Vice President of Student Affairs Receives 2022 Business Woman of the Year Award

By Micah-Simone Durrant

With over 500 nominees, Stephanie Russell Krebs, UT’s Vice President of Student Affairs was among 34 women to be honored by the Tampa Bay Business Journal for the 2022 BusinessWoman of the Year Award. 

This award is in it’s 17th year and recognizes women in the Tampa Bay area who exhibit leadership ability, community involvement, business success, and influence on the region, public policy or quality of life. 

“Honestly, it’s kind of strange because I identify as an educator, so it’s different being honored in this way, ” said Russell Krebs. “But it’s very humbling and rewarding to see that education is being represented in the business sector.”

This year’s honorees will be celebrated at the BusinessWoman of the Year Award gala that will be held on March 11 at The Vinoy in downtown St. Petersburg.

Russell Krebs began working at The University of Tampa 24 years ago when the student body population was only 2,200. She began as a coordinator of student activities and grew with the university–taking on the role of dean of students before serving in her current position. 

As vice president of Student Affairs, Russell Krebs addresses the conditions that students need to be successful academically by developing various services and opportunities. Career services, campus recreation, and health and wellness services are only a few of the areas that she is responsible for.   

Russell Krebs developed her passion for education during her undergraduate experience when she was eager to use her various student leadership roles to be a mentor and peer educator. These experiences lead her to pursue the degrees necessary to continue her work in student affairs. 

“She embodies what it means to be a resilient leader as far as being understanding and she never lets her ego into any decision that she makes,” said Hannah Lammon, senior international business and accounting and finance double major.

Lammon has worked closely with Russell Krebs on the university’s Task Force for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, an area of passion that Russell Krebs is most excited about. 

In 2020 during the surge of racial discrimination against Asian Americans relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, Russell Krebs invited Lammon, a member of UT’s aisian community and Art Goon, director of graduate and continuing studies to host a presentation to educate UT’s diversity advisory group on the topic.

“Her allowing me to have a voice in a topic that isn’t really talked about elevated me as a student and I appreciate the platform that she gave Art and I,” said Lammon. “Her giving us the grace to do that was a really great leadership moment that I saw in her because it’s hard to have those conversations.”

Russell Krebs aims to use her career to have a meaningful impact on the trajectory of her student’s lives.

“My style is to be who I am and to unapologetically lead in the way that I believe has the most impact,” said Russel Krebs. “To me, it’s about relationships, collaboration and bringing people together.”

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