Johnson State College Director of First-Year Experience Margo Warden has been chosen to receive this year’s Jackie Gribbons Leadership Award, given by Vermont Women in Higher Education (VWHE).
VWHE is affiliated with the American Council on Education, a higher education advocacy organization. The Jackie Gribbons award, named for the late University of Vermont professor, recognizes female leaders who develop innovative programs, act as mentors and models, and contribute substantially to an institution. Colleges and universities across Vermont nominate women for the annual award.
Warden will be recognized at a ceremony Oct. 25 at Champlain College.
“Margo Warden is the embodiment of positivity. She understands deeply how to engage students, has a built-in compass for social justice, and is one of those leaders who motivates others through her own willingness to roll up her sleeves and cheerfully get the work done,” says Tracy Sherbrook, a VWHE executive board member who works at Lyndon State College.
Warden has worked at JSC since 1988 except for a four-year break. Director of First-Year Experience since 2006, she coordinates orientations, seminars, academic advising and residence life programs to help new students succeed in college. AT JSC she has also worked as student development coordinator, director of academic advising and adjunct instructor in the Behavioral Sciences Department.
“It’s not hard for me to find inspiration on this campus,” Warden says. “I am inspired by the students and their remarkable stories…I am inspired by working with my colleagues to find solutions to problems. I can’t think of any other work I would do besides parenting that could be more important.”
In a letter to VWHE nominating Warden for the award, JSC Psychology and Counseling Professor Gina Mireault cited programs Warden has initiated that have increased student retention. “Her ability to identify a critical need, develop strategies to address it and, most importantly, corral all constituencies to work toward it is the essence of leadership,” Mireault wrote.
On July 1, 2018, Johnson State College and Lyndon State College will become Northern Vermont University, a two-campus institution of higher education that combines the best of both colleges’ nationally recognized liberal arts and professional programs under a single administration. Driven by a mission to provide a high-quality, accessible, inclusive education for students in the state, the region, the nation and online, NVU will begin recruiting in fall 2017 for its first class starting in fall 2018. Learn more at NorthernVermont.edu.