March 2020 Advisor of the Month

We would first like to take a moment and recognize the work everyone has been doing across the University to maintain academic advising services despite COVID-19. While we can’t send a raffle prize to all advisors, your work is truly appreciated. Here are some examples of how advising staff have been stepping up to the challenge over the month of March:

Anne DeGirolamo Advising-from-home is tricky enough as it is, but it can be even trickier depending on how much there is to juggle. I think Anne has had a lot to juggle, and yet has not the quality of advising slip in the slightest. With everything going on with the shutdown the internship and career pieces caused a lot of uncertainty and chaos that needed to be dealt with in a timely fashion. Anne is always willing to help in anyway she can even during the moments of chaos; truly a collaborative and professional advisor. It truly is a pleasure to work with Anne because she has been willing to listen and answer questions from day 1. Not only that, she was really helpful when it came to getting settled and comfortable in the area when my wife and I moved. She always knows a great restaurant or place to go in the Columbus area. I do not say that lightly, because starting a new job is one thing but moving to a new place can be nerve wracking. being able to find a good neighborhood restaurant or place to go to feel connected to the community was important for me as I grew into my role as an OSU advisor. Having Anne as a colleague is truly a pleasure. She is an excellent advisor who never seeks opportunities for the purpose of “tooting her own horn”. She is humble, respected by her students and colleagues, as well as truly collegial and collaborative. I consider myself lucky to call Anne DeGirolamo a colleague.
Brenda Dinan Brenda has done an incredible job of keeping pre-health advisors updated on how health professions programs are treating PA/NP. Her work collecting and sharing information saves the rest of us considerable time and effort. (And no doubt she’s doing this while fielding a few student emails about this policy change.) Thanks to Brenda for the regular, clear communication and helpful resources!
Marlena Harper Marlena has contributed an enormous effort to moving BUSADM 1200 online! She has volunteered to record dynamic Carmen Zoom lessons for our students, while also brainstorming and creating ways to keep our students engaged and educated from afar! She has come up with great ideas for adapting our assignments, attendance, and participation activities, while also anticipating the unique needs of students during this unprecedented time. This is her first semester teaching with us, and she is knocking it out of the park!
Lisa Jerele Since our supervisor has been out on maternity Lisa has been thrust into picking up all of the supervisor’s duties on top of all the normal duties she has in her advising role – which includes being the point person for recruitment, communicating with prospective students/families, and serving on a Journalism committee within the School of Communication. The job of advising-from-home is difficult enough, and adding on top of that a whole additional job is a recipe for disaster and breakdown. I feel Lisa has stepped up and become a great leader for us during this twilight zone chaos. I think it was a natural and seamless transition which has helped us stay on point, and even sometimes ahead of the game as an advising staff. Lisa is a fantastic advisor and an awesome colleague to have. From day 1 she has been more than helpful to me as I grew into my position and learned the ins and outs of advising at OSU. I consider it an honor to work side-by-side and collaborate with Lisa. This is clearly an unprecedented time that we have all been thrust into, but I think Lisa has been amazing in how she is handling and managing everything.
Heather Long Heather Long is a Senior Academic Advising Lead in the Education Cluster within the College of EHE. Heather has stepped up and created/led education cluster specific meetings to ensure we are all on the same page and relaying the same message to our students during this unprecedented time. Her communication/collaboration, efficiency in completing/delegating tasks, and leadership style speak for itself. Heather prioritizes students and the team first, always. Often, this comes with sacrifice; the price of working extra hours and taking on more responsibility than ever with no pay incentive but rather her love for working with students and people in general. Heather has proven to be a positive sounding board for our students and advising staff in a time of angst and uncertainty. Her poised composure and calming nature shines so bright. Character speaks volume in times of distress and her character is speaking loudly, in the most positive way.

You are truly a rock star! You are so appreciated. Thank you for all you do for our students, our team, and our office. Thank you for being you! <3

Melinda McDonald As the fearless leader of our Fisher advising team, I think Melinda deserves a public shout-out for her leadership these past few weeks. She has anticipated problems before they have arisen, identified solutions, and clearly communicated those with the team. She has checked in with everyone frequently and shared amusing personal anecdotes to make us laugh. Transparency and communication are extremely valuable in maintaining morale during stressful times, and I am thankful every day to have Melinda at our helm. Thank you for all you have done and will continue to do to support our team! You are awesome!
Margaret Nevrekar In addition to all the amazing things Margaret does as an Exploration advisor, she is also going above and beyond as an instructor for ESEPSY 2059. Her section was forced to move online (thanks COVID19) but she handled the transition with grace and brought many new and creative ideas to the table. She is going above and beyond in her outreach to students who are struggling academically, both in her 2059 course and in general. In addition, Margaret continues to provide both practical and moral support for the SpringForward program. She has done all of this with a smile and a sense of humor. Margaret’s work ethic and commitment to students is truly appreciated!
Stephanie Rinehart Stephanie has lead the College of Engineering in re-imagining orientation. She is proactive and hard working. We are lucky to have her on our team.
Jennifer Scott Jen has been my go-to person to ask questions, vent, talk about hypothetical advising situations, etc. I tend to ask a lot of questions and she has truly been a trooper when it comes to that. I truly felt welcome in the School of Communication advising office from the start and Jen has played a big part in that. She always comes in with a positive attitude, a smile, and a great outlook even in rough parts of the semester. She is also always ready with a good dad joke to lighten the mood. Even now during this shutdown she still has a great attitude and outlook. Jen was instrumental in showing me the ropes of survey when I first started, and now I am pretty much self-sustaining thanks to her. Jen’s role as transfer credit coordinator has certainly grown since I started in my position and she has been a rock star the whole time. Her approach and work with transfer credit is very thorough and of high quality. She certainly makes it easy to trace a course back through the years of her evaluations and see what has changed. It has been incredibly important recently with the new General credit policy that equivalencies be updated often in the system. Jen has continually knocked it out of the park. I know, as well as the other advisors in the School of Communication, that Jen is someone you can count on as a professional and as an advisor. The respect and rapport that Jen has with her students is unparalleled and truly something I try to emulate in my own way. She is an advisor I look up to and someone who inspires me in their approach to the craft. It is truly an honor to call Jen a colleague.

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