Two UMass Amherst Professionals Recognized by Organization for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education

Two UMass Amherst professionals have been recognized as NODA Regional Award winners for Region IX. NODA, the Association for Orientation, Transition and Retention in Higher Education, presents these awards as part of its mission of creating an inclusive community which enhances and elevates orientation, transition, and retention practices in higher education.


The 2023 Region IX Outstanding Professional Award is presented to Pearson, director of new student orientation and transitions at UMass Amherst.

The Outstanding Professional Award recognizes outstanding contributions of a professional to the field of orientation, transition, and retention. Contributions should include development or enhancement of a model orientation, transition, or retention program that meets the varied needs of students; leadership within NODA; and/or other significant contributions to the field. Recipients must have five or more years of professional experience in higher education.

The 2023 Region IX Outstanding Student Leader from a four-year institution is Cassidy Morrow. Morrow serves as a member of the New Student Orientation and Transitions’ Flagship Office Student Staff at UMass Amherst.

The Outstanding Student Leadership Award is designed to give special recognition to students for their creativity, energy, enthusiasm, and outstanding abilities, which are the backbone of any successful campus programs. This award will recognize undergraduate students leaders from two-year and four-year institutions as well as graduate student leaders.

One of nine regions, Region IX is comprised of the following states: New York, Vermont, Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island, as well as the provinces of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador and Prince Edward Island. The 2023 Region IX award winners were announced during a recent NODA Regional Conference.

Winners from Region IX will automatically advance for consideration in NODA’s annual awards process. Annual award winners will be announced at the NODA Annual Conference in October.