Jan. 27, 2009
Faculty honored for excellence as academic advisors
Three Northwest faculty members recently received awards from the University's Office of Advisement Assistance recognizing them for exemplary work in helping students chart an effective academic path toward graduation.
Dr. Margaret Drew, associate professor of curriculum and instruction; Dr. Jamie Patton, assistant professor of agriculture; and Dr. Jeffry Thornsberry, assistant professor of biological sciences, were each presented with Outstanding Academic Advisor Award plaques by Assistant Director of Advisement Brad Landhuis.
The award, which is new this year, goes to one academic advisor from each of Northwest's three colleges: Arts and Sciences, Education and Human Services and the Melvin and Valorie Booth College of Business and Professional Studies. Landhuis said the idea is to recognize faculty members who take on additional responsibilities by helping students make well-informed academic and career choices that often affect their professional lives long after graduation.
"In bestowing these awards, we wanted to recognize all of our excellent academic advisors who help students focus on what their life and career needs are going to be," Landhuis said. "The advising process is extremely important, and we wanted to show how much we appreciate all the work that the faculty puts into this."
Landhuis said 78 faculty advisors were nominated by students who were asked to apply such criteria as availability; concern for and engagement with advisees; and knowledge of University policies, regulations and procedures.
Nominations were submitted online, and finalists were chosen using a two-tier evaluation process involving members of the Student Senate, Faculty Senate and the University administration. Nominees for the award, which is to be presented annually, must be full-time faculty members with at least three years of service to Northwest.
Drew, who holds a Ph.D. from Southern Illinois University, joined the College of Education and Human Services in 1996 as coordinator of the America Reads program. She has subsequently served as elementary education graduate and undergraduate program coordinator; assistant professor of reading and language arts; associate professor of reading and language arts; and graduate reading program coordinator.
Patton, the Booth College representative, is a soils specialist who received a Ph.D. from Oklahoma State University-Stillwater. She joined Northwest's Department of Agriculture in 2003 and has since been honored as a Distinguished Member of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars and selected as Agriculture Faculty Member of the Year by the Agriculture Student Organization.
Thornsberry, of the College of Arts and Sciences, came to Northwest in 2003 after earning a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He recently served as a member of the Nanoscience/CIE Planning Team that worked to develop a new nanoscale science program to be housed in the University's Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Among other tasks, the group provided input for design of the center's academic wing and identified equipment to be purchased with a $1.2 million federal appropriation.
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