Dr. Tina Barksdale, Wilmington University’s vice president of Student Affairs, Alumni Relations and Development, received the 2022 DAWN Leadership Award. Additionally, WilmU’s Professional and Continuing Education Coordinator Gabrielle “Gigi” Gaul was named a DAWN Rising Star. Both awards were presented virtually at the DAWN Annual Awards event.
DAWN (Delaware American Council on Education Women’s Network) grants its Leadership Award to a woman in higher education who excels in the industry and serves as a role model to its rising stars. Criteria are established by the American Council on Education Women’s Network, a national system of networks of which Delaware is a part.
Dr. Barksdale joined Wilmington University in 1995 and held roles that solidified her knowledge in student affairs, admissions, alumni relations, career services, student accessibility services, student conduct processes and development. She built a reputation as a collaborative leader adept at strategic management, assessment, fundraising and event planning. In 2010, she joined the President’s Cabinet and became a member of the University’s Executive Team. As a vice president, she plays an integral role in developing institutional priorities and strategic planning. She leads the offices of Alumni Relations, Development, Student Life, Student Accessibility Services, and Student Concerns. She is also an assistant professor in the College of Business and is affiliated with several organizations, including the American College Personnel Association. In addition, Dr. Barksdale served on DAWN’s Executive Committee from 2007 to 2015.
“I have had the privilege of working with Dr. Barksdale since she joined the University in 1995, and I have witnessed her professional growth, impeccable work ethic and passion for serving students,” says Wilmington University President Dr. LaVerne Harmon. “I am delighted that Dr. Barksdale’s years of dedicated service have been recognized.”
I am delighted that Dr. Barksdale’s years of dedicated service have been recognized.”
-Dr. LaVerne Harmon
According to DAWN Awards Committee members, “When examining Dr. Barksdale’s support and advocacy of student development and student success, along with her contributions to the field of higher education, she was the obvious choice.”
Dr. Barksdale was humbled by the designation. “I was so grateful to be chosen as this year’s DAWN Leadership Award recipient,” she says. “It was a huge honor to be recognized among many impressive women higher education leaders in Delaware. I’ve been very fortunate to work with and learn from remarkable leaders, especially my mentor, Dr. LaVerne Harmon, and extend my congratulations to all the nominees and award recipients.”
It was a huge honor to be recognized among many impressive women higher education leaders in Delaware. I’ve been very fortunate to work with and learn from remarkable leaders, especially my mentor, Dr. LaVerne Harmon, and extend my congratulations to all the nominees and award recipients.” -Dr. Barksdale
Gabrielle “Gigi” Gaul, the Rising Star Award recipient, is a passionate lifelong learner who has supported Wilmington University through roles in Online Learning, Educational Technology and Academic Affairs. She is also an adjunct instructor and values the opportunity to connect with students throughout their educational journeys.
As a Wilmington University student, Gaul chaired the Young Professionals Association. She continued to be an enthusiastic ambassador of her alma mater after earning a B.S. in Business Management and an MBA with a concentration in Organizational Leadership.
Gaul is a 2020 Recipient of the Fund for Women Driving Force Award and a current Leadership Delaware Fellow. She is also a tireless advocate for women and girls in Delaware, as evidenced by her service to area nonprofits.
“Ms. Gaul’s community contributions have been many, including service as a Fresh Start Scholarship Foundation committee member and a Delaware Fund for Women board member,” says Dr. Harmon. “We are humbled by her service to Wilmington University, her community and co-workers.” Wu