Ohio University

Professor Laura Harrison receives Philip A. Tripp Distinguished Service Award

Published: March 12, 2021 Author: Staff reports

Dr. Laura Harrison, professor in the Patton College’s Counseling and Higher Education Department, received the Philip A. Tripp Distinguished Service Award from the Ohio College Personnel Association (OCPA). 

The Philip A. Tripp Distinguished Service Award is presented annually by OCPA to a student affairs professional in recognition of extended illustrious service to the field. The selection criteria for the Philip A. Tripp Distinguished Service Award include a minimum of 15 years of professional involvement in the field of student affairs, as well as significant and outstanding contributions to the profession through administration, writing, teaching, research and service to professional organizations. 

Harrison has served as a higher education administrative practitioner for 15 years and a full-time faculty member for 10 years. After serving as the associate dean of students at Stanford University, she came to Ohio University, where she has been an excellent scholar, mentor and leader in the field. 

Harrison is a respected author and researcher, having written four books and 27 journal articles/book chapters in her career to date. Her latest book, “Teaching Struggling Students: Lessons Learned from Both Sides of the Classroom,” garnered much attention from higher education, as did a recent OCPA presentation about her research for the book and what she learned from being a student herself. 

“While there are many ways in which Laura has made a difference, I am most appreciative of Laura’s commitment to preparing student affairs graduate students for their work in the field,” said Pete Mather, professor and department chair in Counseling and Higher Education. “She has committed herself to understanding the needs of today’s college students and helping our program graduates understand how to competently respond to those needs.”

Dr. Harrison recently spent her sabbatical interviewing academically struggling students, and she is currently embarking on a research project about how students use the chat function in Microsoft Teams to support one another’s learning.

“I’m heartened that someone spent the time and energy on writing a strong nomination,” said Harrison. “That is a selfless act for which I’m very grateful.