Marywood Vice President Receives National Award from NASPA

Published on Tue, February 11, 2014

Raymond P. Heath, Vice President for Student Life at Marywood University, is the 2014 recipient of the Scott Goodnight Award for Outstanding Performance as a Dean. Each year, Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education (NASPA), recognizes members who are doing outstanding work in the student affairs profession. The award is the highest honor presented by NASPA.

The award is given to a senior student affairs officer who has demonstrated sustained professional service in student affairs work, high-level competency in administrative skills, innovative response in meeting students' varied and emerging needs, effectiveness in developing junior staff members, and leadership in community and university affairs. The recipient must also have earned stature among and support of students, faculty, and fellow administrators on his or her campus and made significant contributions to the field through publications or professional involvement.

"Dr. Heath's singular focus has always been to ensure that Marywood's student life experience is welcoming and fulfilling. The growth of our student population and the expansion of our athletics teams and facilities stand as a strong testament to his dedication," said Sister Anne Munley, IHM, Ph.D., president of Marywood University. "I am pleased that Dr. Heath has been recognized for his work on a national level, and I congratulate him for meriting this prestigious and much-deserved honor."

A graduate of Providence College, Ray earned a Ph.D. from The Ohio State University and completed further study at the Institute for Educational Management at Harvard. Prior to his role at Marywood, he served as Dean of Freshmen at Ohio Wesleyan University and as Dean of Students and then Vice President for Student Affairs at La Salle University in Philadelphia. His colleagues consider him a skilled educator, administrator and mentor.

"He is adept at creating a vision for his staff, and for creating opportunities for them to succeed in the fulfillment of that vision," says Robert Bonfiglio, Vice President for Student and Campus Life at the State University of New York at Geneseo. "He is a passionate and principled student advocate, and is valued as a team-oriented colleague."

Heath has had extensive experience in NASPA, serving as Vice president of Region II, as NASPA's liaison to the National Consortium for Academics and Sports, the Region II representative on the Health Education and Leadership Program in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and the urban Colleges/Universities Network and on task forces ranging from the responsibility of student affairs officers for administration of athletics programs to planning the Washington Office. A long-term member of The NASPA Journal editorial board, Ray was one of the founders of NASPA's Small Colleges and Universities Institute, represented Region II on the Small College and Universities Division and has served on several accreditation teams for the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. Region II honored him with its Award for Outstanding Service to NASPA and in 2008, Ray was inducted as a Pillar of the Profession by the NASPA Foundation.

His colleagues say his nature is consistent in every way with the ideals of the Goodnight Award. "He has a relaxed manner and a wonderful, understated sense of humor," says Thomas Miller, Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of South Florida. "His humility sets him apart from others who have been in leadership roles and helps students to find him approachable and supportive."

Heath and other National Award winners will be honored in March at the 2014 NASPA Annual Conference in Baltimore, Md.