Veteran Houghton College professor and director of counseling services, Dr. Michael Lastoria, was recently honored with the Don L. Boender Award at the annual conference for the Association for Christians in Student Development (ACSD).

The Don L. Boender Award has been awarded annually since 1996 by the ACSD to professionals with more than ten years of experience for “outstanding contributions to ACSD and the field of student development.”

The award was presented to Dr. Lastoria at the conference held at Bethel University in Saint Paul, Minnesota. Dr. Lastoria was nominated for this award by Greg Bish, Houghton College’s director of student programs.

“I nominated Mike because of his commitment to excellence in his research,” said Bish. “His work has influenced my own view of the need for each of us to contribute to the field of student development. I consider it a privilege to work alongside Mike and have the utmost respect for his research and work.”

Dr. Lastoria received this award for contributing “his research findings on human sexuality and relationships” in the context of Christian colleges and universities. He also has been a regular presenter at ACSD conferences.

“I was very surprised and excited to receive this recognition,” commented Dr. Lastoria.

Dr. Lastoria received his Ed.D. in 1982 from Loyola University and has been working at Houghton College since that same year. Dr. Lastoria is both the director of counseling services and a professor of sociology and psychology at Houghton College. He is also a New York State licensed marriage and family therapist.

The mission of the ACSD is to equip and challenge members to infuse their Christian faith into student development practice and scholarship.