Julie Payne-Kirchmeier, Associate Vice President and Chief of Staff for Student Affairs, received the Parthenon Award from the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International (ACUHO-I). She was awarded the association's highest honor for her outstanding achievement, service, leadership and contributions to the field of campus housing.
“Julie just makes a difference," Todd Adams, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at Northwestern University, and one of Payne-Kirchmeier's nominators, said. "There are very few people who you could add to any organization and say that person’s involvement will make that group better. That’s kind of rare, and Julie is one of those people.”
To be considered for the Parthenon Award, members must have contributed at least ten years of service in housing, residence life or an affiliated field, five years of service at the regional or international level with ACUHO-I, and have demonstrated an impact on the campus housing profession.
Payne-Kirchmeier was one of the five recipients nationwide that were awarded the honor on June 17 at the ACUHO-I Annual Conference & Exposition in Rhode Island.
Paul Riel, Assistant Vice President for Residential and Dining Services, also nominated Julie, and said that one way Payne-Kirchmeier's dedication is exemplified is though her contributions to the Housing Master Plan currently underway on campus. The initiative seeks to improve the student residential experience through the construction of five new residence halls and the renovation of 12 existing buildings.
"There were lots of hearts and minds, key individuals on campus to win over that may not have been as passionate about the project as we were," Riel said. "But Julie offered her wisdom and experience — by her personality, her presence, her countless presentations to explain the project — all of it was very helpful to the project."
Adams added that Payne-Kirchmeier is a known mentor on campus and always looking for ways to support others in their roles at Northwestern and beyond.
"She's an educator," Adams said, "and you don't have to formalize the setting for that to be true for Julie."
Payne-Kirchmeier began her professional career at Northwestern in 2012 as Assistant Vice President for Student Auxiliary Services. She has previously served in roles like Director of University Housing at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and Director of Housing and Residence Life at University of Southern Indiana.