Alicia Hayes, UC Berkeley Prestigious Scholarships Manager and Advisor in the Office of Undergraduate Research (OURS), was awarded the 2021 McCray Exemplary Service Award from the National Association of Fellowships Advisors (NAFA). NAFA is a professional organization that enables fellowship advisors and scholarship foundations to foster growth in scholarship applicants. On July 15, NAFA honored Hayes in appreciation for her dedicated leadership and service to their organization. Jessica Stewart, Director, Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarships, shared, “We at OURS take great pride in Alicia’s accomplishments and are thrilled to see her leadership recognized on the national stage. Alicia has a transformative impact on the students she advises and is a terrific asset to our community.”
Hayes has served NAFA for over 20 years, keeping diversity, equity, and inclusion at the forefront of recruiting and mentoring efforts during many years on the Membership Committee. She also mentored dozens of new NAFA members throughout their professional development.
In supporting Hayes’ nomination for the NAFA award, Payge Jennings, National Fellowships Coordinator at the University of South Carolina, wrote that Alicia “is always engaged, thoughtful in her communication, and collaborative,” and that “the ideas and work that she produces is always reflective of the excellence that we hope to promote in our profession.”
The McCray Exemplary Service Award calls for members ‘whose work is largely unseen by the general membership, but is crucial to the fabric of the organization.’ Jennings also commended Hayes' behind-the-scenes mentorship and leadership contributions, noting “her presence as a Black woman in NAFA has been invaluable, and her advocacy for expanding access to NAFA and national fellowships to diverse populations does not go unnoticed.”
NAFA President, Craig Filar, stated, “Alicia epitomizes the spirit and mission of our organization: promoting the full potential of fellowship candidates through the application process, and fostering the continued growth and professionalization of fellowship advising in higher education.”