2018 Curtis P. Lawrence Award for Excellence in Advising

2018 Advising Award Selection Committee

  • Darren Wienberg, Academic Advisement Center, Chair
  • Nora Cox, Communication
  • Mandi Muse, Criminology
  • Melissa Remley, Darr College of Agriculture
  • Katie Hash, Student Representative

Faculty: Danielle M. Lillge, English

As Director of English Education at Missouri State University, Dr. Danielle Lillge has transformed the advising experience of students in her program. Dr. Lillge created a new advising model for English education, “Hybrid Advising,” which combines best practices of group and individual advising. Amy Knowles, a faculty colleague, said, “Within two years of Dr. Lillge’s coming to Missouri State University, she completely reimagined the advising program in English education. As a result, every student in the program receives responsive, equitable and informed support as s/he journeys toward teacher certification.”

Dr. Lillge has a demanding role that includes teaching in the English department, advising over 60 assigned advisees, and coordinating advising efforts for almost 200 students in the largest English education program in Missouri. Her work extends to prospective students, incoming transfer students, undergraduates, graduate students, and postbaccalaureate students.

Dr. Danielle Lillge is a voice for equity and diversity. “I believe my advising can contribute to a social justice agenda, to explicitly and systematically redress the inequities in higher education access and the historical marginalization of some groups of students.” Dr. Cathie English, a faculty colleague, said, “I have been deeply impressed with Danielle’s commitment to the needs of diverse students. In all her work, from advising to curriculum and assessment development, Danielle has made accessibility and inclusion a priority.”

Dr. Danielle Lillge views advising as a long-term, progressing relationship. “My goal is to equip them to over time independently address the realities they face. Ultimately, I want them to feel empowered as strategic learners and future professionals. It means recognizing that each advisee will have a unique journey, because each advisee has a unique set of needs and strengths and a unique vision—an often evolving vision—for where he or she is headed professionally.”

Staff: Brittany N. Wise, Psychology

Brittany has a challenging position as academic advisor to almost 300 assigned students and departmental advising coordinator for one of the largest departments on campus, at almost 1,000 majors. Brittany advises two active student organizations, advises new students at orientation, and meets with transfer students and prospective students who are interested in psychology.  

With all of her responsibilities, Brittany makes each individual student feel valued and worthwhile. Devon Westpheling, a graduate assistant in the Psychology Advisement Center, described Brittany’s advising style in this way, “I have been so privileged to have Brittany’s model of advising to learn from. Her advisees truly see her as a partner in their efforts to reach both personal and academic goals. In Brittany’s office, every student is treated as though he or she is the most important advisee, and provided with an advising experience that is specially tailored to their unique goals, circumstances, strengths, and challenges.

Brittany has a special ability to motivate her advisees to achieve as much as possible. One of the advisees said, “Brittany Wise helped me recognize my true potential in school. With her assistance I was able to raise my GPA higher than I thought possible.” Another advisee simply said, “She believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself.”

In her philosophy of advising statement, Brittany said, “I teach my students the importance of problem solving, independent learning, and gathering necessary information, so that they may gain the confidence to navigate the university, their degree program, and future career path. I challenge my students, cheer on their successes, and provide them with support during times of need. As an advisor, I am in the unique position to have many one-on-one contacts with students, each for prolonged amounts of time. By taking the time to cultivate relationships, I find out the individual student’s likes, passions, and strengths. We work together to discover the student’s goals.”