May 2020 Advisor of the Month

Check out some of the wonderful things our advising colleagues have done this past month! Thank you to each of you for all of your hard work and dedication to the students in your areas and OSU!

Renee Benham Nomination 1: Renee has gone SO far above and beyond what an advisor is required to do; she has learned (and taught our team!) numerous media-editing apps, from Adobe Spark Post to video software, etc. Even while adjusting to working from home, she learned how to shoot, edit, and produce multiple videos for our summer and fall orientation programs, often churning out multiple videos a day because we were on a timeline. She brings a smile to everything she does and brightens our zoom meetings when the rest of us start to let the stress overtake us. Our new Buckeyes will have an educational and fun New Student Orientation program, much of which is due to Renee’s video production and Carmen-course building skills, all in addition to her regular advising and increased advisee load with Beth’s departure. Four of us other advisors have temporarily taken on some of those majors to assist Renee, but being new to the majors, we ask her lots of questions, and she’s always super helpful and quick about getting back to us, thus empowering us to help more and more students.
For someone who has only been advising for a few years, Renee has really expanded the concept of what ‘advisor’ means to her, now encompassing creating videos and building Carmen courses to prepare students for college. She has also been a tremendous resource in the survey course planning (which yes, has started already!). Her previous experience in teaching has been such a valuable resource—we lean on her expertise for designing activities and classroom management strategies and maintaining a theme of “Buckeye success” throughout the entire course, and “gamify-ing” the assignments to make them more fun and interactive. Thanks SO much Renee for all you do! Our Newark Buckeyes will have an amazing first year because of you!
Renee Benham Nomination 2: Renee has been a really critical part of the advising team since she started a couple of years ago. In the last few months, she has done fantastic work in the transition to online advising and the online orientation, both in terms of supporting the team during a difficult period and in her advising work with students. She jumped into the Zoom advising challenge with both feet and has worked on multiple additional projects, such as working on lessons to make the online survey course in the Autumn as dynamic and fruitful an experience for students as possible. We’re really lucky to have Renee as part of the Newark Advising Team!
Renee Benham Nomination 3: Renee has gone above and beyond her normal advising role. She has created many videos for our New Student Orientation and also taught other staff members how to best record/edit videos as well all while adjusting to working from home. Renee also was assigned a larger caseload during this time due to an advisor taking another position. On top of all of this, she also made the time to train 5 other advisors on major curriculum. Renee always brings positivity and light to our staff meetings and to every student she interacts with!
Brenda Dinan Brenda has tirelessly worked to ensure that orientations are running smoothly for advisors in her advising clusters. She always makes sure to touch base with us to make sure things are going okay and wants to make sure that orientation is the best possible experience for both our students and us as advisors. She also put together an amazing Carmen site that we are using to help our students learn everything they need to know about planning their degree at OSU in their first semester. She has been a rockstar!
Brandon Hines Brandon is a fantastic advisor, colleague, and friend. He goes above and beyond the necessary outreach and advocacy for his students. Brandon is strong-willed, passionate, and enthusiastic about student success.
Mohamad Saab Mohamad is a fine example of volunteerism and selflessness. A recent example of his volunteerism and selflessness was during the Pass/Non-pass time period of Spring 20, Mohamad not only completed all of the Pass/Non-pass transactions for his students but also completed several hundreds more transactions for the department. Always a team member that we can count on!
Leah Schuh Leah has gone above and beyond during this time of transition, particularly as it relates to Virtual Orientation. Leah serves as our Orientation Coordinator among other roles. She has absolutely exceeded expectations and duties within this role. Switching everything from in-person to online is no easy task and Leah made it look easy.

Her attention to detail and big picture mindset has allowed virtual orientation as it pertains to our advising staff, be as seamless as possible. I am blown away at all of the minute details she thought of during the transition and how diligently she worked with our advising team to ensure collaboration took place. Her hard work, positive attitude, and attention to detail have certainly not gone unnoticed. Leah is a great team player who has the best interest of students and the student experience on the forefront of her mind, always. Leah – you are appreciated! <3

Peggy Strow Peggy has been amazing during AU20 Orientation. She divides up the transfer students among the advisors. As various situations have happened in the lives of the advisors (family emergencies, illnesses), she has been offering to reassign students to help out. Not only that, Peggy has been checking in with the other advisors to see how they are doing. She demonstrates true leadership during this difficult time that is now coinciding with the high-stress AU orientation season. I’m incredibly glad to have Peggy as a mentor during this challenging time.
Louise Vasher Louise clearly demonstrates that she cares about students. I recently Zoomed with a rising sophomore who told me Louise has gone above and beyond to make her feel welcomed and supported over the last year. Louise helped this student build her academic confidence by providing solid advice and encouragement. This student went from academic probation in her first semester, to earning a 4.0 GPA in her second semester. The student told me that Louise’s support was a big reason she felt like she could be successful and turn things around. Great work, Louise!
Ashley Sweaney, Laura Whitaker, Liz McGinnis These three amazing Ladies of Psychology have been awesome during this new world of remote work, endless zoom sessions, and the start of virtual orientations. They were of course brilliant before, but each has stepped up in unique ways to support the students and the team. They have tackled each new wave of concerns quickly and with professionalism and smiles. Thank you, you all rock!

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