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Barbara Schooley Award



Barbara Schooley

About Barbara Schooley:

When Barbara Schooley came to the McMicken College of Arts & Sciences (A&S) in 1980, the college had no advisors; or rather, everyone inside the door was an advisor.  Barbara was interviewed for a job that suffered constant turnover given the line of students appearing at that door. As has been said, she quickly showed the administration which students at the door had real problems and which students were real problems.

She soon noted the lack of designated advisors in the college and lobbied for the creation of an A&S advising center, staffed then by three half-time graduate students.  Arts & Sciences now has a full, professionally-staffed advising center to serve the important advising needs of their students.

In 1988, as a new Assistant Dean, Barbara began to recognize a need for better communication among those professionals involved with undergrauate advising. She then approached the Provost at that time about the need to bring together those individuals regularly, and she received his blessing.  After researching other campuses' advising resources, she began communicating with the relevant units on UC's campus, and coordinated a series of initial meetings, where she and a group of dedicated professionals began the process of forming what we know as UCUAADA.   In the beginning it was a 'tough sell' for funding, space, and support, but Barbara made it happen.

In 2013, Barbara was recognized for her efforts and contributions to UCUAADA, and an award was named for her, which will recognize those individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the group.  Thank you, Barbara and to the many dedicated representatives who began this journey 25 years ago!


Kathy Weimer

2016 Recipient Kathy Weimer

Kathy was elected to the UCUAADA executive board in 2009 to serve as the programming chair.  After serving in elected positions her dedication to UC’s advising community continued as she remained actively engaged with the executive board as a member at large role providing guidance to newer board members.  She was also instrumental in nominating two of the current UCAADA executive board members as she highly encouraged them to become more involved as a way to give back to UC’s advising community. 

Kathy’s career in higher education includes roles in disability services, transitional advising, college advising, and exploratory advising.  After spending over 10 years with UC, she made the decision to retire from UC in November 2016 so she could dedicate her time to her family as a new grandmother.  This decision was not an easy decision to make,and her absence is felt in the CES advising unit, the UCUAADA executive board and from UC’s advising community. 

Congratulations to Kathy Weimer - the 2016 Barbara Schooley Award recipient.  


Sherry Spokas

2015 Recipient Sherry Spokas

Sherry began her career in Academic Advising in the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences as a Graduate Assistant where she worked with the at risk student population in an advisor capacity under Assistant Dean Barbara Schooley for 3 years. In 2001, after completing her MSW from UC, she began working as an Assistant Academic Director in the Honors Scholars program. She made multiple contributions to that office and the university as a whole while in this role such as assisting with recruitment and improving customer service. She managed the database to track for academic status and completion of requirements and she also assisted with the direction of the First Year Experience program. She also advised numerous students during her tenure there.

In 2003, she moved to the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences.  Her primary role was to work with students in an advising capacity and she also taught College Success Skills as well as helped with FYE activities. In December 2004, Sherry began working in the Center for Exploratory Studies. Sherry was one of three original staff members in CES along with Carol Tonge Mack and Tara Warden. She utilized previous work experiences to be the staff coordinator of hiring processes, which included facilitating job postings, interviews, reference checks, evaluations and selection processes for A&S and CES.  She also coordinated training of new advisors and support staff.   It was during this time that Sherry really seemed to find her niche and was able to blend her skill sets for hiring and training advisors as well as being a wonderful academic advisor for UC’s students.  She was awarded the Sarah Grant Barber Outstanding Academic Advising Award in the 2006 to 2007 School year.  She has been a role model for advisors throughout her time at UC. During her tenure in CES, Sherry worked with countless students to assist them with finding their best fit major. She also taught Discovering UC, College Success and First Year Seminar classes for the McMicken College of Arts and Sciences, Center for Exploratory Studies and the Center for Access and Transition.

One of Sherry’s core values has always been the importance of the profession of Academic Advising.  She has lived that core value by serving as Convener of UCUAADA for 6 years and has also served as Secretary.  She continues to serve as a UCUAADA At Large Board member today.  Sherry has said countless times how important the Academic Advising Profession is and that the mission and vision of UCUAADA is a torch she feels honored to carry!  She has brought much to UCUAADA Board discussions for program planning and implementation purposes because of her experience and she has served as an advocate for UCUAADA to upper level administration. Sherry has shared her expertise to the wider university community as well.  She has made 2 presentations entitled the “Center for Exploratory Studies Advising Model” and “Interviewing Processes for Hiring Advisors” at NACADA national conferences.  In March 2012, Sherry was named Director of Student Affairs and Academic Advising in the College of Allied Health Sciences.  This position has given her the opportunity to support and advance advising practices in yet another college at UC.


Dr. Caroline Miller

2014 Recipient Dr. Caroline Miller

Dr. Caroline Miller is the second recipient of the Barbara Schooley Award for Outstanding Contributions to UCUAADA. Dr. Miller has been a devoted advocate for advising since she arrived at UC 10 years ago.  She has been an engaged and interested part of the UCUAADA community’s daily activities and concerns throughout her service at UC.  She has channeled new resources into advising more consistently than any other UC administrator and is, to a great extent, responsible for much of the establishment and expansion of our current programs.  Dr. Miller cares deeply about advising and understands its impact.  When asked once what she would do after retirement, she said she thinks she’ll see if anyone would hire her to be a part-time advisor! 

Her leadership style that has been so foundational in supporting advising and many of our student success programs is characterized by the way she lives out her leadership approach.  This is part of the reason that her keynote speeches at the UC Advising Conferences the last two years have been the most highly evaluated sessions of the day.  We are very fortunate to have her dedicated service to UCUAADA.  Honoring Dr. Caroline Miller with this award is a privilege for the entire UC advising community.


Dr. Ned Donnelly

2013 Recipient Dr. Ned Donnelly

Ned Donnelly was chosen as the first recipient of the Barbara Schooley Award for Outstanding Contributions to UCUAADA.  Below is a summary of just some of the contributions he has made:

  • Serving as a regular consultant, guide, and brainstorming partner in the development of sound advising programs
  • Providing critical big-picture insights into student and administrative issues during advising forums and training sessions
  • Offering a supportive and developmental supervisory style to the staff that has worked for you
  • Serving as UCUAADA convener as well as the Advising Resource partner for UCUAADA
  • Having research on advising published in the NACADA journal
  • Co-authoring one of the most lengthy and comprehensive UC|21 proposals selected for significant funding and implementation
  • Co-leading a comprehensive Task Force and white paper on e-Advising that will be used as a tool to inform SIS selection, planning and implementation
  • Supporting university-wide advising technology needs, including development of the Individual Advising Plan tool for Semester Conversion
  • Going well above and beyond in various large and small ways to support and advance the advising practices and services of the university.

Thank you, Ned, and Congratulations!



Award Criteria:

  • Recipient should be an advocate for UCUAADA to upper level administration.

  • Recipient should be a strong proponent of academic advising as a profession at the university through advocating for professional development and growth opportunities.

  • Recipient should make a contribution that supports and advances advising practices and services of the university.  Contribution (s) shall impact the advising community, as a whole, at UC.

  • Recipient should serve as a role model for Advisors by leading with integrity in their decision-making and practice.