October 12, 2021

Advisor Training Academy celebrates excellence, announces 2021 awardees

Wayne State University’s academic advisors play an integral role in helping students navigate their own personal path to graduation. From start to finish, academic advisors provide guidance and support by helping inform class and major selection, ensuring degree requirements and deadlines are met, and more. In addition to their routine duties, each of WSU’s 100 academic advisors has been working tirelessly to help students adapt to a largely online classroom environment, while addressing increasing and new student needs, questions, concerns and anxieties.

The Advisor Training Academy recognizes outstanding advisors annually in five categories. Recipients of the Advisor Training Academy Awards are nominated by students, supervisors or their peers for exceptional dedication, innovation and advising approach. Awardees will be formally recognized at the Advising Certification & Awards Program in December.

“An exceptional academic advisor can have a tremendous impact,” said Kate Bernas, director of the Advisor Training Academy. “Wayne State’s advisors consistently go above and beyond for their students. An advisor takes on so many roles — they provide guidance, but they also serve as encouraging advocates. Their unwavering commitment to students is an inspiration to us all.”

The 2021 Advisor Training Academy Awards

Advising Spirit Award

  • Rebecca Russell, department of biological sciences, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

“My goal as an advisor is to help all students navigate the university experience successfully, regardless of whether they have someone to help them or not, to help reduce, remove and/or avoid barriers to completing a college education. I love getting to know more about my students, ask them questions to help them dig into why they’re here, and helping them realize their goals and aspirations. I love sharing my story with my students, so they are comfortable sharing theirs with me in return. I also love getting to know other advisors through mentorship to find out how to help them play to their strengths with students and make connections on campus with groups or projects they are passionate about.”

Outstanding Academic Advisor

  •  Corinne Forys, department of psychology, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

“In my nearly eight years at Wayne State, I’ve had the privilege of working with countless psychology and linguistics undergraduate students from their first days at the university through graduation and beyond. It is such a joy to share these students’ successes and help them navigate through their challenges, and I’m able to do that with the support of incredible teams of colleagues in both of my programs. Wayne State truly sets the standard for enriching the academic advising profession. I’m so grateful to serve students on a campus that values our role in students’ educational journeys.”

Outstanding New Academic Advisor:

  • Josh McGruther, Office of Military and Veterans Academic Excellence

Outstanding Advising Team

  • Mike Ilitch School of Business advising team: Selvana Evans, Bianca Harris, Heather Laskos, Patricia Michno, Janet Mick, Louise Moceri, Brandi Walthall-Johnson and Mary Zinser

“Our goal is always to become a partner and co-worker with our business students to help each student reach their educational goals. Producing successful and happy alumni is what the Hessler team is all about!” MISB Frederick Hessler Student Success Center Undergraduate Advisors

“As one of the newer advisors to the Mike Ilitch School of Business Frederick Hessler Student Success Center, I am grateful for the opportunity to work with such an amazing team. Since December of 2019, I have learned a lot from both my colleagues and students. One of the things I have learned is ‘advising is teaching.’ I have learned that it is vital that I not only teach educational skills but life, decision-making and critical thinking skills, because we are only as successful as our students,” said Bianca Harris. “During an academic advising session, I have also learned that it is as important to listen to what the student asks as it is to assist them with what they may not know to ask. It is important as advisors to know that we have helped our students make the most informed decisions that they can as they strive to reach their educational goals.”

Transfer Advising Champion

  • Margaret MacKeverican, department of public health, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

“I’m proud to have been nominated and selected as this year’s Transfer Champion. Transfer students are a group that’s close to my heart. I am an alumna of Wayne State and was a transfer student from Macomb Community College, so I take advising transfer students and their success personally. I want transfer students to know they have someone who’s on their side and advocating for them. My role as a Transfer Champion requires ensuring students feel welcome, included, and that their record is as accurate and as transfer-friendly as possible. I strive to be an intervention, not a barrier, to our students’ success — they truly deserve it!”

Additional information about the Advisor Training Academy Awards and this year’s recipients can be found online. To learn more about the Advisor Training Academy, visit advisortraining.wayne.edu.

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