Provost J. Bruce Rafert has announced the recipients of this year’s Academic Advising Awards. Harlene Hatterman-Valenti, associate professor of plant sciences, received the Outstanding Faculty Advising Award and Joan Krush, academic adviser and lecturer in the Department of Computer Science, received the Outstanding Professional Adviser Award.
The Office of the Provost established the awards in November 2012 to highlight the importance of academic advising at NDSU by recognizing advisers who are committed to helping undergraduate students reach their full potential.
Larry Peterson, director of the Office of Accreditation, Assessment and Academic Advising, said the awards highlight the importance of advising on campus and recognize the excellent work advisers are already doing. “High-quality advising is a foundation for student success,” Peterson said. “Advisers who care about students as individuals and who understand university and departmental procedures and requirements help students graduate on time and can serve as mentors in their personal and professional lives.”
Hatterman-Valenti and Krush were selected through a two-stage process. In November, students and alumni were invited to nominate candidates who have been employed at NDSU and have advised students for at least two years. The nominees were then asked to provide additional information regarding their advising philosophies and activities.
A selection committee, comprised of representatives from the Council on Improving Advising, student affairs, professional advisers, undergraduate students and faculty, evaluated the nominations from the students and submissions from the nominees based on qualities such as knowledge and accountability, accessibility and approachability, caring and responsiveness, and genuine concern for each student.
Nearly 40 individuals were nominated this year. The selection committee members reported they faced a difficult, but also rewarding challenge because every nominee deserved to receive one of the awards.
In nominating Hatterman-Valenti, one student wrote, “If it wasn’t for Harlene I probably would have dropped out of college all together and to never return again. For as busy as she is she always made me feel like I was priority and she never forgot about me. When I think of NDSU, I immediately think of Harlene. I think she represents NDSU and what a professor should be.”
Rafert and Peterson wrote in Hatterman-Valenti’s award letter, “Selection Committee members were particularly impressed by your commitment to informal advising wherever you can make the opportunity: in the First Year Experience program, in the multiple student organizations you advise, and even in basketball pick-up games at the Wellness Center.”
In a nomination for Krush, one student praised her for helping the student to graduate by moving “around my schedule so that I only had to take one additional semester and the additional semester has a minimal amount of additional credits, while concurrently making sure that I am able to take all the necessary classes before they are removed as I am on the old computer science curriculum and cannot take some of the classes effective next semester.”
Summarizing the views of the selection committee, Rafert and Peterson praised Krush’s active involvement in the National Academic Advising Association and noted how they were “moved by your hope ‘to continually encourage students to actively participate in their own development and growth by providing a supportive environment while being guided by curriculum requirements’ and your commitment to help each student assume ownership of his or her education and creating an environment conducive to asking questions and seeking assistance.”
Hatterman-Valenti and Krush will each receive an honorarium of $1,000 and be recognized with a plaque that will be displayed in the Memorial Union. They will be honored at the annual Celebration of Faculty Excellence scheduled for Thursday, May 8, at 3 p.m. at the NDSU McGovern Alumni Center.
NDSU is recognized as one of the nation's top 108 public and private universities by the Carnegie Commission on Higher Education.