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2018 - SCUP Distinguished Service Award Recipient

Niraj Dangoria

Niraj Dangoria, Associate Dean, Facilities Planning and Management, School of Medicine, Stanford University.

The SCUP Distinguished Service Award (DSA) recognizes exceptional contributions to the activities and success of the society. The award this year is presented to Niraj Dangoria for his long, diverse, and committed service to the society. Niraj was president of the board from 2012 to 2013 during a critical implementation period for the society’s new strategic governance model. His open dialogue and transparency with members facilitated the smooth transition. “We hosted town hall forums where people could come in and respond to what we were trying to do. At the time, SCUP was also separating from the University of Michigan and becoming an independent organization. In hindsight, it was an incredibly powerful experience for me.” The following year, he led the governance & leadership committee and the presidential task force, resulting in the hiring of our current SCUP President.

From his first leadership position on the professional development committee, to the Pacific regional council, five annual conference program committees, and the board of directors, Niraj has consistently looked at ways to rethink and build opportunities for the organization.

Looking back on his 25 years as a member, “I've always felt that SCUP and my job have had a yin yang experience, where the work that I did at SCUP benefited my leadership development at my job. And my job gave me the presence and the fortitude to be an agent of change at SCUP. So they both went together hand in hand. I was better and stronger for one influencing the other.”

He adds, “I was one of the few people who got involved in SCUP in my 20s and have always advocated for a greater demographic diversity in SCUP. It's taken a long time to get there, but I'm seeing that at SCUP now, which is really wonderful to see.”

“It is very satisfying personally and professionally that the membership and the organization feel that I have added value to the society.”

By bestowing this award, the SCUP Board of Directors honors and recognizes Niraj’s significant contributions to the Society for College and University Planning.