Kennesaw State recognized for excellence by Association of Georgia Housing Officers


  Residence Life sweeps three of six categories including most innovative program KENNESAW,…

Georgia (Oct 28, 2009) — Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 70 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including new doctorates in education, business and nursing. A member of the 35-unit University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing student population of more than 22,300 from 142 countries.  

Residence Life sweeps three of six categories including most innovative program

KENNESAW, Ga. (Oct. 25, 2009) — Kennesaw State University received three out of six statewide awards at the Association of Georgia Housing Officers’ annual conference, Oct. 15-16, including the Georgia Gee Whiz Award for Tea Time, judged the most innovative program by a housing or residence life department.
“Our department has previously won many statewide honors from GHO but this is the highest number of awards we have won simultaneously.” KSU Residence Life Director Michael Sanseviro said. “We were particularly honored because there were dozens of nominees from more than 20 institutions.”
Tea Time is an informal weekly gathering where the Residence Life staff and university administrators, faculty and other staff members meet with students over tea and snacks to discuss topics ranging from current events to campus life. It was an idea that came about by accident.
“Residence Life had grown rapidly and expanded into five separate offices across campus, so we were discussing ways to help connect students to their resident assistants and our staff ,” said Sanseviro.  “A new coffee shop had just opened in the freshman suites and the manager, a delightful British woman, shared stories of grand tea times back in England, so when we opened the new main office location, we catered a high tea.The event was so well received that we decided to make it a weekly event.”
According to Sanseviro, Tea Time has not only created a new campus tradition, but also provided an opportunity for the staff to get direct feedback from students about their housing experience and gave students an opportunity to meet faculty, chairs and deans in a less-threatening environment.
In addition to the Gee Whiz Award, Associate Director of Residence Life Jeff Cooper won the Outstanding Professional Award, which recognizes a university housing or residence life employee who has positively impacted the professional and personal development of students and staff.
“Jeff’s first project was to create a comprehensive staff development model that addressed professional and personal growth for our department,” Sanseviro said. “He had it fully implemented in time for our summer staff retreat less than a month after his arrival. He also revamped and expanded resident assistants training and researched and implemented a pilot First-Year Residential Experience program.” 
Justin Koonz, coordinator of residence life for University Village Suites building 3000, won the Vickie Hawkins Outstanding New Professional Award, presented to a housing or residence life employee who, in their first three years on the job, demonstrates outstanding performance to their campus and exhibits potential for a successful career in housing or residence life.
“Justin serves as coordinator for a new first-year experience building in the first suite complex at KSU,” Sanseviro explained. “Working with his resident assistants, he created one of the strongest staff teams on campus.”
Koonz also became involved in a number of critical campus projects including logistical oversight for programs like the “Get In Gear” activities offered at the beginning of each semester, Sanseviro said.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit