Welcome to the 2023 ACADAOS End of the Year Banquet! We are honored to highlight the incredible work that advisors and advising adminstrations are doing across all campuses. This year, we will be using the ACADAOS website to highlight all those nominated for our three advising awards:
Outstanding New Advisor
- Emilia has been an academic advisor with the Office of Military and Veterans Services for just over two years, where she is a secondary advisor to over 2,000 military-connected students. These students are in both undergraduate and graduate programs, and they come from all six Ohio State campuses. Emilia’s nominators emphasized the broad range of different tasks she performs as part of her job, from managing the veteran Peer-to-Peer Sponsors and military student tutoring programs; to performing data analysis for the OMVS office to report within and outside of Ohio State; to helping students navigate the financial implications of the GI Bill. The list of other university offices that Emilia collaborates with regularly is extensive, including University Exploration, the Transfer Credit Center, Undergraduate Education, Student Life Disability Services, and the Center for the Study of Student Life. One student nominator said, “Emilia has consistently demonstrated a kind and compassionate approach in her interactions with students. She takes the time to get to know her advisees on a personal level and creates a supportive environment that fosters open communication and trust. Whenever I faced challenges or setbacks, Emilia was there to offer a listening ear and provide practical solutions to help me overcome obstacles.” Another said, “I needed assistance in preparing my taxes, setting up legal matters, learning the area, and options for my children. Emilia…set me up with contacts to help in every single situation.”
- Ciana has been an academic advisor for Newark Campus Advising for almost two years, advising students in the Business and Education Cluster, but her first work with the office was in the Summer of 2020 as a graduate student intern for Orientation. Her nominators lauded the notable impact Ciana has had on the Newark orientation process, both as a graduate intern and now as a full-time staff member. “The research [Ciana] collected [in 2020] included the pros and cons of [grouping orientation students by majors], the best approach to organize majors, and…included avenues for flexibility to handle those times when students change their major upon arrival.” Multiple colleagues commented on Ciana’s problem-solving skills and ability to see the bigger picture. One colleague said, “I really appreciate how she’s consistently been able to anticipate questions or concerns that I might have about the proposals and allay them with practiced ease.” Beyond orientation, Ciana has helped the office to improve College Credit Plus (CCP) registrations and adapt a course clustering program from the Fisher College of Business. One nominator summed up Ciana’s impact as follows: “She is excellent at planning ahead, but also pivoting in the moment when necessary. I appreciate her level-headed approach and believe it serves her students and colleagues well…She also has tremendous vision and seeks opportunities to creatively connect students with the information and support they need.”
- Rebecca joined Ohio State as an advisor for the Arts and Sciences College Office in Autumn 2021 before moving to ASC Honors later that fall and quickly established herself as a vital member of the honors advising team. Within just two weeks of starting in ASC Honors, Rebecca had already prepared to teach multiple sections of Survey, while learning several undergraduate majors and post-graduation pathways in healthcare, including medical, dental, and veterinary school. However, Rebecca was also praised by multiple nominators for supporting students’ mental health, including the creation of a Mental Health Tool Kit and associated Survey class presentation. One student nominator shared that “Rebecca does a great job of showing how balance is important; she stresses how school and personal well-being are important, and taking care of yourself is crucial – by talking to Rebecca I have found how to have balance and have felt that I have improved my well-being and wellness overall.” By utilizing her certifications in mental health, health education, and diversity, intercultural, and community engagement, Rebecca has created a safe environment for all her students that promotes longevity, wellness, and care. Another nominator shared that “she has gone out of her way a multitude of times to ensure that my identity is being respective, to listen and guide me through tougher emotional times, and reached out time and time again to ensure I’m caring for myself. I can say with confidence that her impact will go on to shape the lives of all of those that she serves”.
Dr. Marie Southerland
- Dr. Marie Southerland joined the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry as an Academic Program Specialist in June 2022. In this role, Dr. Southerland advises biochemistry majors & teaches foundational chemistry courses among other responsibilities and has already made a tremendous contribution to her students and department. Some examples include helping coordinate a multi-campus effort to create a new GE Themes course in drug development and policy as well as revising and updating curriculum sheets, recruitment materials, and the department website. Dr. Southerland has already been actively involved in table fairs and recruitment events where a prospective parent commented on how excited she was to answer a question. Even in her initial interview, a faculty nominator shared that “she had the demeanor and personality to work with students and enable them to achieve success in the classroom and beyond.” As an advisor, she uses her own background in chemistry and biochemistry to quickly grasp intricate details of the curriculum and approaches conversations in a professional yet supportive way to instill confidence in her students to handle the challenges of their degree and achieve success in their future career. A student nominator wrote that “she truly went above and beyond to ensure I had a plan in which I was both excited and confident. Dr. Southerland came into the department at a transitional period and made the change seamlessly. I have yet to meet a kinder, more emphatic staff member genuinely invested and interested in my success here at Ohio State!”
