The Annuit Coeptis Award honors five emerging professionals at a dinner where there can be wide-ranging discussion and exchange about professional issues. These awards were created by ACPA (College Student Educators International) to celebrate the lives of Philip A. Tripp, Ursula Delworth, and Cynthia Johnson who dearly loved to challenge their contemporary and junior colleagues in a spirit of personal and professional sharing, good humor, and intellectual debate. The Latin phrase annuit coeptis reflects Professor Tripp's optimism for the future by suggesting that “He has smiled upon that which we have begun.” Started in 1979, this annual award honors up to three senior professionals and up to five emerging professionals at a dinner where they can engage in lively and thoughtful discussions about professional issues.

Nomination Instructions

We are no longer accepting nominations for this awards cycle. Please check back mid-June 2019 for nomination deadlines for the 2019-2020 Awards Cycle. 

To nominate a colleague for the Emerging Professional, please submit the nominee's current resume and at least one nomination letter explaining how the person meets the criteria listed below. Nominating materials must be received no later than Friday, 9 November 2018. Please send all nominating materials by email attachment to:  If you do not receive an acknowledgement of the receipt of your nomination within 48 hours, please send a follow up email requesting verification.

Recipients must plan to attend the 2019 ACPA Annual Convention in Boston, MA (March 3-6, 2019) and be available to share dinner with the other award recipients (traditionally on the Tuesday evening of the conference). Anyone who is nominated but unable to attend the conference and dinner may be considered for nomination in 2020.

Criteria for Emerging Professionals

1. No more than five years of full-time professional experience since completion of a master’s or doctoral degree. Current doctoral students are eligible if they have worked no more than five years between receipt of their master’s degree and commencing their doctoral program.
2. Evidence of the potential for significant contribution to the field of student affairs in at least one of the following areas: (a) administrative service or teaching; (b) research or publication; (c) professional association service; and (d) leadership.
3. Three of the five emerging professionals selected will be recent master’s graduates.
If you have any questions, please write to

2019 Recipients

Ambrose Headshot

Christopher M. Ambrose, Johns Hopkins University

Brown headshot

Ashley L. Brown, Georgia State University

Tara C. Milliken, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Z Nicolazzo, University of Arizona

Symphony D. Oxendine, University of North Carolina at Wilmington