Sciences Advisors Win Undergraduate Academic Advising Awards

2017 Undergraduate Academic Advising Winners

The relationship between student and academic advisor is critical to the development of engaged learners and effective leaders. Since 2002, the Undergraduate Academic Advising Awards have recognized the accomplishments and commitment of those individuals who are dedicated to helping students succeed through academic advising.

On January 27, NC State honored four exceptionally deserving advisors from across the university during the 2017 NC State University Undergraduate Academic Advising Awards Ceremony.

2017 Award Recipients

New Advisor Award: Honors an academic advisor who has shown exemplary service and has worked as an advisor for three or fewer years with a primary role of professional advisor.

Recipient: Dana Thomas

Dana Thomas has served as an academic advisor in the Department of Biological Sciences in the College of Sciences since September 2014. She received her bachelor’s degree from Vassar College and worked briefly for the National Park Service before completing master’s degrees in ecology & evolutionary biology and education from the University of Michigan. After graduate school, Thomas spent several years as a secondary science teacher. Thomas currently advises approximately 200 undergraduates majoring in zoology and biological sciences. She loves helping her students develop as biologists and encourages them to pursue opportunities for personal, academic, and professional enrichment. Thomas also helps external transfer students in their transition to NC State by co-teaching a one credit orientation course and managing a transfer student peer mentor program. In 2015, she worked with a web developer to create “CURiOuS”, a tool for connecting NC State undergraduates to research opportunities in the sciences.

The Barbara Soloman Advising Award: Given in recognition of Barbara Soloman’s tireless contributions over many years of service to NC State students. This award is given to a professional advisor (primary role academic advising) who exhibits a commitment to advising, advocacy, and going above and beyond expectations to foster student success. Additionally, nominees of this award should have five or more years of academic advising experience at NC State.

Recipient: Susan Lamb

Susan Lamb is currently Coordinator of Advising for the Life Sciences First Year (LSFY) program on campus. Prior to joining the LSFY program in 2013, she served in a variety of roles at NC State over the past 25 years that ranged from a graduate assistant for both Fraternity and Sorority Life and New Student Orientation to an academic advisor in the former First Year College and the Office of Advising Support, Information and Services (OASIS). Lamb graduated from Lamar University in Texas with a bachelor’s degree in accounting, but quickly realized that the lack of advising she received as an undergraduate student had steered her away from what she really loved doing — working with college students. She completed her master’s in education, specializing in student personnel work in higher education. Since 1991, she has loved working with Wolfpack students and has maintained the philosophy “Students First.”

New Faculty Advisor: Honors an academic advisor who has shown exemplary service for three or fewer years. The New Faculty Advisor’s primary role is teaching/researching faculty.

Recipient: Natalie K. Cooke

Natalie Cooke is Teaching Assistant Professor and Coordinator of the Undergraduate Nutrition Program in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. She teaches an introductory human nutrition course, an introductory nutrition research course, and an applied nutrition education service-learning course. Having discovered her passion for teaching while an undergraduate, she strives to offer students opportunities to build leadership skills by mentoring approximately 20 teaching and research assistants annually. Her scholarship of teaching and learning research focuses on nutrition undergraduate students’ self-efficacy in teaching nutrition in the community. Current student-led research projects involve exploring the use of 360° virtual reality videos in training and evaluation of future nutrition educators. As an alumna of NC State and Park Scholarships, she is actively involved as a member of the Park Service Advisory Committee and as a mentor. She firmly believes in students building self-efficacy through early and frequent engagement and experience.

Faculty Advisor Award: Recognizes an advisor with primary responsibility as a teaching/ researching faculty member, and additionally has more than three years NC State academic advising experience. The winner must demonstrate exemplary service and commitment to undergraduate students through his or her advising responsibilities.

Recipient: Kathy Hamilton Gore

Kathy Hamilton Gore, Teaching Associate Professor, has taught in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management (PRTM) in the College of Natural Resources (CNR) for 24 years. She teaches Introduction to PRTM, Recreation and Park Finance, and Diversity and Inclusion in Recreation and Sport. She taught the PRTM Senior Capstone for 16 years where she created an electronic professional portfolio to facilitate employability readiness. She served as Academic Internship Supervisor for eight summers, during which she traveled to Japan to facilitate internship placements abroad for PRTM students. She has provided academic, vocational, and personal advising to 40-70 undergraduate students annually, many with whom she maintains a professional relationship. She is a member of the University Academy for Outstanding Teachers and has received the CNR Outstanding Academic Advisor Award three times and the 2015 National Recreation and Parks Ethnic Minority Society’s Ernest Attwell Award for Lifetime Achievement Developing Future Professionals.

The 2017 keynote speaker was NC State’s Carrie McLean, Assistant Dean of University College and Director of Advising. McLean holds a bachelor’s degree in communications, master’s degrees in library and information science, and in higher education administration, as well as a PhD in counseling and counselor education.  Her professional experience in higher education includes teaching, advising, supervision, administration, staff development, organizational development, workflow planning and design, and diversity education. Her research interests are in student and organizational development, and career counseling with a focus on “re-deciding” students.

(Original article at NC State DASA)

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