Adrianne Spann was working in her office this past January when she received an email from her supervisor, Towson University director of parking and transportation Pam Mooney. The email Mooney sent was an application to apply for the NACAS Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship. Spann was not aware of the scholarship, but was immediately interested.
“I thought it was a great opportunity,” said Spann, administration and finance manager at Towson University parking & transportation services. “I would like to stay in the auxiliary services, and it would allow me to get a better understanding of other auxiliary service areas and how parking can help in those areas and vice versa.”
Spann updated her resume, and wrote up a brief essay to accompany her application. Last month, she and Marshall Gray, postal, printing and vending services director at Western Kentucky University, were each named the recipients of the 2016 scholarship.
Spann, who has been in the parking industry more than 10 years – including nearly five at Towson – briefly left the auxiliary services parking industry, but soon realized that’s the area she wants to focus on in her career. She earned her master’s degree in business administration with a specialization in international business last year.
As part of being awarded the Ladson scholarship, Spann will attend the 2017 NACAS annual conference.
“I will be attending the NACAS conference next year, and my goal is to attend to see how other areas operate and see what systems they use,” Spann said. “I’m also looking forward to the networking itself. But ultimately I want to get a feel of how the bigger picture works – as it relates to parking.”
Gray said receiving the scholarship will help him pursue his goal expanding his knowledge in auxiliary services. “By receiving this scholarship, I will have the opportunity to attend a NACAS conference which in turn will give me the opportunity to grow professionally and meet other auxiliary professionals. I enjoy learning in the class settings but truly believe that having the chance to speak one on one with industry leaders is invaluable.”
The Meresse Ladson Diversity Scholarship is sponsored annually by the NACAS Education Foundation, a non-profit corporation that promotes the auxiliary services profession through NACAS.
“The NACAS East Region is honored to once again pay tribute to Mereese Ladson, a leader revered for her enthusiasm and perseverance,” said Mark Kraner, president of the NACAS East Region. “The Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship known for fostering growth, development and recognition to aspiring professionals is celebrating its 11th year memorializing a dear friend to the auxiliary services community. This year’s recipients, Ms. Spann and Mr. Gray, are notable in their professionalism and positivity, and I congratulate them on their awards and wish them luck in their future endeavors.”
The scholarship was established in 2005 in honor of the late Mereese Ladson, controller at Brooklyn College. Ms. Ladson was a president and long-time leader of NACAS East and a great friend to the entire Association. This scholarship is intended to further her work to promote the advancement of diverse, career-minded higher education professionals.
“The Foundation is honored to be able to award this scholarship to two exceptional candidates,” said Matt Sirinek, president of the NACAS Education Foundation. “The contributions from the NACAS East region and individual donors have made this fund a success. The Foundation is pleased to be able to continue to honor Mereese Ladson through this tribute to her exceptional leadership in the auxiliary services community. Congratulations to the 2016 Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship recipients.”