CAB honored with national award

Olivia Jacobs

Junaid Ali, Wah Chook, Valerie Villanueva and Kevin Carey celebrating their NACA award.
Photo: Illinois Wesleyan University

Illinois Wesleyan’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) won the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) award for Outstanding Programming Organization of the year. CAB also received a marketing award for its fall 2020 calendar poster during NACA’s virtual ceremony on Thursday, Feb. 18. 

The students of CAB who were recognized with these awards include Director, senior Junaid Ali, Lead Programmer, junior Wah Chook, Operations Coordinator, junior Viktoriya Salgalova, Public Relations Coordinator, senior Grant Werner, Marketing Coordinator, sophomore Valerie Villanueva and Lead Programmer, senior Lucas Wheat. 

“Student Involvement is so proud of these students and are proud to uplift the hard work and detail-oriented work they do for our campus community. They have made campus come alive as a vibrant, student-centered space,” Director of Student Involvement Kevin Carey said. 

 NACA is the umbrella organization CAB belongs to where they receive educational development and access to booking artists and performers for the campus. NACA recognizes students and organizations that transform college communities through inclusive learning, meaningful connections and engaging entertainment.

“We would have never received this award if it wasn’t for all of us on the CAB executive team working together and getting things done. With incredible help from our advisors Kevin and Kasey, we were able to create and run events that we thought the IWU community would enjoy. Thank you all for showing up to our events, we love seeing the support,” Ali said.

 CAB was one of four schools competing for this award where over 120 colleges and universities are eligible to apply in the Mid-American region which includes Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and Michigan. This is the second time that CAB has won the award for outstanding programming, with the first time being back in 2012. 

“Personally, this award means that the work and effort I’ve put into CAB for the past few years is valued and that it meant something. I think I am most proud of our perseverance. It was daunting to me at first, I was thinking ‘how am I supposed to fulfill my position when we are all at home’, but we did it and we are still rocking it,” Chook said. 

Carey said he has seen how the executive members of CAB are not just one-dimensional leaders throughout the past year and a half in his current role. He has also seen them engage in research, as RAs, TOL leaders, athletes and leaders of several different RSOs. 

“I believe the persistence in the pandemic and quick pivoting to continue creating engagement opportunities for campus sets CAB apart from the rest. CAB is certainly an anchor organization in our Titan community,” Carey said. 

CAB will have produced over 25 events by the end of the semester. Carey said that the way they’ve been able to adapt to COVID-19 is truly inspiring and they are still able to come up with ideas and have conversations even when feeling burnt out. 

“We’ve really been able to adapt while still catering to what the campus wants. We’ve been able to host some of our signature events on a virtual platform and have gotten the same if not more engagement. We have been able to provide for the students who are on campus as well as the students who are remote. It feels like we’ve done it all,” Chook said.

CAB is currently in the process of recruiting individuals to apply to serve in one of five roles on the CAB executive team. Students who are interested in applying can fill out this form. Applications close on March 8.