Advisors in Arts and Sciences, Technology honored for excellence

Two groups won the President’s Award for Academic Advising of Undergraduate Students by Faculty and Staff Members: the advising staff in the College of Arts and Sciences and Laney Fugett and Jodi Hagg in the College of Technology.

The Arts and Sciences advising staff

“Service to students” is the guiding principle of the arts and sciences advising staff, and the many letters of thanks attest to the effectiveness of the group’s individualized approach. From entering undergraduates to nontraditional students, the thankful writers commented on the quick response, correct and helpful information, concern and positive outlook of the advisor.

“We place a high value on treating students individually to meet the needs of a diverse student population while maintaining the integrity of the degree programs in the college,” the team said of its philosophy.

The staff consists of Darlene Thomas and Diana Carpenter, director and associate director of student services, respectively; Vickie Ampiaw, academic advisor and coordinator of the bachelor of liberal studies online degree program; Chris Schaefer, Allison Graham and Dr. Joan Morgan (part time), academic advisors; Damon Lee, program advisor; Nancy Bishop, records management officer; Chris Bloomfield and Toni Jacobs, student services counselors, and Melissa Gressner, Counseling Center liaison to the college. The staff received $1,500 to further its advising efforts.

In addition to individualized attention—which includes outreach to students at risk—the advising staff publishes an informative newsletter, teaches UNIV 100 and A&S 100 classes and holds information sessions on the University’s mandatory advising for new students.

The advising team shares its expertise and helps raise the level of advising across campus by extensively training and informing faculty advisors and by participating in University committees related to academic advising, recruitment and retention. They also keep faculty up to date on changes in curriculum and registration processes as well as on other aspects of student life—all a part of their belief that advising is another aspect of teaching.

The staff has been instrumental in developing new materials for recruiting and retention events such as Preview Days, Major Mania and other events sponsored by the admissions office.

Jodi Hagg (left) and Laney Fugett

Technology advisors
Also honored for outstanding advising were Laney Fugett and Jodi Hagg, of the College of Technology’s Program Services Office. Both are not only advisors for visual communication technology majors in the college, but are also summer Orientation and Registration advisors who work with students from all colleges and then maintain those advisees throughout the year. They received a $1,000 check for their office account for further programming.

The two “devote numerous hours each spring and summer to becoming current with advising practices and nuances in each major,” their nominators wrote. “They have assisted in the compilation of advising resource manuals for Orientation and Registration and have led the entire college faculty advising team in utilizing technology for advising without sacrificing the personal relationship between student and advisor.” This concern for students often results in requests from their rising sophomore advisees to be able to keep them, even though Fugett and Hagg are not advisors in their individual areas of study.

The award winners are also masterly at providing effective advice to students from “special populations” such as adult learners, transfer students, distance learners, student-athletes and students with disabilities, their nominators said. The technology college has an unusually high proportion of these students, in addition to its requirement that all students take three, semester-long cooperative learning assignments—which calls for advising that helps students develop academic competence while becoming involved on campus and integrating their academic curriculum with a life plan. The two advisors exemplify the college’s philosophy of providing both developmentally appropriate advising and “prescriptive” advising for at-risk students to steer them away from costly mistakes.

Fugett and Hagg have also contributed to the college’s effort to identify learning outcomes for all first-year students and have spearheaded departmental efforts to equate community college classes with College of Technology coursework.

November 5, 2007