Student advisors rewarded

On April 30th, two academic advisors will shine above the rest.

For the first time, Northern Kentucky University will present The Outstanding Academic Advising Awards to two advisors who have shown excellence in their field.

David E. Emery, director of the Academic Advising Resource Center and co-coordinator of the group sponsoring the awards, the Academic Advising Council, said, “In order to raise academic advising to a professional level it needs to have certain incentives, … Ultimately what we are trying to measure is what students have gotten out of the (academic advising) experience and whether they have found it valuable or not.”

Academic advising is more than just signing a piece of paper, said Emery. It is helping students along the way in their academic quest.

“It’s a dialogue in which students engage in with a faculty or a professional advisor in which they can work out anything that may be bothering them or causing issues for them within the academic setting,” said Emery. “Whether it be tutoring, or if they need extra help, or they are concerned about their major or changing majors, or if they are in crisis where can they get help.”

Beginning this year the awards will be given annually in two categories. The advising primary role category will honor a faculty member or advisor whose primary role is to advise students.

The advising secondary category will honor a “typical” advisor; a faculty member, a staff member or an administrator who advises secondary to their primary role (for example, educator.) Nominees must have worked for NKU at least three years.

Each winner will receive $1,000 and a plaque at a luncheon to be held April 30th.

“We would like to have a Hall of Fame somewhere, and our target location would be the University Center,” Emery said. “We might have plaques or something like that that would show you chronologically when they started the award. It would be some kind of public place for celebration of the Outstanding Academic Advising Awards.”

The first deadline for nominations was Jan.18. Current administrators, faculty, staff, students or alumni nominated an advisor with a 1-2 page nomination letter and a form available throughout campus.

A selection committee will now notify the nominees. If the advisor accepts, he/she must provide the selection committee with an explanation of their advising philosophy and no more than four additional letters of reference.

Emery said he thinks this award will give advisors additional incentive to excel.

“Good advisors do much more than (just sign a piece of paper),” he said. “They take an active interest in their students. They want to know how they’re doing inside and outside of the classroom. They talk to them about a variety of things: graduate school, career development plans.”

Linda Albert, senior academic advisor in the Academic Advising Resource Center said she would feel honored if she received the award.

“It’s an interesting thought to be recognized that publicly,” she said. “A lot of the recognition isn’t that public, it’s within the office. A little recognition can go a long way…It’s positive reinforcement.”