Four University of Georgia academic advisors have received 2021 Outstanding Undergraduate Academic Advising Awards. Elizabeth Fuller, Joseph McCall, Jennifer Patrick and Julian Williams were nominated by their supervisors and selected by a committee of three student representatives from SGA, along with the previous advising award winners.
Elizabeth Fuller, Outstanding Professional Advisor, is known for her genuine and calm demeanor, which has served her well in her 16 years in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. She currently serves as the lead advisor for the Division of Biological Sciences, one of the largest majors at UGA.
“Elizabeth’s accessibility and responsiveness are hallmarks of both her advising approach and her work as a supervisor and lead,” said Diane H. Miller, director of student academic services in Franklin. “She is also a respected leader, chairing the Advisor Brown Bag Series and UGA MAP (Mentoring Advising Professionals), serving as a MAP mentor, serving on the AACC Professional Development committee, and teaching training and development courses for the advising certificate.”
Fuller caters her advising approach to each student, employing the advising model that will best suit their needs. She guides students to consider the best academic path to meet their goals and provides input for extracurricular, experiential learning, clinicals, and fieldwork, which will enhance their learning experiences. She considers all angles of a student’s life and academic goals and generously shares her knowledge of university resources.
“Ms. Fuller has managed to make college less stressful by breaking down what classes I need to take, as well as specific courses that would benefit my interests and career goals most. Not only has she been supportive of my goals and helped me find all the answers I could ever need, but she also tells me about opportunities at UGA that are relevant to my interests,” said one advisee.
Fuller attended Boston University and earned a B.A. in archaeological students and Southern Illinois University to earn her master’s in anthropology.
Joseph McCall’s, Outstanding New Advisor, empathic and personal approach to advising were an asset his first year on the job in 2020. McCall’s willingness to quickly develop and share resources to meet students’ needs demonstrates dedication to his profession.
“Joseph’s research on advising students in distress has been timely, accessible and collaborative. We drew from Joseph’s resources as we began to prioritize student well-being during our rapid transition from in-person to remote advising and instruction during the pandemic,” shared Jennifer Eberhart, the coordinator at the Exploratory Center where McCall works. “Joseph’s suggestion to take a more holistic approach to advising, grounded in meeting students ‘where they are,’ made perfect sense in light of the new conditions.”
As part of McCall’s ongoing efforts to meet students ‘where they are,’ he created and shared a Social Justice Advising Guide and a Student Involvement Resources document, all while pursuing the UGA Advanced Advising Certificate this past year. He also presented on De-escalating Students in Distress virtually at the NACADA regional and national conferences.
“Mr. McCall has been an incredible advisor and an asset for my college career. As a first-generation student, Mr. McCall has helped me transition to college by sharing his own story and providing tips and suggestions along the way, going above and beyond his advisor duties,” said one intended business advisee.
McCall earned his B.A. in journalism from UGA and his M.Ed. in Instructional Design and Technology from Georgia State University.
Jennifer Patrick, Outstanding Advising Administrator, excels as an advisor, particularly with incoming students, students in academic difficulty and (through her own initiative) students experiencing food insecurity.
“The extent to which Jenny’s work positively impacts the lives of students—through direct student contact, support and training for advisors, committee contributions, creating and distributing resources, and creating and managing programs like the Franklin Fridge—is immeasurable,” said Diane Miller, director of student academic affairs in Franklin, where Patrick works.
Patrick’s ability to identify student advising needs and create solutions makes her an invaluable asset to the UGA advising community. Her enterprising leadership in the hugely complex Franklin Orientation process and her continued willingness to meet with students during the summer to address general advising needs prove her ongoing dedication. Patrick’s empathic approach to working with retention students has assisted hundreds of individuals through to graduation.
One student shared, “When I first went on academic probation after transferring here, I struggled so hard I ended up getting kicked out for a semester. [Ms. Patrick] helped by being there to listen to my struggles, telling me about resources I never even knew were an option at UGA, and by directly telling me what I needed to do to succeed. Now I’m finally going to graduate this semester, and I honestly do not think it would have happened without her help.”
Patrick holds a B.A. in English and American literature and psychology from Swarthmore College, an M.A. in English and American literature and creative writing from UGA, and an M.Ed. in counseling and human development from UGA.
Julian Williams, selected for the Excellence in Advising Special Populations award, works with student athletes in the Mary Frances Early College of Education to navigate and balance the desire to excel both athletically and academically.
Brennen Salmon, MFECOE lead advisor, had this to say of Williams: “His time in the major and in athletics naturally fosters credibility with his student-athletes, and Julian does an outstanding job of leveraging his experiences to guide and support them. His professionalism, feedback and knowledge of major-specific resources give student-athletes the opportunity to do more than just navigate a degree program and maintain athletic eligibility; it invites them to maximize the opportunities the degree—and the entire college experience—has to offer.”
Williams helps students break out of the “athletic bubble” and explore their non-athletic interests and goals. With his first-hand experience as a former student-athlete, he is able to relate to students as well as help them to see their academic potential and explore all of the possibilities available.
A second-year golf student said, “Julian is a great academic advisor. He always shows he cares about every student, including the student-athletes who have lots of scheduling conflicts, by valuing their passions, questions, concerns, and life in and out of school. Whenever I had a question, he knew the answer or would find out the answer quickly. Whenever I talked about my team schedule, he already knew what courses and times would fit in my small-time frames.”
Williams attended UGA and earned a B.A. in risk management and B.S.Ed. in sports management, and went on to earn an MBA and M.Ed. sports management from The University of Central Florida.