in very tangible ways.

“We take seriously the philosophy that ‘every contact matters.’ The students at the College are the beneficiaries of Robyn’s work in ways they may not even recognize, but they are always in her mind and work.”

— By Suzanne Ramsey, SBC staff writer

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