Mary Bailey Advising Award
- Alison Baker has been involved with Higher Education throughout Central Ohio since 2004. During her career, she has served as an Academic Advisor at Franklin University, Adjunct Faculty at Columbus State, and 4-H Extension Educator for Ohio State in Marietta. She now serves as a Senior Academic Advisor in the Psychology Department where she advises over 400 students including all the department’s visa holding students. She also teaches the department internship course. One of her nominating colleagues says, “she is able to put herself in her students’ shoes to consider the most effective support, impactful intervention, or meaningful advocacy that truly sets her apart.” Highlighting her collaborative teamwork, her nominators shared that, “Alison has developed strong, cooperative relationships with regional campus advisors who work with psychology majors…A regional advisor has to deal with a distance, both literally and figuratively, and Alison has never made me feel as if I am “distanced” from the psych department…” Finally, one of her current students had this to share, “Alison is such a genuinely cordial person to work with and is so accessible and helpful in so many ways. I could not recommend her enough. She really helped me to discover my passion and so many opportunities that allowed me to really be successful in my dream field.”
- Heather has been involved in advising and supporting students since 2006. She completed her MA in Higher Education and Student Affairs here at OSU and currently serves as a Senior Academic Advisor in Extended Education. In her role, she assists non-degree and visiting students, as well as advising pre-health students and providing community workforce support with other Central Ohio educational partners. One of Heather’s nominating students wrote “Heather was ALWAYS willing to meet with me to discuss anything I had questions or anxieties about. Even through my multiple crises of what I want to do with my life, a number of inquiries about adding a minor, and many last minute requests to add or drop a class, Heather has been there.” One of her colleagues wrote, “[Heather] believes that quality academic advising is inextricably linked to caring for the whole student and throughout her time in advising she has been a tireless advocate for the unique needs of first generation, Appalachian, LGBTQIA+, and other student groups with minoritized identities…” Lastly, another nominator shared this specific experience about Heather, “Heather went above and beyond for one of her students that had limited access to technology and was struggling to complete her courses using just her phone. Heather not only connected the student with the appropriate resources to get access to technology, she worked with the college faculty to help make the public health courses more accessible for the student to complete while awaiting the technology she needed.”
George Marshall Jr.
- George began his career at the Newark campus as a transfer admissions counselor in March 2018 and then transitioned to the Columbus campus in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences in 2019 where he is currently a senior academic advisor. As an advisor he has strong communication with varying audiences- faculty, prospective and current students, parents, and colleagues and for each he focuses on relationship building and builds lasting partnerships whenever he can. George created the HTHRHSC 3000 course which targets health sciences majors as they enter the major and the course embraces evidence-based teaching strategies with outstanding resources and content. A colleague of George states, “George is unerringly positive while attentive to the needs of those around him and is a strong advocate for each student advises” Another colleague stated, “As a peer, I can attest that George carries himself with a level of integrity, compassion and assuredness that sets only the best examples for advisors, students, faculty and staff alike.” And lastly one of George’s students said, “George is a great people person and is constantly reassuring me of all my school-related anxieties, he answers all my questions with energy, and an open heart. His meticulous care for my education and path to graduation has undoubtedly aided in my undergraduate success”
- Lindsay McGory has been at Ohio State since 2010 and has been with academic advising in the Fisher College of Business since August 2012 and currently serves as a Senior Academic Advisor. In addition to advising over 500 students, she is responsible for the training and supervision of Fisher’s peer advisor program which is an integral part of the survey course that all students must complete. She also developed BUSADM 1200, a seminar course designed for major changers. She also serves on the Staff Advisory Committee for the college and frequently serves on other departmental and university committees and organizations to help better not only the Fisher College of Business, but Ohio State as a whole. Her nominators wrote “Her warm and welcoming demeanor creates an inclusive environment that puts her students at ease. Whether it’s in a classroom or in a one-on-one appointment, Lindsay makes each student feel welcomed and supported, a feat that was particularly challenging during the peak of the pandemic.” A fellow advisor in their nomination letter wrote “Finally, I want to briefly mention that Lindsay has not only been a phenomenal advisor to students, but also an influential mentor to me and all of the advisors in Fisher’s Undergraduate programs. She has shown time and time again that her knowledge, humor, kindness, and commitment to academic advising is truly unmatched here at Ohio State.”
- Pete Rex began his time here at Ohio State as an undergraduate student where he received his bachelor’s degree in HDFS in 2010. After several years in Florida as an academic advisor, he decided to come back home and start his OSU career in EHE as an academic advisor in June 2015. Since 2015, Pete has climbed the advising ranks in EHE and is currently the Human Sciences Advising Manager where he directly manages the human sciences majors, works with faculty on curriculum changes, develops and onboards new staff and has a roster of students. As his colleague wrote, “Pete’s ideas consistently enhance the student experience by making programs more accessible, and ultimately allowing students to save time to their degree.” That same colleague stated, “Pete created a food pantry to assist students experiencing food insecurity and even during the height of the pandemic, Pete still took time to come to campus to clear out expired items and make them available outside of the advising office.” Another colleague states, “Pete has always made it a point to be there as a leader and a listening ear for the current staff to ensure we all felt as though we were supported through these unknown times of staff vacancies.” His nominator stated, “Pete deserves recognition because recognizing himself in the workplace is not on his priority list.” And lastly, one of his current advisees stated, “Pete is just amazing, he has helped me so much with course planning, navigating college during Covid, and eases my stress; I am just very thankful to have Mr. Rex as my advisor.”
