Sarah Grant Barber Outstanding Advising Award 2003-2004

2004 University of Cincinnati Outstanding Advising award winner

Nicole M. Grant, Assistant Director Academic, University of Cincinnati Center for Exploratory Studies. A UC Profile of Nicole is available here

2004 University of Cincinnati Outstanding Advising award nominees

Denise Robinette, Senior Academic Advisor, University of Cincinnati Pre-Professional Advising Center
Andrew Vogel, Manager of Professional Programs, University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy
Jennifer Wiswell, Senior Academic Advisor, Undergraduate Programs, University of Cincinnati College of Business
Eli White, Undergraduate Student, Psychology Advisor Department of Psychology, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences

Nicole M. Grant

Assistant Academic Director, Center for Exploratory Studies

Tara Stopfel, Director Center for Exploratory Studies and Barbara Schooley, Assistant Dean McMicken College of Arts & Sciences write in their letter of nomination: “Nicole effortlessly conveys a combination of ultimate professionalism, true concern, high expectations, fairness, competence, and kindness. She has a strong sense of justice and places high importance on sharing the most current and most accurate information with students.”

Paul R. Detchon, one of Nicole’s advisees writing a letter of support for Nicole’s nomination, describes a situation that Nicole helped him through in the . “I remember being at a heightened stress level, but she calmed me down, and got me straightened out. I honestly believe that her calmness, and her supportive attitude kept me from failing out of school. My mom even wanted to meet her to thank her; I truly owe my future to Nicole. She has inspired me to go into the same field; I want to be able to help others half as much as she helped me.”

Carol Tonge, Nicole’s colleague and a new UC employee, writes in a letter of support: “Nicole welcomed me to the Center for Exploratory Studies and assisted with my acclimation not only to UC but to Cincinnati as a whole. She dedicated time and effort prior to my arrival to ensure that I had the correct information for students. She also committed time during her busy day to ensure I knew my way around the campus and my residential area. Nicole is a remarkable professional woman who serves as a role model to other young black females working on campus.”

In her advising philosophy statement, Nicole describes herself as a “college student advocate” who serves students in different ways. “First, college students, especially at a large university, are looking for a college or university official that will just listen and actually hear what they are saying. I give my students my undivided attention. Second, college students are looking for someone to actually help them overcome whatever problem they might be having, therefore I make sure I always follow through on any request. Third, I make it a habit to treat each student like an individual not a number even if they are my tenth appointment that day they will never know by my behavior. Fourth, I realized early in my career that I am never off duty as an academic advisor. On several occasions, I have run across advisees in restaurants, in the mall, and even in the restroom. They always have questions for me; I can never turn them away.”

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Denise Robinette

Senior Academic Advisor, Pre-Professional Advising Center

Suzette Combs, Director of the PPAC and Denise’s nominator, reports that “Denise’s strong counseling background is evident as she works with students. She has a genuine devotion to students and a desire to help them make the most of their educational experience. Students feel respected, heard and empowered and receive information that is honest, correct, and in their best interest. The Pre-Professional Advising Center owes a large part of its success to Denise’s efforts. She works hard at her professional development. Denise makes things better by her participation, students better for having seen her, the department stronger, and UC a better university.”

Sherry Spokas, Senior Academic Advisor, McMicken College of Arts & Sciences, in a letter of support, indicates that Denise “instills confidence in her students and coworkers. She makes herself available to advisees with or without appointments, involved in student events and organizations beyond the normal workday, and is active in UCUAADA, workshops and leadership.”

Jessica Nickel, one of Denise’s advisees, said that Denise “provided a committee interview, which served for me as a great practice for my medical school interview. I would not have been nearly as confident in my actual interview without having first experienced the committee interview.”

Bonnie Grote, another advisee, says that Denise “knows exactly how to help me or who to go to if I have a problem that she can not solve. She puts in extra hours for Caducea, the pre-health organization.”

Payal Modi, another advisee, worked with Denise through Connections, the UC-UC Medical School dual admissions program. He says about Denise “I can honestly say that I do not know where I would be without her guidance. She was one of the first people I met from the University of Cincinnati as a senior in high school, and she is one of my closest friends as a senior in college.”

