May 5, 2009
Texas Tech University named the winners of the annual President’s Excellence in Academic Advising Award today (May 5).
Individual awards went to Ann Bush from the Academic Advising Services office in the College of Human Sciences and to Kay F. Arellano from the Department of Natural Resources Management in the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources.
“I applaud the hard work and dedication to our students shown by Ann and Kay,” said Guy Bailey, president of Texas Tech. “Helping students achieve the appropriate course load for each semester is vital to ensuring that they graduate in a timely manner. It is a big job, and a vital one for our students.”
The President’s Excellence in Academic Advising Award was created and first offered in the spring of 2006 to emphasize the importance of academic advising.
“These two advisors are wonderful examples of the impressive work being done to help our students succeed,” said Bob Smith, provost of Texas Tech. “Advisors play an important role at Texas Tech and I want to express my gratitude to Ann and Kay and all of the excellent advisors we have here.”
Arellano’s academic advising philosophy centers on making time for, informing and encouraging students. She believes in putting students first before other work and in focusing on each individual student.
One faculty member writes of Arellano, “She nicely juggles the needs of all while maintaining a quality-first standard that sets our department above the rest. She seems to see the seeds of potential in many students long before their faculty do and nurtures those seeds into what have become some of the most successful graduates.”
In a letter of support for Arellano’s nomination, one student wrote, “Coming from a small ranching and oil community, Texas Tech seemed as big and busy as New York City. I can still remember how scared and overwhelmed I was during orientation. I questioned my decision to go to Tech, wondering if it was the right place for me, and that was when I met my advisor. She was so warm and inviting. She made me feel as if she earnestly cared about my future there and wanted to help me succeed.”
For Bush, academic advising is not just a process of scheduling classes toward a particular degree objective. Rather, advising is a process of empowering the students to understand themselves, set attainable goals for college and guide them toward making informed choices that lead to graduation.
A colleague wrote of Bush’s nomination, “If I had to summarize her in one statement it would be, ‘doing what is best for the student within the guidelines of the university.’ She has a thorough understanding of the academic part of the student’s life, but an even higher intuitive understanding of those elements necessary for the student to be in harmony with their academic experience.”
One student described the impact of Bush’s advising philosophy, “As a student I have met many staff members who treated me like I was just one of 25,000 students on campus, no different from most. This advisor however, communicated and engaged with me as if I was the only one. The time spent advising me, talking to me and encouraging me are some of the most memorable times of college. She made me feel like someone knew my individual potential and didn’t view me as just another body to shuffle in and out of the office. She is the sole reason I am a Texas Tech graduate and why I returned for my Ph.D. She is an example of the university’s quality and a reason to give back to Tech time and time again.”
CONTACT: DaNay Phelps, senior administrator, University Academic Advising, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-0876 or firstname.lastname@example.org.