2015 Curtis P. Lawrence Award for Excellence in Advising

2015 Excellence in Advising Award Selection Committee

  • Judy Pickering, Chair, Education Advisement Center
  • Kelly Wood, Communication
  • Joshua Smith, Biomedical Sciences
  • Scott Handley, Honors College
  • Gena Miller, Student Representative

Faculty: Nora Walcott, Cox Communication

Nora Walcott Cox approaches advising as a balance between championing and challenging advisees. Because Nora aligns advising with the university’s Public Affairs Mission, she champions and challenges advisees within the communication field and also in their personal growth: encouraging advisees to be ethical leaders, culturally competent individuals and engaged members of their communities. Critical to Nora’s advising style and success is positive feedback. One student stated, “The constant encouragement and advisement from Nora from day one has helped me become the engaged and ambitious student that I am today.”

From advising at SOAR to teaching GEP 101 and COM 115 to advising within the communication department, Nora gathers as much information as she gives, seeing advising as a means of sharing knowledge and resources as well as learning new things about advising, the University, and her advisees. Nora is truly a “learner” at heart and it shows. Learning about her advisees helps Nora connect with them and show them that they are a priority to her. Nora not only learns advisee and student names within the first week of classes, but also learns their interests, hometowns, career aspirations and passions. In the words of an advisee, “I have seen her go above and beyond for her students and I have personally witnessed her passion and love for what she does… Not only is Nora one of the most genuine people I have met, but I can tell she cares for my success and the success of all her students and advisees.”

Staff: Juli Panza, Education Advisement Center

Juli A. Panza uses a prevention model to guide her advising, providing what an advisee needs before he or she even realizes it is needed. Because Juli cultivates strong relationships with her advisees with an intent to keep them “coming back,” they take her advice, advocacy, and referrals. Being part of a team is critical to Juli’s advising. Juli uniquely recognizes that in order to keep advisees successful and “coming back” she needs to help them find answers. Juli uses her Education Advisors and a team of connections across campus to locate answers for her students; recognizing each advisee’s education is made of many departments along the way.

Juli is determined in her support for her advisees and all College of Education advisees. This is clear in Juli leading the charge in her college to research and create a program to intervene and support their majors on academic probation. One student wrote, “There were times over the last two years that I personally felt I wanted to give up, but each time I met with Juli she praised me for my effort and reminded me the road would not be easy but I would finish. At times when I felt my GPA was too low or I wasn’t smart enough, Juli always made sure to encourage me and push me to do my very best…She always pointed out my strong suits…congratulating me and telling me she was proud of the effort I put in when classes were tough. Every time we met she constantly reminded me that she knew I could finish and would finish strong.”