Kennesaw State’s Thrive program takes top honors in national competition

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The Grand Gold award recognizes effort to helps students maintain GPAs and HOPE scholarships…

Georgia (Jan 24, 2013)The Grand Gold award recognizes effort to helps students maintain GPAs and HOPE scholarships

KENNESAW, Ga(Jan. 24, 2013)  — Kennesaw State University’s Thrive program for first-year students has taken top honors in a national competition that recognizes excellence and innovation in higher education.

The Thrive program is designed to help HOPE-eligible students maintain their GPAs and retain their scholarships. The program received a gold award from NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education in the Higher Education in the Careers, Academic Support, Service Learning, Community Service and Related Category.

It also won the Grand Gold award, the highest honor the organization bestows upon its members. Rutgers University was awarded a Grand Silver and Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University (Virginia Tech) won a Grand Bronze.

"We are absolutely thrilled by this award,” said Ralph J. Rascati,  associate vice president for advising, retention and graduation initiatives and the dean of University College.

Rascati continued: “This program, a partnership between the Center for Student Leadership and the Department of First-Year Programs in University College, is a great example of the positive effect that can be achieved when Student Affairs and Academic Affairs collaborate to achieve the common goal of student success. To have the largest organization of student affairs professionals recognize our efforts is a great honor."

Michael L. Sanseviro, the dean of student success at Kennesaw State, praised the program in his letter of support.  

“Thrive has designed a comprehensive support and social network that helps students create success while strengthening their foundation for future leadership,” Sanseviro said in his letter.  “The level of involvement I have witnessed from these incoming first-year students has far surpassed their peers.  I have also witnessed significant transformation in these students, both in a sense of personal purpose, but also in their dedication to remaining in college and specifically graduate from KSU.”

Kevin Kruger, president of NASPA, said: “The excellence awards embody the overarching goals set-forth by NASPA: to lead in the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. NASPA is comprised of outstanding members who work diligently to create a dynamic, high functioning, and nurturing learning environment for students in higher education. We are proud to promote the innovative work taking place on Kennesaw State’s campus, and encourage institutions to follow suit and join the movement."



NASPA – Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education ( is the leading association for the advancement, health, and sustainability of the student affairs profession. We serve a full range of professionals who provide programs, experiences, and services that cultivate student learning and success in concert with the mission of our colleges and universities. Founded in 1919, NASPA comprises more than 13,000 members in all 50 states, 29 countries, and 8 U.S. Territories. Through high-quality professional development, strong policy advocacy, and substantive research to inform practice, NASPA meets the diverse needs and invests in realizing the potential of all its members.


About Kennesaw State University

Kennesaw State University is the third-largest university in Georgia, offering more than 80 graduate and undergraduate degrees, including doctorates in education, business and nursing, and a new Ph.D. in international conflict management. A member of the University System of Georgia, Kennesaw State is a comprehensive, residential institution with a growing population of 24,600 students from more than 130 countries.


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