Matty Kerr, South Dakota State University’s program adviser-university traditions, received the Campus Advisor of the Year Award at Dance Marathon Leadership Conference 2020. The Campus Advisor of the Year Award recognizes an advisor or team of advisors that has gone above and beyond in supporting the Dance Marathon organization on their campus.
While Kerr knew she was nominated, she screamed and started to cry when notified she was the winner.
“It is nice to be recognized for the work and genuine passion and care I put into my role. To read what the students wrote in their nomination … Wow … Instant tears,” Kerr ’16 said. “It can be hard to gauge an advising relationship with a student; to know where you are at and if you are connecting with them or not. It was made clear to me that I can connect with my students in a variety of meaningful ways. It is an incredible privilege to get to do this work and is one that I do not take lightly.”
Kerr acknowledges the award would not be possible if it weren’t for the students who put on events, such as State A Thon.
“I wish that the students would have received recognition for their efforts,” she said. “From putting on a phenomenal Hero Day event last fall to grilling hot dogs outside the union and, last but not least, their remarkable efforts in pairing with USD there are far more to celebrate with their work than anything I have done.”
The 2020 version of State A Thon, officially known as the South Dakota Dance Marathon, raised $242,605.20 for the families at Sanford Children's Hospital. In addition to being virtual, SDSU and the University of South Dakota combined efforts to hold the South Dakota Dance Marathon.
Nominators submitted the following comments:
- “Matty Kerr is my favorite kind of leader. She is the kind of leader that made me more confident in my abilities and more prepared to address obstacles. Any leader that makes the people they interact with feel eager to put in work and confident in the work they are doing is the type leader I am willing to follow—this is Matty Kerr. She is a genuinely good person that channels her leadership and hard work into putting positive change into the world.”
- “Matty is the kind of mentor I hope every young adult can have at some point in their college years. The impact she has made on my personal and professional life is second to none. It still amazes me the amount of time and energy she invests in organizations and the students that lead them. Matty doesn’t just get the job done by crossing off items on a checklist. She realizes that ‘work worth doing’ requires more than discipline or talent, but also effort and sincere passion for the cause. Matty has taught me to always give my best but never be too hard on myself. She truly wants to give student leaders the opportunity to grow, learn and achieve something bigger than themselves.”
- “Matty is an amazing asset to SDSU State A Thon. From her constant willingness to advocate for the organization to her unending support for each of us, Matty is a huge factor in State A Thon’s many successes (even though she will never take the credit). Matty truly cares about her role as an advisor and goes above and beyond to help us grow as leaders, she makes sure we have all the tools we need to be successful and is always a listening ear when you need to talk. Matty is more than deserving of a nomination for advisor of the year!”
About the Miracle Network Dance Marathon
Miracle Network Dance Marathon is a movement powered by over 300,000 college students on 300 campuses across North America. These students work tirelessly throughout the year to raise funds one dollar at a time by making the ask to family and friends. Their hard work culminates in a six to 40-hour celebration on their campus, where participants have the opportunity to rally together as a community for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital. Students involved in Dance Marathon gain valuable skills in fundraising, peer management, delegation and philanthropy. Miracle Network Dance Marathon programs have collectively raised more than $200 million since 1991. For more information, visit https://dancemarathon.childrensmiraclenetworkhospitals.org/dance-faq/.