Curtis P. Lawrence Excellence in Advising Award Recipients

Notice: We are thrilled to report that Amy Marie Aufdembrink has been selected as an Outstanding Advising Award Winner in the Academic Advising--Primary Role Category from the National Academic Advising Association for 2012, and Kelly Wood in Communication has been selected as an Outstanding Advising Award Winner in the Faculty Academic Advising Category from the National Academic Advising Association for 2012. Their awards will be given at the NACADA conference in Nashville this October. Join us in congratulating these wonderful advisors!


2012 "Excellence in Advising" Selection Committee

  • Ross Hawkins, Academic Advisement Center
  • Tracy Dalton, English
  • Christopher Lynn, MBA Program
  • Linda Trinh Moser, English
  • Natasia Bongcas, Student Representative

Faculty: Kelly S. Wood, Communication

After 15 years of advising, teaching and administration at Missouri State University, Dr. Kelly Wood shows admirable enthusiasm for every aspect of student success, especially academic advising. Dr. Wood is often described by her students and colleagues as a mentor, and she lives up to that description through the attention she gives to her students and to other advisors.

With her contributions to the master advisor program and the transfer advisor workshop, her influence on academic advising is felt campus-wide. To quote a colleague, “Kelly is passionate about building relationships with her students and practices the concept of advising as teaching. As a result of her passion, Kelly has taken on many duties to ensure students are receiving excellent academic advising. She not only cares about her advisees but also about the advising profession as a whole.”

Kelly welcomes challenging advising situations. Her department head says, “Kelly is especially good at working with students with special cases ...Kelly seems to welcome such challenges and sees it from a positive perspective of learning something new and an opportunity to work with the students and their issues. I admire her patience and creativity in working with such student advisees.”

One of Kelly’s advisees described her in this way, “I was touched by Dr. Wood’s true commitment to making my transition as smooth as possible. I could tell that she cared about my education as much as I did, and she made sure I was making informed decisions throughout the entire process. She is a true asset to Missouri State University, and is a great representative of how influential the advisor/advisee relationship is to a student’s academic and personal success.”

Professional Staff: Amy Marie Aufdembrink, Academic Advisement Center

Amy Marie Aufdembrink has been advising exploratory students at Missouri State University since 2003. She has a special connection with these students and is highly skilled in helping them choose satisfying, appropriate majors. One of her colleagues said, “She truly goes the extra mile to help students locate resources and connect with experts who can help them learn more about majors they are exploring. If they are wise enough to listen and learn from her, they will gain the tools they need to make wise decisions, excel in college and in life.”

Creativity and program planning are other strengths that Amy Marie uses as an academic advisor. She coordinates the annual Majors Fair, which draws over 2,000 students and participation from every undergraduate department at MSU. Because of her ability to brainstorm, collaborate and find creative solutions to problems, Amy Marie has been described as a “self-contained think tank.”

Amy Marie describes her advising in this way, “I make every effort to stop talking and start listening with each student. As a teacher and as an advisor, I want my students/advisees to be actively engaged in their education. Therefore, my goal as an advisor is to get my advisees moving, thinking and engaging with me, their courses and the university. This can’t happen unless I truly get to know them.”

Casey Lama remembers leaving Amy Marie’s office for the first time, “I felt like a new person with some pretty amazing goals I wanted to achieve while going to MSU… She always gives me that extra faith and push to let me know that I can and will become the person that I have always wanted to be academically and in my personal life.”