Member Awards

ACUA Awards Applications

Deadline for submissions - July 31

  • Member Excellence in Service Award - This Award recognizes a member who has made outstanding contributions to the mission of ACUA through exceptional service.
  • Outstanding Professional Contributions Award - This Award recognizes a member who has made outstanding and noteworthy contributions to the profession of internal auditing in higher education.
  • Rising Star Award - This Award recognizes an “up-and-coming” member who has made significant individual contributions in the areas of internal audit, compliance, or risk management that furthers the mission of ACUA.

2018 Award Recipients 

Member Excellence in Service Award 2018
The 2018 Member Excellence in Service Award was presented to Gail Klatt from the University of Minnesota.

Klatt served ACUA and its members in many roles over her 24+ year audit career! Her long list of accomplishments includes:

  • Chairing the ACUA Awards Committee from 2011–2015. During this time, she led the creation of the Rising Star Award.
  • Speaking at ACUA and other conferences, including the Society for Corporate Compliance and Ethics and the IIA.
  • Serving on ACUA’s nominating committee, the Host Committee for the Annual Conference held in Minneapolis, and many times as a proctor.
  • Mentoring many ACUA members. For example, she served as the co-champion/ executive sponsor for the “ACUA Leads!” program cohorts. She also has served on QAR teams for many ACUA institutions. One colleague shared that Gail coached her on developing an audit plan and enterprise risk management program, and that she taught her more than any training session, especially on how to run an effective and wellrespected audit function.
  • It is not just ACUA she serves--Gail is also very active in the Twin Cities Chapter of the IIA as well as the Big Ten Audit Director’s group.
  • She received ACUA’s Outstanding Professional Contributions Award in 2010.
Outstanding Professional Contributions Award 2018
The 2018 Outstanding Professional Contributions Award was presented to Mark Salamasick from the University of Texas System.

Salamasick has a unique background of over 40 years of service to the internal audit profession and has been involved with ACUA for over 10 years. He has served not only as a successful audit practitioner, but also as an innovative leader in educating future internal auditors and promoting the profession of internal auditing. His long list of accomplishments include:
  • Building one of the world’s largest and most successful internal audit education programs, with many of his students highlighted as rising stars and future leaders by the Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA), as well as serving in audit departments and leadership positions within higher education.
  • Co-authoring a textbook on internal auditing used at colleges and universities around the world, which is considered to be the primary textbook on internal audit, as well as writing many other internal audit books and materials.
  • Establishing an Internal Audit endowment that is now valued at over $1 million. Also, his dedication to internal audit students was recognized through the establishment of an IT audit endowment in his name (now valued at over $100K) to fund scholarships to future IT auditors.
  • Serving on numerous IIA boards and committees, including the Academic Relations Committee, that focus on building the internal audit profession and elevating all university internal audit programs, including defining research and writing priorities for the industry. In the past few months he worked with a team from a university in Bulgaria to help them establish an internal audit program.
  • Speaking at numerous ACUA, IIA, ISACA, and other audit conferences and on webinars. In fact, at the 2008 ACUA Annual Conference, the planned general session speaker had a last minute emergency and conference planners asked Salamasick, sitting in the crowd, to speak. In true fashion he immediately got up, went and changed into a suit and tie, and did an outstanding job speaking at the session on a very timely topic: the Future of our Profession!

Rising Star Award 2018
The 2018 Rising Star Award was presented to Kara Kearney-Saylor from Buffalo University.

Kearney-Saylor has been an outstanding contributor to ACUA initiatives. A member since 2006, she participated in the 2nd Cohort of the “ACUA Leads!” program. She served on the membership committee, has been an annual conference speaker, and now chairs the Standards and Best Practices Committee. She also assisted ACUA with helping “Kick Start the Kick Start” program! Besides being one of the program’s initial authors, writing the International Activities program, she was also a valuable member of the task force that imagined and brought to fruition this new member service.

Past Winners

Member Excellence in Service Award
2018 Gail Klatt University of Minnesota
2017 Doug Horr Vanderbilt University
2016 Laura Buchhorn University of Texas - San Antonio
2015 Julia Hann Georgia College & State University
2014 Richard Dawson University of Texas-San Antonio
2013 Betsy Bowers Univ. of West Florida
2012 Kathryn Kapka The Univ. of Texas at Tyler
2011 Kimberly F. Turner Texas Tech University System
2010 Jim Sleezer Oklahoma State Univ./A&M Board of Regents
2009 Sandy Jansen Texas Tech University System
2008 Mary Barnett University of Richmond
2007 Phillip Hurd Georgia Tech
2006 Toni Messer University of Texas at Dallas
2005 Helen C. Vanderland  University of Mary Washington
2004 Don Holdegraver
Tom Salzman 
University of Nebraska
Illinois State University
2003 David P. Coury Florida State University
2002 Virginia Key 
Rick N. Whitfield 
Montana State University-Bozeman
Pace University
2001 Kate M. Head 
Charles A. Jefferis
University of South Florida
University of Vermont

Steven M. Jung

Camille R. Rigney

Stanford University

Brown University

1999 Kathy Burgmeier  The University of Montana
1998 Seth Kornetsky   Tufts University
1997 Rob Clark Georgia Tech
Outstanding Professional Contributions Award
2018 Mark Salamasick University of Texas System
2017 Kevin Robinson Auburn University
2016 Tom Dwyer Syracuse University
2015 Betty McPhilimy Northwestern University
2014 Richard Dawson University of Texas-San Antonio
2014 Kim Turner Texas Tech University
2013 Thomas N. Luccock Michigan State University
2013 Michael L Somich Duke University
2012 Charles G. Chaffin University of Texas System
2011 Mary Lee Brown University of Pennsylvania & Penn Medicine
2010 Gail Klatt University of Minnesota
2009 J. Michael Peppers University of Texas
2008 Patti Snopkowski Oregon University System
2006 Rob Clark Georgia Tech
2005 Charlie Chaffin   University of Texas System
2003 David Crawford University of Texas System



Rising Star Award
2018 Kara Kearney-Saylor University at Buffalo
2017 Marion Candrea Rutgers University
2016 Meaghan Smith Oregon Health & Science University