College students meet a lot of people in their academic careers, including, of course, fellow students, faculty members, and support staff. One of the most important people they will know is their academic advisor. A good one will be remembered for all the right reasons, a bad one, for all the wrong ones. Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne is proud to announce Susan E. Byers, the director of the Student Success Center in the Doermer School of Business and Management Sciences, is the 2008-09 Academic Advisor of the Year. Byers’ award was announced at a luncheon today (Tuesday, April 7, 2009).
Byers’ nominators had no trouble enumerating the reasons she should receive the award. Both the current and former Deans of the DSBMS, Otto Chang and John Wellington, noted Byers works with more than 1,100 students in the business school, with only a part-time clerical receptionist to assist her. “Susan’s effectiveness in advising is second to none. I am willing to retract this statement, if you can find another advisor on this campus or anywhere that singly handles more advisees then her. I will be happy to consider myself wrong, too, if you can find better student persistence rates from other schools or colleges on this campus than ours, again because of her excellence in advising,” wrote Chang. A letter from Wellington states, “ It is my personal observation that Susan has a very special talent in bonding with students. She has a touch that goes beyond providing correct, meaningful, timely advice and counseling that brings students back.” Jim Moore, associate dean of DSBMS agrees with Chang and Wellington, “She maintains open and regular communication lines with all her advisees, so that there are very few ‘surprises’ as students approach graduation. Even more importantly, Susan is most definitely a ‘people-person’ and knows our students by name and by any special circumstances that might impact their individual academic planning.”
Student testimonials are also full of praise. One writes, “. . . she always took time to assist me in every way and make sure I was on the right track.” “She has helped in numerous ways throughout my career at IPFW. She is so busy but still takes the time to personally respond to any e-mail that I send her.” “On numerous occasions she has given me advise on how to set up my classes in a more beneficial manner and/or structure.”
Byers began her career at IPFW in 1994 and became the director of the DSBMS Student Center four years ago. She received a plaque and a $500 cash award, to be used for professional development, at Tuesday's luncheon. Congratulations Susan!