FORT WAYNE, Ind.—Two Indiana University–Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) academic advisors who "...engage in advising as teaching...helping students see the connections between their goals and our curriculum, versus strictly course scheduling..." are the 2014 IPFW Academic Advisors of the year.
Corrie Fox, from the Mastodon Advising Center (MAC), and Kari Smith, from the Doermer School of Business (DSB), received their award plaques today (Thursday, April 10, 2014) during the annual academic Advising luncheon.
Fox's nomination papers noted that she has been an academic advisor in the MAC for nearly seven years and in that time has counseled several hundred students each semester, many of whom are readmitted students. One of Fox's nominators stated, "She creates an accepting, safe environment for her students, especially her readmitted students, so that they feel comfortable answering some of the tough questions she asks them—'What happened that led to your dismissal? What worked for you? What didn’t work for you? What are you willing to do to achieve academic success?' As her students discuss these questions they are able to gain insight into the choices they made that led to their dismissal, to learn from their mistakes, and to create realistic, achievable goals to help them be successful academically...Corrie made the decision to advise all the readmitted students based on her research, which emphasized the importance of 'personal advising' versus 'professional advising,' meaning that developing a relationship with the students is a key component to their academic success."
Smith has been advising students in the Doermer School of Business for nearly five years and gets high praise from both her nominators and the students she has advised. "...She has the ability to be encouraging when they need it, as well as very blunt and when it is appropriate. The tough love she shows has helped several students get back on track and graduate. We have seen many students enter her office in tears and walk out encouraged and hopeful. One student states: 'During the fall semester, I experienced a very challenging life transition...I met with my advisor, Kari; upon walking into her office, she immediately knew something wasn't right. Faced with what seemed to be an insurmountable giant, I wanted to throw in the towel. Expressing a genuine desire to see me rebound, Kari encouraged me...She saw in me the strength of character that I couldn't at that moment see in myself. I took heed of her words...and have come through the fire all the more refined. Her influence in my life has transformed my perspective on setbacks and change. Best of all, my collegiate experience has been enriched because of this new lease on life.'"
There are more testimonials extolling the successes both Fox and Smith have achieved in advising students over the years, the main themes being their abilities to listen, understand what the students are going through, and the ability to help them choose the right courses not only to fulfill their college careers, but their lives after graduation. Fox and Smith received individual plaques as well as a stipend to be used for professional development.
For more information on the award itself or its recipients, contact Irwin Mallin, Academic Advising Council, at 260-481-6553 or firstname.lastname@example.org.