Naegeli, Cofrancesco earn national society honor
By Ashlee Larrison
GCU News Bureau
The National Society of Collegiate Scholars has more than 300 chapters.
The largest is at Grand Canyon University, which has nearly 7,000 members.
And now GCU has the top two advisors. Honors College Dean Dr. Breanna Naegeli and Program Manager Anya Cofrancesco were selected as the NSCS Chapter Co-Advisor Team of the Year.
“It is a huge deal for us,” Naegeli said. “But it’s also very honoring and humbling to receive the recognition, knowing how competitive these chapters are.”
Said Cofrancesco, “It’s not without our students. It’s them who create, build and host events and us, as co-advisors, who come alongside them to help them in the process and ensure that we have another successful year.”
Sharing the award with Naegeli, her mentor for years, made it that much more meaningful for Cofrancesco.
“I am recognized alongside a dean, so that is huge,” she said with a smile. “When I started as a co-advisor, we were making significant strides, but it wasn’t at that level yet.
“Over the years we’ve exponentially grown. And now, being the largest chapter and winning the co-advisor team of the year, it’s pretty remarkable.”
Since GCU’s NSCS chapter began in 2014, it has secured platinum status twice, in 2018-19 and 2020-21. NSCS’s platinum status is reserved for its top performing chapters based on their ability to uphold the organization’s three pillars: scholarship, leadership and service.
But for Naegeli and Cofrancesco, it’s not about the accolades and recognition. Their main concern is positively impacting GCU students, both traditional and online.
“Having just been a part of eight of the 11 recent Commencement ceremonies, what has been really exceptional to see is all of the students wearing the graduation regalia that represents this organization specifically,” Naegeli said. “This is one of the ways that online and traditional campus students can graduate with honors.
“To see so many students, across each and every ceremony, wearing the NSCS stole, the cords, the medallion, it really re-enforced the work that Anya and I do alongside the board.”
With so much overlap between NSCS’s pillars and those held by the Honors College, it makes sense that chapter would prioritize the continued growth of all three pillars every year.
“I think this academic year, and even the recent years, has really laid a very strong foundation for what this organization has the opportunity to do moving forward,” Naegeli said. “We’re really proud of those recent successes and accolades that have been received, but this year, specifically, I think we built a lot of really good, strong momentum.
“Our brand awareness is starting to improve throughout the online and the traditional campus community, and I think it’s only going to continue to grow from here.”
Contact Ashlee Larrison at (602) 639-8488 or [email protected].