Two University of Georgia advisors have received an Outstanding Undergraduate Academic Advising Award.
Cindy Schulman in the Exploratory Center is a recipient in the professional advisor category, and Jessie Daniels in the Terry College of Business is the recipient in the new staff advisor category. They were nominated by their supervisors and selected by 12 students from the various colleges on campus.
Cindy Schulman has been an advisor for five years, first in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences. She then moved to the Exploratory Center last summer as a founding member and leader of the advising staff. Schulman is also the first point of contact for potential transfer students who are interested in applying to Terry College. She previously taught at Athens Technical College and prior to that at a Florida high school for 10 years. Schulman has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics/mathematics education from the University of Central Florida.
“Cindy is a master academic advisor who works tirelessly in support of the EC’s mission to support undergraduate students in search of the right major and career path,” said Exploratory Center coordinator Jennifer Eberhardt. “In addition to advising her roster of current UGA students who intend to study business, she is also our liaison with prospective transfer students. In both roles, her colleagues know her as an advisor who guides students through challenging transitions with vast knowledge, skill and dedication. Advisors across campus note her enthusiasm, patience and sense of humor. One of her colleagues wrote, ‘Cindy develops a healthy professional relationship with her students, and it is obvious how much they love and respect her.’ ”
From linking students with prospective professional opportunities outside of campus to communicating with students via Skype to guiding them through difficult situations, Schulman takes the extra steps to help her advisees.
“Mrs. Schulman has made a lasting impact on both my academic career and my outlook on life. She has shown me that respect and professionalism are the best ways to mend wrongs, and that a commitment to excellence is a requirement for both of these qualities,” a pre-business student said about the advising experience with Schulman.
“I was very nervous about how my credits would count here and what the registration process was like,” said one transfer student. “She immediately alleviated some of my concerns while also offering advice on how to make the academic transition go more smoothly.”
Others had equally good things to say about Daniels and her academic advising at the Terry College of Business.
“Everything [Daniels] has done in her two-plus years as the coordinator of the Online BBA program has been innovative out of necessity, including advising a growing group of unique students from a distance. This program is only the second undergraduate, fully online degree-completion program housed at UGA, and Jessie built strong partnerships inside Terry, across campus and throughout the state in order to get the program started and to move it forward as it grows, both in number of students and the impact on their lives,” said Laura Clark, director of Terry College Academic Advising.
One nontraditional student said on the end-of-term survey: “She listens to my concerns and invests time and effort in responding to my questions and concerns. As a student whose initial matriculation occurred when UGA was using the quarter system, my transcript requires special attention. Even registration was challenging. However, Jessie was available to respond to my emails and help me through my first registration in 20 years.”
Another advisee said, “Jessie Daniels is knowledgeable, accommodating and sincerely cares about the students in the online program. I’ve had many questions since considering the online program and she’s answered every one. Her dedication to her job is unparalleled.”
The award is presented each spring to staff members for excellence in advising undergraduate students on class selection and course of study, assisting them with academic problems, and providing guidance on related matters such as decisions about graduate school and careers. The Office of the Vice President for Instruction administers the award each year. Schulman and Daniels will be recognized at the spring AACC meeting, and as Outstanding Academic Advisors, their names and recommendations have been forwarded to the National Academic Advising Association for consideration of a national advising award.