By Madeleine Mulford |
September 12, 2022

Director of Advancement in Arts Azela Santana and Director of Advancement in Humanities Chris Hixon received two of three 2022 UCF Advancement Core Values Awards.

The Excellence & Partnership Award, given to Santana, recognizes an employee who exemplifies collaboration in their work and creates opportunities to connect across the university. The Inclusivity Award, given to Hixon, recognizes an employee who is a champion for diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives.

The annual UCF Advancement Core Values Award was created in 2021 to celebrate the outstanding achievements of three professionals who have demonstrated integrity, inclusion, excellence and partnership in their careers. This year, the award received 15 nominations for employees exemplifying each of these core values. Three nominees were chosen by the Human Resources Advisory Committee (HRAC) to receive $1,000, a personalized award and lunch with leadership.

Santana’s recommendation letters from nominators cited her achievements in growing several alumni chapter boards, including the College of Arts and Humanities’ alumni chapter board from its infancy to now more than 15 members. She established a new major donor and annual donor membership and loyalty society within the college that continues to grow and thrive. Santana is also credited with creating a revamped, compelling and graphically exciting way for the college to communicate with its alumni, donors and friends.

“She involves all facets of the university in the work that she does, from faculty and students to alumni, friends and prospects,” a recommendation letter stated. “She’s utilized very little resources to do very extraordinary things, all with a smile.”

According to Hixon’s recommendation letters, he has made a significant impact in his role as a development officer and as chair of the Inclusion Council. He has helped create an open environment for diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI), both internally to UCF Advancement and externally with alumni.

“Chris definitely promotes an open, diverse, and supportive environment,” a recommendation letter stated. “Whenever something comes up related to DEI, whether it is a webinar or conference presentation or a new idea, concept or process, he is always happy and willing to talk through it. As a colleague, he is very open to questions, thoughts, and ideas, and never passes judgement during conversation.”