Special Awards – Chapter Excellence Award and Honorary Life Membership

2020 Higher Education HR Awards

CUPA-HR’s National Chapter Excellence Award
Goes to the South Carolina Chapter

CUPA-HR’s Chapter Excellence Award recognizes a CUPA-HR chapter that is making a significant impact through its commitment to the association and to the higher ed HR community. The CUPA-HR South Carolina Chapter received the Chapter Excellence Award for its mentoring program, designed to boost its leadership pipeline and ensure continuity of programs and services provided by the chapter. The mentoring program matches experienced college and university HR professionals with students seeking professional development in the HR field. These relationships are meant to strengthen the pipeline of students entering the HR profession in South Carolina, creating a bridge for them to become future contributing members of CUPA-HR.

The recipient of the national Chapter Excellence Award is selected from the recipients of CUPA-HR’s four regional Chapter Excellence Awards. This year’s regional award recipients were the Maryland, Minnesota, Oregon and South Carolina chapters.


CUPA-HR Honorary Life Membership
Awarded to Three CUPA-HR Leaders

Honorary Life Membership is the highest honor for recognizing retiring CUPA-HR members who have demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the higher education HR profession and long-term leadership in the association. This year’s Honorary Life Membership recipients are:

Barbara Carroll
Retired Associate Vice Chancellor and Chief HR Officer at Vanderbilt University
Barbara Carroll has been a member of CUPA-HR for nearly 30 years and has made significant contributions to the association’s work. She has been a tireless advocate in the public policy arena, serving for three years as chair of CUPA-HR’s public policy committee and working closely for many years with the association’s government relations team in Washington, D.C., on several issues affecting higher ed. She has also been actively involved in CUPA-HR’s research endeavors, serving for several years as the primary advisor to the association’s research team, and helping facilitate a restructuring and redesign of the association’s salary surveys. In 2015-16, she served as chair of CUPA-HR’s board of directors and has served as a mentor to emerging CUPA-HR leaders. Carroll’s career in higher education spans 40 years, which includes 30 years in human resources. Carroll retired in October 2019.


John Martin
Director of Client Services at Princeton University
John Martin has been an active member of CUPA-HR since 2012, holding several leadership positions, including member of the CUPA-HR national board of directors, chair of the Eastern Region board of directors, and chair of CUPA-HR’s public policy committee. He played a key role in the creation of the CUPA-HR Chapter Excellence Award and has presented on a number of diversity, equity and inclusion topics at CUPA-HR’s Annual Conference and Wildfire programs. Martin’s HR career spans more than 30 years, and he has served as the director of client services at Princeton University since 2016. Prior to joining Princeton University in 2004, he worked in HR business partner roles at Dun and Bradstreet, Chase Manhattan Bank and R.H. Macy’s & Co. Martin is planning to retire in December 2020.


Nicole Norian
Retired Associate Vice Chancellor at University of North Carolina Asheville
Nicole Norian has been a member of CUPA-HR since 1984, holding leadership positions that include member of the CUPA-HR national board of directors, chair of the Midwest Region board of directors, and member of the search committee for the association’s executive director in 2005. She received the Midwest Region’s Creative Achievement and Publications Award in 1995 and the Midwest Region’s Outstanding Service Award in 1998. She has also presented at numerous CUPA-HR conferences. Norian’s career in HR spans 35 years, and she has served as a chief HR officer since 1989. Before her position at UNC Asheville, she served as director of HR at Nevada State College, Johnson County government in Kansas, Central Missouri State University and Emporia State University. Norian retired from her position as associate vice chancellor at UNC Asheville in August 2019.