PROFILE: Nicole Grant Is Honored With UC’s Outstanding Advisor Award
The assistant academic director and senior academic advisor in UC’s Center for Exploratory Studies is praised for helping students find their pathway to success.
Date: 5/3/2004 8:00:00 AMNicole Grant says she still keeps in touch with her undergraduate academic advisor and mentor, Dr. Betty Fritz-Cook, at Kentucky State University in Frankfort. In fact, she says the support that “Dr. Betty” gave her students inspired Grant to consider a career in student advising. Now, Grant – the assistant academic director and senior academic advisor in UC’s Center for Exploratory Studies – is getting the accolades at UC by receiving the university’s Outstanding Advisor Award.
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Photos By: Dottie Stover
The award, sponsored by the University of Cincinnati Undergraduate Academic Advising Association and supported by UC’s Quality Service Initiative, is presented to a UC advisor who demonstrates outstanding qualities and practices in areas such as their interpersonal skills, availability to students, handling of policies, procedures and referrals, and leadership among colleagues.
“One of the things that is so special about Nicole is her style of advising,” writes Tara Stopfel, director of the UC Center for Exploratory Studies, and Barbara Schooley, assistant dean for the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, in their award nomination. “She effortlessly conveys a combination of ultimate professionalism, true concern, high expectations, fairness, competence and kindness.”
Grant, who is also a UC doctoral student in educational foundations, started working at UC three years ago as an advisor in the Office of Educational Services and the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, then moved to the Center for Exploratory Studies when the center first opened last year. With close advising, career exploration and mentoring, the center helps undecided majors find a direction. Grant says that “undecided” declaration is the largest category nationally for undergraduates. “It’s the largest major on most campuses, and I love working with these students, especially when I can reach them early and help them understand what they need to start the process of selecting a major.
“I’ll see some students who have no idea of what they might be interested in – others might have so many interests, they can’t decide. So it’s a matter of talking with them about their interests, their values and their abilities.”
Grant has also worked across campus and outside the typical university hours during presentations to students about the search for the right major and the resources they can find at the Center for Exploratory Studies. Colleagues say she’s the advisor who’s invited to the graduation of her students, and that she’s been to every one of them.
“I honestly believe that her calmness and her supportive attitude kept me from failing out of school,” writes UC junior Paul Detchon, who Grant started advising during his freshman year. “I truly owe my future to Nicole. She has even inspired me to go into the same field.”
The Outstanding Advisor Award will provide a $250 scholarship for Grant to attend the National Academic Advising Association national conference in Cincinnati in October, in addition to a $250 cash award.