Denise includes as part of her advising philosophy “while there is a set of concrete information that is applicable to the needs of all or most students, it is important to remember that not all advisees are coming from the same place. The ability to read between the lines, to adapt one’s style of communication, and to request feedback are important in making meaningful connections with students.”

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Andrew Vogel

Manager of Professional Programs, College of Pharmacy

Dr. Robert E. Lee, Associate Dean for Academic and Professional Affairs University of Cincinnati College of Pharmacy, in Andrew’s nominating letter writes: “that Andrew is a true friend of each and every one of our students speaks clearly about his availability and interest in students. Andrew’s ability to communicate with students and the public is truly outstanding. It doesn’t make any difference whether the individual is young or old, black or white, male or female, he does an exceptional job representing the College and University in every respect. I don’t think you can find a better professional individual to recognize. He is a most valued individual to our students, the faculty and the University.”

Paulette Robinson is a colleague who writes in a letter of support that Andrew has always “exhibited very strong interpersonal and professional skills with faculty, staff, students, and visitors, is keenly knowledgeable with policies and procedures, provides in-depth and precise assistance, and his leaderships skills are well respected.”

Erica Scheuffele, a College of Pharmacy class of 2006 student and Yearbook editor, says that Andrew, “in spite of his busy job, managed to find time to consistently meet with me and teach me about making a yearbook. I have worked with Andrew on several committees. I have seen first hand how Andrew has added to the success of the College of Pharmacy. He knows most students by name, rather than by a number.”

In his advising philosophy, Andrew says that “advising is a critically important service for students through many phases of their academic career. We have tremendous influence over the career choices a student may consider. I take the importance of this position very seriously and respect the influence that I may have with students as a trusted academic advisor, and seek to enhance the professional relationship with students to deepen the trust bond.”

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Jennifer Wiswell

Senior Academic Advisor, Undergraduate Programs, College of Business

Marianne W. Lewis, Associate Dean College of Business says about Jennifer in her letter of nomination: “Jenn has led the advising charge [in revising] the first year experience, the student support structure, and honors opportunities. Jenn’s energy, dedication and creativity have fueled all three efforts. She truly sets the standard for service in the college – in advising and beyond.”

Mary Gorman, Director of Freshman Studies, a colleague says that “Jenn has become the heart and soul of freshman advising. Jenn’s dedication and focus enable her to be exceptionally reactive and proactive as an advisor. Jenn responds as quickly, effectively, and professionally to challenges as anyone I have had the pleasure to know.”

Katherine Menchen, a college of business student and Jennifer’s advisee, says that Jenn “always seems to be smiling. She is positive, friendly and helpful, whether meeting in her office, in a classroom or in the hallway. Jenn has helped me, and I’m sure other students, recognize the extensive student support available in the college.”

In her advising philosophy statement, Jennifer states: "Whereas a professor may only know how a student performs in one course and a co-op advisor may only learn about a student' professional goals, we have the privileged place of watching, and, ideally, supporting development of the whole student. We see students when they are considering different classes and when they are worrying about their future. From this position, it is our responsibility to help students navigate their collegiate career while exploring complementary academic, extra-curricular and professional opportunities."

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Eliah “Eli” James White

Undergraduate Student, Psychology Advisor, Department of Psychology

Jaimee N. Strayer, a colleague writes in a letter of support that after having received assistance from Eli, “students are content and satisfied.”

Shirley Doxsey, Administrative Secretary, Psychology Department says that Eli “as an undergraduate and at a young age is enthusiastic about helping fellow students improve their chances of graduating by helping them with their schedules and advising them on ways to improve their grades.”

David Bever, a freshman writing in a letter of support found Eli to be “encouraging and challenging, and his guidance and assistance are invaluable.”

In his advising philosophy, Eli says “I just treat the students how I would like to be treated if I came to someone for help. I’ll always try to either take them to someone that can answer their problem or refer them to someone who has better expertise than I.”

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