Springfield College Career Center Director Scott Dranka has been named the 2020 recipient of the Delight E. Champagne Alumni Service Award. As the Career Center director since January 2017, Dranka has provided effective supervision, leadership, and mentorship in order to best meet the needs of all constituents, including students, alumni, parents, employers, faculty, and staff.
“I am truly honored, grateful, and full of admiration for having been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Delight E. Champagne Alumni Service Award,” said Dranka. “Twenty years ago as a student in the Student Personnel Administration master's degree program, led by Dr. Delight E. Champagne, I knew that Springfield College was a special place with outstanding leaders. It took me less than one week of classes to see how students, staff, and faculty embodied and embraced the core values of the mission and Humanics philosophy in their daily work.”
Dranka added, “Delight continuously told us to lead and serve others and the results would be monumental for all. And, to this day as an employee I feel the same way. Being surrounded by colleagues, students, and visionary leaders doing their best also inspires me to continuously work hard and dedicate my time and energy to best serve our students and one another at this great institution.”
The Delight E. Champagne Alumni Service Award is presented annually in recognition of Champagne, PhD, who served students at Springfield College as a tenured professor of psychology and the director of the Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education Program at Springfield College for almost 30 years. Her holistic and Humanics approach to teaching and her commitment to the mentorship and encouragement of young student affairs professionals have defined her legacy and career.
Dranka started his career at Springfield College in 2001, first working as coordinator of registration and records services in the Office of the Registrar. He next moved into serving as the assistant director of the Career Center from 2004 through 2016, and working as the associate director of employer outreach and engaged learning for the career center from September of 2016 through November of 2017.
“I would like to sincerely thank Patrick Love, Vice President for Student Affairs, for his leadership of our division and for affording me the opportunity to serve on a variety of divisional and college leadership initiatives and committees,” said Dranka. “I also would like to thank Patrick for his support and for presenting me with additional leadership endeavors in order to further expand my abilities as a leader.”
Along with his director and assistant director responsibilities in the career center throughout the years, Dranka also was instrumental in leading the Internship Preparation Seminar, which included instructing a course designed to prepare sophomores, juniors, and seniors with formulating career-related materials needed to apply and plan for internships.
“Scott is guided by the mission of Springfield College in all of his work with students and colleagues on campus, as well as in his connections off campus,” said Springfield College Dean of Students Sue Nowlan. “He believes in the education of the whole student and exhibits his commitment to students’ growth and development every day in the individual work he does with students, as well as in the program planning and career preparation initiatives he leads for the Career Center.”
Dranka was also instrumental in leading the Careers in Student Affairs Drive-In Conference on the Springfield College campus in October 2019, an event that featured more than 14 colleges from throughout the country, and focused on prospective students interested in pursuing careers and master’s degrees in student affairs, current graduate students enrolled in student affairs master’s degree programs, and rising professionals in the student affairs profession. As part of the conference, keynote speaker Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education, presented on “Seven Trends for the Future of Student Affairs.”
“This event is just one example of the go-to person Scott has become within the Division of Student Affairs and the college as a whole,” added Nowlan. “His willingness to accept any new challenge and to complete it with unmatched dedication and impeccable detail is one of the most wonderful things about working with him.”
“The most significant characteristic that Scott shows is his complete dedication to students, to the college community, and to the welfare of all who have the privilege of meeting with him,” said Champagne. “His warm and encouraging smile is always there to greet you. He searches for ways to help others or to solve problems on a personal or organizational level. With so many uncertainties facing students and the college at this extraordinary time, I can think of no one who is better suited to guide students through what may be the most challenging economic environment we will ever face.”
As Dranka officially received his award, he summarized why this honor is so special to himself and the College.
“I truly feel that the focus and conviction of the Delight E. Champagne Service Award is to continuously uphold our mission and Humanics philosophy daily while ensuring that we proudly identify ways to further support, enhance, and grow Springfield College in our positive trajectory forward while ensuring that the needs of all of our constituents are met,” concluded Dranka.
Springfield College is an independent, nonprofit, coeducational institution founded in 1885. Approximately 4,100 students, including 2,500 full-time undergraduate students, study at its main campus in Springfield, Mass., and at its regional campuses across the country. Springfield College inspires students through the guiding principles of its Humanics philosophy – educating in spirit, mind, and body for leadership in service to others.