SRU’s Miller and Hogue receive President’s Awards for Outstanding Academic Advising
The Slippery Rock University President’s Award for Outstanding Academic Advising recognized SRU faculty for their roles as academic advisers, which includes meeting with students before they register for classes each semester.
April 6, 2021
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. — For the first the time in the award's eight-year history, the Slippery Rock University President's Award for Outstanding Academic Advising has winners in two categories: "Emerging," for SRU faculty with fewer than three years of advising experience, and "Established," for those with three or more years. Perhaps fittingly, the 2021 recipients come from two different disciplines but also have two different reasons why they thrive as academic advisers.
Lyn Miller, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics, received the award in the Established category. She has served on the SRU faculty since 2001. Mark Hogue, assistant professor of secondary education and foundations of education, who arrived at SRU in 2018, was the recipient in the Emerging category.
In their roles as academic advisers, faculty meet with students at least once per semester before students register for classes for the following semester, or multiple times to ensure they are on the right track for academic and professional success.
"With advising, there's always some interesting problem solving, and in mathematics that's what we tend to thrive on," said Miller, who advises anywhere from 12-18 students per semester. "Each student's program is different: they can tailor their electives to suit particular interests or career goals and they can declare an attached minor, so there's flexibility."
Miller said that many students are accustomed to high school advising with one guidance counselor, whereas in college they can have multiple people, such as an adviser for a minor, a student success coach, a career coach or other support personnel.
Hogue also recognizes this adjustment for students from high school to college. He worked as a teacher and administrator in secondary education for nearly 15 years before joining the SRU faculty. One of the reasons he's thrived as an adviser is the ability to do what he calls "fostering student dispositions."
"These are the intangibles that really prepare students for the right attitudes, behaviors and commitments that the (education) profession will encompass and will allow them to be successful," said Hogue, who advises more than 50 students. "As a former educator (in secondary education), we have that piece to advising that's far less tangible than a student's schedule or degree audit."
Regardless of approaches or reasons for advising success, both Miller and Hogue's motivations are the same: helping students succeed.
"It all leads back to the students," said Hogue, who received undergraduate and graduate degrees from SRU in 2004 and 2007. "I had several excellent advisers who were really influential in my life, so I'm really trying to pass it along and pay it forward to my students."
Academic advising has changed during the pandemic. Professors meet virtually with their students via Zoom or other videoconferences applications, and some, like Miller, use Desire2Learn, SRU's online learning management system, to assist with scheduling meetings and conducting asynchronous discussions.
The SRU President's Award for Outstanding Academic Advising is based on student nominations that are reviewed by an awards committee, which is organized through the Provost's Office. The president selects the recipient based on the committee's recommendation of finalists. Winners receive a plaque and $1,000 in professional travel funds.
"Receiving this award is a real positive boost during a tough situation for all of us in higher education," Miller said. "This is a reminder that there are still a lot of positive things going on and people are recognizing that."
"I feel like in some ways I'm receiving an award for something that my colleagues are doing because I've learned from them and they've been supportive," Hogue said. "I'm humbled and shocked to receive such an honor."
Miller and Hogue will be recognized at SRU's virtual Celebration of Achievement event, 5 p.m., April 19. More information about SRU President's Awards, including the nomination process, is available on the SRU website.
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