Flowers, SAC snag awards at regional conference

Story by Mykaela Cross, Assistant Editor

Baker University’s Student Activities Council and its director recently walked away from the National Association of Campus Activities’ annual three-day conference with awards in tow.

At the conference held in Arlington, Texas, Baker’s Director of Student Life Randy Flowers was named Central Region New Professional of the Year while SAC’s Last Lecture series received an award as Program of the Year.

The event is hosted each year for university activities programs in Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Tennessee. Its purpose is to expose programs to performers and reflect on the year’s activities in hopes of increasing campus engagement.

Flowers’ individual award came as a surprise to him, but he was honored to have been selected for the award.

“Professionals are nominated, so it’s a particular honor since there are so many professionals,” Flowers said. “But it really goes back to the university, SAC and everyone who’s supported me.”

Flowers is appreciative of the support he has received from students and faculty at Baker.

“It’s (the award) a huge thanks to everyone who has been there for me; family, students, SAC and the Student Affairs team,” Flowers said. “I owe a lot to Cassy Bailey, Brett Bruner and Teresa Clounch.”

Senior Kaedy Turner, a member of SAC, has known Flowers for three years and thinks very highly of him as both a professional and a person.

“Randy is a lot of fun and great to work with,” Turner said. “He works so hard in many organizations on campus and still finds time to be there for students. Even with so much on his plate, he is always willing to sit down with an open door.”

Though the award came to a shock to Flowers, it was no surprise to Turner.

“He definitely deserves it,” Turner said. “He is extremely driven and organized and cares about his students and work. His leadership reaches many people across campus.”

Clounch is the associate dean of students and director of multicultural affairs at Baker and has worked with Flowers since he arrived at Baker as a graduate assistant.

“He is a very hard worker who challenges students to think outside the box and improve and is always looking for opportunities for improvement,” Clounch said.

Clounch, like Turner, was “not at all surprised” to hear about Flowers’ success, believing that he has “brought a new lens” and professional networking to Baker since his arrival, all while keeping the students in mind.

In addition to valuing his influence on campus, Clounch also respects many qualities about Flowers as a person including but not limited to his planning skills and eye for the future.

“He’s always bringing new ideas and making things better,” Clounch said. “He’s diligent in providing students with really great social experiences. Randy has a great heart for working with students.

Flowers thinks the awards are a motivating chapter in SAC history and hopes to implement ideas that him and the students in attendance learned at the conference.

“I want to continue to help SAC grow even more from where it is now as National Program of the Year and get mores students involved on campus,” Flowers said. “I want to keep coming up with more new, innovative things everyday.”