2021 Award for Administrative Excellence

Joan Kjeldsen, Salisbury University

Joan Kjeldsen of The Glenda Chatham & Robert G. Clarke Honors College at Salisbury University has been chosen as the winner of the 2021 NCHC Award for Administrative Excellence. Kjeldsen was nominated by a collection of current and former honors college faculty for her commitment to honors education at Salisbury University.

Affectionately known as “Ms. Joan” by those within the honors college, faculty spoke highly of Kjeldsen’s attentive efficiency, selfless humility, and motherly warmth—which always makes students feel valued and seen. “Honors students face many pressures in their day-to-day, and Joan takes time to listen to their stress while encouraging them to share their successes,” Salisbury University’s Dr. Stacia Kock shared of Kjeldsen. “She remembers their stories, will ask for new chapters, or will retell stories (anonymously) to future students as helpful advice.”

“Without her knowledge and expertise, hundreds of students and alumni would not have experienced an enhanced and engaged undergraduate education,” Northern Kentucky University’s James Buss recalled of his time working alongside Kjeldsen at Salisbury University. “While Joan might think she does things in secret, her giant heart and kind actions do not go unnoticed.”

“The students trust her and respect her, turning to her for advice. We faculty rely on her; she is our problem-solver and friend,” Salisbury University’s Lauren Hill wrote in her nomination. “She works right by the front door of our [honors] house, and seeing her every day reminds us all of why we call our house a home.”

2021 Honorable Mentions