Randy Flowers wins national award in student programming

Assistant Dean of Students and Director of Student Life Randy Flowers was chosen by the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) as the 2021 recipient of the Patsy Morley Outstanding Programmer Award.

The NACA website describes this award as having been created to “honor that individual who best exemplifies outstanding achievement in the field of campus activities advisement.”

The NACA website also outlines that the award recipient should be “someone who has worked closely in the development of student leadership skills and creativity” and someone who “has had an extraordinary impact on students’ lives and has earned their respect.”

Previous recipients of this award include programmers at colleges across the nation. Flowers himself summarized the award and its requirements in stating, “I was virtually recognized as the national programmer of the year for NACA.”

In order to be nominated for this award, a programmer must receive a nomination in conjunction with letters of recommendation from both a student organization and a staff member at the nominee’s school.

Among those who work with Flowers is Senior Dylan Kort, who serves as the President of the Student Activities Council (SAC). Kort wrote a letter of recommendation as part of the nomination process.

“Randy is one of my mentors at BU and I have known him since I came to Baker for my new student orientation. He is my supervisor when it comes to Student Activities Council but, most importantly, he is a man I consider a close confidant and friend,” Kort said.

The reception of the Patsy Morley Outstanding Programmer Award reflects not only on Flowers as an individual, but on Baker University as a whole.

“The award recognizes an individual for programming. But the reality is, the award, in my eyes, recognizes the university,” Flowers said.

Flowers cited that an essential element of successful programming is university support.

“I could build the best program out there. But if no one shows up, it’s not a successful event. So I believe me winning this award shows that we, as a university, come together to work together to promote student engagement and career exploration,” Flowers explained.

In terms of recent programming, Flowers explained that this school year has been a particularly distinct time for the field, presenting new opportunities and challenges.

“It was definitely a very unique year for programming, and it’s a very difficult year for programming due to the pandemic. What I’m proud of is that we as a campus continue to navigate the pandemic and find opportunities wherever they are,” Flowers stated.

Beyond obstacles posed by the pandemic, Flowers is also proud of the evolution of the program itself.

“We’ve really expanded our Diversity Inclusion programming in the last year, and I’m really proud of all the work we’ve done in the Student Life office to elevate it.”

Kort described Flowers as a caring, hardworking and passionate individual in the campus community.

“Randy works every day as hard as he can to create a campus that everyone wants to be a part of. He has developed annual programs, cultivated community and created an organization that strives to do the same. He has helped young students grow into exceptional leaders. Randy gives hours of his time during all parts of the day to ensure as much can be done for everyone as possible,” Kort stated.