NACAS would like to congratulate the winners of the 2015 Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship. Two winners were awarded the honor this year: Gino Galutera, director of auxiliary technology services, The Citadel; and Danielle Sims, area coordinator, student housing, University of Mississippi.
The Ladson Diversity Scholarship was established in 2005 in honor of the late Mereese Ladson, controller at Brooklyn College (CUNY). Ladson was a president and long-time leader of NACAS East and a great friend to the entire Association. Ladson’s professionalism, commitment to inclusiveness for all, and leadership were sources of inspiration to our members. This scholarship program is intended to further her work to promote the advancement of diverse, career-minded higher education professionals and to enhance their auxiliary services skill and knowledge base through NACAS professional development programs.
As a young boy growing up in the Philippines, Gino Galutera remembers always having a desire to help others. He immigrated to the U.S. with his parents in 1990. “I just remember my dad enrolling in community college to earn a better living for us, and my mother working two jobs to make ends meet,” Galutera recalled.
Fast forward 25 years. As the OneCard program manager, Galutera oversees the finance, marketing, and technical operations of the college’s campus card program. He works with an undergraduate population of 2,200 cadets, 600 employees, 900 graduate students, and various other constituents and vendors. Along with managing the purchasing made with campus cards, Galutera also issues cards, maintains soft-ware/hardware, and manages the account call center.
“Gino is a bright young man with great business acumen who is on his way to an outstanding career in auxiliary services,” said Alan N. Coker, director of auxiliary enterprises, The Citadel.
Galutera’s other duties include reviewing ancillary applications associated with OneCard, and assisting and coordinating the school’s digital print center operations, vending operations, and auxiliary event management.
“Sometimes machines break and technology falters, but at the end of the day, as long as you help others and have fun along the way, every-thing will fall into place,” Galutera said. Danielle Sims, area coordinator, student housing, University of Mississippi, has made it her goal to be an advocate and leader for students and staff who feel marginalized. “It is so important to be an example and create opportunities for leadership development for others,” Sims said.
In her role at the University of Mississippi, Sims manages the day-to-day operation of multiple residential communities, supervises graduate community directors, manages a supply budget and programming budget, and develops community learning plans through the residential curriculum.
“This scholarship opportunity will provide me an opportunity expand my knowledge as a professional and grow in an area that is a key skill for being a chief housing officer,” Sims said.
Jack Harris, associate director for residential learning at the University of Mississippi, praised Sims’ passion for social justice work and noted that she “always stepped up to the plate to ensure that voices of underrepresented students are heard.”
Congratulations to the winners of the 2015 Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship. For more information on the award and how to apply, visit nacas.org/foundation/mereese-ladson-scholarship.