North Dakota State University Provost J. Bruce Rafert named the first-ever recipients of the university’s new Academic Advising Awards. Janice Haggart, an instructor in the Department of Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences, received the Outstanding Faculty Advising Award and Linda Fricker, academic adviser for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, received the Outstanding Professional Adviser Award.
The Office of the Provost established the two awards in November 2012 to highlight the importance of academic advising at NDSU by recognizing advisers who are committed to helping undergraduate students reach their full potential.
Larry Peterson, director of the Office of Accreditation, Assessment and Academic Advising, said the awards recognize the excellent work advisers already are doing. He also said it raises the profile of advising as an important activity on campus. “High-quality advising is crucial to student success,” Peterson said. “Advisers who are caring and knowledgeable help them find a pathway through the campus. Not only do students need to have the correct courses scheduled, but they also need to have personal and career goals in mind. Advising plays an important role in students being successful in their personal lives and careers.”
Haggart and Fricker were selected through a two-stage process. In November, students and alumni were invited to nominate candidates who have been employed at NDSU and have advised students for at least two years. The nominees were then asked to provide additional information regarding their advising philosophies and activities.
A selection committee, comprised of representatives from the Council on Improving Advising, Student Affairs, Professional Advisors, undergraduate students and faculty, judged the submissions based on qualities such as knowledge and accountability; accessibility and approachability; caring and responsiveness; and genuine concern for each student.
Almost 50 individuals were nominated this year. The selection committee members reported they faced a difficult, but also pleasing challenge because every nominee deserved recognition.
In a nomination for Haggart, a student wrote, “I view Janice as a teacher, but not an ordinary teacher. She has taught me about life and has guided me in the right direction since she became my adviser.”
Rafert and Peterson wrote in Haggart’s award letter, “Members (of the selection committee) were struck by your detailed descriptions of how you adapt your advising strategy to connect with different types of students and your focus on advising the whole person so that students can ‘find the tools to be successful,’ can ‘understand that they are ultimately accountable for their decisions’ and can ‘enjoy a full and rewarding life when they leave NDSU.’ ”
In a nomination for Fricker, a student wrote about receiving help to resolve a scheduling problem. “When I met with her, I thanked her and she simply replied, ‘Advocating for students is part of my job!’ I think the main reason why Linda is such a great college adviser is because she never loses sight of what her job is – to help the students.”
Summarizing the views of the selection committee, Rafert and Peterson echoed those sentiments in Fricker’s award letter. “We were moved by your emphasis on listening carefully to students to help them grow and explore and your commitment to teaching students not only to have ‘confidence in themselves and their ideas,’ but also teaching them to dream dreams, make plans and chart a path with the ‘tools and services at NDSU to achieve those dreams,’ ” they wrote.
Haggart and Fricker will each receive an honorarium of $1,000 and be recognized with a plaque that will be displayed in the Memorial Union. They also will be honored at the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence scheduled for Thursday, May 2, at 3 p.m. at the NDSU McGovern Alumni Center.