This annual award is granted to a professional advisor, faculty advisor, advising administrator, or advising support personnel and is sponsored by UCUAADA and the Office of Advising and Academic Services. The first Outstanding Advising Award was funded by a portion of a 2003 Service Enhancement Grant (UC Quality Service Initiative) to support and reward UC advisors. The winner of the first award in 2003-04 was Nicole Grant, Senior Academic Advisor in the Center for Exploratory Studies. The search committee that year consisted of Dr. Warren Huff, Department of Geology (Faculty Advisor representative), Bob Fee, Senior Assistant Dean, McMicken College of Arts and Sciences (College representative), Cecily Goode, Director, One Stop Service Center (Student Affairs and Services representative), and Tim Mohrhaus, University Honors Program (Provost representative).
In 2006 the name of the award was changed to the Sarah Grant Barber Outstanding Advising Award in memory of late DAAP academic advisor Sarah Barber. As a compassionate individual and outstanding advisor, Ms. Barber did not shy away from voicing her concerns about the quality of advising and services available to students regardless of their backgrounds. She took advantage of the opportunity to serve on UCUAADA's Executive Board as a means to encourage and support fellow advisors in joining her advocacy for all students. Additionally, she served as the faculty advisor to Mortar Board and performed dual roles as member (cello) and faculty advisor to the UC Orchestra. Ms. Barber's great sense of creativity and optimism has helped to inspire current and future academic advisors alike. The person receiving this award is selected on the basis of his/her ability to embody these same qualities in their own unique way.