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Educator Honored for Work with First-Year Students

The National Resource Center for The First-Year Experience & Students in Transition at the University of South Carolina and Cengage Learning recently honored Katherine Lehman, assistant dean for student success at Otterbein University, with the Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award. She was recognized on Feb. 19 at the Annual Conference on The First-Year Experience in San Antonio, Texas. Lehman joined Otterbein in 2003 as coordinator of student activities and residence hall director. In 2004, she was named assistant dean for students and director of the Center for Student Involvement. She became assistant dean for student success in 2010. Lehman oversaw the University’s conversion from quarters to semesters and established the Center for Student Success. She has also implemented and supported retention efforts across campus, provided individual advocacy to students and coordinated ongoing data analysis and research related to retention issues on campus. She also serves as co-director of Otterbein’s First Year Experience Program. Her professional memberships include the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), National Orientation Directors Association, National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and Ohio College Personnel Association (OCPA). Lehman received the Fred J. Swalls Scholarship for Demonstrated Leadership and Contributions to the field of Education from Indiana State University in 2009; the Emerging Professional Award for potential for Significant Contribution to the Field of Higher Education from The Ohio State University SPA Program in 2006; and the W.E.B. Dubois Appreciation Award for dedication and contributions to the African American Community from Otterbein University in 2006. Lehman earned her bachelor’s degree at Marquette University, her master’s degree at The Ohio State University and her doctorate degree at Indiana State University. The Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award, now in its 23rd year, honors college faculty, administrators, staff and students for their outstanding work on behalf of first-year students and for the impact their efforts have on the students and culture of their institutions. Ten recipients were chosen from 140 nominations. For more information about the award, contact Shana Harrison at 803-576-6328 or scharri2@mailbox.sc.edu.