- Mohamad began his career at Ohio State in January 2017 as an academic advisor within the Fisher College of Business. Since 2017, he has climbed the advising ranks and is currently a senior academic advisor within his unit. Mohamad is also a new member of the Honors advising team and has worked diligently to learn the particulars of the Honors curriculum and has made himself an even more invaluable resource to the advising team, to the honors students and to the residents of the Business Honors Learning Community. Mohamad nominators stated, Mohamad has been a champion for diversity efforts in our office and the greater Ohio State community; and diversity and inclusion are infused in everything that Mohamad takes on through his role as an academic advisor.” Another colleague stated, “Mr. Saab’s commitment to creating unique, dynamic, experiential learning experiences for undergraduates is highly commendable and a true asset to student educational experiences here at Ohio State.” And lastly one of his student nominators stated, “I am very grateful to have Mr. Saab as my advisor, he’s a great listener, answers all my questions, and I was able to experience going on a trip with him to NYC as a business scholar and we had a wonderful experience, he is nothing but helpful, hardworking and encouraging.”
- Cheryl Walter has been at Ohio State since 2009 and has worked in advising since 2016, most recently in the School of Environment and Natural Resources as a Senior Academic Advisor since October 2022. In addition to advising her students, she coordinates the undergraduate petition process, serves as the department transfer credit coordinator, and serves as a departmental liaison to many other departments on campus. She also serves as the education abroad coordinator and assists students in figuring how they can incorporate studying abroad into their academic pathway. In their nomination letter, her nominator writes that “Her understanding of academic advising, university policies as well as the complexities within our curriculum have made her the go-to resource for other advisors and staff as well as faculty.” A student writes “She was the first advisor to help me map out my college career, even with the messy course listings I had after switching majors so many times. When I decided to declare Environmental Science as my only major, she supported me fully and made me aware of all the classes and potential obstacles before making it official. Since then, Cheryl has been a rock for me.” Another student writes “Cheryl is extremely genuine, cares about her students, and is incredible at her job. She makes students feel heard and understood and eases our anxiety when we need it most. Whenever her name comes up in a group of students, I am confident in saying I have only ever heard positive things. Cheryl really is everyone’s favorite advisor and it is not lost on me that most of my non-SENR friends do not have that relationship with their advisor.”
Melinda McDonald Advising Adminstrator Award
- Cory has worked in the Department of Biomedical Engineering for the past 15 years and serves currently as the Advising Manager for the department, supervising the academic advisors. In addition to her supervision work, she coordinates curriculum for the department, oversees enrollment in courses, assesses the ABET documentation for the department, certifies candidates for graduation, and serves as a liaison to other departments and offices at the university, among many other tasks. She began in the department when the undergraduate Biomedical Engineering major was created and has played a key role in establishing and growing the major and department at the undergraduate level. In their nomination letter, one nominator wrote “Cory is a key member and leader within our undergraduate academic services team; she is incredibly knowledgeable, hard-working, dependable, efficient, and an all-around dream to work with (for myself, our team, and the 300+ students she advises!)” Graduating students from the Biomedical Engineering major wrote “Her caring and positive demeaner immediately left an impression on me. Cory goes above and beyond to help her students. I don’t know anyone who responds to emails so quickly. It’s a general consensus with all BMEs that if you need help Cory has your back.” Another student wrote “I feel so lucky to have had Cory as an advisor. She is essential to every BME student having a successful and enjoyable undergraduate experience at OSU.”
- Corrina has worked in the Office of Distance Education for the past 15 years and has served as the Director since 2010, managing a staff of 7 individuals. Many of her colleagues in their letters spoke of her management in the office and how she has always focused on what is best for her office and the students they serve. She worked to change how Program 60 participants get enrolled in courses using Buckeyelink so that they can officially enroll in the course instead of just letting instructors know if they had a Program 60 participant in their class. She also helped those participants navigate the process. She consistently works to make processes better and implements changes as-needed to keep things running smoothly. In addition, she has helped the office navigate changes in staffing and helped them through the implementation of the Career Roadmap smoothly and her staff feel that they are supported and heard. One nominator writes “One of the greatest things I appreciate about Ms. Owens is how she works. She is positive and enjoyable to be around and someone who lifts everyone connected to the work. I’m extremely proud of and appreciative of Ms. Owens, and I trust her leadership and work.” Another writes “With Corinna’s leadership we have continued to provide the best possible student support and service as well as continue to be better and more efficient every year.”
Want to showcase another advisor doing excellent work? You can nominate them for one of these awards next year or submit a nomination for our Advisor of the Month here.
And lastly, to all current ACADAOS members – Don’t forget to vote in the elections for next year’s ACADAOS Executive Board!
The ballot will be open until Wednesday, May 3, 2023, and can be found here: go.osu.edu/ACADAOSselection