The Gene Ward Outstanding Student Leader Award was named to honor Gene Ward, a founding member of SWACUHO.  In fact, Gene was heavily involved with the conception of SWACUHO.

Gene Ward was the Director of Housing at Southern Methodist University from 1979 to 1991.  In 1966, Gene became one of the charter members of SWACUHO and hosted the first annual conference at SMU.  He was very active in SWACUHO, serving on almost every committee, and also as State Director, Secretary, Treasurer, Historian, and President.

Gene received the James L. "Jim" Gibson Exceptional Service Award in 1976 and he also was a recipient of the Bob Cooke Distinguished Service Award.

Four recipients (two for Texas and one each for both Arkansas and Oklahoma) will be in the form of a plaque which will be presented to the student or representative from their institution, assuming the student is not in attendance at the SWACUHO Annual Conference.

Criteria for Selection:

The nominee must:

    • Be a currently enrolled, full-time undergraduate student.
    • Be currently employed in a functional area of housing or serving as a student leader for a Residence Life student organization.
    • Be attending a SWACUHO member institution.
    • Have contributed significantly to residence hall living and to the university community on their campus.

Past Winners:

2024 Garrett Dickson, Texas Tech University
Hayden Eason, Arkansas Tech University
Maria Rojas-Cabellero, Sam Houston State University
Cami Stearman, Rose State College

2023 Jakhari Clegg Fleming, University of Central Arkansas
Sophie Enslein, Texas Woman’s University

2022 Sabrina Cheri, University of Central Arkansas
Gavriel Griffin, Texas Woman’s University
Wink Winkle, University of Oklahoma

2021 Alle Pattillo, University of Arkansas
Dalton Lawing, University of Texas at Arlington
Samir Rahman, Southern Methodist University
Stephen Doidge, Oklahoma State University

2020 Krystel Hernandez, Texas Woman's University

2019 Deanna Douglass, Texas Woman's University
Kirsten McGee, University of North Texas

2018 Elizabeth Hardy, Texas State University
Kelcia Righton, Midwestern State University
Carolina Tovar, University of Arkansas

2017 Jacquelyn Elias, Southern Methodist University
Kayla Fischer, University of Houston
Molly Danielson, Oklahoma State University

2016 Molly McKinstry, University of Arkansas
Mario Navaretti, University of North Texas
Almicia Dunson,Texas Tech University

2015 Taylor Duvall, Arkansas State University
Quan Phan, University of Oklahoma
Joshua Hutchison, Texas Tech University
Grayson Stidham, University of Texas at Arlington

2014 Rebecca Wheeley, University of Arkansas at Fort Smith
Tyler Loveday, Oklahoma State University
Kasey Kram, Texas A&M University
Anna Dalfonso, University of North Texas

2013 Tyler Priest, University of Arkansas
Stephane Tchang, Oklahoma State University
Rachel McGee, University of North Texas
Evan Taylor, Southern Methodist University

2012 Bridgitte Castorino, University of Oklahoma
Keith Guerrero, University of North Texas
Cameron P. Mussar, University of Arkansas
Ethan Patrick, Southern Methodist University

2011 La Keesha Murrill, Arkansas Tech University
Megan Hadley, Oklahoma State University
Audrey Batista, Texas Tech University

2010 Heather Santi, Texas Christian University
Rachel Rachel, University of North Texas
Kali Ross, Oklahoma State University-Stillwater
Adrian Everett, Arkansas State University-Jonesboro

2009 Kellen McAnulty, Texas Tech University
Elyze Davis, Texas Woman's University
Rebecca Williamson, University of Arkansas
Nicholas Holmes, University of Oklahoma

2008 Brian Martinez, University of Texas-Pan American
Miranda Rodriguez, Texas Tech University
Deleea Allcorn, Oklahoma State University
Jason Hogan, University of Arkansas

2007 Genevieve Girard, University of Central Arkansas
David Feiser, University of North Texas
Rosa Phifer, Texas Tech University

2006 Valorie Lankford, North Central Texas College
Brandon Dubose, Stephen F. Austin State University
Sara Mansker, University of Arkansas

2005 Aaron Berg, University of Tulsa
Jennifer Heiner, Texas A&M University
Jay E Wylie, Southern Arkansas University

2004 Tammy L Fowler, Stephen F. Austin State University
Luis H. Guzman, Sam Houston State University

2003 Melissa Cooper, Texas State University
Dustin Davis, University of Arkansas
David Willeford, Texas Lutheran University

2002 Matt Fuller, Texas A&M University
Danny Lutman, Texas State University
Cliff Haynes, University of Arkansas

2001 Rebecca J. Gates, Sam Houston State University
Dylan Misslin, Texas A&M University
Mary Branton-Housley, University of Central Arkansas

2000 Josh Pavlovich, University of Arkansas
Jessica Reinsch, University of Oklahoma
Mark Troutt, Sam Houston State University
Katherine L. Wildman, Southern Methodist University

1999 Sarah Altes, Sam Houston State University
Jeffery David Hudnall, University of Central Arkansas
Chad Pattern, University of Oklahoma

1998 Rodney McKenzie, University of North Texas
Ursula Davidson, Sam Houston State University
Rebecca Farrow, University of Oklahoma
Donna Keaton, University of Central Arkansas

1997 Katherine Schieffer, Stephen F. Austin State University
Mickey Trussell, West Texas A&M University
Kelly Simon, Hendrix College
Jodi Marshall, University of Tulsa

1996 Christi Napa, Southern Methodist University
Kelly Pennington, Stephen F. Austin State University
Elaine Martin, Henderson State University
Mindy Bergman, University of Oklahoma

1995 Chuck Nguyen, St. Edward's University
Jill Unzicker, University of Central Arkansas
Tara Bieck, Sam Houston State University

1994 Chandra Miller, University of Central Arkansas
Jeannie Bacon, Oklahoma State University
Chris Middleton, Sam Houston State University
Brent Colescott, Texas State University

1993 David Godell, Stephen F. Austin State University
Jennifer Llamas, University of Central Arkansas

1992 Rosa Linda Wilson, Oklahoma State University
Tim Mitchell, Texas Tech University

Southwest Association of College & University Housing Officers

624 W. University Drive
PMB 418
Denton, TX 76201

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