Kopita, Cox being honored by Alumni Association

9:26:40 AM CDT - Thursday, January 18, 2007

A WSU administrator and his executive assistant, both of whom are get-it-done people, will be honored by the Alumni Association next week during its annual awards banquet.

Ron Kopita, vice president for campus life and university relations, will receive the University Recognition Award, while his assistant, Ginger Cox, will receive the Laura Cross Distinguished Service Award. The pair, along with five other recipients, will be honored at the Jan. 25 Alumni Association’s awards banquet, starting at 6 p.m. at the Wichita Marriott Hotel, 9100 E. Corporate Hills Drive.

Student advocacy is, and always has been, one of Kopita’s top priorities. Kopita came to Wichita State in 1999, after having been a student affairs administrator at California State University-Northridge and Moorhead University in Minnesota. At Cal State-Northridge, Kopita was twice honored with an award given to administrators by students for being active on student-rights issues.

In his job leading WSU’s division for campus life and university relations, he has continued to live up to that hype, proving to be the popular go-to guy for students with questions or concerns about university policy. With his upbeat attitude, he’s also become a favorite of faculty and staff. Thanks to Kopita’s creative energy in starting a fall convocation in 2000, students are welcomed to WSU in a large party-like atmosphere at the beginning of the fall semester.

Cox, who has worn many hats in her 28 years at WSU as a student and staff member, has joined with Kopita to form an energetic atmosphere in the campus life and university relations’ head office.

Valued for her broad base of WSU-related knowledge, “Ask Ginger” is a phrase often heard around the division. Starting as a clerk for the coordinator of orientation and advising services back in 1978, Cox moved up to accountant, then manager of the campus post office before becoming the vice president’s secretary and assistant. Cox is also a tireless volunteer, serving on various committees ranging from the Council of University Women to the Senior Honor Men and Women committee.

Cox is having a banner year of recognition. She was honored in November with the Support Staff Recognition Award from the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators.

The other recipients of the Alumni Association awards are:
• Bob White ’71/76, with the WSU Alumni Achievement Award, the highest honor bestowed by the association on a university graduate. An agri-business executive, White continues to actively support WSU as a member of several university boards, including the National Advisory Council.

• Paul Allen ’70, a former president of the Alumni Association, with the WSU Alumni Recognition Award honoree. He is CEO of the Wichita-based accounting firm Allen, Gibbs & Houlik.

• internationally lauded mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato ’92, with the Young Alumna Award. Her operatic performances have garnered her great acclaim, including the prestigious Richard Tucker Award in 2002.

• Harold and Ruth ’48 Scheer, with the first-ever Award of Distinction, a new honor that will be presented only when merited for significant and unique contributions to the university and/or society. Harold, a retired dentist, and Ruth, author of a number of children’s books, are unflagging WSU supporters.

— Compiled by Amy Geiszler-Jones

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