In every moment, we know that members of the PAN African community continue to be trailblazers on their campus, leaders in their communities, and are committed to champion issues and advocate the needs of the Pan African culture. For all they do, we want to acknowledge them, and let them know that


The Mission of The Pan African Network (PAN) is to provide programs and resources that service the needs of ACPA members who identify with–and support the causes of– the Pan African community. PAN strives to accomplish its purpose through the implementation of six Core Values, which serve as guidelines for our programmatic outcomes: Educational Leadership, Collaboration, Fellowship, Advocacy, Professional Development, and Mentoring.

Our Sawubona Awards Series recognizes the work of individuals of African heritage in across various roles within higher education. Sawubona is a Zulu greeting that in translation means "I/We see you." Sawubona is acknowledgement of one another's existence, and that we witness and understand their presence.

Nomination Criterion:

  • Any member of ACPA-College Student Educators International can be nominated for PAN awards.
  • The Nominator is not required to be a member of ACPA in order to submit a nomination.

Questions regarding the awards process can be directed to PAN Awards Co-Chairs:

We encourage you to recognize a colleague by submitting to the Sawubona Awards Nomination Form.

Sawubona Awards Schedule and Category Description:


Award Category

Nomination Period

Civic Engagement and Service Initiatives

January 7-18


January 21-Feb 1


February 4-15

Campus Partnership and Collaboration

April 10 – April 24


April 10 – April 24

Research and Scholarship

April 10 – April 24


  • Civic Engagement and Service Initiatives – Service is the act of helping or doing work for someone else. PAN is committed to championing for issues and advocating for the needs of the Pan African culture. This category intends to recognize strong examples efforts that have led to promotion and awareness of issues affecting the Pan African community.
  • Advocacy – Advocacy seeks to provide voice to those who are typically most vulnerable in our society, and provide space and resources for members of these communities to excel in our society. This category intends to recognize those who work diligently to illuminate concerns that are overlooked, and/or champion for issues that create barriers for marginalized populations.
  • Programming – Programming is often the medium in which student affairs and higher education professionals are able to create impactful initiatives to cater to the needs of their campus communities and surrounding areas. This category intends to recognize those who create and/or facilitate impactful and intentional initiatives that highlight and/or mirror the core values of the Pan African Network (Educational Leadership, Collaboration, Fellowship, Advocacy, Professional Development, and Mentoring).
  • Campus Partnership and Collaboration – Collaboration and partnership allow individuals to work collectively, bringing various talents and gifts to accomplish a common goal. This category intends to recognize strong examples collaborative efforts that have led to support and growth on a campus community.
  • Leadership – Leadership is the act of defining and exhibiting desirable moral and ethical behaviors, and being a model for those who seek to follow. Transformational leaders are agents of change who do not shy away from intentionally supporting and cultivating specialized initiatives, such as creating environments conducive to professional and para-professional staff growth. This category intends to recognize those who increase leadership opportunities and professional development within the organization and the field of higher education.
  • Research and Scholarship – Scholarly literature often influences our work and helps us to decide how to deliver programs and services to the areas and communities for which we have responsibility. With that, this category intends to acknowledge those who advance scholarship and careers in Higher Education/Student Affairs and conduct research regarding trends.

Meet our 2018 Pan African network Achievement Awards Recipients

Outstanding Graduate Student

Shamika Karikari is a graduate student at Miami University of Ohio, where she serves as the Doctoral Associate for the Center for Career Exploration and Success.

"What drew me to the field of student affairs is my desire to give back because so much was given to me as an undergraduate student. When I was an undergraduate, I had mentors who believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. They saw something in me and provided the support and encouragement that was necessary for me to build my own confidence and find my voice. I’m forever grateful for the mentors who saw in me what I could not yet see in myself. My hope is to provide similar support to college students. I want them to be confident in their abilities and to know that when they feel lost, there is a support system around them that wants to help them succeed. I want to be in student’s corner, cheering them own, and speaking life into their lives.

My greatest accomplishment to date is receiving the Jennie Elder Suel Distinguished Woman of Color award from Miami University in 2016. This award recognizes women of color who initiate conversations about diversity, advocate for justice and equality, and serve as role models. Additionally, the award recognizes spirited women of color, particularly those who have been warm and welcoming to others. Receiving this award was a great honor as I look up to many of the past recipients of the award. As well, it formally recognized the work I had been doing on campus and my desire to build equitable learning environments for all. I was pleasantly surprised that I was nominated by my peers and voted on by the committee to be one of the recipients. In the next 3-5 years, I see my impact in the field centering on advancing research around the experiences of Black women. I want to promote the knowledge and expertise of Black women and help bring our stories and experiences to the forefront. There are scholars currently doing this research and I hope to add to their brilliant contributions as we fight to make Black women central instead of marginal in research."


Outstanding New Professional

Ufuoma Abiola, Ed.D. is the Associate Director for Academic Affairs and Advising at the University of Pennsylvania.

"My passion for working with diverse students is what drew me to the field of higher education/student affairs. My background is in psychology – I earned a B.A. in Psychology from Boston College and received an M.A. in Clinical Psychology from Roosevelt University. While practicing as a Clinician/Therapist and Diagnostician, I began to teach undergraduate psychology courses as an Adjunct Professor. I thoroughly enjoy teaching and advising students, so I decided to pursue a career in higher education/student affairs. In order to gain a better understanding of how the enterprise of higher education is structured, governed, and managed, I earned an M.S.Ed. in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education (Penn GSE). In 2017, I also received an Ed.D. in Higher Education from Penn GSE. My research interests involve college student affairs, and increasing students of color persistence and success at higher education institutions. With a passion for diversity, equity, and inclusion issues in higher education/student affairs, some of my greatest impacts/accomplishments in the field include innovating inclusive programs, publications, and courses.I am the Co-Creator of the Wharton Successful Transition & Empowerment Program (STEP). STEP is a pre-orientation and first-year experience readiness program at TheWharton School, which is intended to help historically underrepresented freshman students to successfully acclimate to college life at a predominantly White Ivy League institution. I strive to lead, learn, and serve in a diverse and changing world. In the next 3-5 years, I see my continued impact in the field of higher education/student affairs as being an effective leader and educator who advances innovation, diversity, and inclusion."


The Erica Holloman Award for Distinguished Service


In honor of the life and service of Erica J. Holloman, PAN annually recognizes a professional who has made significant personal and professional contributions to enhance the mission and vision of the Pan African Network. Dr. Jeffery Burgin was the 2018 recipient. 

"I was blessed to have amazing Student Affairs professionals at the University of Cincinnati Eric Abercrumbie, Frank Bowen, Bleuzette Marshall, Michael Enderly, Mary Ellen Ashley, Ed Kizer, Dan Cummins and Mitchel Livingston to name a few. Because of their care for me and other students, “the call” on my professional life occurred because of their actions and my interactions with them. It takes a village so no accomplishment is in isolation. I provide encouragement and guidance in order to see students walk across the stage at graduation or reach a personal goal. Taking a chance on a student who has made a mistake and for them to come back years later to say thank you for changing their lives. Those are moments thatmake me proud and feel accomplished. I will always lend an ear to my colleagues especially young professionals. Whether it be as a CSAO or as a College President my aspiration is simple. As Dr. King stated, “I just want to do God’s will...”