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Director of UNF THRIVE program honored with NASPA’s outstanding service award

Headshot of Dr. Tara RoweOctober is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and one of UNF’s greatest advocates for students with disabilities is being honored for her outstanding service - Dr. Tara Rowe, associate director of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) and director of the UNF THRIVE Program.

Dr. Rowe, will be honored with the “Outstanding Service to Students Award” by the Florida chapter of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) during the NASPA-FL Virtual Drive-In Conference on Thursday, Oct. 14, and Friday, Oct. 15.

The NASPA-Florida Outstanding Service to Students Award recognizes the contributions of professionals who consistently devote their time and efforts to counseling, advising and supporting students. Recipients of this award exude a genuine and sincere sense of caring and concern for students, provide personalized student experiences and high-quality interactions with both individuals and groups, and are committed to performing above and beyond the call of duty while serving multiple roles within the campus community.

“Dr. Rowe demonstrates incredible dedication to enriching the education and growth of each of her students,” said Miranda Scott, an undergraduate student in the Disability Services program and president of the UNF Signing Ospreys Club. “I have never encountered an instructor or university administrator who cares more about her students’ success and how they learn to advocate for themselves, regardless of their disability.”

To honor National Disability Employment Awareness Month, UNF invited numerous local businesses to a market day fair and hosted a Lunch and Learn with Florida Blue to help UNF students with disabilities to learn job-readiness skills such as what to expect as a new hire, tips for the interview process, how to answer tough questions, and how employers hire and accommodate individuals with disabilities.

Rowe has worked with UNF since 2009. She completed her educational leadership doctorate at the University and collaborates with other institutions on supporting students with disabilities. She also serves as an adjunct instructor, teaching courses for the College of Education and Human Services where she centers her research on self-determination for all students. Rowe is passionate about supporting students with different abilities using campus resources to promote student success.