Skip to main content

IUPUI professional staffers named among national outstanding academic advisors



INDIANAPOLIS — “Good advising, like good teaching, publication and research, needs to be recognized,” according to the National Academic Advising Association.

The association, known as NACADA, has named two Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis staff members as winners of its 2014 Outstanding Advising Awards:

  • Kyle McCool, director of undergraduate programs and student services in the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Outstanding Advising Administrator Award.
  • Laura Masterson, assistant director for academic advising, Honors College, Outstanding Advising Award-Primary Advising Role.

The NACADA National Annual Awards Program honors individuals and institutions that make significant contributions to the improvement of academic advising. The program’s ultimate goal is to improve advising services for students, which facilitates student success and retention.

“Academic advisors provide students with the needed connection to the various campus services and supply the essential academic connection between these services and the students,” NACADA executive director Charlie Nutt wrote in a journal article titled “Academic advising and student retention and persistence.” “In addition, academic advisors offer students the personal connection to the institution that the research indicates is vital to student retention and student success.”

Another Indiana University employee, Shannan Stryjewski, academic advisor in the Department of Applied Health Science in the School of Public Health- Bloomington, received a certificate of merit in the Outstanding New Advisor-Primary Advising Role.

McCool was selected based on several qualities and practices such as strong interpersonal skills, institutional recognition of outstanding advising administration, evidence of departmental growth and development under her administration, and successful collaboration with other campus academic or student support units.

The awards for Masterson and Stryjewski in the primary advising role are based on participation in and support of advising to build strong relationships with advisees, monitoring of student progress toward academic and career goals, and perception by colleagues of nominees’ advising skills.

“Advisors are critical to student success at IUPUI,” IUPUI Chancellor Charles R. Bantz said. “They enhance decision-making for students — from the most advanced levels of study to those on a college campus for the first time. Kyle and Laura illustrate that IUPUI advisors are among the best in the country.”

NACADA represents academic advisors serving higher education and advocates on behalf of advising. The organization has more than 10,000 members, and it hosts conferences, publishes journals, offers training and awards scholarships. NACADA members will honor the 2014 winners at an awards ceremony during the association’s annual conference scheduled for October in Minneapolis.