Georgia State University Student Club Wins National Nonprofit Leadership Award

CHICAGO–The Georgia State University chapter of the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance (NLA) has been recognized as the best chapter in the United States at the organization’s national conference in Chicago.

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Jennifer French Giarratano
The 2014 Sprint Campus Program Excellence Award was presented to the chapter members attending the conference in a presentation on Jan. 7.

“We are very proud of our students in the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance,” said Mary Beth Walker, dean of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, which houses Georgia State’s chapter.

“This award not only recognizes the ongoing excellence of one of the university’s top programs in student engagement, it’s also an endorsement of the larger nonprofit community in Atlanta and its support of our students through internships and other mentoring activities. From every angle, it’s a win-win.”

The award recognizes the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance campus chapter that exemplifies best practices in nonprofit career preparation and growth. These practices include completions in the Certified Nonprofit Professional program, member and event participation, the blend of nonprofit coursework and internships, frequent interaction among members and community leaders, and strong relationships between the campus program and its local nonprofit community.

Students participating in the Georgia State chapter represent every academic level and all types of degrees, said NLA chapter adviser Maggie Tolan, director of career services and student life for the Andrew Young School. She has watched the club grow from three students to as many as 130 since its inception in 2008.

“The award recognizes that our campus has strong career leadership,” Tolan said. “We are in a big city with awesome internships, and our students do more than the minimum number. They often work in up to four internships, when only one is required for certification.”

The NLA chapter winning the award has about 85 members, Tolan said. Those attending the Chicago conference were helped, in part, by a matching grant offered by Andrew Young School advisory board members Sam and Angie Allen.

“The Allens have helped sponsor 100 students at the last two NLA conferences,” Tolan said. “We would have not been able to send these students and meet the NLA requirement for the award had it not been for their grant. We are all grateful to the Allens for giving our students this opportunity. Their support has meant a major return on investment for the Atlanta community.”