2014 Curtis P. Lawrence Award for Excellence in Advising

2014 Excellence in Advising Award Selection Committee

  • Amy Marie Aufdembrink, Chair, Academic Advisement Center
  • Kelly Wood, Chair, Communication
  • Judy Pickering, Professional Education Advisement Center
  • Tracie Burt, Psychology
  • Robin Hamilton, Student Member
  • Marilee Teasley, Student Member

Faculty: Dr. Joshua Smith, Biomedical Sciences

Dr. Joshua J. Smith is committed to academic advising, using his campus-wide influence to make academic life better for students. His students describe him as organized, patient, kind, and intelligent. Dr. Smith chaired the Committee on General Education and Interdisciplinary Programs in the midst of a major redesign of the general education program and has been instrumental in preparing students and advisors for the transition to the new program. One colleague said, “He would be the first faculty member I would approach if I had any question about the new general education program.” Dr. Smith also represents the College of Health and Human Services on the Provost’s Academic Advising Council.

Dr. Smith has 125 assigned advisees, but he also sees his role as an advisor extending to helping students in his classes. He views advising as part of his research responsibilities and allows many advisees to participate in his research. The informal environment of the lab lends itself well to many conversations about students’ goals and aspirations. Dr. Smith describes the importance of developing strong relationships with students in this way, “Without getting to know your students on a personal level they will not always give you enough information for you to give the right advisement. This is why it is crucial for an advisor to take every opportunity to relate to students.”

Staff: Scott Handley, Honors College

Scott E. Handley has thirteen years of experience in academic advising, including three years of service to students in the Honors College at Missouri State University. When Mr. Handley is described by his students and colleagues, these words are commonly used: welcoming, challenging, empowering, collaborative, proactive, intellectual, motivating and supportive. He is especially sensitive to the challenges that honors students face and works to create supportive relationships with them. Mr. Handley creates many information sources for Honors College students, including newsletters, registration guides and orientation packets.

In addition to his advising responsibilities, Scott Handley is active in a variety of collaborations on campus to enhance student services, such as the First-Year Advisory Council, the Undergraduate Recruitment Committee and the group responsible for recruiting Presidential Scholarships. He also assists interested students in pursuing national and international fellowships and scholarships. One of Mr. Handley’s advisees described the profound effect his advising had in this way, “I am thankful for his encouragement and advice, because that discussion made all my college career difference. I have gained valuable tools and methods for improving my future because of the help provided by Mr. Handley to step outside my comfort zone and strive for a higher level of success.”