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Watson College News

Donyell Roseboro Receives Sanders Student Advocate Award

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Donyell Roseboro is the recipient of the 2022 John L. Sanders Student Advocate Award, the highest honor bestowed by the University of North Carolina Association of Student Governments. Dr. Roseboro is UNCW’s chief diversity officer and a professor in the Department of Instructional Technology, Foundations and Secondary Education at the Watson College.

UNCW announced the news in a home page story on April 25.

The Sanders Award recognizes individuals who advocate for the best interests of North Carolina students and contribute to the quality of their lives. The award’s namesake devoted more than 60 years to public service in the state and is described by his alma mater, UNC-Chapel Hill, as “a tireless public servant” and “crucial agent of positive change for North Carolina’s institutions and citizens.”

“Knowing that John Sanders worked to end segregated public meetings at UNC-Chapel Hill in the 1950s means everything as I receive this award,” said Dr. Roseboro. “It matters because he paved the way for me to serve as student body vice president at UNC-Chapel Hill. That experience in student government changed my life’s trajectory and, in many ways, led me to a faculty position at UNCW, a university that prioritizes student well-being and engagement.”

Dr. Roseboro was among nominees from across the UNC System, which includes 17 schools. She was nominated by the UNCW student government delegation led by Robby Fensom, 2021-22 student body president.

"Dr. Roseboro cares for each student, recognizing the unique and powerful stories that we each possess. This appreciation of individuals serves as a cornerstone for her leadership," said Fensom.

The award nomination highlighted Dr. Roseboro’s powerful impact on students within the Watson College of Education; her service to the Wilmington community through teaching financial literacy; and her boundless efforts as chief diversity officer to foster collaborative relationships with student leaders that have led to positive change and growth on campus. Calling her “beloved,” the nomination also commended Dr. Roseboro for leading the charge to establish scholarships to better attract and support students of color at UNCW.

“Dr. Roseboro is one of UNCW’s gems,” said newly elected SGA President Hannah-Valentina Horowitz. “She is an incredible advocate for students and puts them at the center of her work. She is someone who has always made an effort to really connect with students on a personal level – taking time to understand them and value their stories. Her kindness, work ethic and dedication to the university makes her someone I will always admire. She truly embodies this award, and I am so incredibly grateful that she is the named recipient.”

Roseboro was presented with the Sanders Award at an awards luncheon at Western Carolina University on April 23, 2022.

Read the full story here: Roseboro Receives Sanders Student Advocate Award.