Jodi Nelson - Student Affairs Service Awards 2010-11

Statement of Wonderfulness

In Celebration of

Jodi Nelson
Office of the VP for Student Affairs


Jodi Nelson has consistently gone above and beyond" in her efforts to improve   infrastructure, increase awareness and reduce stigma related to mental health on the OSU campus. She is acutely attuned to voices that may not be heard, and creates a space for these voices to be acknowledged, learned from and valued.


• Founded an OSU chapter of the national student group "Active Minds." Whose mission is to reduce stigma and increase awareness regarding student mental health.

• Advises our local chapter of Active Minds.  This chapter was honored recently as the 112010-Chapter of the Year" by the national organization, a significant accomplishment given the innovative work being done  across the United States by the other  249 chapters.

• Founded OSU's  “Allies for Active Minds” an online community for OSU staff and faculty who support friends and loved ones around mental health wellness

• Secured nationally renowned speakers for campus, Ross Szabo for the 2009 New Student Convocation, and Kay Redfield Jamison, for the annual Darkness to Daylight" symposium. Both of these speakers are part of campus-wide efforts to de-stigmatize mental health issues.

• Inspired the annual Classified Staff training days" for professional development and support.

• Worked tirelessly and courageously with the National Coalition Building Institute and to the Campus Coalition Builders at OSU, plus supporting other campuses in their journey.

Beyond the tangible accomplishments Jodi has provided, there are numerous personal qualities that are an inherent and wonderful part of who she is.

In her nomination, colleagues said -

• Jodi is a "gift" to OSU. She is one of the most generous people I've ever met in my life.

•   Jodi has the ability to welcome people to share their story. She consistently communicates an attitude of respect and valuing of the humanity of others, independent of demographics and organizational power hierarchies.

•   Jodi has an infectious smile that "warms" a conversation. Occasionally she couples this smile with her signature mischievous look.  This signals a plan she has created which inevitably is focused on work for the good of another person or the community as a whole. It's also a quite motivating invitation for others to work with her to carry this through.

•   There is something magic about Jodi's full commitment to her work.  She is a magnet for students or faculty looking for support or a listening ear.

And one more thing...

Jodi invites and is quite capable of being changed and challenged by others. That said, she is also able to maintain and communicate a strong sense of herself.  As a result   it's quite   rewarding to interact with her. We are challenged to be our best and to listen for the voices that others may not hear.

Thank you Jodi!

16th Annual Service Awards Celebration
Division of Student Affairs
Oregon State University
May 24, 2011