2017 Curtis P. Lawrence Award for Excellence in Advising

2017 Advising Award Selection Committee

  • Nora Cox, Communication, Co-chair
  • Juli Panza, Education Advisement Center, Co-chair
  • Erin Buchanan, Psychology
  • Darren Wienberg, Academic Advisement Center
  • Caitie Dyer, Student Representative

Faculty: Melissa A. Remley, Agriculture

Dr. Melissa A. Remley embodies the “advising as teaching” philosophy by weaving academic advising into mentoring of her students, whether or not they are her assigned advisees. Melissa combines her love of scholarship with her passion for academic advising and student success. She inspires her students to achieve more academically and professionally than they believed would be possible.

Dr. Remley immerses her students in high–impact learning activities, such as study away and undergraduate research. She says, “Advising does not start and end with academic advising sessions. It is my priority to incorporate experiences within their education to help guide them toward their passion and for them to gain experience to launch them toward a successful career. Such experiences include bringing students into my research efforts in the field and in the lab. Exposing them to these settings not only gives them valuable experience to add to their resumes, but also demonstrates other possible paths such as graduate education. I also encourage students to study abroad. Through leading student groups to China and Haiti, I have had the privilege of witnessing the profound impact of such experiences on them and their future plans.”

Dr. Chin-Feng Hwang, Professor of Environmental Plant Science, describes Melissa’s commitment to students in this way, “Excellent advising comes in many forms. Dr. Remley demonstrates her care and commitment to students through their entire exposure to MSU. She often volunteers for recruitment events and frequently meets with visiting students and parents. She volunteers to work as a partner of the Agriculture Living Learning Community where she plans and interacts with first year students through special events and field trips. She advises several student clubs including the Agronomy Club and Horticulture Club. This often involves volunteering to chaperone students to conferences to receive scholarships, attend career fairs, and to compete in judging contests. All of these activities exhibit Dr. Remley’s extraordinary commitment to our students and their development to be successful as students and in their careers."

Staff: Amanda R. Muse, Criminology

As the advisor for Criminology and Criminal Justice, Amanda (Mandi) Muse advises about 500 students. She meets with prospective students and families and represents the department at recruitment events. Mandi is recognized as knowledgeable, dedicated, efficient, caring, and innovative. She does not wait for her students to contact her; she reaches out to them multiple times each semester. Her department head and supervisor, Dr. Brett Garland, said, “Mandi’s ultimate forte as an academic advisor lies with her interpersonal interactions with students.”

Dr. Pam Sailors, the Associate Dean of the College of Humanities and Public Affairs, said, “Amanda doesn’t only do the initial advising of students, she also reliably monitors their progress and contacts them when she senses they may be struggling with their coursework.” Dr. Sailors also said, “I am responsible for suspending and readmitting students with academic difficulties. I have been very positively impressed by the personal involvement Amanda has in these matters; she often contacts me to discuss the particular circumstances of a case, thus enabling us both to make decisions that serve the interests of students.”

Amanda’s students praise the support she offers to them saying, “If it weren’t for Mandi, I’m almost certain I would have been lost in the hustle and bustle and given up on my dream of obtaining a college education.” Another student said, “An important aspect of Amanda’s interactions is her ability to answer questions, show interest in her students’ work, and provide just the right amount of structure, yet allow the student some independence.”

In her advising philosophy statement, Amanda explained, “I use developmental advising because it is the student’s education; I can only guide a student to make the best decisions for them and their educational goals. I will promote problem-solving and critical thinking skills. A person finds their strengths and weaknesses in college when making their own decisions. I always try to be unbiased and tell the student all their possible options and the pros and cons of each so the student can make an informed decision.”