Throughout the course of their academic careers, students will make connections with many influential people. It could be a faculty member who presents a lesson that inspires a student to pursue a major in their field of study. It could even be a coach, a mentor or resident advisor, or an alumnus/alumna who has developed as a leader in the professional world. Every single person makes a difference, but the relationships that endure the longest may be those between students and academic advisors.
These dedicated individuals support students as they figure out where they ultimately want to end up, and help chart the path to get there. Deeply committed to the success of all students, these are the people who keep them on track to graduate on time, offer a dose of realism when needed, and provide the overall support students need to realize their greatest ambitions. They are true cheerleaders and champions for our students, and are undeniably deserving of recognition every single day. On Feb. 5, NC State honored five exceptionally deserving advisors from across the university during the 2020-2021 NC State University Undergraduate Academic Advising Awards Ceremony.
During the ceremony, advising colleagues honored Carrie McLean, the recently retired assistant dean of University College and director of advising for the university. In addition to celebrating her leadership and mentorship over the course of her 35 years at NC State, it was also announced that the Advising Administrator Award would be renamed the Carrie McLean Award.
See all of the award recipients below:
New Advisor Award
The New Advisor Award is presented to an outstanding primary role advisor who has been advising for up to three years, including service at all institutions. Advising makes up 50 percent or more of the individual’s responsibilities.
Recipient: Trisha Jackson, TRIO Programs
Trisha Jackson earned her bachelor’s degree in rhetoric & communication studies, WGSS and Religious Studies from the University of Richmond. Additionally, she earned her master’s degree in counselor education in college counseling & student development at NC State University. Her own experience as a first-generation, low-income student drives her work with students who share similar experiences. Her goal is to inspire students to use education as a vehicle for upward mobility, to take advantage of their resources, and to be holistically well.
New Faculty Advisor Award
The New Faculty Advisor Award honors an outstanding faculty member who has been advising undergraduates for up to three years, including service at all institutions, and who spends less than 50 percent of their time serving as an academic advisor.
Recipient: Dr. Erin McKenney, Applied Ecology
Dr. Erin McKenney is the director of undergraduate programs for Applied Ecology. She earned her master of science degree from NC State and her Ph.D. from Duke University. Her research incorporates microbial ecology, nutrition and comparative gut morphology to investigate novel questions using perfect, unusual systems. For over a decade, she has investigated evolutionary adaptation across scales and species, between non-human primates and rogue (herbivorous) carnivores and their gut microbes. More recently, she has engaged the public, particularly students, to study the microbes in sourdough starters and other fermented foods. Dr. McKenney is the advisor for Applied Ecology minors.
Advising Administrator Award (Now the Carrie McLean Award)
The Advising Administrator Award recognizes an outstanding individual who has oversight of an advising unit. Nominees must have served as an advising administrator at NC State for at least three years.
Heather Lyerly, Wilson College of Textiles
Heather Lyerly is the director of academic services in the Wilson College of Textiles. She oversees all aspects of advising for the college, working with advisors, department heads and directors of undergraduate programs to ensure student success. She earned a bachelor of science degree in exercise and sports science from East Carolina University and a master of arts in counseling from the University of Alabama Birmingham.
Faculty Advisor Award
The Faculty Advisor Award recognizes an outstanding individual whose primary responsibility is in teaching and research and who spends less than 50 percent of their time advising undergraduate students. The individual has advised undergraduates for 3-plus years including service at all institutions.
Recipient: Dr. Kim Bush, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Dr. Kim Bush is an associate teaching professor and director of undergraduate programs in the Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management department in the College of Natural Resources. She also serves as co-chair of the University Academic Advising Committee. She earned her Ph.D. in sport and exercise education/pedagogy, her master of arts in education (with physical education teaching certificate, K-12), a master of science in physical education, and a bachelor of arts degree in psychology from The Ohio State University. One of her students wrote that he does not believe he would have finished his degree without Dr. Bush.
Barbara Soloman Award
The Barbara Soloman Award is presented to the outstanding advisor who spends at least 50 percent of their time on direct delivery of advising to students and has five years or more of academic advising experience at NC State. This award is presented in honor of Barbara Soloman, whose long and distinguished career demonstrated both outstanding advising and advocacy for students as she championed student success.
Recipient: Cynthia Zuckerman-Hyman, Communication
Cynthia Zuckerman-Hyman is a senior lecturer and the director of undergraduate advising in the Department of Communication in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, where she has served since 2011. She is the primary advisor for 520 students and secondary advisor for the other 180-plus majors in Communication. She has been advising since 2011, and was named director of undergraduate advising in 2015.
Learn more about the Undergraduate Academic Advising Awards at https://advising.dasa.ncsu.edu/resources-for-advisors/undergraduate-academic-advising-awards/
This post was originally published in DASA.