Dean of students receives award from national association

Oct 24, 2019

The National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) will be inducting Newman University Dean of Students Christine Schneikart-Luebbe into the Pillars of the Profession Class of 2020.

Schneikart-Luebbe’s history with NASPA goes back to 1995, with experience as a member, enrollment management chair, awards chair, president of her region for a three-year term and her current role as the marketing chair on the NASPA Foundation Board.  

From its 15,000 members, NASPA chooses only eight to 18 individuals to be in the Pillars of the Profession class each year. Schneikart-Luebbe said, “I was completely surprised and am very honored and humbled by this recognition.”

Each honoree is nominated by a chair who champions their cause and finds peers, supervisors and students to write letters of recommendation. Nominees must uphold one or all of three class standards:

  • Provided significant service to NASPA through regional and/or national leadership roles within the association.
  • Created a lasting impact on the institution(s)/organization(s) at which they have worked, leaving a legacy of extraordinary service recognized by a cross-section of institutional/organizational stakeholders.
  • Have demonstrated sustained, lifetime professional distinction in the field of student affairs and/or higher education.

The Pillars of the Profession class started in 1999 and is special to Schneikart-Luebbe because she took part in recognizing a significant figure in her life to the very first class. That figure, Jim Rhatigan, Ph.D., has served as a friend, mentor and role model to Schneikart-Luebbe for many years and is prominent in the student affairs community.

Lori Reesor, Vice President of Student Affairs at University of Wisconsin Madison and Kevin Kruger, President of NASPA posing with Christine Schneikart-Luebbe

“Jim is an icon in the profession, he was named to the very first class of pillars in 1999 and I was there to celebrate with him. Now here it is, all these years later, I find out that I’ve received this incredible honor, which I just can’t even wrap my brain around that I could be in the same class as Dr. Rhatigan and so many other tremendous colleagues.”

Her nomination was made even more special by learning that Rhatigan was involved in recommending her for the honor by writing a letter of support.

Schneikart-Luebbe has worked in a college atmosphere for her entire career. She has a passion for college students and said she loves the challenge and excitement of working with this population.  

“Students are why I got into this profession and students are why I remain. I love having a front-row seat to watch their collegiate journey unfold.”

During her career, she has worked in admissions, alumni relations, enrollment management and student life, serving student populations ranging from Newman’s nearly 3,000 students to a Big Ten school with more than 50,000 students.   

Schneikart-Luebbe said she is thankful to NASPA for the opportunities it has provided her.

Through NASPA and the connections she made in the organization, she was asked to help author the official Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education as an expert in the field of admissions. She has also learned much about the nuances of fundraising, serving on the Board of Directors for the NASPA Foundation Board. Like Newman, NASPA has underscored the value of giving back, an important focus for Schneikart-Luebbe.

Christine Schneikart-Luebbe poses with her twin sons Michael and Joseph

She also took part in conferences and national board meetings through NASPA and said, “To be seated at the table with people from around the country who are really the best in the profession is significant. The collective wisdom shared by my colleagues has profoundly impacted my life.”

Schneikart-Luebbe is grateful to her colleagues, her supervisors and former students who took time to nominate her for this prestigious award, she said. She is looking forward to attending the ceremony in Austin, Texas, to accept this honor in March 2020. She hopes that local friends, former students and nominators will be able to attend and celebrate with her.