Important Updates about COVID-19

Read more about UNCP's response to COVID-19.

Parker Watson earns Outstanding Campus Activities Professional Award

Parker Watson
Parker Watson

Parker Watson, assistant director of UNC Pembroke's Office for Campus Engagement and Leadership (CEL) was recently awarded the Outstanding Campus Activities Professional Award from the National Association of Campus Activities.

The Outstanding Campus Activities Professional Award is presented annually to a NACA South staff member who best exemplifies outstanding achievement in the field of campus activities advisement.

Abdul Ghaffar, director of Campus Engagement and Leadership, was among the first to congratulate Watson.

“It’s wonderful to see Parker recognized by her peers. She has been an excellent Student Affairs professional for her six years at UNC Pembroke. She has developed our programming board into an outstanding group. In fact, PAC presented for the first time in five years in Atlanta and represented our university wonderfully.”

UNC Pembroke had five students attend the 2018 Regional Conference where they presented two sessions titled Family Matters and The Dirty South: Hip Hop’s Leadership Lessons for Programmers. The first session, Family Matters, was an interactive lecture which identified ways to establish a diverse and inclusive family in a campus community. The Dirty South presentation was an engaging, lecture-style educational session that utilized five lessons learned from hip-hop to inform the daily work of programmers. Ranging from “Don’t be fake” to “Stay relevant,” programmers walked away with a practical understanding of their work through a new lens.

“The conference provided a platform to showcase the innovative, collaborative programs we have at UNC Pembroke -- programs that keep our students engaged and involved on campus. I am proud of the recognition Parker received, and am thrilled our students who attended were able to gain such incredible experience, while also participating in national-level opportunities,” Ghaffar continued.

NACA is dedicated to providing leadership training and programming opportunities to students and staff from colleges and universities around the country. This conference is an opportunity for learning and interaction that complements the classroom experience. Because this is a national program, students from many states were able to share resources and exchange ideas. There were educational sessions addressing such topics as motivation, stress management, communication skills, decision making, ethical leadership, and group processing techniques.  

Past experiences have found the NACA South Regional Conference to be a valuable educational experience for all students attending. Many of the students return with new perspectives and more definite future goals. Much of what is learned can be applied as life management skills as well as being applied to improving the quality of campus life.

For more information about Campus Engagement and Leadership at UNC Pembroke, visit


NACA Conference

NACA Conference attendees from UNCP were Hannah Stiles (left) Malaysia Felder, Parker Watson, Shashamanne Lemons, and Naim Donaldson. Not pictured is Angelica McNair.