Melinda McDonald Advising Administrator Award

The Academic Advising Association of Ohio State (ACADAOS) and the Office of Academic Affairs of The Ohio State University annually sponsor a Melinda McDonald Advising Administrator Award for academic advising at Ohio State. This award serves to recognize and reward an exemplary academic advising administrator at The Ohio State University.

By highlighting examples of outstanding advising leadership, the awards help to demonstrate the efforts advising makes in providing excellent service and helping students achieve academic success. The recipient and nominees are outstanding role models for all advisors and advising administrators at the university. The annual nomination process and announcement of winners also help to increase the visibility of how advising contributes to student success and to the mission of the university.

This award is named after Melinda McDonald, who received the award in 2016 and has been recognized as an advisor both by ACADAOS and NACADA. Her service to Ohio State Advising dates back almost thirty years, during which time she was a tireless advocate for professionalized advising. She helped promote and develop programs for students and staff within Fisher and the University, published and presented on various advising topics, and served the greater advising community in many ways, including on the editorial staff of the NACADA Journal.

One advising administrator from Ohio State will be selected each year to receive a certificate and a monetary gift presented by ACADAOS and the Office of Academic Affairs. The nominees and recipient are announced and honored at an annual ACADAOS banquet.

Past Recipients of the Melinda McDonald Advising Administrator Award


In order to be eligible for the Melinda McDonald Advising Administrator Award, nominees must:

  • be a current Ohio State employee
  • hold at least 75% of a full-time appointment whose primary role is the management of advising student services
  • have a minimum of 2 years of experience serving in an advising administrator role at Ohio State
  • not have won the Melinda McDonald Advising Administrator Award in the past five years

Nominees are not required to be ACADAOS members. Previous nominees who did not receive the award may be nominated again.

Award Criteria

The Selection Committee, formed from within the executive board and membership of ACADAOS, will evaluate nominations on the evidence of exceptional advising qualities and practices that distinguish the nominee as an outstanding academic advising administrator. The award recipient will be selected on the basis of how the following criteria and characteristics are demonstrated in the nomination packets:

  • Advisor Impact on Students
  • Advisor Impact on Academic Unit
  • Advisor Impact on The Ohio State University

When completing your application, please keep the following criteria in mind:

  • Interpersonal/Human Relations Skills
  • Professional Practices
  • Documented Successes
  • Documented Advisor Development

For administrators with a significant length of service, nominators should be sure to include specific examples of how the nominee has demonstrated excellence in the award criteria, in addition to the cumulative impact of their career. Any previous nominations, awards, or other forms of recognition may also be included in the letters of support.

Consider highlighting some of the areas covered in the NACADA Core Values as you write your nomination.

How it Works

Nominations may be made by faculty, staff, and students (including past/present advisees). Self-nominations are also welcome.

Nomination packets must include at least three and up to five supporting letters. In order for a nomination packet to be considered complete, it must include:

Required Materials

  • Melinda McDonald Advising Administrator Award Form– This form should be completed by the nominator.
  • Letter from the nominator- The letter should address all three award criteria — impact on students, academic unit, Ohio State — but can do so in any format or order.
  • Current resume for the nominee- The resume should include details about job responsibilities, initiatives, skills, professional development activities, and other contributions to the community.
  • One to three additional letters- These could be letters of support from alumni, peers, supervisors, community members, parents, or other stakeholders who have personal knowledge of the nominee’s performance as an advising administrator. Historically, the strongest nomination packets include support from a variety of different perspectives, and have included both faculty and staff contributions.

Nominators and other contributors should be aware that the letters are not confidential. The Outstanding Advising Administrator Award is a way to acknowledge and celebrate the work of advising leaders at Ohio State, and excerpts from the nomination packets will be shared with the greater advising community. Nominees will also receive a copy of the complete nomination packet after the award recipients have been announced each year.


The preferred submission format for the nomination packet is through the Qualtrics link above. Packets may also be submitted in hard copy if necessary.

Nomination Deadline: Friday, March 15, 2024

Please plan to have all materials collected and submitted by that time.

Announcement of Nominees and Recipients

After complete nomination packets have been received, ACADAOS will contact nominees to congratulate them on their nomination. The nominees are announced and honored at an annual ACADAOS banquet. Selections from the letters of support are read at the banquet, to celebrate the outstanding work of each nominee.

Questions? Contact the current Awards and Recognition Committee Co-Chairs, whose contact information can be found on the Committees page.