Cameron University Director of Student Activities Zeak Naifeh was honored by the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) Central Region with the Markley Award during the organization’s annual conference last week. The Markley Award recognizes an individual who is regarded as a positive role model for students, professional staff and associates in addition to involvement in and contributions to the NACA Central Region as well as in the field of student activities.
One nominator emphasized Naifeh’s dedication and loyalty to the NACA Central Region, writing, “The Central Region has faced many challenges from volunteer transitions to dwindling numbers. Throughout all of the challenges, Zeak has continued to serve the region and has played a pivotal role in several regional conferences. His loyalty to the students, professional staff and association has made him a role model and mentor for others. Without his contributions, the NACA Central region would not be the same.”
Naifeh has been a mainstay in the NACA Central Region as a volunteer leader for several years. He has served as Featured Speaker/Professional Development Coordinator, Communications Coordinator, Logistics Coordinator and, this year, Regional Conference Program Chair. In addition to serving the Central Region, Naifeh has contributed to NACA through other roles. In 2009, he served on the Huge Leadership Weekend staff during the transition of the program from a regional workshop to a national summer institute and as the 2010 Huge Leadership Weekend Coordinator. He has also assisted with educational session reviewing, showcase selection and many other components of NACA.
Another nominator mentioned Naifeh’s commitment to engaging students. “He has been impactful in the creation of new programs (at Cameron), including several to increase school spirit,” the nomination says. “He started a program called Rolling with the Aggies, where students are taken in the Cameron Aggie Bus to away athletic competitions to cheer on our teams. Zeak worked with Admissions staff to implement an overnight retreat for freshmen called Aggie Escape, which is held prior to the beginning of the fall semester. Zeak has also been vital to the development of traditions, including combining Alumni Weekend and Homecoming, hosting Battle of the Bands, and creating a specific ‘pickaxe’ hand sign and incorporating that in our campus fight song.”
Naifeh, a native of Durant, joined the CU staff in 2006. As Director of Student Activities, Naifeh is responsible for coordination of student organizations and advisement of the Student Government Association and the Programming Activities Council. He is also responsible for leadership, community service and Greek Life, as well as serving as advisor for the first-year students in the Presidential Leaders and University Scholars (PLUS) program.
October 27, 2011