University at Albany

Excellence in Professional Service

Each year, the University at Albany honors special members of its community with Excellence Awards denoting exceptional contributions to the life of the campus. Three staff members received this tribute in 2003 for Excellence in Professional Service.

Dawn KakumbaDawn KakumbaAdvisement Services Center

Currently the assistant director for the Advisement Services Center/Undergraduate Studies office, University at Albany graduate Dawn Kakumba has served her alma mater well in several capacities since 1987. She was a pre-law adviser, an academic adviser and a senior academic adviser before taking over her current role three years ago. Kakumba is responsible for overseeing and running the daily functions of the department, and she supervises two full-time advisers.

An award-winning adviser who received a Certificate of Merit from the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisers in 2000, Kakumba also earned the Disabled Student Services Outstanding Achievement Award in 1996. She earned Affirmative Action Grants in 1989 and 1990.

Kakumba’s versatile background has helped to make her an outstanding administrator and adviser. She began her career as an instructor in remedial English and writing skills in the University’s Educational Opportunity Program in 1972. She went on to teach at the Albany Head Start program for two years before substitute teaching in the Albany School District in 1976. Kakumba was the joint owner and operator of her family’s real estate business for 14 years before getting back into academics as an instructor in intermediate English as a Second Language at the Junior College of Albany.

Kakumba was the coordinator for the Public and Community Service Project at Hudson Valley Community College before she rejoined the University. Kakumba is or has been a member of many organizations and committees, including the Women’s Concerns Committee, the Northeast Association of Pre-Law Advisers, the Black Women’s Association of Albany, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and the National Academic Advisers Association. She was also the facilitator for the New York State Association of Women in Higher Education Conference and was a University representative for the New York State Association of Women in Higher Education.

Excellence in Professional Service

Shirley Downey Dawn Kakumba Cheryl Savini


Cheryl Savini

Students participate in more than 200 student clubs and honor societies, and enjoy a busy calendar of campus events.