Faculty and staff members across campus contribute to this mission and help first-year students find academic and personal success. To recognize these faculty and staff, the Outstanding First Year Student Advocate and Advising Excellence awards will be presented annually to the winning nominees.

Nominations are now open and due March 10, and can be submitted by staff and faculty.

Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award

The Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award recognizes and celebrates the efforts and significant contributions of UNCG faculty and staff who provide leadership in creating a positive transition to college and a successful learning environment for first-year students.  The Award selection committee will begin their review of all nominations in February, and award recipients are announced at the end of the Spring term.

Advising Excellence Awards

The UNCG Advising Excellence awards recognize the commitments of faculty and staff who make significant contributions to student success through the delivery of exemplary academic advising.
Two UNCG Advising Excellence Awards are presented each spring term, honoring a faculty advisor and a professional academic advisor. Both awards and the selection criteria have been modeled to reflect the regional and national advising awards established by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA).

Award Eligibility

Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award

The award is open to any full-time or part-time UNCG staff or faculty member with a minimum of two years of service at UNCG at the time of nomination. This award recognizes staff and faculty who provide programmatic, service-delivery, or curricular initiatives in support of first year students.
(Academic advisors should be nominated for the Academic Advising Excellence Awards.)

Advising Excellence Award

All nominees must have a minimum of two years of service at the time of nomination with ongoing academic advising responsibilities at UNCG. Faculty award nominees must be teaching faculty in which academic advising accounts for less than 50% of their institutional responsibilities.

Selection Process

Nominations can be submitted by faculty or staff via the online nomination form. All nominations for the 2022-2023 awards are due by February 28, 2022. The Award selection committee will begin their review of all nominations in February, and award recipients are announced at the end of the Spring term.

Selection Criteria

Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award Criteria

  • Nominee’s efforts and attributes that make them an advocate for first-year students
    • the persistence and ingenuity of the nominee
    • the nominee’s personal commitment to first-year students
    • the amount of time and energy exerted beyond the nominee’s ordinary job expectations
    • how the nominee has used theory and/or research on best practices to guide their efforts
  • Impact of the nominee’s efforts on first-year students
    • providing resources and/or support to assist first-year students
    • successful transition of first year students to UNCG
    • feedback from students regarding the nominee’s efforts
    • the breadth and depth of the impact on first-year students
    • assessment efforts that show an actual impact on student outcomes, including academic and personal success
  • Impact of the nominee’s efforts on the culture of the institutions, college, or unit
    • exhibiting a positive attitude that fosters a positive first-year experience
    • promoting a welcoming campus environment
    • any tangible or demonstrable evidences of impact on campus culture
    • any departmental partnerships/collaborations that have occurred as a result of the nominee’s efforts

Advising Excellence Award Criteria

  • Proven ability to establish strong rapport and interpersonal relationships with advisees and advising colleagues
  • Demonstrated ability to engage in, promote, and support development advising
  • Exhibited commitment to guiding students in their academic and career paths
  • Evidence of advising that supports and aligns with NACADA’s Core Values (Caring, Commitment, Empowerment, Inclusivity, Integrity, Professionalism, Respect)
  • Mastery of institutional regulations, policies, procedures, and curricula
  • Participation in and support of advisor development programs

Past Award Recipients

Outstanding First-Year Student Advocate Award Winners

2023-2024: Margarita Kerkado 

Senior Assistant Director for Latino / Hispanic Initiatives, Undergraduate Admissions

2022-2023: Dr. Jessica D. McCall, Ph.D

Senior Lecturer, Basic Course Director

2021-2022: Dr. Jeffery Kaplan, Ph.D

Director of Undergraduate Studies for the Dept. of Philosophy, CAS

2020-2021: Chris Gregory

Assistant Director for Assessment & Operations, Housing & Residence Life

2019-2020: Elliot Kimball

Assistant Director, Office of Intercultural Engagement

2018-2019: Nancy Bucknall

Director, College of Arts & Sciences Advising Center

2017-2018: Dr. Kim Sousa-Peoples

Sr. Director, First Year Student Engagement & Experience

Advising Excellence Award Winners

  • 2022 Award Recipients
    • Caitlyn Saraphis – Professional Advisor, CAS
    • Robin Maxwell – Faculty Advisor, Dept. of Biology, CAS
  • 2021 Award Recipients
    • Pam Ladrow – Faculty Advisor, Dept. of Biology, CAS
    • Sidney Stretz – Professional Advisor, CVPA
  • 2020 Award Recipients
    • Christina Moreira – Faculty, Dept. of Biology, CAS
    • Jennifer Reich – Professional Advisor, CVPA
  • 2019 Award Recipients
    • Sarah Dunning – Faculty, Dept. of Communication Studies, CAS
    • Brian Strickland – Professional Advisor, School of Education
  • 2018 Award Recipients
    • Kathryn Aldridge – Faculty, Dept. of Human Development & Family Studies, HHS
    • Elena Medeiros – Professional Advisor, Students First Office