In Spring 2020, HESA Program faculty and staff selected Dr. Brandi Hephner LaBanc, vice chancellor for Student Affairs and Campus Life at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, as the inaugural HESA Alumni of the Year Award winner.
Dr. Hephner LaBanc is an alum of the Ed.D. in Adult and Higher Education program at Northern Illinois University, Class of 2010. She also served as the associate vice president in the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management as well as the assistant vice president for planning and operations at Northern Illinois University from 2009-12.
Dr. Hephner LaBanc has over two decades worth of experience in higher education and student affairs.
Prior to coming to NIU, she served in various positions at at Arizona State University, University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Baldwin-Wallace College and the University of Akron. She left NIU to become the vice chancellor for Student Affairs at the University of Mississippi, where she was the first woman in the university’s history to hold that position.
While at the University of Mississippi, Dr. Hephner LaBanc also served as a professor of Higher Education in the Department of Leadership and Counselor Education. Her research revolves around campus crisis management and concealed carry legislation’s impact on higher education.
In 2020, Dr. Hephner LaBanc was recognized with NASPA’s Pillar of the Profession Award, an award given to distinguished leaders, teachers and scholars in student affairs and higher education.
- The HESA Alumni of the Year Award recognizes outstanding alumni of the master’s or Ed.D. program for their contributions to the field of higher education and student affairs. A call for nominations for the HESA Alumni of the Year Award will be sent to current students and alumni in early Spring 2021. For more information, please contact HESA Program Coordinator Dr. Gudrun Nyunt at firstname.lastname@example.org.