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Keith Shawn Smith Chancellor's Award

In remembrance of Keith Shawn Smith, Carolina Housing has created the Keith Shawn Smith Chancellor's Award for Community Development and Mentorship. The award is granted to the Resident Advisor that has created a strong community, meaningful mentoring relationships, and campus connections. Most importantly, the RA must have made a positive impact in the lives of their residents and on the community they serve.


Resident Advisors in good standing with Carolina Housing, and in good academic standing with the University, are eligible for this award.

RA Nominations

Residents within the community can nominate their RA for the award. The nomination must include:

  • One (1) initial nomination testimonial of the impact of the RA in areas of community building, making connections with the campus community and resources, mentoring and leadership (no more than 500 words).
  • At least two additional (2) letters of support (submitted independently, no more than 500 words) from residents in the RA's community (wing, floor, etc.)


A committee comprised of leaders from Carolina Housing, Residence Hall Association (RHA) and National Residence Hall Honorary (NRHH) will review all nominations that meet the award criteria to select one recipient.


The recipient of this award receives a ceremonial plaque, as well as a monetary award.

About Keith Shawn Smith

Keith Shawn Smith served as a Resident Advisor for the third floor of Stacy Hall in the Old Campus Lower Quad Community during the 2005–06 academic year. During his short career here at UNC, Keith Shawn epitomized the efforts of a great RA. He motivated and coached his residents about Carolina and about life.

He helped to develop a bond in his community that grew very strong. That strength helped the community survive February 24, 2006, the day that a tragic accident unexpectedly ended the life of Keith Shawn Smith.

Keith encouraged the setting of personal goals and identifying future aspirations. He connected with his residents, getting to know each one individually. He connected his residents to each other and to campus life. The residents of the third floor of Stacy looked to Keith Shawn as a mentor. They became invested in themselves and in the success of their community.

Watch the video to hear how Keith Shawn's residents adored him and continue to get together to this day to celebrate his life and the impact he had on their group of lifelong friends.

Previous Recipients:

  • 2020-21: Paige Pennebaker
  • 2019-20: Richard Fernandez
  • 2018-19: Christian Dickens
  • 2017-18: Victoria Kwon
  • 2016-17: Nyla Numan
  • 2015-16: Madison Alexander
  • 2014-15: Deanna Zhong
  • 2013-14: Jasmine Sun
  • 2012-13: Christopher Silva
  • 2011-12: Michael Goodling
  • 2010-11: Leigh Fairley
  • 2009-10: Nicole Watts
  •  2008-09: Latreicia Allen
  •  2007-08: Bria Marcelo
  • 2006-07: Sekou Sidibe
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