EAF honors higher education professionals
Recipients of the Higher Education Professional of the Year award are graduates of the Department of Educational Administration and Foundations (EAF) who are notable leaders at their respective universities. The following two alumni educators were recognized with the award in 2016 and 2017. The newest honoree will be announced at the EAF on the Red Carpet Spring Gala on Saturday, May 5 at the DoubleTree Hotel.
2016 award recipient Daniel López, Ph.D. ’02, is a first-generation college student who has served Northeastern Illinois University for more than 11 years in several capacities, including as the director for the El Centro Campus and as an adjunct faculty member for its college of education and Engaging Latino Communities for Education (ENLACE) program. Recently, López developed and implemented the Undocumented Student Project aimed at assisting faculty and staff who work with undocumented students and their families. López serves as vice president and chair of the Illinois Latino Council on Higher Education (ILACHE) and board president for the Latino United Community Housing Association (LUCHA).
2017 award recipient Valerie Roberson, Ph.D. ’02, has had an outstanding career as a community college educator and leader over the past 30 years. She served as a director of adult education and later dean of academic support at Heartland Community College. She also was the associate vice chancellor for adult education at the City Colleges of Chicago and the president of Olive-Harvey College, also with the City College of Chicago. At Joliet Junior College, she was the vice president for academic affairs. Since 2013 Roberson has led the Roxbury Community College in Roxbury Crossing, Massachusetts as its president. She is also an executive committee member of the Boston Private Industry Council and is a regional board member for Strong Women, Strong Girls, an organization devoted to the mentoring of girls in under-resourced communities.