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NACAS Foundation Announces 2019 Mereese Ladson Scholarship Recipients

Charlottesville, VA (April 15, 2019) – The NACAS Foundation, a non-profit corporation that promotes the auxiliary services profession through NACAS, announced today they have awarded the 2019 Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship to:

  • Reggie Love, Director of Business Services, Coppin State University
  • Esmeralda Valdez, Executive Director of University Services, University of Houston
  • Tricia Ejima-Zane, Director of Bookstores, University of Hawai’i at Manoa

“It is my pleasure and honor to award this year’s Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship to these three well-deserved recipients,” said Melissa Moore, President of the NACAS Foundation. “I also want to thank NACAS East for creating this endowment as a legacy honoring their member, Mereese Ladson, who was known for her outstanding work in the auxiliary services profession. It is scholarships like these that make me proud to be a NACAS member and continually reminds me of the joy I have working with the NACAS Foundation.”

Funded by the NACAS Foundation, the Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship is intended 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. Award winners receive $750 that can be used toward any NACAS event.

“I’m honored and grateful to be a recipient of the Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship. As a life-long learner and a passionate auxiliary services professional, this amazing award will afford me the opportunity to continue the invaluable participation in NACAS and NACAS South,” says Esmeralda Valdez. “I’ve learned so much from NACAS and fellow auxiliary services professionals through the various platforms (conferences, webinars, leadership seminars, etc.) and I’m eager to keep learning, as well as share some of that knowledge with new auxiliary services professionals.”

The scholarship was established in 2005 in honor of the late Mereese Ladson, Controller at Brooklyn College (CUNY). Ms. Ladson was a President and long-time leader of NACAS East and a great friend to the entire association. Her professionalism, commitment to inclusiveness for all, and leadership were sources of inspiration to our members.

“I am honored to have been selected for the Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship. I commend the NACAS organization for its commitment to professionalism and inclusiveness,” says Reginald Love. “Coming from a small university with limited resources, winning this scholarship will help me to continue my career growth and development as an auxiliary professional.”

Since its inception, the scholarship has provided professional development funds totalling approximately $15,000 to more than 22 individuals of minorities, races, or ethnic groups such as Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, Asian, American Indian or Alaskan Native, or Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander.

“I’m extremely grateful and honored to be a recipient of the Mereese Ladson Diversity Scholarship. It will allow me to continue my professional development to grow and learn to make positive impacts at work,” says Tricia Ejima-Zane. “Diversity and inclusion is of the utmost importance in higher education and I am passionate in my efforts to improve and enhance the student experience with the programs and services that we provide to support that.”

Founded in 1969 as the National Association of College Auxiliary Services, NACAS is a professional trade association that supports the non-academic segment of higher education responsible for generating business through a diverse array of campus services that students need and value – such as food services, bookstores, housing, and transportation. NACAS Members work at a leadership level within 4-year and 2-year colleges and universities located worldwide and oversee multiple auxiliary services, making executive decisions that shape them to create hospitable and well-rounded campus communities. As the leading organization supporting all campus services, NACAS is the community-of-choice for strategic leaders who advance campus environments to improve the quality of life for students.

About the NACAS Foundation
The NACAS Foundation is a non-profit, charitable 501(c)(3) corporation formed for the sole purpose of supporting and promoting the auxiliary services profession through NACAS. The Foundation supports the professional development and leadership opportunities necessary for NACAS members to be successful as they support higher education through auxiliary/campus services in an ever-changing environment. Through generous support of members and business partners, the Foundation has been able to help fund new professional development programs, assist in improving technology, support scholarships, provide research funds, and support the CASP certification.