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Sarah Grant Barber Outstanding Advising Award 2009-2010



2009-10 Advising Award Nominees

Ryan Hall, Patrick Donnelly, Kathy Weimer, Denise Gabrelski, Carol Tonge Mack, Mary Fox (Anita Todd not pictured)

Congratulations to this year's nominees

Patrick Donnelly, Center for Access and Transition

In the words of one nominator, “Mr. Donnelly has been an advisor in the CAT since its very beginning, and he has faithfully and consistently contributed to the development and success of the center. . . . Despite all the many technical, logistical challenges that his job entails, Mr. Donnelly has consistently risen to the occasion and found new and creative solutions to the problems that UC students and advisors face,” the nominator affirms.  Stepping in the shoes of a student, another letter applauds, “Patrick is all the things that an incoming freshman would want in an academic advisor.”

Mary Fox, Biological Sciences (Recipient)

Mary serves as the faculty advisor to all biological sciences majors, which is one of the largest majors at UC. “She has our highest regard and professional respect as a faculty advisor who demonstrates a heavy investment in the success and effective academic support of her students,” say two of her nominators, who also note that, “Mary’s work with her students clearly stands out head and shoulders as she sets the bar in the college for most of her colleagues.” In the words of one student, which reflects what many other students say in their nomination letters, “Mary deserves to be recognized for all the hard work and dedication she puts into making sure all her advisees are on the path to earning their degrees in the most beneficial way.”  Another student remarks, “When I reflect on my time spent at UC, there is only one person who has made such a large impact during my college career, and her name is Mary Fox.” E-Currents article about Mary

Denise Gabrelski, Pre-Professional Advising Center (Recipient)

With responsibility for advising more than 300 students as UC’s only advisor for pre-pharmacy undergraduates, Denise “has the experience, education, sense of community, dedication to her students, and networking skills that make her a dazzling example for us to follow as advisors,” writes one of her nominators. “Denise exemplifies the quality and character of an advisor who is ultimately interested in the success of her students,” says another nominator. “Her willingness to see a student succeed goes beyond what the university expects of an academic advisor.”  Student nominators agree; one notes, “Denise clearly has her students’ best interests in mind and will go to great lengths to help students. Her positive and realistic attitude inspires me. I always recommend her to my friends because I know she will help them find many opportunities and work with them through their concerns.”

Ryan Hall, Clermont Enrollment Services

In his role at UC-Clermont, Ryan is responsible for leading professional advisors as well as a group of 20 faculty advisors. In support of Ryan’s nomination, a colleague writes, “Ryan has completely revamped the advisor training and training procedures at UC-Clermont. What was once a source of complaints from students is now viewed as a model for other areas of our operations to follow.” Another nominator praises Ryan’s advocacy for students, noting that he is “a master at working with individual students as he also advises people who have a variety of needs such as day care arrangements, work commitments, and personal challenges.”

Anita Todd, Division of Professional Practice

Anita plays a pivotal role in helping CEAS students gain the confidence and the knowledge needed to find a career.  One nominator says, “Her record repeatedly indicates multifaceted and sustained commitment to and success at outstanding and innovative co‐operative education.”  One of her advisees notes that, “No one person at this university has instilled such enthusiasm in me nor been so helpful and motivating than Anita, and I owe her all the thanks in the world for her continued support, hard work, and networking on my behalf.”

Carol Tonge Mack, Center for Exploratory Studies

In addition to her other responsibilities, Carol collaborated with colleagues to create a successful faculty and staff mentoring program for African American students (PR1ZE—Putting Retention 1st in the Zest for Excellence).  On this effort her nominator states that it “would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of Ms. Tonge Mack who, in addition to her already full workload contributed in every phase of program development and operations.”  One student writes that Ms. Tonge Mack is “a selfless, caring, and genuine servant of the University Community. She embodies the principles of what it means to put the student's success first and my goal was to remain under her wing.” 

Kathy Weimer, College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning

Kathy’s primary responsibility is to work with at-risk students, including DAAP students who are not performing well and non-DAAP students who wish to enter programs but were initially denied due to their lack of qualifications. One nominator said, “Her most valuable qualities are her sense of reason, her easy nature and approachability, her intelligent approach to problem solving, her drive and initiative.” Another said, “Kathy is an outstanding advocate for students. She is deeply committed to each student’s success, giving a great deal of time and energy to assist each one’s unique needs. She listens to their needs, hears what goes unsaid, anticipates potential needs or obstacles, and provides appropriate options.”

Thank you to this year's selection committee

Jen Lile; Assistant Director Academic, University Honors (Committee Chair)

Ned Donnelly; Associate Director, Educational Services

Eric Mast; Coordinator, Center for Access and Transition

Kenneth Simonson; Director Academic, Emerging Ethnic Engineering

Nayana Shah; Assistant Professor, Physics