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Outstanding Academic Advising Award recipients named

NDSU Provost Beth Ingram has announced the recipients of this year’s Academic Advising Awards. Edward Deckard, professor of plant sciences received the Outstanding Faculty Advising Award and Joel Hanson, director of Student Support Services in the College of Engineering, received the Outstanding Professional Adviser Award. 

Deckard and Hanson will each receive an honorarium of $1,000 and be recognized with a plaque that will be displayed in the Memorial Union.

The Office of the Provost established the two awards in 2012 to highlight the importance of academic advising at NDSU by recognizing advisers who are committed to helping undergraduate students reach their full potential.

Deckard and Hanson 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, faculty and Larry Peterson, director of Accreditation, Assessment and Academic Advising, evaluated the nominations based on qualities of knowledge and accountability; accessibility and approachability; caring and responsiveness; and genuine concern for each student.

More than 30 worthy individuals were nominated this year.

One of Deckard’s advisees wrote, “He is heartfelt in everything he does. His own confidence in us students succeeding is so strong it helps us find confidence in ourselves. He would drop anything in an instance if an advisee needed assistance. Dr. Deckard has provided me a path to which I can succeed.”

In Deckard’s award letter, the committee highlighted his “commitment to challenging students to push ‘into new areas where they show potential to succeed,’ but also being there ‘when a student is in over his head.’” Again quoting Deckard, they praised his advising credo: “we must connect our students with the right people and provide steady support and inspiration as we help them climb the ladder of intellectual and personal development and guide them into meaningful work.”

In nominating Hanson, one student described him as “very caring, so easy to talk to and extremely knowledgeable. Due to his knowledge of the university and him being so approachable, even as a senior I continue to go to Joel's office.”

Ingram and Peterson said selection committee members were particularly impressed by Hanson’s sincere commitment to “meeting the students where they are at in life” and consequently making his interactions with advisees as personal as possible by “listening to what’s important to them and tying it in to their college experiences.”

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