A group of 16 people standing in a hallway
Diverse: Issues in Higher Education and the American College Personnel Association have recognized the VCU Division of Student Affairs among the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs. (Contributed photo)

VCU Division of Student Affairs recognized as a Most Promising Place to Work

Industry honor, which relies heavily on employee feedback, highlights career support and more.

Share this story

In Virginia Commonwealth University’s Division of Student Affairs, more than 250 professionals are dedicated to promoting a safe, healthy and unforgettable college experience for thousands of young Rams. But the team also fosters success for another key group: themselves.

Earning a prestigious distinction, the VCU division was named recently among the Most Promising Places to Work in Student Affairs. The recognition, designated by news and information source Diverse: Issues in Higher Education in collaboration with the American College Personnel Association, honors student affairs divisions that cultivate a vibrant and diverse workplace and support work-life balance, professional development and inclusive excellence for staff.

Employee surveys touching on categories such as family friendliness, salary/benefits and career support were a key source of consideration for the honor. Of 22 institutions in this year’s class, the VCU division is the only designee from Virginia.

“We have so many talented and dedicated staff in our division who are committed to the success of VCU students. I thought it was important to share our stories, our passions and our successes,” said Aaron Hart, Ed.D., VCU’s vice president for student affairs. “I have an obligation to create an environment where staff feel appreciated, valued and supported.”

Hart, who joined VCU in October 2022, noted that achieving workplace distinction has benefits within as well as beyond the student affairs realm.

“Dr. Hart emphasized the significance of such a national recognition for the Division of Student Affairs and the greater VCU community, so it was important to respond to his charge,” said Myriam Kadeba, Ph.D., director of the division’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs who led efforts to pursue the honor. She also cited the encouragement of Brooke Berry, associate vice president for belonging and inclusion.

Kadeba worked with a small student affairs team that included Yiyun Jie, Ph.D., director of assessment, and Ijuanzee Isom, director of human resources. The trio spent two months gathering resources, employee satisfaction data and division information that formed the submission to the selection committee.

The 2024 Most Promising Places honorees will be recognized at the ACPA annual convention in Chicago this month. Hart and other members from VCU’s Division of Student Affairs will attend to accept the honor.

“I was ecstatic – but not for me,” Hart said when learning of the award. “I was ecstatic for the entire DSA team. They deserved this recognition.”

For more information about the workplace program and past honorees, visit the ACPA survey page.