The National Institute for the Study of Transfer Students has named Pacific University’s Denise Price-Giesbers among its winners of the Inaugural Bonita C. Jacobs Transfer Champions Award.
Giesbers serves multiple roles on campus, Director of the Office of Transfer Student Services, Director of the Pacific Information Center and New Student Orientation. She joined four other honorees in Atlanta, Ga. on Feb. 6 to receive her award during the institute’s Transfer Champions Luncheon.
She was proud to receive this award not only for herself but also because it represents that Pacific University has made efforts to provide for the needs of the transfer cohort.
Giesbers further stated that it was the mission of her office to assist transfers from the time they begin at the university through graduation and often times beyond.
The awardees were chosen through blind selection by an organization not actually connected to transfers. Giesbers was one of 15 people nominated for the inaugural award.
An all-time high 23.3 percent of the 549 undergraduate students new to Pacific this year are transfers from another college or university. Pacific’s current undergraduate enrollment of 1,713 at the Forest Grove Campus includes 270 transfer students. And of the transfer students who have enrolled at Pacific, retention has exceeded 82 percent each year for the past decade with a high mark of 97.4 percent.
Psychology professor Alyson Burns-Glover, who nominated Giesbers for the award, attributes much of the increases to Giesbers’ efforts. Recommendations were also submitted by former Pacific president Phil Creighton and alumnae Jan Nerenberg.
Currently a PhD candidate at Aberystwyth University in Wales, Nerenberg from class of ’09 is one of many Pacific alumni who credits Giesbers for her success.
Under Giesbers’ leadership, the office of transfer student services has provided individual support to more than 300 students and developed into a full-service center. A lounge for transfer students to collaborate and study in, and an orientation program customized to meet their specific needs are just two of the office’s key products that Giesbers brought to fruition.
Price-Giesbers came to Pacific as a transfer student herself, and experienced what she calls “transfer shock.” First as an undergraduate student, and now as a staff member, she advocates for both transfer and non-traditional students, including military veterans and those returning to school after a prolonged period away from the classroom.